My autistic son started ABA therapy with Engage in the fall of 2010. He had never spoken a single word. After only two months of ABA with Engage, he spoke his first word: “Cookie.” He has not slowed down. He is now using multiple-word sentences, and his frustration has decreased with his ability to communicate. His therapist is amazing. She has helped him come so far, and continues to help him learn new things. She also helps us as parents by giving us tools to use on a daily basis. I am so amazed with how far my son has come, and he would not have come this far without his therapist and Engage.
Engage Behavioral Health Leadership
Our Engage team is led by experts in the science of Applied Behavior Analysis and Verbal Behavior. With more than 30 years of combined experience in the field, they understand how to work in concert with families, physicians and schools to help bring the puzzle pieces together.
Jennifer received her Master's degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Florida State University, under the mentorship of Dr. John Bailey, Dr. Maxin Resis and Dr. Al Murphy. Prior to her completion of a Master's degree, she received a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology with a specialty in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of South Florida.
She specializes in the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior (e.g., self-injury, aggression, property destruction) exhibited by children and adults with developmental disabilities, and Applied Verbal Behavior programming for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Jennifer has extensive experience working with individuals diagnosed with a variety of disorders in both clinical and outpatient settings. Jennifer has worked as a behavioral consultant for children and adolescents with ASD, preschool-aged children deemed at risk for school failure, adults diagnosed with mental illness and developmental disabilities, as well as socially-emotionally disturbed (SED) adolescents.
In addition to founding Engage Behavioral Health, she has previously assisted in establishing the Applied Behavior Analysis program at All Children's Hospital in Saint Petersburg, Florida.
Jennifer is committed to the demonstration of effective, outcome-based interventions for individuals with special needs and learning difficulties.
In addition to her clinical and administrative activities, Jennifer's daily goal is to create a family centered approach to therapy, where everyone participates in therapy and learns from it.
Gianna completed her Bachelor's in Psychology and Master's in Applied Behavioral Analysis from the University of South Florida.
She has worked with individuals with autism and related disabilities for the past six years and has myriad experiences with training formats and settings. Her experience in direct instruction and naturalistic teaching strategies with children has occurred in family homes, schools, and within various community settings with the overarching goal of providing well rounded, child-centered learning environments focused on natural, developmental learning channels.
Her specialty centers on children and adolescents. Gianna is committed to providing individualized services that meet the needs of each child and strives to make any environment a place for learning through interaction.
She is driven by her passion to improve the quality of life for individuals with disabilities, and to help families become active facilitators of success for their children.
The children she has impacted are a testament to her positive approach, which can be seen in their smiling faces and new voices, truly an indicator that small changes can make a major difference!
Leigh received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology as well as her Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of South Florida. She has been working with children with autism and related disabilities in family homes and schools since 2004.
Leigh's experience lies in developing, implementing, and monitoring verbal behavior, behavior reduction, and skill acquisition programs. She also has experience implementing ABA programs with students in the community setting.
Leigh enjoys teaching others how to teach in the natural environment and make sure that skills learned become real!
Leigh became the Executive Director of Training and Development in 2012 and has worked hard to ensure that the team at Engage Behavioral Health receives training in a variety of areas to promote the continued success of our clients.
She strives to always go above and beyond for each client and ensure that the whole family receives everything they need to be successful!
Kristin recieved her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of South Florida. She began working with children with Autism and related disorders in 2006.
In 2009, Kristin returned to the University of South Florida to obtain a Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Kristin became an Assistant Behavior Analyst in 2007, then a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2010.
Krisitin has experience working with adults in group homes and adult training centers who are diagnosed with autism, mental retardation and Prader-Willi Syndrome. However, the majority of her experience has been working with children ages 3-12 in homes and schools.
Her primary focuses with children include: social skills training, classroom inclusion, appropriate peer interactions, verbal behavior and ABLLS programming.
She enjoys teaching appropriate peer interaction, functional communication and play skills, and developing friendships and valuable life skills.
Jenni completed her Masters in Behavior Analysis & Therapy from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
She has worked with children with autism and related disabilities since 2005 in family homes, schools, and clinics. She also has experience providing in-home behavioral services to families with a history of child abuse and neglect.
Her primary focus has been on functional communication and individualized training to help children and adolescents excel in their everyday lives. She looks forward to expanding her experiences with adults to include adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Jenni strives to provide services in a positive, exciting way that encourages the whole family to learn and develop together!
Dr. Brittany Zern is a licensed Clinical Psychologist as well as a Doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst.
She joined the ENGAGE Behavioral Health team after completing her postdoctoral residency at Family Psychology Associates in Safety Harbor, Florida. Prior to moving to the Tampa Bay area, Dr. Zern completed her internship at the Dan Marino Center, at Miami Children’s Hospital.
She specializes in assessment and treatment of developmental and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents, including autism spectrum disorders, anxiety, ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, and feeding disorders.
Dr. Zern is also experienced in applied behavior analysis, and has extensive experience in providing therapy in a variety of settings (i.e., in the home, at school, and/or daycare) in order to generalize skills to the natural environment.
For more information about Dr. Zern’s services, please see Diagnostic Evaluations and Assessments/Psychotherapy listed under “Our Services”.
At Engage, our therapists are passionate about your child’s development. Engage hires board certified staff, those completing practicum hours to become board certified and those wanting to apply to certifcation programs or programs in a related field.