Deerfield Beach Center
My Favorite Therapists
Join Us Today!
Our highly skilled team of BCBAs, RBTs, behavioral therapists and specialty therapists communicate and work together to increase your child’s success, independence, and functioning in daily life at home, at school and in the community.
We provide applied behavior analysis, speech therapy, feeding therapy and occupational therapy in our one of a kind, state of the art, 8,000 square foot therapy center throughout the day and week, as necessary and authorized for your child. In addition, ABA therapy is available at schools, in home and in the community.
Meet our team
Jay Katari is married to Kimmy Katari and is the father of four wonderful boys. Jay was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He moved to Florida in 1991 to finish his senior year of high school at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. After high school, he went on to Florida State University where he majored in Business Administration and Marketing.
Jay is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building amazing companies with amazing company cultures. He is very excited to serve My Favorite Therapists’ clients and their families and do all that he can to help to make their lives better. Jay is very passionate about giving back to the community, sitting on the Board of Directors of Autism Speaks of Broward County, the Board of Directors of FAU’s Center for Autism and Related Disabilities, the Love Boca Homeless Charity, and the Board of Directors of The Boca Raton Police Foundation.
My Favorite Therapists is a very special place for Jay, having created a place where his passion for success translates to the clients getting the very best therapies available, all in one incredible place.
Kimberly Katari, best known as “Kimmy” to those who know her, is the quintessential working woman turned parental advocate. She was a practicing commercial litigation attorney, licensed in the states of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Florida. She met and married her husband 21 years ago and gave birth to 4 boys. While pregnant with her middle twin boys, Kimmy’s mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Kimmy made the difficult but determined decision to leave the practice of law to focus her attention on her ailing mother and baby boys. Kimmy’s mother survived the breast cancer, but was diagnosed with ovarian cancer approximately two years later, when Kimmy was pregnant with her youngest son.
Having the twins provided a much different perspective as far as keeping track of her babies’ progression. Blake’s brother soon surpassed him on the pediatrician’s checklists of milestones. Kimmy and her husband brought Blake for early evaluation and were told that Blake simply had low muscle tone and was speech delayed. About a year later, however, Blake’s therapist suggested that they bring him to see a neurologist because it seemed as if Blake’s was “spacing out” often. That was the beginning of a whole new life for the Katari family…Blake was diagnosed on the autism spectrum with PDD-NOS.
Kimmy has been passionate about finding and doing all that she can for her son, Blake, since that diagnosis. Not one to give up, give in, or accept defeat, she became the voice, advocate, cheerleader, pincushion, and counselor for Blake. She watched, she listened, she learned, she read, she argued – all for her son. She cried often, yet maintained a strong, stable image and persona for the betterment of the rest of her family and those that she loved so deeply.
Kimmy quickly discovered that there is an entirely separate world out there for children with special needs and their families. In that world, values are different, priorities are different, relationships are different, and people are different. In that world, being different is good. It is special. Small things could be astronomical in that special world.
Over the next decade, Kimmy delved into the life of being a mom of a son with autism as well as a wife, daughter, and mom of three “typical” boys. She incorporated into their lives the gluten free casein free diet, doctors’ visits, RDI therapy, ABA therapy, OT therapy, equine therapy, speech therapy, social skills classes, Tomatis listening therapy, floortime therapy, and acupuncture because there was no telling what would be best for Blake.
She spent countless hours with therapists, teachers, paraprofessionals, school administrators, and doctors and even more on the phone with insurance companies in order to try to obtain the best services possible to help her son. It seemed as if time was passing by and yet Blake was at a standstill with the choices of local therapists and therapy clinics. Kimmy and her husband agreed to take a gamble and seek services outside of the state of Florida. She traveled alone with Blake and homeschooled him for months, leaving her supportive family behind, a very difficult and emotional time for the entire family.
Kimmy returned to Florida with the revelation that there needed to be better options for families like hers in Florida. Parents needed and deserved to focus their time and efforts on their special children and not drive around town from one appointment to another. It was rarely possible to describe and update each therapist on what another one had accomplished or noticed with Blake. Those therapists should be able to converse and share notes with one another. Kimmy strongly felt that children with special needs deserved to be in a caring, well-equipped environment conducive to optimizing the child’s capabilities and not in a small cluttered room. Most importantly, she wanted qualified, talented therapists who were not robotic or routine. She did not believe in leaving Blake with a “glorified babysitter”. She complained repeatedly to her husband, a self-made entrepreneur, and he encouraged her to “do something about it”. With his extensive business knowledge, acumen, and guidance, My Favorite Therapists began to emerge.
