Breakthrough Academy 

Kristina Blackledge, MS
Founder/CEO & Director
kristina@azbreakthroughacademy.org​ 

Kristina's areas of expertise include:​​​​​​



Evidence-based Practices 
Implementation Science
Special Education Law
Precision Teaching
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Verbal Behavior
Early Childhood Education & Child Development
Play Therapy
Parent-Child Interactive Therapy
Infant/Family Mental Health - trauma-focused
Parenting styles and theories

Disabilities ​​in the areas of:

Dyslexia, Autism, Executive Functioning, Emotional Disabilities (Mood disorders, PTSD, RAD, etc.),

PANDAS/PANS, Social Communication Disorder




Kristina is also actively involved in the disability and early learning community.  She stays current in the field as a member of Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the AZ Association of Behavior Analysts (AzABA), the Association of Behavior Analysts International (ABAI), and the International Dyslexia Association. Most recently  Kristina joined the AzABA Public Policy Committee to bring awareness and action in the area of ABA in Special Education. In 2013, Kristina was appointed to the ADE Special Education Advisory Panel (SEAP) and invited on the   In the past she also served for four years as a Board Member for the Arizona Food Allergy Alliance and on the Board of Directors for the AZ Branch of International Dyslexia Association (IDA). She was the only parent representative in a group of 35 community leaders from around the state to participate on the First Things First Task Force to develop the Arizona Early Childhood Plan.


​Kristina has over 25 years of experience in the field of Early Education, Early Intervention, and Mental Health.  She has worked with the Parent Training Information Center for the state of Arizona (Raising Special Kids), as a Disability Specialist for Early Head Start, an Education Curriculum Specialist for Head Start, and a Mental Health Consultant for First Things First.  Kristina is dedicated to supporting parents and provided special education consulting and advocacy for over 10 years. ​ 



She is also the proud mother of five children with various special needs including Bipolar Disorder, Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Hyperlexia, and Dyscalculia (Learning Disabilities), Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD (Executive Function Disorder), OCD associated to PANS, post-concussive syndrome, and severe food allergies.  Her eldest son, age 21, graduated in May 2017 and has been accepted into the college of his choice to study Psychology!  His goal is to win a Nobel Prize, and she supports him 1000%! Her youngest child (one without any disability) recently chose to attend Breakthrough Academy for its innovative, alternative, and personalized education! What a compliment!!!  She is incredibly proud of her children's accomplishments. She has many years of first-hand experience advocating for and providing their special education services. 



About Kristina:


Kristina holds a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, a specialized certificate in Infant/Family Studies and Child Trauma, and a post-graduate certificate in Positive Behavior Support (PBS). She is currently pursuing a post-baccalaureate certificate in Special Education, and holds an ADE Special Education Teaching Intern certificate. She completed her graduate studies toward preparation for the board certification exam to become a Behavior Analyst in 2011 and (slowly) continues to receive supervision by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).



Kristina is trained in Lindamood-Bell, Wilson Reading, and Spell-Links programs and uses these Orton-Gillingham-based reading intervention programs to provide instruction in reading remediation. She has passed the Level 1 exam by the Center for Effective Reading (CERI), approved by the International Dyslexia Association, to become a Certified Structured Literacy Teacher. 



In addition to her specialty in Behavior Health, ABA, and Reading, Kristina also has training in several other specialized programs including Person-Centered Planning from UofA UCEDD, Relational Frame Theory, Precision Teaching, Handwriting without Tears, Cogmed, TTRS, Social Thinking, and Collaborative Problem Solving to name a few.  Kristina trains and supervises all staff in the implementation of the evidence-based programs and interventions at Breakthrough Academy.