Matthew Howarth, PhD, BCBA-D
Dr. Howarth started VBA in 2012 after earning his Ph.D. in Applied Behavioral Analysis at the Teachers College at Columbia University in New York, New York. Dr. Howarth, up to and including his work at VBA, has been providing ABA services for 20 years and has been working with children in educational settings for almost three decades. His vast experience includes a term of service as the State Director of Beacon Services of Connecticut, an early intervention agency which provides ABA services to children from birth to the age of three, and a term of service as the Supervisor of Resources for Students with Autism for the San Diego Unified School District (the “District”). During his time with the District, Dr. Howarth successfully trained District teachers and paraprofessionals to proficiencies in providing ABA services to District students which rivaled those offered by Non-Public Agencies (“NPA’s”). In his work, Dr. Howarth strongly supports children, and promotes their development of verbal skills and inclusion in the least restrictive environment.
Dr. Howarth is an expert in a variety of evidence based pedagogical practices, in advancing the language capabilities of children with language delays and autism, in constructing positive behavior plans based on functional analysis assessments, and in developing staff training models. Additionally, he believes that if a child is struggling, the teacher must modify his or her procedures until the child demonstrates success. His child-centric and data-driven philosophies coupled with his sensitivity to each individual student, have created an environment at VBA in which children are making enormous developmental strides.
Crystal Lo, PhD, BCBA-D
Dr. Lo joined VBA in 2016 upon earning her Ph.D in Applied Behavior Analysis from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York, New York. Dr. Lo grew up in Southern California and received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine in 2007. Since then, she has been working extensively in the field of special education, implementing Applied Behavior Analysis with different populations of children, ranging from general education to moderate/severe placements in both the home setting and in CABAS® Schools.
In addition to working directly with children, Dr. Lo has much experience in the training and supervision of teachers and other professionals in the applications of behavior analysis to education, including designing individualized programs, classroom management, clinical decision-making, and verbal behavior. She is interested in research in delivering effective interventions to individuals with various level of language abilities and presents at symposiums and workshops at the annual ABAI conferences. She is currently publishing her dissertation on incidental language acquisition (Naming) and is working on programming for advanced verbal and social skills for VBA’s curriculum.
Lynn Yuan, PhD, BCBA-D
Dr. Yuan earned her Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis at Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City. Upon receiving her degree in 2005, she moved to Taiwan and initiated the dissemination of the science of ABA. During that time, she consulted and trained school staff, parents, and other professionals in the private agency, university, and hospital settings. In 2010, Dr. Yuan established an Early Intervention center in Taiwan and provided services to children who were on the autism spectrum. Under her supervision, 80% of the teachers who taught at the center became certified as either BCaBAs or BCBA. With her extensive experience, she published 6 books in Taiwan, covering topics on teaching skill deficits to children with developmental delays, instructional methodologies, parent education, and school-readiness skills.
Dr. Yuan’s passion for servicing children and spreading the science also brought her to China where she serves as a consultant to schools, private agencies and hospitals. In addition, Dr. Yuan is an instructor for the behavior analyst certification program at the University of Iowa.
Elizabeth Sarto, PhD, BCBA-D
Dr. Sarto is a Clinical Director at VBA, and is a principal architect of VBA’s curriculum. Dr. Sarto grew up in New York, where she received her education and training in the field of special education. She received her Ph.D in Applied Behavior Analysis from Teachers College at Columbia University in 2017. Prior to that, she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Fordham University in 2004, and a Master of Science in Teaching with certifications in early childhood education and special education from Fordham University in 2007.
Dr. Sarto has been working with children with Autism, implementing applied behavior analysis, and training teachers, for over a decade. During that time, she has provided in-home and in-school direct service to children, formulated and implemented individualized education plans, developed research-based curriculum, and trained teachers to implement applied behavior analytic instructional procedures. Before joining VBA, Dr. Sarto served as a Special Education Itinerant Teacher (“SEIT”) at some of the leading agencies in the New York City area including YAI/New York League for Early Learning and AHRC, and as a classroom teacher in CABAS® schools.
Dr. Sarto completed intensive research in an effort to further VBA’s curriculum and to improve client services. Specifically, she conducted a study on the components involved in effective teacher supervision and training. Dr. Sarto’s research endeavors drive VBA’s philosophy of data-driven services to provide the optimal results for its clients.