Improving quality of life for the differently abled Children & Adults

Team Members

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.

After moving to Arizona, 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 research ABA programs. Upon learning more about the principles of ABA, she realized how beneficial the concepts were and witnessed the application of the principles having a great impact on her child’s progress.

When LIFE opened in 2007, Danielle was hired in their ABA department. Due to the profound positive effects that ABA principles had brought to her child’s life, she decided to pursue furthering her education. She attended Ball State University and in December 2014, she attained 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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APRIL CHAIRES – M.Ed BCBA, April.Chaires@laurensaz.org

My name is April Chaires and I have been working with children diagnosed with Autism and related disorders since 2014. Prior to that I worked in a home visiting program doing parent education. I moved to Arizona from El Paso, Tx in October of 2011.  After getting settled I started my masters program in 2012 and graduated in 2014 and completed my BCBA certification in 2017.  In my spare time I love going to concerts and love country music!

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JENNIFER HUFFMAN – MA LBA/BCBA, jennifer.huffman@laurensaz.org

My name is Jennifer Huffman, MA LBA/BCBA.  I am from St. Louis, Missouri and have lived in a variety of different places including Cleveland, Baltimore, and Indianapolis before moving to Phoenix in mid 2015.  I have been working with children with special needs since 2007 and also have experience working with adults  diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.  I graduated with my masters degree in ABA in May 2015 from Ball State University and completed BCBA certification in August 2015.  I have worked in both clinic and in home settings with students ranging from 18 months-16 years.  I love the opportunity to touch the lives of so many amazing kids and families.  I live in Gilbert with my husband and son (2).   I enjoy spending time outside, hiking, and watching movies, and playing board games.

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TAMI JURSICH – M.S. BCBA/LBA, tami.jursich@laurensaz.org

My name is Tami Jursich, and I have been working with children diagnosed with Autism and related disorders since 2009. Prior to that I worked in a behavioral health hospital with adults and geriatric patients diagnosed with mental health disorders including Schizophrenia, Bipolar disorder, and Borderline Personality disorder, to name a few.

I graduated with my Masters degree in 2009 and completed my BCBA certification in 2015. During that time I moved from Chicago- my home town- to Minneapolis. I began working with preschoolers diagnosed with Autism doing in-home support. I moved to a clinic based setting which allowed me to work with clients from 2-17 years of age. I moved to Phoenix in 2016 and began working for LIFE as a BCBA.

I currently live in the Easy Valley and have two boys of my own, aged 4 and 1. I love to travel and try new foods but spend most of my time chasing my boys around dressed as a super hero (and loving every minute of it).

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KAITLYN WITTIG – M. Ed, BCBA, kaitlyn.wittig@laurensaz.org

Kaitlyn is an Arizona native, born and raised.  She has always had a love and place in her heart for individuals with developmental disabilities.  Her love was discovered young when her cousin was diagnosed with Autism.  During their childhood together, Kaitlyn saw the struggles and victories her cousin experienced first-hand.  Her cousin did not receive the quality services that she feels he needed which led her to LIFE and her quest to make a difference.

Kaitlyn has been working for LIFE since 2014 and has found a passion in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.  Despite having little experience in the field she fell in love with the life changing impact that behavioral services can have.  Kaitlyn graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!) in 2015 and a Masters of Education in Applied Behavior Analysis in May 2017.  Kaitlyn recently passed the board exam and is a now a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

As a provider and program manager, Kaitlyn believes in serving the whole child which is an important part in the services provided by LIFE.  Her biggest aspirations are providing quality services, supporting families in their journey, and creating an environment of understanding and acceptance one child at a time.

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