Our Team

Autism From The Start® is proud of their credible staff of highly educated individuals who have dedicated their lives and professional studies to Autism. Please take a moment and get to know the team.

 
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DR. MICHELLE MACRORIE, FOUNDER/CEO, PEDIATRIC PSYCHOLOGIST

Michelle Macrorie approaches the world with the heart of a mother and the mind of a dreamer. Her happy place is hanging with her two teenage kids and husband in Anywhere, USA. She also loves her butterfly garden, long walks, and chocolate in its many forms.

In 1999, Michelle earned her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in Pediatric and Neuropsychology. She went on to spend years conducting developmental evaluations for young children which blossomed into a deep passion for, and specialization in, Autism. Given the marked needs that exist for these families, Michelle set out on a mission to do more….thus was born Autism From The Start®.

 

Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)

 
AMY SANNER, CLINICAL DIRECTOR   Amy Sanner is our “Lead Nerd”, the curator of our craft, and our resident ethics police. She loves research, all things chocolate, her three teenagers, and her super duper hubby (not necessarily in that order). Since 1996, Amy has enjoyed a varied history of working in the field of ABA that spans a wide range of ages, worldly locations (e.g., Taiwan), and settings.  Amy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2001 with her masters degree in Human Development (the then ABA Department) and has been a BCBA since 2002. Amy joined Autism From the Start® in 2015 and we have been well-served ever since.

AMY SANNER, CLINICAL DIRECTOR

Amy Sanner is our “Lead Nerd”, the curator of our craft, and our resident ethics police. She loves research, all things chocolate, her three teenagers, and her super duper hubby (not necessarily in that order). Since 1996, Amy has enjoyed a varied history of working in the field of ABA that spans a wide range of ages, worldly locations (e.g., Taiwan), and settings.

Amy graduated from the University of Kansas in 2001 with her masters degree in Human Development (the then ABA Department) and has been a BCBA since 2002. Amy joined Autism From the Start® in 2015 and we have been well-served ever since.

KARI NIETZEL, CENTER DIRECTOR   Kari Nietzel is the wind beneath our wings. She is a positive energy who perpetually wears a smile. She can be found most often exercising and chasing her two tiny humans and growing another one with a due date in early 2020. Kari is the voice of our people and bridges the communication gap among us.  At the University of Missouri, Kari earned an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders in 2011 and her master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism in 2012. While at MU, she contributed to the development of a published social skills program and continues to have a special interest in teaching social communication.

KARI NIETZEL, CENTER DIRECTOR

Kari Nietzel is the wind beneath our wings. She is a positive energy who perpetually wears a smile. She can be found most often exercising and chasing her two tiny humans and growing another one with a due date in early 2020. Kari is the voice of our people and bridges the communication gap among us.

At the University of Missouri, Kari earned an undergraduate degree in Communication Disorders in 2011 and her master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Autism in 2012. While at MU, she contributed to the development of a published social skills program and continues to have a special interest in teaching social communication.

RACHEL FERBEZAR   Rachel Ferbezar is a beautiful balance of an intellectual, Type-A personality and a sweet, kind, and gracious soul. She and her highschool sweetheart husband are the proud parents of Riley, their dog. Rachel is a dependable worker, a great listener, and a sounding board for all.  A Shawnee-native, she and her husband relocated to Michigan for a time so Rachel could earn a master’s degree in ABA from Western Michigan University in 2016. While in graduate school, she specialized in Early Intervention and Organizational Behavior Management and takes a special interest in our youngest children with new diagnoses.

RACHEL FERBEZAR

Rachel Ferbezar is a beautiful balance of an intellectual, Type-A personality and a sweet, kind, and gracious soul. She and her highschool sweetheart husband are the proud parents of Riley, their dog. Rachel is a dependable worker, a great listener, and a sounding board for all.

A Shawnee-native, she and her husband relocated to Michigan for a time so Rachel could earn a master’s degree in ABA from Western Michigan University in 2016. While in graduate school, she specialized in Early Intervention and Organizational Behavior Management and takes a special interest in our youngest children with new diagnoses.

Program Coordinators

 
COLLEEN HUETTENMUELLER  Colleen Huettenmueller is our forever maternal figure of the House. She is a calm soul with creative skills and a caretaking heart. She enjoys working out, reading, cooking, and spending time outdoors with her two children.  Colleen graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 2001 and began her career working with children with autism in 2004. She has willingly taken on a leadership role at Autism From The Start®, serves on our Leadership Team, manages our Social Media, and is the mastermind behind our weekly Circle Time Curriculum and Fun Fridays Schedule.

COLLEEN HUETTENMUELLER

Colleen Huettenmueller is our forever maternal figure of the House. She is a calm soul with creative skills and a caretaking heart. She enjoys working out, reading, cooking, and spending time outdoors with her two children.

