Allysha Quirt, HBASc, B.Ed. OCT #: 669609

Allysha believes that every child should have a voice and influence on their educational process and more importantly within their own lives. 

She is a strong believer in incorporating a variety of teaching methods including, but not limited to; accommodations, modifications and differentiated instruction. Her comfort level with technology enables her to leverage a wide range of assistive devices, interactive software programs and communication platforms for the enhancement of educational options and opportunities for all learners.

Allysha’s educational background includes her Honours Bachelor of Applied Science in Early Childhood Education from Guelph-Humber University and her Bachelor of Education completed at Nipissing University in 2015. She has also taken three additional qualification courses in special education, French and working with children with behavioural issues offered through the Ontario College of Teachers.

She has always had a passion for working with children; taking summer camp jobs and babysitting from a young age, and helping care for younger family members. However, she truly discovered her desire to pursue a career supporting children with special needs and, more specifically, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and behaviour issues through her work in respite services with Community Living North Bay while she was attending teacher’s college.

During her spare time Allysha enjoys being in the outdoors with friends, family and of course, her dog. Music also plays a very therapeutic role in her life and she often shares this passion and strategy of relaxation and focus with the children she teaches.

Emily Stewart, B.A.

Emily graduated with an Honours degree in social psychology from McMaster University . While studying abroad in England, Emily became very interested in the ASD population while taking a course on Autism. After volunteering at a speech language pathology clinic, Holland Bloorview Hospital, and ErinOakKids, Emily connected with JOLC to further her experience and education in the field. Emily loves hiking and being outdoors, which is why JOLC is such a great work environment!

Justine Glynn, B.A.

Justine graduated from Brock University where she took Child and Youth Studies & Psychology. From there she had the great opportunity to work 1:1 with exceptional children in a daycare setting as well as with the school board. Justine also had the opportunity to manage a childcare facility and has run several soccer camps, as she continues to build on her 10+ years of experience working with children. Justine enjoys working with children, knowing that she can be a part of their development and successes in life, by teaching new skills and helping them understand complex concepts all in a fun and motivating way. When Justine is not teaching, you can find her mostly outside. She loves to hike, explore waterfalls and play soccer on her days off, so don’t be surprised if your child comes home ready to play some soccer!

Kailee Melton, B.A.

Kailee started volunteering at the Joy of Learning Centre in 2013 and soon after came on board as an Instructor Therapist; running 1:1 programming as well as planning summer camps. After volunteering with JOLC she knew that she had a passion for working with children with special needs and pursued an academic career to achieve her goals. Kailee graduated from McMaster University with a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science of Language to gain an understanding of how people perceive and learn language. In her spare time Kailee volunteers with a speech pathologist to further her knowledge in speech pathology and be able to apply her knowledge in the classroom.

Carolyn Habel, B.A.

Carolyn graduated from York University with her B.A. in Psychology and has a diploma in Therapeutic Recreation. Over the course of her studies Carolyn has worked and volunteered in many different settings such as Southside Learning Centre in Sydney, N.S. as a tutor/mentor for children with emotional, social and behavioural challenges, Cape Breton Regional Hospital as a recreation program assistant on a transitional care unit, and a Child Development Centre as a support staff. Carolyn’s passion and desire to continue to positively impact children with different abilities led her to work providing in-home IBI therapy to children with Autism and is happy to find a position at the Joy of Learning Centre where she can pursue her passion. Carolyn truly enjoys working with children and youth with all abilities and feels she can best utilize her skills, talent and compassion to teach as well as learn from children with Autism.

Erin Vassair, B.A., RBT, ECE

Erin is a Registered Behaviour Technician (RBT), registered with the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB) and an Early Childhood Educator (ECE). In addition to these qualifications, she graduated from the Autism and Behavioural Science program at Mohawk College in 2014. Erin brings with her experience working with children for many years and has had school placements at Missing Links: Filling the gaps to Autism, ROCK, and Brick by Brick, whom all provide services for children and youth with autism. Erin comes with previous experience as a camp counselor for Autism Ontario and has enjoyed providing exceptional respite care for a family who has an adult son with autism. Erin has been a lead therapist for students receiving funding from Erin Oak Kids and is also in charge of programming for many other students as well. Erin pairs exceptionally well with all of her students. She has a natural ability for understanding her students needs and bringing them success!

Dr. Christina Ricciuti, Ph.D.

