Welcome

The mission of BSI is to improve our clients' lives by providing the highest quality of individualized therapy, while maintaining professional integrity. BSI believes in encouraging all employees to make a positive difference in their clients' lives, while working in a supportive environment that promotes professional and personal growth, mutual respect, and independence. BSI has built a solid reputation by providing quality services and only employs individuals who posess integrity and are service-oriented. 

 

"Dr. Deb" and the team of therapists at BSI practice a "hands-on" approach that is tailored to each individual's capabilities and needs. BSI believes that behavior programs and services must be practical and easily understood to be effective. The philosophy results in individuals, including parents and caregivers, being more comfortable with implementing recommendations; thereby, generating consistent and successful outcomes. 

Our Mission

The mission of BSI is to improve our clients' lives by providing the highest quality of individualized therapy while maintaining professional integrity.

Meet Our Team

Debra
Farrar-Schneider

Ph.D. /  H.S.P.P. / BCBA-D / IMH-E® (IV)

Dr. Farrar-Schneider is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  She received her Bachelor's degree from Millsaps College and her Master’s degree from Louisiana State University, where she majored in Child-Clinical Psychology.  Dr. Farrar-Schneider earned her Ph.D. from LSU in 1995, after completing her internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She opened BSI in 1997 and has provided behavioral services in NW Indiana for over 15 years.

 

“Dr. Deb” has extensive experience in providing services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, including developing and implementing behavior programs, training parents and caregivers in behavioral procedures, and evaluating and treating feeding disorders. Dr. Farrar-Schneider’s main focus is the evaluation and treatment of children in the Indiana First Steps program (0-3 years old), conducting assessments for developmental disabilities (e.g., Autistic Disorder, Asperger's Disorder), and providing supervision and training for all Behavior Specialists.

Bob Schneider

M.B.A

Executive Director

Bob received his Bachelor's degree in 1988 from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi.  He received his Masters of Business Administration degree in 1992 from Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana.  Prior to joining BSI in 2001, Bob worked as a General Manager for Celebration Station, a family fun center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  He also served as an opening team manager and a regional manager for the company as it expanded to 15 locations nationwide.  He finished his career with Celebration Station as Director of Training.

Administrative Team

Vanessa Sowder

Receptionist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanessa joined BSI in May 2015. Vanessa has worked in the medical field for the past 6 years, working in administration and direct care. Vanessa has been married for 10 years and has two wonderful boys.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lisa joined the BSI team in 2017 as a receptionist. Lisa previously served as a membership coordinator at the Duneland YMCA from 2004-2010, and has spent several years raising her three children.

Lisa Munguia

Receptionist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jessica is a Junior at Purdue Northwest pursuing her degree in Behavioral Science and will graduate in the Spring of 2019. She joined BSI in the summer of 2017 and provides childcare services for the employees of BSI.

Jessica Homan

Daycare Provider

Applied Behavior Analysis

Katie Morache

B.A., M.A.

Director of ABA Programming

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Katie received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Indiana University and went on to earn her Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. Prior to joining the BSI team in 2012, Katie worked with the Northwest Indiana Special Education Cooperative. Katie provides behavioral services in Porter County.

Samantha Blazak 

B.A., RBT

ABA Tutor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Samantha received her Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Indianapolis in 2015 and has been with BSI since 2014, first as an intern and then hired on in May of 2015. Samantha wants to pursue a Master's degree in the near future, and she is excited to grow with BSI.

 

 

Kalyn O' Brien

B.A., RBT

ABA Tutor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kalyn recently joined the BSI team as a part of Camp ABLE after graduating from Indiana University in 2016. There she received her BA in speech and hearing sciences. While at IU, Kalyn enjoyed being part of IUDM, peer tutoring, best buddies, and summer camps. She hopes to go back to school to receive her Master's degree.

Stephanie Chaplin

B.S., RBT

ABA Tutor

Stephanie recently graduated from Purdue with a degree in psychology and is currently working on her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Prior to joining the BSI team in 2018, Stephanie worked as a special education paraprofessional.