Colleen graduated from Northwest Missouri State University in 2001 and began her career working with children with autism in 2004. She has willingly taken on a leadership role at Autism From The Start®, serves on our Leadership Team, manages our Social Media, and is the mastermind behind our weekly Circle Time Curriculum and Fun Fridays Schedule.

KALEIGH WATTS  Kaleigh Watts is a dedicated mom of two, an independent thinker, a lover of all things in nature, and a loyal rule follower. We count on her to keep our place safe, to ensure we are adequately caring for the environment, and to share with us a host of random facts.  Kaleigh is a 2012 graduate of the ABA program at the University of Kansas and has worked in the field of autism ever since. She serves on our Leadership Team and has been a consistent and dependable figure at Autism From The Start® since the opening of the Children’s House in 2016.

KALEIGH WATTS

Kaleigh Watts is a dedicated mom of two, an independent thinker, a lover of all things in nature, and a loyal rule follower. We count on her to keep our place safe, to ensure we are adequately caring for the environment, and to share with us a host of random facts.

Kaleigh is a 2012 graduate of the ABA program at the University of Kansas and has worked in the field of autism ever since. She serves on our Leadership Team and has been a consistent and dependable figure at Autism From The Start® since the opening of the Children’s House in 2016.

SARAH GREGAR  Sarah Gregar has a wicked sense of humor, an easygoing nature, and a laid-back vibe. She and her husband love to travel and she is a superfan of all things sports. Sarah is the leader of our March Madness Pool and a diehard loyalist to our local sports teams. Her superpower is connecting with kids in an intuitive, playful, and tender manner.  Sarah graduated from Avila University in 2010 with a degree in Middle School Education. She has worked with children of all ages since 2002 and focused exclusively on children with autism since 2011. She has been part of our Autism From the Start® family since June 2017.

SARAH GREGAR

Sarah Gregar has a wicked sense of humor, an easygoing nature, and a laid-back vibe. She and her husband love to travel and she is a superfan of all things sports. Sarah is the leader of our March Madness Pool and a diehard loyalist to our local sports teams. Her superpower is connecting with kids in an intuitive, playful, and tender manner.

Sarah graduated from Avila University in 2010 with a degree in Middle School Education. She has worked with children of all ages since 2002 and focused exclusively on children with autism since 2011. She has been part of our Autism From the Start® family since June 2017.

 
MALLORY KELLER  Mallory Keller is an outgoing gal, full of encouragement and help for others. She is big ‘Dog Mom’ with a positive take on life and a lover of yoga, reading, and the environment.  In 2008, Mallory earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and has been working as a behavior technician providing center-based autism services to young children since. Before joining our team in February 2018, Mallory had already accumulated a wealth of experience in running small group learning activities and promoting ‘learning to learn’ skills in small children.

MALLORY KELLER

Mallory Keller is an outgoing gal, full of encouragement and help for others. She is big ‘Dog Mom’ with a positive take on life and a lover of yoga, reading, and the environment.

In 2008, Mallory earned her undergraduate degree in Psychology and has been working as a behavior technician providing center-based autism services to young children since. Before joining our team in February 2018, Mallory had already accumulated a wealth of experience in running small group learning activities and promoting ‘learning to learn’ skills in small children.

SHANNA FURGE  Shanna Furge is a proud Hoosier from Indiana and a passionate and thoughtful person. She loves hanging with her husband, loving on her cats, exploring her city, and staying active outdoors. Best of all, she is also passionate about helping children with autism.  Shanna graduated from Purdue University with honors obtaining a degree in Psychology and immediately started working in an autism center. From there, she joined our team in April 2018 and boy are we happy about that!

SHANNA FURGE

Shanna Furge is a proud Hoosier from Indiana and a passionate and thoughtful person. She loves hanging with her husband, loving on her cats, exploring her city, and staying active outdoors. Best of all, she is also passionate about helping children with autism.

Shanna graduated from Purdue University with honors obtaining a degree in Psychology and immediately started working in an autism center. From there, she joined our team in April 2018 and boy are we happy about that!

SAMANTHA OHMES  Samantha Ohmes is an introspective, sweet, and kind human being. She is very family-focused, never complains, and is a proud Cat Lover. Some of her favorite activities include reading and playing Tetris.  Samantha graduated from Kansas State University in 2014 with her undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology and went on to earn her master’s degree in ABA from Ball State University in 2017. Samantha has worked exclusively with children under the age of 5 in a one-on-one basis since 2014. She joined Autism From the Start® in July 2017 and has been a dream to have.

SAMANTHA OHMES

Samantha Ohmes is an introspective, sweet, and kind human being. She is very family-focused, never complains, and is a proud Cat Lover. Some of her favorite activities include reading and playing Tetris.

