MS, BCBA, LBA
“My goal is to provide a caring respectful environment for children and offer high-quality services for families.”
An education professional for over 18 years, Amy Lavoie possesses a steadfast commitment to helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Amy began her career caring for children with psychiatric and emotional needs as a Child Development Specialist, while earning her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University and later obtaining her M.S. in Elementary Education from the University of Bridgeport. While teaching in the public schools, Amy cross-endorsed in Special Education through Central Connecticut State University. During her time as a special education teacher, she taught in an autism specific program as well as a self-contained program for students with emotional disturbances. After receiving her graduate certificate in Behavioral Intervention in Autism from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Amy transitioned into her current role as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst for the public and private sector.
Amy’s areas of expertise include parent and staff training, facilitating social skills groups and working with children with emotional and behavioral needs. She is a member of several associations including Connecticut Association for Behavior Analysis (CTABA), Behavior Analyst Leadership Council (BALC), Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP) and Association of Professional Analysts (APBA). Amy serves on the Social Justice, Organizational Membership, PPLO Committees for CT ABA.
In her free time, Amy enjoys chasing after her two sons, and traveling.
Clinical Director of ABA
M.Ed, BCBA, LBA
After many years of working with children through babysitting and summer camps, Joanna began her career in education as an Early Childhood Education major at The University of Arizona. During her time there, she completed two years of student teaching in an inclusive preschool classroom and a kindergarten classroom; finding her passion in working directly with students with special needs. After graduating in May 2015, Joanna decided to attend The University of Texas at Austin to earn a M.Ed. in Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Joanna completed her M.Ed degree in August of 2016 and earned her BCBA certification in August of 2017.
Throughout her time in Austin, she worked in-home, in-school, and in-center with both children and adults with autism. She spent two years working at Central Texas Autism Center; a center that specializes in verbal behavior, language and communication. Joanna received extensive training on the VB-MAPP and Essentials For Living assessments and programs; she was able to attend several workshops and trainings by Dr. Sundberg, Dr. Carbone, and Dr. McGreevy and has found a passion for verbal behavior. She plans to continue to learn more about verbal behavior and how she can utilize it to increase communication and the quality of life for her clients. Joanna moved to Connecticut in June 2018 with her husband Chris and their dogs Petey and Charlie. Joanna is so excited to be a part of the Piece of the Puzzle team and explore Connecticut!
M.Ed, BCBA, LBA
Chris joined the education field during his undergraduate career at Salem State University where he earned a Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education and History. His undergraduate work focused on working in general education classrooms while designing and implementing lesson plans that would accommodate a variety of learning needs.
After graduating in 2015, Chris went on to earn his Masters of Education from The University of Texas at Austin in 2016. While completing his Masters, Chris worked at a small private school where his responsibilities included: providing 1:1 and group therapy using different teaching methods, creating and implementing intervention strategies based on current research, conducting enrollment assessments, assisting in conducting functional behavior assessments, and teaching social skills groups according to Acceptance and Commitment Therapy research.
Chris specializes in teaching social skills, precision teaching, direct instruction, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
(BCBA Bio Coming Soon!)
M.Ed, BCBA, LBA
Our amazing colleague and friend, Jennifer O’Neill, lost her battle with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer December 6, 2021. Jen will always be a part of our work family, and will forever be remembered.
Jennifer worked with children with autism and other developmental delays for over 15 years. She held a Bachelors of Psychology from the University of St. Joseph and a Master’s of Education, with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis, from Arizona State University.
Jen brought a wealth of experience utilizing principles of applied behavior analysis through her years of service working as an early intervention lead therapist and behaviorist. She provided in-home services as well as school consultation to youths with ASD as well as children with a variety of mental health diagnoses.
When not providing services to her clients, Jen enjoyed spending time with her husband and two children as well as working on new home renovations.
M.S., NCSP, BCBA, LBA
As a school psychologist with experience in public school districts in Connecticut, Scarlett is passionate about helping and empowering children of all ability levels to achieve their potential and meet with lifelong success and independence. After earning a Bachelors Degree in Psychology at the University of Saint Joseph, Scarlett pursued a Masters degree and Sixth Year Certificate in School Psychology at Southern Connecticut State University.
Within the public school system, Scarlett has a breadth of experience serving children with unique needs through the use of psychological, behavioral, and multidisciplinary assessments; providing individual and group counseling; and advocating for children through the Planning and Placement Team process. After gaining an interest in improving systems-wide tiered behavioral interventions and supports for children in the school setting, Scarlett decided to pursue a Sixth Year Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis at Southern Connecticut State University and earned her BCBA certification.
Scarlett is excited to serve families and children to improve behavioral and educational outcomes. Scarlett has a special interest in verbal behavior and self-regulation.
