Meet our Team
The staff at Children’s Autism Center is a huge reason why our clients are so successful. Below you will find our team of directors, BCBAs, BCaBAs, and behavior therapists who help us provide the absolute best care for our clients.
Phyllis Sample, M.Ed, BCBA – Executive Director, Owner
Phyllis Sample has 19 years experience working with children with developmental disabilities and autism. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology from Texas Christian University and her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked in both the public and private sector of education as a Speech Pathologist and PPCD teacher. After leaving the school system to raise her children, Phyllis returned to the field of early childhood to embrace Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis.
In 2005, Phyllis moved to Round Rock, where as co-director of the Autism program at Bluebonnet Trails MHMR she helped to create their autism program. Recognizing the need and having the desire to further serve the early childhood autism population in Williamson County, she independently developed Children’s Autism Center in the Fall of 2008.
Courtney Wright M.Ed., JD, BCBA – Director, General Counsel
Courtney has the dual role of General Counsel and behavior analyst at CAC. In over nine years of practice, she has worked at law firms as well as for a national insurance company. Courtney came to CAC in December 2012 after leaving her position as partner in a Dallas law firm. After doing a great deal of volunteer work for autism awareness in Dallas and being inspired by her mother, Phyllis, Courtney decided to make a career change to work with children with autism. Courtney has a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Tech University, Juris Doctorate from Baylor School of Law, and a Masters of Education from University of Missouri. Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband, David, their four year old son, and their Great Dane.
Ghislaine-Jules Narcisse, PhD. – Clinical Director
Ghislaine-Jules Narcisse, PhD., or Dr. Jules, as we like to call her, has worked with children and families for over 20 years. She began her career as an early childhood inclusion educator and has taught elementary special education (PPCD, resource, behavior) as well as undergraduate university courses in early intervention and behavior. Jules (or “Dr. J” as referred to by her students) holds a doctorate in Behavior Disorders and Learning Disabilities from UT Austin (2011). She also holds an MS in Early Childhood / Elementary Special Education, with a specialization in Behavior from the University of Oregon (2003), and received a BA with Honors in Child Development and Intermedia Arts from Mills College (2002).
Although most of her experience is in school settings, Jules has provided intensive ABA services and parent training in clinical and home settings (2003-2005; 2014-2016). For over a decade, she has trained teachers, counselors, and district-level administrators in the structuring and implementation of effective, culturally responsive ABA practices in school settings, and strongly believes in supporting opportunities for students to generalize skills across natural environments. Since 2010, Jules and her daughter have been volunteers at Candlelight Ranch (a non-profit organization that facilitates outdoor adventures for children at risk and with disabilities), and Jules served on their advisory board from 2011 – 2016. As a DJ and avid vinyl collector, Jules co-founded Destiny by Design, a non-profit after school program that utilizes local artists to teach music production to local children and teens. Having grown up in Austin, Dr. J loves being active in nature and enjoys live music.
Dr. Bruce Weinheimer, PhD, BCBA-D – Psychologist
Bruce Weinheimer is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 30 years of experience in clinical and administrative positions. His primary areas of expertise include the fields of developmental disabilities, applied behavior analysis, and psychopharmacology. His experience has included provision of clinical treatment, assessment, and program evaluation and consultation within long-term care settings, psychiatric facilities, and community-based services.
Dr. Weinheimer is the Chief Psychologist at Austin State School for over 16 years and is the Coordinator of Psychological and Behavioral Services for State Supported Living Centers within the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. He served on Institutional Review Board as part of this responsibility. He has experience applying a range of standards and regulations and has served as an expert witness within his areas of expertise. Dr. Weinheimer has post-doctoral training in clinical psychopharmacology and is a Diplomate-Fellow in Psychopharmacology with the Prescribing Psychologists Register.
Gabrielle Aragon, M.Ed., BCBA – Behavior Analyst
Gabrielle “Gabi” Aragon is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Special Education early childhood through twelfth grade and a master’s degree in Autism and Developmental Disabilities from the University of Texas in Austin. Gabi’s previous career as a Special Education teacher provides her with an invaluable understanding of the public school system and access to special education services and how these factors impact our clients’ lives.
