Meet The Team
The professionals of The Autism Clinic.
Leigh Grannan, M.S., BCBA
Chief of Clinic Based Services
Leigh Grannan serves as Chief of Clinic Based Services at Hope, located in Springfield, Edwardsville, and O’Fallon, IL and Kirkwood, MO. Leigh, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, earned a Master of Science in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2004. She worked as a Clinical Instructor and School Coordinator for eight years at The Autism Program of IL at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. There she collaborated with the program’s Speech-Language Pathologist to provide supervision to graduate students in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy and Communication Disorders and Sciences programs. In addition to clinic therapy services, she supervised graduate students providing consultation services in area schools. Leigh is a graduate of the Illinois Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) training program. She has conducted research in language acquisition with children with ASD and is trained in administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2nd Edition. Leigh has provided didactic trainings on a number of topics including challenging behavior, toilet training, and supporting students with ASD in the classroom.
Hannah has been with Hope since 2018 and began her journey as a Scheduling Specialist before being promoted to her current role. She graduated from UIS with her Bachelor’s.
Monica has been working in the credentialing field for the last 8 years. Monica comes to Hope from ABA Billing, where she got to know the Hope organization as a client. Monica has supported growth in a variety of businesses by facilitating their contracting and credentialing needs through a number of insurance companies. In her role, she is supporting both Hope Clinical Care and Therapy Relief with their insurance credentialing needs.
Kate oversees the billing efforts for The Autism Clinic at Hope, as well as Therapy Relief at Hope. Kate has been with Hope for four years. In her time here, she has held the roles of Intake and Records Specialist, and most recently, Billing Specialist.
Joanna Morrissey, M.S., BCBA
Director, Springfield, IL
Joanna, a BCBA, at The Autism Clinic at Hope, has been working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum in various capacities since 2006. She completed her undergraduate degree in Deaf Education from Illinois State University and Lincoln Christian University and subsequently spent 7 years teaching special education. During her time as a teacher, she began working on her Master’s Degree in Behavioral Analysis and Therapy through Southern Illinois University, Carbondale; Joanna graduated with her Master’s in December 2016 and obtained her BCBA credential in May 2016. Her professional interests include organizational behavioral management and supporting children with ASD and their teachers in the classroom.
Jenny Martin, LBA, BCBA
Director, Gallatin, TN
Jenny Martin has 20 years of experience working with kids with autism. She worked in the school system in Sumner County for over 10 years as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Prior to that she was a clinical instructor for The Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Southern Illinois University where she trained graduate students to work with children with autism.
Daniel Childress, M.A., BCBA
Director, O'Fallon, IL
Daniel Childress, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, has been working with children, teens, and young adults on the Autism Spectrum since 2011. He received his undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Missouri—St. Louis in 2014. Daniel started working with individuals on the Autism Spectrum during his undergraduate studies. Daniel began working towards his Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis in ABA in May 2019. He passed his board’s certification in August 2019. Daniel has worked in the field of ABA in a variety of settings including clinic, home, residential, and school. His professional interests in the field of ABA include Functional Communication Training, Natural Environment Teaching, and desensitization programming.
Meika Valerio, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
Director, Kirkwood, MO and St. Louis, MO
Meika has worked with individuals on the Autism Spectrum providing Applied Behavior Analysis services 2011. She completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois and Master of Education in Foundations of Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of Cincinnati in December of 2015. Meika has worked at The Autism Clinic in various capacities. She began as an intern and behavior technician in the Springfield clinic in 2013 and transitioned into the role as a lead behavior technician in 2014. Meika obtained certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2016 and moved to St. Louis in 2017. Her clinical interests include systematic desensitization, intensive toilet training, and functional communication training. When she’s not in the clinic, she enjoys cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals!
Director, Glen Carbon/ Edwardsville, IL
Kirsten Schaper, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA
Director, Herrin, IL
Kirsten Schaper, M.S., CCC-SLP, BCBA is dual certified as a speech/language pathologist and board certified behavior analyst and has provided services for children with autism spectrum disorder since 2004. From 2004 until 2015, she served as an instructor and clinic director at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Southern Illinois University – Carbondale where she supervised students providing service in individual and group formats. She owned and operated her own private practice from 2016 until November 2020, where she treated privately children and through Illinois’s Early Intervention program via in-home services. In November 2020 she became the clinic site director for The Autism Clinic at Hope in Herrin, IL. Ms. Schaper is fluent on many teaching procedures, including naturalistic teaching, discrete trial training, the Picture Exchange Communication System, Phonemic Restructuring of Oral Motor Phonetic Targets (PROMPT), and the Early Start Denver Model. She is also reliability certified in Modules 3 and 4 of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule – 2 (ADOS-2) and has evaluated over a thousand children for the presence of ASD. Her approach focuses on teaching functional skills that are enjoyable to the child while incorporating developmental sequences and each family’s priorities.
Melanie Tillman, M.S., BCBA, LBA
Director, Huntsville, AL
Melanie Tillman, M.S., BCBA, LBA, serves as Clinic Site Director of The Autism Clinic at Hope, Huntsville, AL. Melanie, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, began working with children on the Autism Spectrum in 2001 and earned a Master of Science in Behavior Analysis and Therapy from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2004. She worked as a Clinical Instructor and Program Evaluation Coordinator for six years at The Autism Program of IL at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where she collaborated with University Speech Language Pathologists to provide supervision to graduate students in the Behavior Analysis and Therapy and Communication Disorders and Sciences programs. Melanie also served as the Site Director for The Autism Program of Illinois (TAP) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has provided direct ABA services and supervision in a variety of settings, including Early Intervention, in-home, and clinic-based services for children diagnosed with Autism.
Cami Schmidtke, M.S., BCBA, LBA
Director, Cordova, TN
Cami Schmidtke began as a Registered Behavior Technician in Shreveport, Louisiana in 2014. She completed her undergraduate degree at Louisiana State University – Shreveport in 2015 in Community Health with a concentration in Pre-Occupational Therapy. After graduation, she decided to continue working in the field of ABA, and she began to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Cami became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2019, and shortly after becoming certified, she moved to Texas where she worked as a BCBA before becoming a clinical director. Becoming a clinical director helped her realize her love and passion for mentoring and supporting other BCBAs, interns, and behavior technicians. She became the Site Director at The Autism Clinic at Hope located in Cordova, TN after moving to the Memphis area in July 2022. She is very excited to work at Hope and in the Memphis area! She loves to focus on teaching functional communication and functional skills that are fun and natural to the child’s environments!