Samantha graduated from Kansas State University in 2014 with her undergraduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology and went on to earn her master’s degree in ABA from Ball State University in 2017. Samantha has worked exclusively with children under the age of 5 in a one-on-one basis since 2014. She joined Autism From the Start® in July 2017 and has been a dream to have.

Interns (RBTs studying to become BCBAs)

 
LAUREN MIZE  Lauren Mize is a hardworking ‘Steady Eddie’. She is motivated, dependable, consistent, level-headed, and responsible. She loves her dog Theo, KU basketball, and children with autism.  Graduating from KU with a degree in ABA and a minor in Psychology, Lauren has been an integral part of our Autism From The Start® family since April 2017. She is now one of our star interns, working on her master’s degree to become a Behavior Analyst.

LAUREN MIZE

Lauren Mize is a hardworking ‘Steady Eddie’. She is motivated, dependable, consistent, level-headed, and responsible. She loves her dog Theo, KU basketball, and children with autism.

Graduating from KU with a degree in ABA and a minor in Psychology, Lauren has been an integral part of our Autism From The Start® family since April 2017. She is now one of our star interns, working on her master’s degree to become a Behavior Analyst.

HANNAH MORRIS  Hannah Morris is an angelic personality who innately clicks with all children--a natural kid whisperer. She is happiest frolicking outdoors with her dogs (and husband!), running, and existing in the mountains. She is a healthy kombucha drinking soul who has a passion for fostering children, special olympics, and church.  Hannah graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Health Science and a minor in Psychology. While in school, she worked at the Thompson Center for Autism and in July 2017, joined our happy family. Hannah is currently working on her master’s degree in ABA in order to become a Behavior Analyst.

HANNAH MORRIS

Hannah Morris is an angelic personality who innately clicks with all children--a natural kid whisperer. She is happiest frolicking outdoors with her dogs (and husband!), running, and existing in the mountains. She is a healthy kombucha drinking soul who has a passion for fostering children, special olympics, and church.

Hannah graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Health Science and a minor in Psychology. While in school, she worked at the Thompson Center for Autism and in July 2017, joined our happy family. Hannah is currently working on her master’s degree in ABA in order to become a Behavior Analyst.

JORDAN HOPPER  Jordan Hopper is a doer of good deeds, a compassionate soul, and new father. He is a willing learner who pushes himself beyond his comfort zone. His superpower is domination in board games and puzzles.  In 2015, Jordan graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Psychology and a minor in ABA. He first worked as a para-educator with kindergarten students and then as a behavior technician with adolescents before joining Autism From the Start® in February 2017. He is now one of our interns, working on his master’s degree to become a Behavior Analyst.

JORDAN HOPPER

Jordan Hopper is a doer of good deeds, a compassionate soul, and new father. He is a willing learner who pushes himself beyond his comfort zone. His superpower is domination in board games and puzzles.

In 2015, Jordan graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Psychology and a minor in ABA. He first worked as a para-educator with kindergarten students and then as a behavior technician with adolescents before joining Autism From the Start® in February 2017. He is now one of our interns, working on his master’s degree to become a Behavior Analyst.

AMANDA RUTHERFORD  Amanda Rutherford is a crafty, creative, and thoughtful person with genuine positivity. She loves working out, coaching gymnastics and supporting the Chiefs. Her superpower is reading, writing, and speaking Vietnamese.  Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas in 2015 with a degree in Community Health and Development and an emphasis in ABA, along with a minor in Communication Disorders. She recently married the love of her life and is now continuing her education to become a BCBA.

AMANDA RUTHERFORD

Amanda Rutherford is a crafty, creative, and thoughtful person with genuine positivity. She loves working out, coaching gymnastics and supporting the Chiefs. Her superpower is reading, writing, and speaking Vietnamese.

Amanda graduated from the University of Kansas in 2015 with a degree in Community Health and Development and an emphasis in ABA, along with a minor in Communication Disorders. She recently married the love of her life and is now continuing her education to become a BCBA.

SAMANTHA INGRAM  Samantha “Sam” Ingram is a dedicated, friendly, easygoing fountain of happiness at Autism From The Start. You can often find her caught up in a good book, creating art through drawing, or hiking a new trail. She has a natural ability to connect with, and gain adoration from, any child.  Sam graduated in 2011 from the University of Kansas with a degree in Applied Behavioral Science with a focus in early childhood intervention. After working with children in a center-based resource and later while cruising around the world, she joined our family in early 2019. She is a member of our current class of interns working toward her BCBA.

SAMANTHA INGRAM

Samantha “Sam” Ingram is a dedicated, friendly, easygoing fountain of happiness at Autism From The Start. You can often find her caught up in a good book, creating art through drawing, or hiking a new trail. She has a natural ability to connect with, and gain adoration from, any child.

