Heather Vesel, MS, BCBA
Hi, I’m Heather Vesel, co-founder of Peak Autism Services. I have been a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) since 2011. However, I have been working with children with autism using behavior analysis since 2003. I got my master’s degree from St. Cloud State University. Prior to that, I received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. I have always wanted to help children, and when I found behavior analysis, it made me happy on so many levels. The scientific nature of behavior analysis satisfies the nerd in me. The way it helps others satisfies the part of me that wants to save the world….one child at a time. Lastly, building Legos and catching bugs for a living allows me to remain a child at heart. I can think of no better way to spend my time. I hope that the passion I have for my job shows in everything I do. E.B. White once said, “I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world.” I feel the same way, so I also try to find time to enjoy life. I love to travel, camp, hike, and generally anything outdoors. I also enjoy playing the piano, going to concerts, going to sporting events, and shopping. Colorado Springs is the perfect place for me because it has all of those things.
Shawn Vesel, MS, BCBA
Hi, I’m Shawn. I’m a co-founder of Peak Autism Services, and a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). I graduated from St. Cloud State University (MN) with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2005, and a master’s in ABA in 2009. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with individuals of all ages, with a variety of diagnoses and ability levels, and in a variety of settings, including individual family homes, group/foster homes, schools, and center-based treatment. I’ve worked specifically with kids and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) since 2008. As a behavior analyst, I’m rewarded by the chance to do work that matters, within a legitimate science that can make a real difference. It’s not easy, and progress can never come fast enough, but it works. As a business owner, I’m lucky to work with such an amazing team, who care so much about what they do, and work hard to do it better each day. Most importantly, as a clinician, what absolutely makes my career is when I get to see children learning significant, meaningful, functional skills. Things like verbs and colors are all important, but when a child learns to communicate with their parents, or use the bathroom independently, or even sit in a restaurant for an hour without having a tantrum… that’s life-changing not only for the child, but for the whole family. That is, without question, why we do what we do.
Carissa Harris, MA, BCBA
I’m Carissa Harris. I have been working in the field of behavior analysis since 2014, and I became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2018 through Florida Institute of Technology. I received my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from Wright State University in Ohio, and I attended University of the Rockies where I received a Master’s in Administrative Psychology. I knew I wanted to become a BCBA only a few months into this field, because I witnessed the progress kids were making, learning to communicate and developing new skills. As someone who was intensely shy as a child, it meant so much to me to help kids learn to express their wants and needs. Also, as someone who is a total nerd, I love looking at graphs, taking data, and thinking of the best ways to teach kids certain skills, which is what behavior analysis is all about. I am very passionate about what I do, and I love getting to know the kids that I work with while being silly and having lots of fun with them. On my off time, I am still a giant nerd who loves books, writing, musicals, super heroes, video games, and trivia nights at local breweries.
Anna Hasbrouck, MS, BCBA
I’m Anna Hasbrouck, a clinical supervisor and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). I graduated from Montana State University with my master’s degree in special education in 2018, and my bachelor’s degree in family and consumer sciences in 2011. I have over ten years of experience utilizing applied behavior analysis practices with children with neurodevelopmental and emotional-behavior disorders in school, day treatment, clinical, and home settings. Using effective and evidence-based practices to help children and families with behavioral, social, and emotional challenges is a strong passion of mine. I believe that all behavior is a form of communication; a way to get things we want, remove things we don’t want, express how we feel, and engage socially with others around us. Each day I am amazed by the kids I work with and the gains they make, regardless of how large or small. As a native to Colorado, I am happy to be back in this beautiful place after spending twelve years in Montana. When I am not working, I can be found playing board games, baking cookies, skiing, camping, and backpacking.
Lauren Garcia, MA, BCBA
Hi, my name is Lauren Garcia. I have been in the field of applied behavior analysis (ABA) since 2016 and became a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) in 2019 through Ball State University. Before receiving my master’s degree in ABA in 2019, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) in 2017. Only after a month of being in the field did I know that I wanted to become a BCBA because of the significant positive change and progress I saw. Most importantly, I enjoyed how it made a world of difference for increasing communication and gaining essential skills for the individuals I worked with. One of the best moments is seeing an individual use those skills with parents or other family members, showing that their skill development is applicable to the whole family. To me, being part of the team to help facilitate that is very rewarding. Not only do I get to see positive change all the time, but it makes me feel as though I continue to be a kid at heart, playing with toys, singing songs, and overall just being silly! During my time in the field of ABA, I have worked with a wide range of individuals which includes those aged from toddler through adult, varying diagnoses and abilities, and in different settings, including in-home, community, and center-based treatments. In my free time I like to hang out with my dogs, go hiking, play video games, travel, and go to concerts.
