A Letter from The Board President

Dear Shining Through Friends and Supporters,

I want to sincerely thank you for your interest in the Shining Through Centre, a place that brings hope to the lives of families that have a child with Autism.

The Shining Through Centre for Children with Autism was founded in 2001 in order to provide an intensive and comprehensive educational program for children with Autism. With campuses located in Woodbridge, North York, Kleinburg and Streetsville, the Shining Through Centre is regarded as a centre of excellence for support and therapy for children with autism. Our therapy programs are based on scientifically validated procedures of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) therapy, offered through a one on one basis with intensive instruction for each child.

We still don’t know the exact cause of Autism or why there has been such an increase in the incidence of Autism over the past two decades, but we do know the ABA therapy has shown to be very effective in treating Autism. We see little miracles happen each day with our learners such as; social breakthroughs, first words, increased communication and forming cognitive and affective associations. These are the miracles we make happen every day here at the Shining Through Centre.

As board members, we’re honoured to serve this amazing organization that gives hope to families impacted by autism. We believe that our children have such great potential, provided they receive the proper therapy and care.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and the entire Shining Through family, thank you for your support and interest in being a part our journey. We’re so grateful for your support to help us continue to give children and young adults with autism hope and the skills they need to live a fulfilling life!

Fred Santini

Meet Our Team

Shiri Bartman – M.A., C. Psych. Associate., BCBA​

Shiri Bartman – M.A., C. Psych. Associate., BCBA​

Clinical Director

Shiri Bartman is a Psychological Associate registered with the College of Psychologists of Ontario, and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA). She has worked with children and young adults diagnosed with autism, intellectual disability, learning disabilities and behavioural disorders for over 20 years

Shiri has worked in both the public and private sector providing direct service, clinical supervision, staff training, assessment, counselling and consultation both in Canada and Internationally. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis (ONTABA) in a variety of positions over the last ten years. Shiri is part time faculty at George Brown College and teaches a variety of courses in the Autism and Behavioral Science Program. 

Shiri is currently the Clinical Director of Shining Through Centre and works closely with families and staff to ensure high quality programming and best practices at each campus.

Tanya Pausch

Tanya Pausch

Business Manager

Tanya has been with the Shining Through Centre since 2017 and brings a deep understanding of the unique needs and challenges of the not-for-profit sector.  She has worked in the charitable sector for 20 years in numerous administrative and managerial positions providing her with both hands-on and management experience. Her previous experience as Director of Finance and Administration has provided her with additional experience in human resources, finance and facilities management. 

Tanya has been instrumental in developing strategic plans and implementing new processes, systems and organizational infrastructure while ensuring the budget, staff and priorities were aligned with the core mission.   

Tanya excels in progressive and changing organizations with a ‘can do ‘attitude, and brings the same level of passion and competency to Shining Through.

Soraiya Bhagat – M.ADS., BCBA

Soraiya Bhagat – M.ADS., BCBA

Clinical Supervisor

Soraiya Bhagat has over 10 years’ experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in various environments (home, centre-based, school, residential care and supportive housing, etc.). She is part time faculty at George Brown College, teaching courses in the Autism and Behavioural Science program. Soraiya has earned a Masters degree in Applied Disability Studies with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) from Brock University, and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) She also holds an Ontario Advanced Diploma in Behaviour Science Technology (BST) from George Brown College, and a BA (Hon) in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University. 

Soraiya recognizes that each individual is unique with his or her own strengths and challenges. She uses principles of ABA to help individuals with ASD acquire new skills such as communication, social skills, coping and self-regulation, and life skills. She understands the importance of customizing clinical programs based on their needs, abilities, and interests. Throughout her career, Soraiya has had a passion for teaching her clients and is thrilled to be combining her love of teaching with the application of Applied Behaviour Analysis.