Mallory Lucillo is a Nationally Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She received her Masters of Science in Cognitive Behavioral Disabilities with a concentration in Emotional Behavioral Disorders from Nova Southeastern University and her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Sociology and Interdisciplinary Studies from Florida Gulf Coast University.
Mallory has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for over a decade. She has experience working with individuals with developmental disabilities ranging in ages from eighteen months to twenty-one years old. She has worked in the environments of clinic, school, home, and community focusing on improvement in the quality of life for every client.
Mallory has extensive background in increasing language and functional communication, reducing problem behaviors, acquisition of self-help skills, parent training, training of other clinicians, social skills, acquisition of new skills and generalizing them to be used in the real world, and vocational skills. Her passion is to continually grow and learn as a clinician to make the biggest positive impact on the lives of others.
Mallory also leads the team at My Favorite Therapists in obtaining insurance authorizations for services as well as running the supervision programs for up and coming BcaBAs and BCBAs.
When you don’t see Mallory working, she is usually spending time with her family and friends exploring new adventures or working out in the gym. Mallory is a Crossfit nut with a passion for physical fitness. She has competed throughout the state of Florida in many state and local Crossfit competitions.
Jen majored in Education, is the mother of two amazing daughters, a master multi-tasker, a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and an obsessive perfectionist. Jen loves going to work each and every day to see the amazing progress of all of the clients at My Favorite Therapists. She plays a vital part in the daily operations of the therapy center.
Bevannie Smith, BCBA, attended the University of South Florida where she attained her B.A in Psychology with a minor in Applied Behavior Analysis. She then attended Ball State University where she attained her M.A in Applied Behavior Analysis with a concentration in Autism. Bevannie has worked in the autism field for 7+ years, specializing in Early intervention and as a Professional Crisis Management (PCM) instructor. In addition to her passion for helping children and families with autism, Bevannie enjoys traveling across the globe , watching cartoons and helping random food restaurants. Her ultimate goal is to bring more awareness and training to individuals who interact with the autism population, especially in the Caribbean.
Michael Ovad is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 10 years of experience working with kids with various developmental disabilities. Born and raised in Florida, he attended Florida Atlantic University, where he received his Masters in Exceptional Student Education, with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis and Instructional Practices. Michael has worked with kids of various ages across multiple different settings to help them learn new skills and improve their behaviors. From growing up with a younger brother with autism, Michael has made it his mission to improve the lives of those with various developmental disabilities.
Suwenda Louis, BCBA earned a Masters of Science in Developmental Disabilities with a concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Public Health from the University of South Florida. Suwenda started her ABA career while working with children diagnosed with Autism and other related developmental disabilities in 2012. With over 7 years of experience in Early Intervention and Education, Suwenda’s professional background includes an emphasis on Behavior Modification, Direct Trial Teaching, and Verbal Behavior.
While providing direct therapy early on in her career, Suwenda observed the impact that positive behavior changes have on the overall quality of life and learning of children and their families. Her ultimate goal is to make a difference in each child’s life by providing high-quality behavioral intervention services and implementing effective teaching strategies.
Myra Duarte is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with over 20 years of experience providing behavior analysis services to individuals diagnosed with intellectual and other disabilities. Ms. Duarte has worked with children, adolescents and adults in a variety of settings such as family homes, residential settings, intermediate care facilities and day programs. Ms. Duarte earned her Master of Science in Psychology from Florida International University. Her research interests include stimulus equivalence and verbal behavior, organizational behavior management, high risk behavior, animal behavior, and physical fitness. Ms. Duarte has presented at statewide behavior analysis conferences in English and Spanish on topics such as management of high risk behavior and sexually inappropriate/deviant behavior.
Andrea is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Medical Anthropology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She then completed her Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of South Florida. There, she completed her thesis on the class pass intervention to decrease disruptive behavior in public school classrooms.
Andrea has years of experience working with individuals diagnosed with autism and related disorders. Her clients have ranged in age from eighteen months to eighteen years and services have been provided in school, home, and clinical settings. Andrea’s background includes assessing behaviors, developing and implementing behavior reduction plans and skill acquisition programs,which include toilet training, feeding programs, social skill development, and verbal behavior programs.
