Kristina holds a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy, a certificate as a Structured Literacy Teacher (SLT), 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.
Kristina's areas of expertise include:
Special Education Law (IDEIA)
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Verbal Behavior
Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)
Early Childhood Education & Child Development
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 the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the AZ Association of Behavior Analysts (AzABA), the Association of Behavior Analysts International (ABAI), the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS), and the International Dyslexia Association (IDA). 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 Disability in Mathematics), Tourette's Syndrome, ADHD (Executive Function Disorder), OCD associated to PANS, post-concussive syndrome, and severe food allergies. Her eldest son graduated in May 2017 and studies Business and Information Technology in California. 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.