M.Ed, BCBA, LBA
“There is not a more rewarding career than the path I have chosen.”
Lisa completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology with a concentration in communication disorders at the University of Connecticut. After graduating in 2005, she went on to get her masters degree in special education at Saint Joseph University. Lisa went on to work in an applied behavior analysis (ABA) classroom in Brookline, MA for 6 years. In 2013, Lisa received her graduate certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from UMASS-Boston and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has been working in home services since November of 2014.
(Picture coming soon!)
M.S., BCBA, LBA
Sophia completed her undergraduate degree in psychology with a minor in sociology at Central Connecticut State University. In 2019, she completed her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Western Connecticut State University. She has worked with children and adults with developmental disabilities for about 6 years. While completing her Master’s degree, she worked as a behavior technician providing ABA in-home services to children diagnosed with autism. During this time, she also worked at a private school setting providing ABA services to children and adults who had a dual diagnosis of autism and seizure disorders. Some of her responsibilities included discrete trial training, naturalistic teachings, 1:1 sessions, and skill acquisition programming. Sophia worked as a Behaviorist where she conducted functional behavior assessments and created behavior intervention plans for individuals in the DDS and DCF system. Sophia received her BCBA certification in June 2020.
Sophia loves to travel, experience new restaurants, and spending time with her family. She is excited to begin her journey as a BCBA and joining A Piece of the Puzzle team!
(Picture coming soon!)
Ashley completed her Undergraduate degree in Elementary Education (K-6) and her Masters degree in Special Education (K-12) at Central Connecticut State University. She has been a Special Education teacher for 6 years. During that time she worked as a part time behavior technician at Piece of the Puzzle LLC providing ABA in-home services to children diagnosed with autism. Ashley then went on to complete the certification process to become a BCBA and received that certification in July 2020. She is excited to continue to grow as a professional with the Piece of the Puzzle family!
(Bio coming soon!)
M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
Gabrielle Betancourt comes to A Piece of the Puzzle after 13 years in the public school system. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Central Connecticut State University and a Master’s degree in Elementary Education at the University of Bridgeport. She began her career teaching Kindergarten while working to obtain a post-master’s certificate in Special Education.
Gabrielle spent 9 years teaching in an Autism program as the Special Education teacher and case manager for students with ASD. From there she decided to obtain an additional post-master’s certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis. Gabrielle became a BCBA in 2019.
Gabrielle’s interests include parent training and social skills for children on the autism spectrum. She has worked with clients from preschool to high school. Gabrielle loves haunted houses, zombie movies and spending time with her husband and children.
AS Business Administration
“My goal is to be a positive influence on the community through small acts of service, to learn something new every day, and to make the world a better place for children and families.”
A business professional for over 10 years, Jessica Gardiner is enthusiastically running the day to day business operations dealing with software, financials and insurance billing at A Piece of the Puzzle. Jessica began her business career after working her way up the chain of command at a Preschool and Daycare in Hartford County. During this time Jessica became a Certified Lead Teacher in the State of Connecticut for children ages 6 weeks to 12 years old, and was offered the position of Assistant Director. This experience with office work, billing and management led Jessica to pursue her Associates in Business Administration through Purdue University Global. Jessica is continuing her education to achieve a BS in Managerial Accounting.
Jessica enjoys working with the parents and school to foster a positive learning community for her eight year old son. Jessica also enjoys attending her son’s sporting events, playing games and reading constantly.
Intake Coordinator and Lead Behavior Technician
“I love watching the children achieve their goals and seeing the happiness on their family’s faces.”
Susan worked as a Para-Educator in the New Britain School District for over 7 years. One of her favorite positions was during time working directly with children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. During her employment in the school district, she was offered an opportunity to also work in-home as an ABA therapist. Susan loved making connections with families and received her RBT certification in 2017. Shortly after, she began working full-time as a Registered Behavior Technician.
Susan, more recently also began working as the Intake Coordinator. She enjoys being the first point of contact with families to assist them with the process of beginning ABA therapy.
During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her 4 grown children and grandchildren. Susan also enjoys spending time at the beach and relaxing.
Hiring Manager and Lead Behavior Technician
“I am excited to work with children and their families and enjoy seeing the positive impact we have on their lives.”
John completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology at Eastern Connecticut State University. After graduating in 2016, he worked as a behavior technician at a residential clinic for children ages 9 – 21 with significant behavioral disabilities. He began working at A Piece of the Puzzle in 2018 while simultaneously pursuing his Masters in Business Administration from Central Connecticut State University.
John brings a unique set of skills having also worked 1:1 as a Para educator in the public school system. Upon receiving his RBT certification, he began working full-time for A Piece of the Puzzle. John currently provides in-home services for children with a broad scope of challenging behaviors.