Using research based programs, Andrea is dedicated to facilitating communication and developing self-help skills while reducing problem behaviors. She has extensive experience in working with individuals with aggressive behaviors. Teaching clients the skills to communicate, be independent and interact with their world is what motivates her every day!
Paula Sorica is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) that has been working in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) since 2010. She began working as a behavior therapist with clients aged 3-9years old with limited verbal skills using Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Natural Environment Teaching (NET) methods. In 2013, she began working with clients ranging in age from 3-22 years old that also demonstrated severe problem behavior. She became a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) in 2014, and a BCBA in 2018.
She has worked with clients ranging in age from 2-55 years old with a range of behavior concerns, including limited verbal repertoires, physical aggression, self-injurious behavior, property destruction, tantrum behavior, stereotypical behavior, elopement behavior, and inappropriate social and sexual behavior. She has worked in a myriad of settings, including clinics, centers, schools, residential facilities, group homes and community based programs.
She is a certified instructor in Professional Crisis Management and is passionate about training others to safely intervene in crisis situations to quickly deescalate crisis episodes and aid the client in returning to a stable level of functioning while using the least restrictive methods that maintain the clients rights to dignity and respect. She is, likewise, passionate about advocating for her clients rights to ethical, effective, respectful and socially meaningful services and supports across the lifespan.
She is the older sister and aunt of two individuals on the autism spectrum with co occurring disorders, and the mother of a young child with anxiety. She, therefore, practices what she teaches on a daily basis and has personal experience providing supports to individuals and families affected by autism and related disorders since 1995. She has volunteered for over a decade working with abused, abandoned, and neglected children, the elderly in hospice care, and teenage mentoring programs.
She has spent all of her teenage and adult years working to better herself thru her service to those who are the most vulnerable and in need of the most care and selfless giving. In her personal time, she enjoys practicing mindfulness, meditation and other yogic practices, listening to every genre of music, TED talks, and other video/podcasts, watching whatever Netflix recommends, learning new ways of seeing and doing things around the world, and spending time with her closest friends and extended/blended family of 2 dads, 3 moms, 12 siblings, 21 nieces and nephews, and countless aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Zulmarie Candelaria is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with a Masters of Science in Developmental Disabilities from Nova Southeastern University.
Zulmarie has been working with children and families impacted by autism and related disabilities since 2015. She worked at NSU Mailman Segal Center’s Baudhuin Preschool, served as an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist via the Early Steps program in 2016, and has since utilized her skills and experience to serve clients ranging from 2-18 years of age in homes, schools, and clinic-based settings. She has a continuously evolving passion for early intervention, skill acquisition in both Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and Natural Environment Teaching (NET), behavior modification, social skills, staff and parent trainings, and everything in between. Those who know Zulmarie describe her as loving, patient, compassionate, and determined to help her clients reach their fullest potential in every area!
Born in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico and raised in sunny South Florida, Zulmarie is fluent in both English and Spanish. Some of her favorite pastimes include spending time with her family, enjoying a warm Cafecito, and going on spontaneous fun-filled adventures!
Katrina “Trina” is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Trina has a B.S. in Social and Behavioral Studies from Western Kentucky University and a M.A. in Special Education and Applied Behavioral Analysis from Ball State University.
Trina has a wide range of experience working with a mixture of children, ages 2-18. She is well versed with developing daily living skills, decreasing severe maladaptive behavior and working with Comorbid diagnoses.
In her spare time, Trina enjoys being at home with her husband and dogs or out boating when weather permits.
Alissa Doyle, BCBA, received her B.A in Psychology and English from Caldwell University. She then attended Ball State University where she earned her M.A in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Born and raised in New Jersey, Alissa fell in love with working in the field of autism in 2014 and since then has worked across school, home, and clinical settings. In August 2019, Alissa relocated to Florida where she
continued working in the field while completing her graduate work. She has extensive experience working with clients who have severe problem behavior and implementing behavior reduction protocols. Alissa is dedicated, passionate, and eager to help her clients in an impactful way.
Besides her love for her work, Alissa loves traveling, Disney World, and spending time on the beach!
Calley Rock is a nationally board certified and Florida licensed occupational therapist. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies with a Minor in Psychology and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of New England in Portland, ME.
