Meet our Board of Directors
Stefanie Lai Rushatakankovit, LEP, BCBA
Stefanie is a Licensed Educational Psychologist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), PEERS® Adolescents Certified Provider, and co-owner of Carnelian Psychological Educational Group, Inc, a comprehensive private practice offering assessments, therapy, social skills groups, educational support, and parent coaching for toddlers to teens in Torrance and Studio City. Prior to Carnelian, Stefanie worked as a school psychologist for over 14 years in school districts completing assessments, counseling students, running social skills groups, providing behavior support as the lead behavior specialist, and training staff on inclusion and addressing behavior challenges, among many other duties. Stefanie’s support of neurodiverse children began with her undergraduate training at UCLA, continued on to her graduate work at Loyola Marymount University, and has not stopped since. She has worked in non-public school, clinical, and home settings, giving her a depth of perspective in her work. Stefanie has a special interest in autism, social-emotional regulation, and trauma-informed care. As a mother of twin boys, Stefanie enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, reading, and attending concerts.
Jessica is an Elementary and Pre-School teacher with many years working in education, special education settings and early childhood development. Her understanding of curriculum and her creativity with lesson plans make her an outstanding educator. She has worked as a Behavior Interventionist for both non-public agencies and school districts and is trained in Non-Violent Crisis Intervention. Jessica is a Certified Sibshop Facilitator. In her spare time, Jessica loves to decorate and plan events! She also loves to travel, loves anything Italian, and loves her family dog Romeo.
Monica is a mother of two, a Marriage and Family Therapist
(MFT # 47541) a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a Registered Play Therapist- Supervisor Level. Her dedication to the autism spectrum community started as a behavior therapist under Dr. Lovaas at UCLA and continued through her work as Clinical Director at various top non-public agencies in Los Angeles. She also worked as Clinical Director at Walk With Sally, a non-profit providing mentoring support to children affected by Cancer. Currently Monica works in private practice at Play 2 Learn in Torrance, where she combines her expertise in Play Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and Applied Behavior Analysis to help children and families in counseling everyday.
Monica also is an Adjunct Professor at Pepperdine University in their Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) and an Instructor at UCSD Extension in their Play Therapy Certificate Program. Monica is a Certified AutPlay Therapy Provider® under the training requirements by Dr. Robert Jason Grant. Monica also earned a Foundational Certification in Theraplay® , which is an evidence-based, attachment and play intervention for caregiver and child. It also is clinically significant for neurodiverse children as well.
Monica loves being creative and helping others. She is the Author of the therapeutic books series for kids entitled "Welcome to Petsville" which includes stories that help kids solve big problems, with the help and love of their dearest pets.
Monica is also an invited speaker on panels, at conventions, schools, trainings and more! Monica loves travelling and adventure, and has a passion for cooking, volunteering, musicals and "Rocky" movies.