Autism Learning Partners Orange County Staff


Martina Barnhart, M.S. BCBA, Executive Director

Martina Barnhart received her master’s degree in special education from National University and is a certified Behavior Analyst.  She began her career in ABA over 20 years ago, as an undergrad at UCLA, where she worked with children and adolescents with autism and other developmental disabilities and their family, by delivering behavior intervention services, parent training and developing and providing clinical oversight of ABA programs and staff training.   In her role, she is responsible for providing leadership and oversight of clinical service delivery by supporting clinical directors, program supervisors and behavior technicians in their work with families.

“Each day is a new beginning filled with possibilities.  I am inspired by the courage and dedication I see in our families, staff and most importantly our clients.  I feel blessed each day we celebrate a success and feel grateful to be a part it.“

Arione Capolupo, M.A., L.M.F.T.,

Earned her Masters of Arts Degree from Chapman University in Clinical Psychology, Marriage, Family and Child Counseling in January 1998. She has been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist since April, 2003.

Arione began her journey working with those with Autism Spectrum Disorders in 1992, working in the private school setting and then later with another ABA agency as a Clinical Supervisor ( 2005). Arione also has a 7 year history working in the Social Service system, working with children in group homes/ foster care as a mental health clinician and then as a Mental Health Director. Currently, Arione is the Clinical Director and Board of Directors Member for Kids First, OC., helping to re-organize the family system following divorce and/or separation. She has been with Kids First since the first day of operations back in 1996.

Arione has been with Proof Positive ABA Therapies since 2013 and is currently one of our Clinical Coordinators, managing ABA programs. She helps oversee and/or provides consultation to other MFTs and/or BCBAs regarding ABA programs, provides on- going training for supervisors, and assists families as needed. In her counseling practice, she predominately sees and treats individuals, children, couples and families dealing with issues related to autism, anxiety, depression, ADHD, mood and behavioral disorders, abuse related issues, attachment related disorders and issues, communication and conflict resolution, assertiveness training and provides co-parenting. Arione is a California state approved Clinical Supervisor for registered interns/trainees pursuing licensure as a Marriage and Family Therapist and/or as Professional Clinical Counselor. Arione has mentored registered MFT interns/trainees since 2005.

Brittany S. – Coordinator

Brittany graduated in 2007 with a Bachelors of Science Degree in Child and Adolescent Development from California State University, Fullerton. She earned her Masters of Arts Degree in Teaching with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from National University in 2014. Brittany became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2015. She has been working in the field of ABA since 2011. She has been with Proof Positive ABA Therapies since 2014.



Christine O. – Coordinator

– Bachelors degree in Psychology (UC San Diego; 2008)
– Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology; 2012)
– Worked in the field of ABA since 2009
– BCBA since 2013

Heather Grimaldi MS, BCBA – Business Development and Clinical Executive

– Bachelors degree in Psychology (Concordia University)
– Master of Science degree in Clinical Psychology then BCBA program through University of West Florida
– Worked in the field of ABA since 2002
-passionate about this field and want to make a difference. I absolutely love working with the families and providing support to families
– involved in new client intakes and social skills

Chrislyn Saxena – Coordinator

Chrislyn Saxena has been actively working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for 13 years. She began her ABA training during her Senior year of undergrad at Cal State Northridge where she completed an internship with the Institute for Applied Behavior Analysis. Along with her internship during undergrad, Chrislyn worked as a preschool teacher. Three years after graduating with her Bachelors in Psychology, she began decided to combine her two passions of working with children and ABA. After beginning her training in early childhood intervention, Chrislyn realized she had found a career path that she was passionate about. She graduated from Michigan State University with an M.A in Special Education and Adult Education, as well as the ABA Coursework from Florida Institute of Technology. She obtained her BCBA in 2012. Chrislyn is passionate about early intervention, verbal behavior, parent consultation, staff training and mentoring those who are working towards becoming future BCBAs.

Renėe Westerheide – Clinical Coordinator


• BCBA certification, 2007; #1-07-3972
• Diploma to hold the title of physician/ additional title of psychotherapy, 1997, after graduation from work-study program in the Institute for Clinical Behavior Therapy Kassel/Marburg – Germany, 1991 – 1996)
• Approbation as a physician, 1975 – 1981 Medical School / University of Berlin/Germany

Work Experience

• 13 years of experience working as Behavioral Therapist, Lead Supervisor and Clinical Coordinator for Applied Behavior Analysis Intervention Programs for children 12 months to 20 Years old with PDD, autism and other developmental disabilities using Discrete Trial, PRT, PECS, Verbal Behavior and behavior modification strategies, as well as conducting functional behavior assessments, developmental assessments, providing consultation, training and supervision for behavior modification programs.

• 5 years of experience in a psychiatric hospital, leading as a physician and psychotherapist a team of 9 to 24 nurses, social workers, sport therapists, and music therapists. Diagnosed and treated patients with psychoses, organic changes of the brain, personality disorders, neurosis, addiction and lack of intelligence and chronic ill patients. Performed oriented neurological and internal diagnostic and treatment, as well as treatment for personal crisis intervention.

• 9 years of experience working as a licensed behavior therapist in private praxis (Germany) with patients diagnosed with major depression, anxiety, phobia, chronic pain, alcoholism, personality disorders and eating disorders; using Cognitive Behavior Therapy as well as Behavior Analysis.

• 3 years of experience working with groups, couples and individuals with problems of alcoholism or addiction to medications, based on Rogers’s Client Centered Therapy, Family Therapy, and relative groups.

• 4 years of experience working with children with autism and other developmental disabilities in a group-home setting.

Tiffany Mendez – Coordinator

Tiffany Mendez has worked in the field of ABA since 2005 and has earned a Bachelors in Psychology, Education Specialist Credential, Masters in Special Education and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She has been at Proof Positive since 2012 and has developed the social skills program at Proof Positive.

Ronit Mckee – Coordinator

Graduated from the University of California, Irvine with a Bachelors in Psychology. Went on to receive my Masters in Education specializing in Applied Behavioral Analysis. In 2014 I became a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst. I have been working in the field of Applied Behavioral Analysis for nine years. I have worked with a population of children ages 2-20 with various diagnosis. I am involved in training staff and families in the principles and strategies of Applied Behavioral Analysis and have worked in organizing and providing social skills classes for children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

I love what I do and am very passionate in helping children succeed and fulfill their full potential. In my free time I love spending time with my family, watching movies, shopping and cooking.

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