Leticia Toro – MA, BCBA

Leticia Toro – MA, BCBA

Clinical Supervisor

Leticia Toro is a BCBA with over 10 years of experience in the field of Behaviour Analysis. She has completed her BSc in Psychology at Trent University, a post-graduate degree in Autism and Behavioural Science Technology at George Brown College, and a MA in Professional Behaviour Analysis at the Florida Institute of Technology University. She has worked with individuals across the lifespan and a wide range of skill levels. Leticia has supervised Early Intensive Intervention and academic programs, programs focusing on the reduction of severe problem behaviour, and created and supervised the Learn to Live program for adolescents and young adults at Shining Through Centre. Leticia is extremely passionate about helping others, doing so by staying current in the field of ABA, participating in continuous professional development, conducting research, and presenting work completed by her and her team. She has participated and presented her work at conferences such as ONTABA and IPTC (International Precision Teaching Conference).

Eva Lattanzio – M.ADS., BCBA (Mat leave)

Eva Lattanzio – M.ADS., BCBA (Mat leave)

Clinical Supervisor

Eva has been a member of the Shining Through team since December 2011 and has been a Supervising Therapist since November 2014. She has completed her Bachelor of Science with Specialized Honors in Psychology from York University. She has a Masters in Applied Disability Studies with specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Brock University. She became a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst in September 2016. 

Eva has been working in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis with children and adolescents for over five years. She has experience delivering and supervising one-to-one intensive behaviour intervention (IBI) programs for individuals with a variety of learning needs. She has experience conducting behavioural assessments, developing individualized education plans, designing and implementing skill acquisition and behaviour reduction programs and staff training. 

Eva has attended workshops and conferences led by professionals in the field such as Vincent Carbone, Gregory Hanley, Robert and Lynn Koegel, John Rapp, Peter Gerhardt and Rick Kubina.

Nitra Rajcoomar – E.C.E, B.A, RBT

Nitra Rajcoomar – E.C.E, B.A, RBT

Supervisor of Training Services

Nitra Rajcoomar has been a member of the Shining Through Team Since May 2005. Nitra’s background includes a diploma in Early Childhood Education (ECE) from Seneca College combined with her BA in Sociology from York University. She is also a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT). Nitra has had the exciting opportunity to train at the Vince Carbone Clinic in New York where she was able to learn the most effective teaching methods through Verbal Behaviour, as well, has participated in many other professional development opportunities.  Nitra started as an Instructional therapist working 1-1 with clients, and then became a Supervising Therapist in 2010. Coming back to work from her maternity leave she started a new position, Supervisor of Training Services in November 2018 which is Shining Through’s very first pilot Parent Training Program. In the Parent Training Program, Nitra helps parents gain skills to help their children with things such as, sleep training, eating, toileting, and generalizing their skills from center to their homes. Nitra works with each family to help develop individualized goals based on their child’s needs.

Sarah Duell – M.ADS., BCBA (on mat leave)

Sarah Duell – M.ADS., BCBA (on mat leave)

Supervising Therapist

Sarah is a Supervising Therapist on the school inclusion team. She has been a member of the Shining Through team since 2012 and has been a supervisor since 2015. She has an undergraduate degree in Social Work from York University, a post graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Sciences from George Brown, and a Masters in Disabilities Studies with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Brock University. Sarah obtained her Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential in 2017. She has worked in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis for over 5 years, where she has both delivered and supervised one-to-one intensive behavioural interventions both in the center and in an inclusive school environment. Sarah has experience with conducting assessments and writing individualized behaviour plans to meet the needs of her clients. Sarah has a passion in the field for helping others reach their full potential and continues to stay current in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis by participating in professional development by attending conferences and reading literature on various topics that pertain to her interests and her clients in the field.

Stephanie Dvorak

Stephanie Dvorak

Supervising Therapist

Stephanie has been with Shining Through since February 2015. She started as a placement student and was hired full time after completing her placement. She has a Bachelor of Education, as well as an undergraduate degree in Sociology and worked as a teacher for 3 years prior to joining Shining Through. Stephanie has continued her studies by completing the Autism and Behavioural Science program at George Brown College and is accumulating hours towards her BCaBA​​.

Rosemary Tamburini – M.ADS., BCBA

Rosemary Tamburini – M.ADS., BCBA

Supervising Therapist

Rosemary Tamburini is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst who has been employed with the Shining Through Centre since February 2015. She has an Undergraduate Degree in Child and Youth Studies from Brock University. She continued to Complete her Master’s In Applied Disabilities Studies where she graduated with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2015. Rosemary is currently remotely supervising a team of 10 children at a centre for children with autism in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is also delivering workshops and providing family consultations as part of the Norther Collaborative Program supporting families in the north. 

