Improving quality of life for the differently abled Children & Adults

Team Members

KATHLEEN WALSH – MT-BC, M. Ed., BCBA, kathleen.walsh@laurensaz.org

Kathleen is a licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has worked with individuals diagnosed with autism and other developmental disabilities for the past 17 years. Her career began as a music therapist where she created a successful private practice working alongside Arizona State University as a faculty associate to educate, supervise, and provide internships to students seeking degrees in the fields of music therapy and education.

In 2006 she was approached by the co-founders of Lauren’s Institute For Education to become a co-clinical director for their organization. When the doors opened in August of 2007 the journey began.

The unique perspective she has acquired in serving individuals with developmental disabilities has led to creating a collaborative approach with professionals such as medical providers, teachers, habilitators, physical, music, occupational, and speech therapists.

After a short leave from LIFE to teach as a faculty associate for ASU at the Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s college she was welcomed back to develop the Behavior Programming and Support department.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy and a Master’s Degree in Special Education- Autism Emphasis from Arizona State University.

Kathleen has been happily married for 22 years and has two very talented teenagers.  She loves music, children, and animals.  Her hope for the Behavior Programming and Support department is to provide families with the tools that they need to improve the quality of life for their child and their family.

DANIELLE CANNIZZARO – BACHELOR LEVEL BEHAVIORIST, danielle.cannizzaro@laurensaz.org   

Danielle grew up in Northern California, where her passion for helping children started in college. She began working with children as she made her way through college in a day care setting. She was also a volunteer as a family service advocate. After graduating, St. Mary’s College with a degree in psychology, Danielle began teaching in preschool.

Upon moving to Arizona, her career path shifted in order to make ends meet. Danielle ended up working for a big semi-conductor company in the Valley, where they encouraged her to pursue her Master’s in HR management. She worked in staffing, as well as at a career center that helped people who were displaced from their jobs.

During this time, Danielle got married and had two kids. Her second child was diagnosed with autism at 18 months of age. Not knowing where to turn or how to move forward, it was recommended that she look into SARRC’s Jumpstart program. Upon researching the program, which utilizes the principles of ABA, she jumped on board with the program due to the concepts being previously in her wheelhouse. Danielle became an active participant in her child’s ABA program.

When LIFE opened in 2007, Danielle was hired in their ABA department part-time. In 2011, she was promoted to the ABA department supervisor. Due to the profound positive effects that ABA principles have brought to her child’s life, she decided to pursue furthering her education in order to eventually get her BCBA. She currently attends Ball State University to attain her Masters of Special Education of Applied Behavior Analysis with an emphasis on autism.

Danielle has always believed in the philosophy and mission of LIFE and the holistic approach they encourage.  She is very excited by the prospect of the effects that the Behavioral Programming and Support department can bring to families that LIFE serves. Danielle is dedicated to educating families and supporting them in their journey. Her desire is to be able to bring hope, encouragement and understanding to the families she assists.

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