About Us

About Our School

Autism and Behavioral Spectrum is a Reggio Emilia inspired childcare center that serves children who show signs of delay or would benefit from additional attention in one or more developmental areas. Our team of professionals provide a vast scope of practice, allowing us to assist a wide variety of children with behavioral disorders or cognitive delay. We exercise an individualized curriculum, and strategies will be adjusted per child based on need.

Naina Aijaz Haider

Founder & CEO

Naina is the founder of Autism and Behavioral Spectrum. In her 10+ years experience working in the childcare industry, she has had the opportunity to observe the diverse and individualized needs of children all over the world. Naina worked in The Reggio Emilia School for children at Harvard University and then decided to create a dynamic where the Reggio Emilia philosophy could be applied towards children with autism and behavioral needs. Creating a strong, educated, and caring community was the most important step in making her dream into a reality. Her goal is to introduce an exceptional educational community that works together so they can make a difference in the lives of your children.

nainah@abspectrum.org

Jennifer Bettale, BCBA, LBA

Director & Behavior Analyst

Jennifer is originally from the St. Louis area and attended Fontbonne University for her undergraduate degree in Elementary & Special Education and received her Masters in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. She has been in the field of ABA for the past 8 years, and has worked in numerous agencies in the Midwest with children of various ages and abilities. She has a passion for fostering therapeutic learning environments, and believes that the staff, services, and education AB Spectrum provides will prove to be unique, exciting, and life changing for the Saint Louis area.

jbettale@abspectrum.org

Erin McAllister-Kirkpatrick, MA, PLPC

Atelierista (Art Therapist) & Provisional Licensed Professional Counselor (PLPC)

Erin graduated in May 2016 with her Master's in Art Therapy Counseling from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and has worked with children, adolescents, adults and the elderly in both school and residential settings. Erin is very passionate about creating a therapeutic space that focuses on inspiring inherent creativity, expression, exploration, and play. Erin also enjoys employing the healing elements of nature in her art therapy practice, managing the school's garden space in addition to the atelier (art studio). In her free time, Erin loves hiking, yoga, knitting, and spending time at home in South St. Louis City with her husband and dog.

emcallister@abspectrum.org

Kimberly Camba, M.S. CCC-SLP

Speech Therapist

Kimberly earned her Master’s degree from the University of Redlands and is passionate about connecting people through communication of all forms. Currently, she also holds a position with an early intervention program working with infants and toddlers, works with adults in a long-term nursing facility, and owns a private speech-therapy practice for children of all ages. She is so excited to be part of the AB Spectrum team!

slp@abspectrum.org

Lauren Markovich, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Lauren is a licensed, registered occupational therapist who specializes in pediatrics. She has extensive experience with children on the spectrum, feeding difficulties, infant/toddlers, fine motor difficulties, social skills, etc. She loves using a holistic approach to therapy and is excited to be a part of the AB Spectrum team because a holistic/organic approach is the cornerstone of AB Spectrum and Reggio Emilia.

ot@abspectrum.org

Jaime Wilhite, MT-BC

Music Therapist

Jaime is a board certified music therapist who is currently working on her Masters at Maryville University. She is a strong advocate for the development and philosophy behind AB Spectrum and is ecstatic to part of such an exciting, groundbreaking and therapeutic program - all in an effort to better our community.

music@abspectrum.org

Kristin Robinson

Dance Instructor

Kristin is a former elite dancer extensively trained in a variety of dance styles, including ballet, modern, contemporary, lyrical, jazz, and tap. As a current associate behavior analyst pursuing her Masters in ABA, Kristin is looking forward to incorporating her knowledge of behavior analytic methodology with her passion for dance in order to help each student achieve success while exploring the relationship between creative movement and the world they inhabit.

dance@abspectrum.org

Vita Sullivan

Yoga Instructor

Vita is 200 hour registered yoga teacher currently teaching a hot power flow at Metro Power Yoga. She is also currently performing with Common Thread Dance Company. She is excited to share her passion for yoga, movement, and mindfulness with the AB Spectrum family. She is ready to explore the possibilities with the special young minds in this first of its kind therapeutic program.

yoga@abspectrum.org

Jessica Jefferson

Lead Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

preschool@abspectrum.org

Christina Hill

Lead Toddler Teacher & Gymnastics Instructor

Christina is a mother of three and former junior Olympic medalist in trampoline and tumbling. She hopes to bring her new ideas and unique perspective to the toddler and gymnastics programs each day. She is overjoyed to be part of the AB Spectrum family!

toddler@abspectrum.org

Joslyn Wallace

Lead Infant Teacher

Joslyn is a mother of one currently working toward her B.A. in Child Psychology. She has both professional and personal experience in working with children with autism and other gifts. She enjoys merging her teaching and parenting skills into her life long dream. Joslyn is excited about the new challenges and perspectives on teaching she receives by being a member of the AB Spectrum family.

infant@abspectrum.org

Jonathan Gast

Assistant Teacher

Victoria Trammell

Volunteer Teacher

Timothy Gartin

Tutor

Maryam Mohammed

Culinary Technician

Missy

Therapy Dog

Missy is a certified therapy dog through a nonprofit organization called Love on a Leash. Her an her handler, Jim, will visit AB Spectrum staff and students who choose to participate one time per week. She loves working with kids and eating treats!