Tara Weir – BCaBA

Tara Weir – BCaBA

Supervising Therapist

Tara Weir is the Supervising Therapist at the Streetsville Campus. She has been a member of the Shining Through team since 2009. Tara’s background includes a diploma in Early Childhood Education, a post-graduate certificate in Autism and Behavioural Science and a Bachelor of Professional Arts in Human Services. She holds certification as a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst (BCaBA). Tara is currently pursuing graduate courses in Applied Behaviour Analysis. Tara works closely with the staff of the Streetsville Children’s Centre and Academy to provide an integrative experience for many of our learners. Tara has been working with children with a variety of developmental needs for over 10 years. She has experience developing and implementing skill acquisition programs and behaviour reduction plans. She has worked in a variety of educational environments including classroom and one-to-one settings. She has also participated as a subject matter expert for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).

Jaime Santana – M.ADS., BCBA

Jaime Santana – M.ADS., BCBA

Supervising Therapist

Jaime Santana has been an Instructor Therapist with Shining Through since May 2016 and a Supervising Therapist since July 2017. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology and a Masters degree in Applied Disability Studies with a focus on Applied Behaviour Analysis.  He obtained his BCBA credential in November of 2017.  Jaime has focused his work with youth and adults, teaching vocational skills, self-help skills, and functional academics. He has also engaged in advocacy for proper funding of programs for people on the spectrum and currently sits as a board member of the Ontario Association for Behaviour Analysis.

Stephanie Cistrone – BCaBA

Stephanie Cistrone – BCaBA

Supervising Therapist

Stephanie Cistrone has been with the Shining Through Centre since 2014. She completed her Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Waterloo in 2012 and earned her post-graduate certification in Autism and Behaviour Science at George Brown College in 2014. In April 2017, Stephanie completed her Masters of Applied Disability Studies with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Brock University and later that year in August she completed her BCBA.

Romy Rewald – M.ADS., BCBA

Romy Rewald – M.ADS., BCBA

Supervising Therapist

Romy Rewald has been with Shining Through since October of 2016. She received her BA in Kinesiology from Western University and then continued to complete the Autism and Behavioural Sciences program at George Brown College. She holds a Masters in Applied Disability Studies with a focus on Applied Behaviour Analysis, from Brock University and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. Romy has worked with a variety of children and adults with various special needs. Specifically, she has worked in Intensive Behavioural Intervention (IBI).

Grace Nolan

Grace Nolan

Supervising Therapist

Grace has worked across multiple teams at the Shining Through Centre since 2015. She has experience applying the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) with children, adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Besides centre-based programming, Grace has also provided services to her clients in-home and via telehealth. She received a bachelor’s degree in Child and Youth Care at Ryerson University in 2018 and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Applied Disability Studies (M.ADS) with a specialization in ABA at Brock University.

Stephanie Kerschbaumer – BCaBA

Stephanie Kerschbaumer – BCaBA

Supervising Therapist

Stephanie Kerschbaumer has been with the Shining Through Centre since 2018. She started in the Learn to Live Program at our Woodbridge location where she became passionate to help early adolescents and adults on the autism spectrum to become respected and dignified active members in their community. Stephanie is using her passion and experience with working with individuals with special needs across the lifespan in different environments (home, centre-based, community living) to empower both her students and staff in our school inclusion program located in Kleinburg. She completed her Bachelor of Arts, Honours Psychology degree at York University in 2014 and earned her post-graduate certification in Autism and Behaviour Science at George Brown College in 2015. Stephanie became a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst in 2020 and is currently in the Masters of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. Stephanie is working towards completing her BCBA after graduating in the beginning of 2022. She emphasizes an individualistic approach to help teach her students and showcase their abilities and strengths.

Board Members

Board President

Fred Santini

Board Vice President

John Di Massimo

Treasurer

Cesare Pandolfi

Secretary

Joseph Trozzo

Directors

Anna Martini

Anthony Didiano

Deborah Aber

Lucy Alfenore

Ryan McNerney

Val Girardi

Vince Galea