Calley has experience working as a pediatric occupational therapist in an outpatient clinic setting and has also worked with adults in psychiatric and physical rehabilitative settings. Her experience working at a summer camp for children with autism prompted her to pursue a career in occupational therapy. Calley is passionate about working with children of all abilities and with their families. She is excited to be a member of My Favorite Therapists’ team!
Juliana DiFede is a south Florida native. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Nova Southeastern University and her Masters of science degree from Samford University.
Juliana has grown up with a diverse family including cousins with autism and down syndrome, which has given her a deeper understanding and love for children with special needs. She has worked with children with speech, language, fluency, articulation, and voice disorders.
Juliana is excited to be a part of the My Favorite Therapists’ Dream Team.
Ahuva Erriech moved to Boca Raton, FL from Queens, NY. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Touro College and her Master of Arts degree from Kean University. She served as the lead speech pathologist at an ABA center in Brooklyn for several years, where she worked with children with ASD presenting with varying speech and language deficits including language delay, pragmatic deficits, articulation and phonological delays, and behavioral feeding disorders. Ahuva has also worked as an Early Intervention provider in Queens, working with a variety of young children, many of whom were diagnosed with ASD.
Ahuva passionately believes in the effectiveness of ABA style therapy and is excited to team up with the multidisciplinary team at My Favorite Therapists to help each child make optimal progress in all developmental areas. She is also a proud wife, and mother to three beautiful daughters, ages 5, 3, and 2 months.
Morgan Feilen has always had a special interest in working with children who have different abilities, especially with children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum. She believes in teaching by using a multi-sensory approach that is built upon each child’s unique way of learning.
Prior to joining My Favorite Therapists as the academic instructor for home-schooled children, Morgan was a classroom teacher, facilitating social skill groups and providing academic tutoring for children of all ages and abilities. She conducted extensive research on various behavior intervention strategies and technologies to assist students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Morgan strongly believes in collaborating with parents, therapists and professionals to ensure the success of each and every one of her students.
Morgan graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2011 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She went on to receive her Masters Degree in Exceptional Student Education from Lynn University in 2014. She holds teaching certificates in K-5, ESE K-12, Pre Kindergarten – 3rd, and Birth – Kindergarten and has additional endorsements in Reading and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).
Her passion is to make a difference in the lives of children who have autism and special needs, advocating for them, connecting with them and celebrating every big or small step along the way. Morgan is happy to have found a place where she can provide children with one-on-one academics, structured to their learning abilities and needs, in a nurturing and supportive environment so that they may grow to reach their highest potential.
Tania Bernaldez has a B.A. in Communication Sciences at ITESM University in Monterrey, Mexico. She also had the opportunity to study abroad at Universidad de Deusto in San Sebastian, Spain. After finishing her studies she worked in the event management industry for 4 years in which she developed skills for customer relations, marketing and time management.
Cecilia has worked with children, teenagers and adults in a variety of schools, non profit organizations and companies. She graduated from CEU University in Monterrey, Mexico where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psycho-Pedagogy. She is experienced in educational problems, social-cultural disadvantages, human relations and office management.
She enjoys the connection, challenges and her passion is helping others and make a difference in the lives of people around her. Spending time with family and friends, go to the movies and read e-books are some of her favorite things to do. Cecilia is thrilled to be a member of My Favorite Therapists dream team!
Lupita is the eldest sister and best friend of 3 siblings, dedicated and in love with her family. She studied Business Administration at the Benemerita Universidad Autonoma de Puebla, Mexico. With a goal to continue to grow professionally and personally, to contribute something positive to the people around her.
Lupita has a strong dedication to serve and support to the community. She also enjoys spending time and helping out in her family’s bakery on vacations.
Claudia has a Bachelor’s degree in Energy Management and Sustainable Development.
Claudia has worked as a teacher in both the private and public sectors. She loves children, learning new things and different cultures, traveling, being creative, and having fun in the process. She aspires to keep growing as a professional and as a person.
What I like the most about being part of the MFT team is how our team work gets reflected in the amazing little patients, even though I don’t do the therapies I feel like I’m part of their development
Deerfield Beach • Pompano Beach • Boca Raton • Fort Lauderdale • Coconut Creek • Delray Beach • Oakland Park
We look forward to meeting you and creating a uniquely tailored therapy program for your child.