Gabrielle Manig, RBT
Hello! My name is Gabrielle. I've been an RBT for a little less than a year and I love it! Being able to see progress with my clients and work with a team to help better our services has become a huge passion of mine. One of my biggest joys of this job is being able to play with my clients and build such special and unique relationships with them. I'm currently pursuing my bachelor's in psychology and aspiring to get my master's in ABA to become a BCBA. When I'm not working with my amazing clients, I love spending time with my family and friends, doing anything active and outdoors, and getting creative by painting or drawing.
Maria Fouts, AAS, RBT
My name is Maria Fouts. I graduated from Pikes Peak Community College in 2017 with an AAS in Baking and Pastry and Culinary Arts. That year, I also went through a 200-hour yoga teacher certification course. Though I loved baking and decorating cakes and other desserts, my yogic side quietly urged me to find a career with less stress and more positive impact on my community. The opportunity to become a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and change career fields came in October 2018, and I took it enthusiastically. Now, I find immeasurable joy in my work with Peak Autism Service’s hard-working, amiable clients, and let out my silly side with abandon. When I am not pretending to be an animal or chasing after kids, I’m pursuing my passions of yoga and culinary arts, watching something funny on Netflix, or spending quality time with a loved one.
Shiann Taylor, BA, RBT
Hello, my name is Shiann. I have been working in the ABA field since 2020, which is when I became a RBT. As soon as I started working in the field, I automatically loved how rewarding and fun the job is, especially being able to help children and their families reach goals that have been set in place for them.
I am currently pursuing my Master’s in Special Education and will be done May 2021. Afterward, I plan to get my BCBA certification to continue to further my journey into the ABA field.
Outside of work, I enjoy fishing, traveling, and working out.
Emily Nguyen, BA, RBT
Hi everyone! My name is Emily Nguyen and I have been an RBT since 2020. I graduated from UCCS in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. I am from Houston, Texas but have been living in Colorado since 2015 and loving it ever since! I enjoy cooking/baking, traveling, snowboarding, and working out. I am also a huge foodie so I am always trying new restaurants and spots out! I absolutely love working with kids because I am able to be a kid again myself! I especially love being an RBT because of the meaningful connections I make and the continuous growth I see. I am always trying new things or recreating Pinterest projects! I am eager to constantly learn and be a supporter of the amazing community with ASD.
Ivonne Osroff, RBT
My name is Ivonne Osroff and I was born and raised in Cuenca, Ecuador. Since then I have lived in different parts of Florida, Georgia, and now Colorado. I have previously worked as a home health CNA where I had the opportunity to work as a respite care provider. I quickly realized interacting with kids, whether it was drawing or playing outside, was where I felt most fulfilled. I was introduced to the ABA world as an opportunity to expand my knowledge on ASD and decided in Spring 2019 that I wanted to join Peak Autism Services as an RBT. I enjoy this field because of it’s rewarding qualities. It allows me to see things from the child’s perspective and adds some fun to my day by allowing me to submerge myself into a child’s world and at the same token be able to stand besides them and their families as they accomplish new milestones. On my free time I like to craft, learn new recipes and play with my two dogs.
J Landry, BA, RBT
Hi, my name is Jourdane Landry, but everyone just calls me “J”. After graduating in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Brevard College in North Carolina, I quickly jumped into the corporate world taking on sales and managerial positions to pay off my undergrad debt so I could further my education in psychology. After six years and getting close to my financial goals, I realized the success had failed to fulfill my desire to truly help people and make a difference in their lives. When overviewing my past experiences, career goals, and the rising therapy needs across the nation, I could not help but be drawn to a career in behavior analysis. Shortly thereafter, I met the Peak Autism Services team and earned my Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) certification in March of 2020. Since then I have found no better joy or honor than working with families across Colorado Springs with the help of an amazing team. Over the next few months/years, I am planning on furthering my education in Behavior Analysis to earn a master’s degree and pursue the BCBA certification so that I can do more for the families at need. When I am not working with one of the incredible kids in the community, I can be found taking in the cool mountain air and views by running or hiking among one of the many trails covering 355 miles in our area.