Allie O'Brien

B.S.

ABA Tutor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allie graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Human Development and Family Studies, and joined the BSI team in May 2017. She is currently attending graduate school to obtain a Master’s in Child Development with a specialization in Child Life. Allie recently finished an internship at Riley Hospital and is currently completing her Child Life practicum with Comer Children’s Hospital in Chicago. She is excited to use her work at BSI in her future role to accommodate children and their psychosocial well-being in the hospital, autistic children in particular.

Luis Velasquez

RBT

ABA Tutor

Luis recently joined the BSI team as an ABA tutor after relocating to Indiana. He has previously worked in various classroom settings as a paraprofessional and aid. He has also done in home ABA therapy and worked with various music therapists in New York and New jersey.

 

 

 

Jake Bencie

B.S., RBT

ABA Tutor

Jake recently graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with a child development focus and an ABA minor. He is currently working on obtaining his Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Jake was previously a substitute therapist at an ABA clinic in Muncie and joined the BSI team in May 2018.

Behavior Management Services

Nicole Pettit

M.A., BCBA

Behavior Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from Indiana University Northwest. She continued her education at Ball State University to receive a Master's degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. Nicole joined the BSI team in January 2014 as a Behavior Specialist. Her previous work experience includes interning at Mental Heath America coordinating their Open Door Social Club and helping individuals find resources. She also served in AmeriCorps from 2010-2014 working with at risk youth in the school system.

Judy Lammons

M.A.

Behavior Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judy received her Bachelors' degree in Psychology from Indiana University and her Masters degree in Psychology from Valparaiso University. She has been a key member of the BSI team since 2000.  Judy has over 30 years of experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities in northwest Indiana.  Prior to joining BSI, she gained extensive knowledge within the mental health field, serving in various supervisory positions at Dungarvin,  LCAR,  and Tradewinds.  Judy is a Registered Behavioral Consultant with the Indiana Association of Behavioral Consultants.

Bill Wittpenn

B.S., M.S.Ed.

Behavior Specialist

Bill joined the BSI team in 2018 as a Behavior Specialist. Prior to starting at BSI, Bill was a member of the U.S. Navy, received his Bachelor’s degree in Physical Science and Meteorology, and served as a meteorologist in the U.S. Navy.  He then went on to receive his Master’s degree in Physical/Health Education. Bill has worked in a variety of places and has held numerous positions, including wellness educator, ministry counselor, case manager, and program manager. Bill is currently working on obtaining his Registered Behavior Technician certification.

Mike Manis

Behavior Specialist

School Psychologist

Mike joined BSI in 2006 after he became a National Certified School Psychologist. He received his Bachelor's degree from Baylor University, as well as a Masters degree in Educational Psychology and a Specialist degree in School Psychology from Andrews University. Mike has experience conducting psycho- educational assessments and specializes in the treatment of behaviorally challenged children and adolescents. He has also worked with adults diagnosed with developmental disabilities and psychiatric disorders.  Mike provides behavior therapy services in the South Bend area.

Jenny Barnas

M.A., LMHCA

Behavior Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jenny joined the BSI team as an intern in Summer 2015. She attended Lewis University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Social Work. She then obtained her Masters Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Valparaiso University.  Jenny has 2 brothers, one with special needs, who have taught her a lot and inspired her to want to work with children, particularly in the areas of special needs and disabilities.

Sarah Albers

Behavior Specialist

Sarah got her Bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Valparaiso University in 2010, and went on to get her Master’s in ABA from Ball State University in 2016. Sarah joined the BSI team in 2017. She is a licensed Indiana teacher and is currently a Special Education teacher at Valparaiso High School.

Evaluation, Diagnostic, and School Services

Kelly Fife 

M.Ed.

Behavior Therapist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kelly joined BSI in August 2017 as an ABA Tutor and is now a Behavior Therapist. She currently holds an M.Ed. degree and is continuing to pursue her Education Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Kelly has experience working with children from ages 2 to 18 in various settings and has previously worked with children on the Autism spectrum conducting ABA therapy before coming to BSI.