Christina Ricciuti earned her first degree, a BA in economics from the University of Western Ontario, she then transferred to York University to pursue her Honours BA in Psychology.  Realizing that this was where her interests lay, she then entered graduate studies in Psychology.  Christina earned her Masters Degree in Developmental Psychology from York University, with her primary area of research and clinical practice studying how children with autism spectrum disorders learn and remember information.  She then earned a Ph.D. in Clinical-Developmental Psychology.  Again, Christina’s research focus was on language and its role in learning and behaviour, this time studying children with a variety of disruptive behaviour disorders.  Throughout her university studies, Christina spent time working in classrooms for children with severe developmental disabilities and autism spectrum disorders, as well as worked privately for families doing intensive one-on-one IBI therapy with children with severe autism.  With an interest in children with a variety of developmental, learning, and psychiatric disorders, Christina spent 3 years at the Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now called the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, or CAMH) in the children’s day treatment program, where she conducted her doctoral research and received intensive clinical training.  Christina then spent 3 years at the Chedoke Children’s Hospital in Hamilton, in the Child & Family Studies Centre and the Infant-Parent Program, doing both her pre-doctoral internship and post doctoral training.  Here Christina worked with families of infants, she helped develop a parent training manual, and worked with children, adolescents and families with a variety of needs.

Following her training, Christina was a Psychologist on the 0-6 team at Halton Child and Youth Services (HCYS; now the Reach Out Centre for Kids, or ROCK).  While at HCYS, Christina earned her license from the College of Psychologists of Ontario for Independent Practice, with a specialization in children, adolescents and families.  At HCYS, Christina conducted assessments on young children with a variety of developmental, learning, attentional, behavioural and emotional needs, including autism.  She also conducted specialized assessments for youth fire-setters, ran parenting groups in the community, and provided training to professionals in the community.

Christina moved into a private practice in Oakville 5 years ago with a colleague, where she continues to work providing a high level of service to families.  She has been actively involved in conducting thorough psychological assessments, providing psychological consultation, providing individual psychotherapy and family therapy to children and families with a variety of clinical presentations.  Her approach to therapy is a combination of evidence-based cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT), solution focused therapy, and systems therapy.

Christina has three school-aged children who keep her very busy when she is not working.  Her children are the primary reason for Christina’s move into private practice, so that she could maintain a flexible work schedule and be actively involved in her children’s day-to-day activities.

Aline McMullen, M.Sc.

Aline has been involved at the Joy of Learning Centre since its inception in 2007. She has worked for several years as an instructor therapist and senior therapist and also coordinates the Joy of Learning Centre’s affiliated sports league, Challenger Sports. Aline sits on the board of directors for the Centre’s not-for-profit foundation, Rainbows of Joy, and organizes and participates in on-going fundraising initiatives for the foundation. Aline holds an honours degree in Medical Sciences from the University of Western Ontario as well as a Master’s degree from the department of Biosystems Engineering at the University College Dublin in Dublin Ireland. Aline has grown up her entire life interacting and learning from individuals with special needs and has continued throughout her adult life to advocate and create equal opportunities for those with a special need. 

Charu Malhotra, M.A. Psych

Charu has a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and a Bachelors degree in Psychology and Economics. She finds working with children very fulfilling and motivating. She has extensive knowledge and experience working with children with behavioral problems, emotional and developmental disabilities from working as an Assistant Clinical Psychologist at a Medical College and Hospital in India for many years. At the Clinic, she conducted both diagnostic evaluations and interventions programs. After migrating to Canada she continued to pursue her passion of working with children and completed the Graduate Diploma in Autism and Behavioral Science from Mohawk College with Dean’s Honor in 2010. 

Charu joined The Joy of Learning Centre team through her Field Placement for the Autism program in 2010, then as a supplemental instructor and continuing on full-time in 2015. She has had the opportunity to work with children with autism at Erinoak Kids during her Field Placement. She has volunteered at Erinoak kids where she worked along side behavior therapists conducting social skills groups.

Charu takes on an active role at The Joy of Learning Centre Inc. Conducting one-on-one ABA therapy sessions and planning programming for our students. Her work with ASD and special need children has impacted her outlook on life, making her more empathetic, compassionate and sensitive to the uniqueness of each child.

Charu is a firm believer that every child has the potential to learn, we only need to find the right method to teach. Even though many children may share common diagnoses, the challenge that she enjoys is in identifying their unique strengths and developing the program to their specific needs.

Charu is a passionate cook and in her spare time she likes trying new cuisines. Some of the things she can’t do without; her morning cup of tea, dessert  and foremost her family!

Daniella Lott, B.A.

Daniella Lott graduated from the University of Guelph with her B.A., further pursuing her passion for children with a special need by attending Mohawk College for the Autism and Behavioural Science program.  When not working at the Joy of Learning Centre, Daniella actively volunteers her time with the autism community.  With a strong background in ABA, Verbal Behaviour techniques, and a certification in sign language, Daniella helps design and implement ABLLS programming and assessments.  It is Daniella’s calm energy and compassion that helps create positive learning experiences for her students.