Executive Team

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Dr. Farrell Weiers, PhD, BCBA

Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Dr. Weiers is a Child and Adolescent Psychologist, licensed in the state of Missouri, who has spent the last 25 years working with families and children.  In her private practice, Behavioral Solutions, she specializes in psychological evaluations and therapy for children ages 2 – 19. She additionally runs a non-profit organization called Hand in Hand Foundation. In her free time, Dr. Weiers enjoys spending time with her husband, Marty, and five children. She loves to go camping with her family. Dr. Weiers aspires to be the best. Family First Center for Autism and Child Development is her brainchild and passion.

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Brooke Shields, BCBA, LBA

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Brooke has been with Family First since July 2019. She graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of South Florida in May 2018. She has been working in the field of ABA and with individuals with autism since 2014. Brooke is a member of Missouri Association for Behavior Analysis. She is licensed to work as a behavior analyst in the states of Missouri and Kansas. In her free time, Brooke enjoys hanging out with her dogs, going to movies, going out to dinner, and making Pinterest-y stuff. Brooke loves anything and everything beach related.

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Alyse Thamm, BCaBA, LaBA

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst

Alyse has been with Family First since July 2019. She graduated a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from The Pennsylvania State University in December 2017 and obtained a certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology in March 2019. She is currently enrolled in an entry-level doctorate program in Occupational Therapy Education with the University of Kansas Medical Center and is expected to graduate in May 2022. In her free time, Alyse enjoys taking her dog for walks, perfecting backing recipes, attending sporting events, reading motivational books, and watching reality tv. Fun fact: Alyse grew up in Hatfield, Pennsylvania which is about 45 minutes away from Philadelphia. She loves a good Philly cheese steak, which, according to her, can only be found in Pennsylvania.

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Cindy Loelkes

Executive Coordinator

Cindy has been with Family First since July 2011. She is the Executive Coordinator for all three locations and is based in the Kansas City office. Cindy has been working with individuals with autism since 1987. In her free time, Cindy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, camping, traveling, and watching the KC Chiefs. Cindy has a wonderful husband and three amazing children – two of whom are on the autism spectrum. Working at Family First is the perfect meld of her personal and professional experience, which makes her super motivated to be the very best in the region!

Leadership Team

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Joan Jones

Office Administrator

Joan has been with Family First since February 2014. She makes appointments, manages the telephones, collects insurance co-pays, and schedules sessions for the Kansas City center. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing and exploring Kansas City.

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Alex Anderson, RBT

Lead Registered Behavior Technician

Alex has been with Family First since December 2016. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Kansas State University in fall 2013 and is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Professional Behavioral Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. Her expected graduation date is fall 2020. In her free time, Alex enjoys playing with her twins, Grayson and Rayelyn. Fun fact: When she was in high school, her dance team traveled to LA to perform at the Staples Center and Disneyland with the marching band.

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Cassidy Mason, RBT

Lead Registered Behavior Technician

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Laken Reel, RBT

Lead Registered Behavior Technician

Laken has been with Family First since January 2017. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Biology from Culver-Stockton College in 2014. She is currently working towards a Master of Arts in Professional Behavioral Analysis from Florida Institute of Technology. Her expected graduation date is spring 2021. In her free time, Laken enjoys animal rescue, watching movies, spending time with loved ones (including her fur babies), and thrifting. Fun facts: Laken studied abroad in Ireland and has a three-legged cat.

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Matt Dickinson, RBT

Lead Registered Behavior Technician

Matt has been with Family First since November 2015. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Kansas in December 2014. In his free time, Matt enjoys listening to music. He also does photography and works for a wedding company when he’s not at Family First.

Behavioral Specialists

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Brooklyn Bantz, RBT

Registered Behavior Technician

Brooklyn works has been with Family First since March 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Social and Behavioral Sciences from William Penn University in May 2018. In her free time, Brooklyn enjoys taking her dogs on a walk, shopping, going to the lake, and camping. She goes to the beach at least once a year.

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Dariyn Finney, RBT

Registered Behavior Technician

Dariyn has been with Family First since August 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Sociology in May 2019. Dariyn is currently working on a Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy and is expected to graduate in spring 2021. In her free time, Dariyn enjoys reading, hiking, riding her bike, and traveling. One of her life goals is to serve in the SkillCorps with the Global Autism Project

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Hope Edwards, RBT

Registered Behavior Technician

Hope has been with Family First since January 2019. In her free time, Hope enjoys reading, artwork, playing games, cooking, and watching TV. She won an award in college for writing, has sold paintings, has five cats, and likes comic books/manga.

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Anne Richardson, RBT

Registered Behavior Technician

Anne has been with Family First since May 2019. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science, Pre-Occupational Therapy, from Truman State University in May 2019. In her free time, Anne enjoys watching reality TV and hanging out with her friends. She loves the Chiefs and hope to start Occupational Therapy school summer 2020.

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Jacqueline Pierre, RBT

Registered Behavior Technician

Jacqueline has been with Family First since August 2016. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and French from UMKC in May 2016. She is currently working towards a Master of Social Work from UMKC and is expected to graduate in May 2020. In her free time, Jacqueline enjoys traveling, eating authentic tacos, watching Netflix, and hanging out with friends.

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Teresa Hayden, RBT

Registered Behavior Technician

Teresa has been with Family First since December 2010. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from Rockhurst College in 1987 with a double major in English and History. In her free time, Teresa enjoys reading, watching movies, gardening, and spending time with her family.

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Mark Weiers, RBT

Registered Behavior Technician

Mark has been with Family First since August 2015. He is currently working on a bachelor’s degree in communication and is expected to graduate in 2020. He is currently taking classes at Maple Woods Community College but previously went to the University of Nebraska. In his free time, Mark enjoys watching sports and snowmobiling. He takes trips to Wyoming to ride in the mountains every year.

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Joyce Morales,RBT

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Kayla Lambert, RBT

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Rachel Culberson, RBT

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Shannon Wasmaser,RBT

Speech Therapist

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Julie Wallis, SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Julie has been with Family First since summer 2018. She is the Speech Language Pathologist for the Kansas City and Liberty locations. Julie has a Master of Science in Speech Pathology from the University of Central Missouri (formerly Central Missouri State University) in 1983. She has been working with individuals with autism since 1984. Julie is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and Missouri Speech-Language-Hearing Association. In her free time, Julie enjoys working with the Platte County Historical Society

Billing Specialist

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Rachel Papera

Rachel has been with Family First since May 2017. She is the billing specialist for all three locations and is based out of Omaha, Nebraska. In her free time, Rachel enjoys working in her yard