Individual and Family Therapy

Kym Groceman

M.A., M.S., LMHC.

Director of Mental Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kym received her Bachelor’s degree in Educational Psychology and a Master’s degree in Sports Administration from Mississippi State University. She also holds a Masters degree in Professional Counseling from Liberty University. Kym has been providing individual therapy for Behavior Specialists of Indiana since 2009. She serves individuals and families in Porter County. 

Desie Zylstra

B.A., M.A

Behavior Therapist

Desie received her Bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Psychology from Valparaiso University. She joined the BSI team in January of 2018 as an intern and then joined the staff in August when she received her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Desie’s previous experience includes internships at the Indiana State Prison, Federal Probation, Boys and Girls Club, and Applied Behavior Analysis at BSI.

Erin Hupp

M.A.

Behavior Therapist/Billing Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erin attended Lewis University where she received a Bachelor’s of Arts in Sociology and Social Work. She then moved on to receive a Masters of Arts from Roosevelt University in the Clinical Psychology Counseling Practice Program. She has over 7 years’ experience with working with children, adolescents and adults. Erin has experience in hospital, crisis intervention, community mental health, and residential settings. For many years Erin has volunteered at NEDSRA, a non-profit special recreation association that helps children and adults be a part of the community; playing softball, bowling, and more. Erin joined BSI in 2017 and now provides individual therapy as a Behavior Therapist.

Lauren Cibak

B.S., M.A.

Behavior Therapist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren joined the BSI team at the beginning of 2017. She graduated from Indiana university East in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She then went on to receive her Master's degree in Mental Health Counseling. 

 

 

 

 

Yvette Howes

M.A.

Behavior Therapist

Yvette received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology and linguistic studies from Western Washington University. She also holds Master’s degrees in Counseling Psych and Educational Psych from Lakeland College and Valparaiso University respectively. Yvette joined the BSI team in November of 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brittany graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. She went on to continue her education at Valparaiso University where she received her Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling in 2014. She initially started with BSI as an intern and was hired upon graduation with her Master’s degree. She has experience applying Behavioral Therapy to assist families with children and adults who have behavioral issues. Brittany incorporates Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) into her practice. She also has experience in Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and PEERS Social Skills Training for Adolescents.

 

Brittany Polisuk-Brush

M.A., NCC, LMHCA

Behavior Therapist

Music Therapy

Stephanie Harris

M.A., MT-BC, RBT

Director of Music Therapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stephanie received her Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from Ohio University and her Master’s degree in Music Therapy from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Stephanie joined BSI in 2004 and is a Board Certified Music Therapist. As BSI’s Director of Music Therapy, she oversees all aspects of the music therapy program. Stephanie has completed training in Neurologic Music Therapy and has worked with geriatric populations, with a focus on issues associated with dementia. She is also certified as a Registered Behavior Technician. Stephanie is a member of the American Music Therapy Association and serves as the treasurer for the Great Lakes Region.

Vanessa Quirarte

MT-BC

Music Therapist

 

 

 

 

 

Vanessa received her Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy from the University of Evansville. She completed her internship at Mobile Music Therapy Services in Garden Grove, California, where she provided services to individuals with psychiatric disorders, developmental disabilities, and the geriatric population.  She is a Board Certified Music Therapist and a certified Neurologic Music Therapist.  Prior to joining Behavior Specialists of Indiana in 2011, Vanessa provided music therapy services at a center for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Janet Herington
MT-BC, RBT

Music Therapist

 

 

 

 

 

 

Janet obtained her Bachelor's degree in Music Therapy with a minor in Psychology from Marywood University. During her internship at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix Janet worked with adults in various units including Antepartum, Med/Surg, Oncology, ICU, acute inpatient psych, and the rehabilitation unit as well as at an outpatient facility to support patients with Parkinson's disease. Janet joined the BSI team in 2018 as a Board-Certified Music Therapist.

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