Amanda St. Romain M.A., BCBA – Behavior Analyst
Mandi St. Romain has worked with children with developmental disabilities for over 7 years, 6 of which have been spent working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) ages 2-12. Mandi grew up in a small Cajun town in Louisiana, and went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2009. During her final year at LSU, she began working at a clinic that provided Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to children with autism. Her experience working 1:1 with children on the autism spectrum inspired her to pursue her master’s degree in ABA. She knew then that she wanted to make a positive impact in the lives of children and families affected by ASD. Over the years her experience extended from the clinical setting to homes, schools, camps, and the community. She has worked as a Respite Provider, Behavior Therapist, Lead Therapist, Supervising BCBA, and recently opened her own consulting practice to offer training to clinics and families. She relocated to Austin, Texas from New Orleans, LA in the fall of 2014 to gain exposure to the Verbal Behavior approach, which she still remains very passionate about today. She specializes in training others on the principles of ABA with an emphasis on competency-based training and building confidence in those that she trains. She enjoys extending her passion of language development to others, especially mand training and the importance of expressive language
Laura Saldana, M.Ed., BCBA – Behavior Analyst
Laura L. Saldana is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who began working with children with autism in 2004 while receiving her BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She went on to receive her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities from the University of Texas at Austin. Laura has been leading intensive interventions for children with autism since 2007 when she became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Utilizing the principles of applied behavior analysis and Skinner’s verbal behavior, Laura has successfully designed and developed many programs for the home, school, community, and clinical settings. Laura discovered her passion for teaching and training others when she worked as an Academic Associate teaching graduate level coursework in behavior analysis.
Laura has much experience working with children of all ages, but specifically has extensive training in working with children 18 months to 10 years of age. She specializes in intensive early childhood programs with an emphasis in language development through extensive work with non-verbal children. In addition to designing programs, Laura has been certified in a range of specializations including the acclaimed Handwriting Without Tears. When she is not working. Laura enjoys traveling and spending quality time with her husband Oscar and their three children.
Yi Tang, M.Ed., BCBA – Behavior Analyst
Kristina Krzynowek, B.A., BCBA – Behavior Analyst
Kristina “Krissy” Krzynowek is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with seven years’ experience working with children who have special needs. Krissy has worked in various settings including: public schools, ABA clinics, pediatric therapy centers, and in private homes. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis through Sage College. Krissy has a passion for excellence that drives her to continue learning and applying all that she learns every day in her professional and personal life.
Meghan Acuna B.S., BCaBA – Clinical Assistant
Meghan is our Clinical Assistant and a board certified assistant behavior analyst at CAC where she has been providing ABA therapy services for the past 2 years. Meghan has worked with children on the Autism spectrum for over 7 years. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders. When Meghan’s not working at the clinic, she enjoys running and playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Lilly.
Katie Castro M.A. CCC-SLP, RBT – Speech Language Pathologist
Katie is a speech language pathologist who has been working in the field for over 10 years and recently received her certificate as Registered Behavior Technician. She grew up in Indiana and double-majored in Spanish and Audiology & Speech Sciences at Purdue University. She then moved to Texas and received a master’s degree from University of Texas at Austin in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Katie was employed for the last 8 years as a bilingual SLP, providing assessment and early intervention in the areas of speech, language, play skills, and swallowing/feeding skills. She has provided speech and language therapy to children with a variety of developmental delays and disorders. Katie completed extensive family/caregiver training and education to aid in incorporating communication and feeding strategies into their child’s home routines. She spends her free time with her family and raising two young boys.
Antronette Little, M.Ed – Teacher
I have a master’s degree in education (Lamar University) and my undergraduate degree is in social work (Southwest Texas / Texas State). Last summer, I worked at CAC part-time and fell in love with everything they do. This summer, I decided to join CAC full-time and leave public education with over 6 years of experience as special education teacher. Prior to teaching,for nearly 5 years, I worked for a non-profit serving adults with intellectual disabilities.
I live in Pflugerville not to too far from my parents, younger brother and my adorable niece. Each week I look forward to Sunday dinners with my family. I enjoy random weekend road trips, eating out (love talking about new restaurants) and small DIY projects.
Kiko Klahorst, M.Ed – Preschool Teacher
I have a Bachelors degree in child development from Texas State University and a Masters degree in special education from Texas State University. I hold a Texas Teaching Certificate in early childhood education and special education. My professional background includes 4 years of working in Early Childhood Intervention as well as 5 years of teaching special education in the public school setting. I am very excited to be part of the new Pre-K classroom at CAC! My role as the new Pre-K teacher will be to facilitate many opportunities for learning in a classroom or group setting with peers. This type of environment will help students to foster social skills, teach group instructions, and follow a structured schedule.
Amanda Hirl, BA, RBT – Registered Behavior Technician/ Pre-k/Kinder Classroom Teacher
Amanda Hirl serves as our Pre-k/Kinder classroom teacher where she enjoys combining her experience working in private school settings and as an ABA therapist. Amanda received her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Texas Tech, Lubbock. Most recently, Amanda became a certified registered behavior technician and has been designing programs, curriculum and schedules for the pre-k/kinder classroom while also serving as the classroom teacher.
Amanda enjoys spending her free time hiking, being outside and spending time with her husband, young daughter, Adelyn, and their Never Ending Story Falkor look-a-like dog, Toby.
Brad Guthrie – Office Manager
New Orleans native, Brad Guthrie, serves as our office manager and brings his managerial and people skills to help make CAC a fun and organized place to work and learn. Coming from the hair industry where he worked for over a decade, Brad is excited to be a part of the CAC team and we’re excited to have him!