Sam graduated in 2011 from the University of Kansas with a degree in Applied Behavioral Science with a focus in early childhood intervention. After working with children in a center-based resource and later while cruising around the world, she joined our family in early 2019. She is a member of our current class of interns working toward her BCBA.

 

Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs)

 
ALEJANDRA SMITH  Alejandra Smith is a hippie at heart with a carefree vibe. Her interests span from nature to puzzles and from dancing to reading. Alejandra is fluent in Spanish and has a head full of great hair.  In 2014, she graduated from Missouri State University with her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and has worked at autism centers since 2016. Alejandra floated into the arms of Autism From the Start® in July 2018 and we’re sure glad she did.

ALEJANDRA SMITH

Alejandra Smith is a hippie at heart with a carefree vibe. Her interests span from nature to puzzles and from dancing to reading. Alejandra is fluent in Spanish and has a head full of great hair.

In 2014, she graduated from Missouri State University with her undergraduate degree in Anthropology and has worked at autism centers since 2016. Alejandra floated into the arms of Autism From the Start® in July 2018 and we’re sure glad she did.

OLIVIA HUNT  Olivia Hunt is a ‘glass half full’ person with a great work ethic and a grateful heart. She enjoys reading, hiking, playing with her cat, and binge-watching shows. She has a hidden talent in working with wall art--lettering and decals (check out our walls....).  Olivia graduated from the University of Kansas in 2018 with a degree in ABA. She enthusiastically worked on research teams while in school and has a passion for the field. Olivia joined our family in July 2018.

OLIVIA HUNT

Olivia Hunt is a ‘glass half full’ person with a great work ethic and a grateful heart. She enjoys reading, hiking, playing with her cat, and binge-watching shows. She has a hidden talent in working with wall art--lettering and decals (check out our walls....).

Olivia graduated from the University of Kansas in 2018 with a degree in ABA. She enthusiastically worked on research teams while in school and has a passion for the field. Olivia joined our family in July 2018.

LAUREN YOST

LAUREN YOST

HANNAH WEIS

HANNAH WEIS

ASHLEE BROWN

ASHLEE BROWN

HANNAH PULFORD

HANNAH PULFORD

 
 
 

Office Administration

 
KAREN HOUGH, BILLING MANAGER   Karen Hough is a devoted mother of one and an animal lover to her core. She has an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and while her daughter was young, started her own photography and makeup artistry businesses.  More recently, she worked in managerial and administrative positions, having overseen several employees and front office operations. Karen joined Autism From the Start® in early 2018 and developed our Billing Department--saving us all a significant amount of stress. We are so grateful to have her on board!

KAREN HOUGH, BILLING MANAGER

Karen Hough is a devoted mother of one and an animal lover to her core. She has an undergraduate degree in Wildlife Biology and while her daughter was young, started her own photography and makeup artistry businesses.

More recently, she worked in managerial and administrative positions, having overseen several employees and front office operations. Karen joined Autism From the Start® in early 2018 and developed our Billing Department--saving us all a significant amount of stress. We are so grateful to have her on board!

LACY HILL, OFFICE MANAGER   Lacy Hill is our positive spark of sunshine and exudes deep gratitude for life. She has a strong drive to see success and takes care of us as our “House Mom”. In addition to her husband, she loves cooking, baking, and the Dallas Cowboys.  During college, Lacy began her work with young children with autism and for 5 years happily served as a para-educator in the Olathe Schools Early Intervention Program. Luckily, life steered her in our direction and she joined our Autism From the Start® family in February 2018.

LACY HILL, OFFICE MANAGER

Lacy Hill is our positive spark of sunshine and exudes deep gratitude for life. She has a strong drive to see success and takes care of us as our “House Mom”. In addition to her husband, she loves cooking, baking, and the Dallas Cowboys.

During college, Lacy began her work with young children with autism and for 5 years happily served as a para-educator in the Olathe Schools Early Intervention Program. Luckily, life steered her in our direction and she joined our Autism From the Start® family in February 2018.

LIZZIE KAMAN, HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER   Lizzie Kaman is our internal worker bee and the gal behind the curtain in much of what makes things tick at our center. While she enjoys cooking and exercising, she spends much of her energy keeping up with her two firecracker girls. Lizzie (and her husband) has a great sense of humor and she is always willing to do whatever it takes.  She is a graduate of Kansas State University and has a degree in Family Studies and Human Services. Lizzie has been a great find for Autism From the Start® ever since 2016.

LIZZIE KAMAN, HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER

Lizzie Kaman is our internal worker bee and the gal behind the curtain in much of what makes things tick at our center. While she enjoys cooking and exercising, she spends much of her energy keeping up with her two firecracker girls. Lizzie (and her husband) has a great sense of humor and she is always willing to do whatever it takes.

She is a graduate of Kansas State University and has a degree in Family Studies and Human Services. Lizzie has been a great find for Autism From the Start® ever since 2016.