1555 SE Delaware, Ankeny, IA 50021

515-261-2402

Meet our Team!

Kristin Hanson, M.A., BCBA, LBA - Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst / Clinical Director / Owner

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Kristin is a Licensed and Board Certified Behavior Analyst; and the Owner and Clinical Director of Axis. She founded the clinic on her passion for serving children and families living with autism and special needs. She has experience working with children ages 14 months-17 years old. Kristin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Grand View University, and her Master’s Degree in Child and Adolescent Psychology with a specialization in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Kristin has spent most of her career focusing on the early detection and intervention of autism. She is a Board Member for the Iowa Association for Behavior Analysis, and an active participant with the Autism Society of Iowa and Autism Speaks Iowa. Kristin lives in Maxwell with her husband and two children. She enjoys playing softball, volleyball, kickboxing, attending movies and concerts, traveling, and cheering on her Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs.  Kristin hopes that Axis can serve as a place where anyone and everyone can receive treatment, support, education, training, and most of all – HOPE.

Ryhanna Singleton, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA - Licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst

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Ryhanna completed her undergraduate work at Iowa State University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and she completed her Master’s of Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis at Arizona State University. She is a member of the Iowa Association for Behavior Analysis and the Heartland Association for Behavior Analysis. Ryhanna always knew she wanted to work with children and their families, and ABA became a quick passion of hers. Ryhanna lives in Des Moines with her husband and daughter, and enjoys spending time with her family, friends and puppy, going to concerts, going to the pool, ice skating and playing with her nieces. 

Whitney Peters, OTD, OTR/L - Occupational Therapist

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Whitney is an Occupational Therapist certified by the NBCOT and licensed in the state of Iowa. Whitney graduated with her Doctoral Degree in Occupational Therapy from Drake University and is in the process of building Axis’ Occupational Therapy department. She has always had a strong passion for helping others and has decided to specialize in Pediatric Occupational Therapy. She graduated from Truman State University with her bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a Minor in Disability Studies. Whitney has always been interested in working with children with disabilities, especially after growing up with an older brother and younger sister who are both on the Autism Spectrum. Whitney also gained a passion for working with individuals with disabilities through volunteer coaching for the Arc of Story County. Whitney plans to further her education by obtaining certifications in SOS feeding and the Musgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration method in the future. Whitney lives in Maxwell with her husband Nathan, two dogs named Mackey (Go Purdue) and Rizzo (Go Cubs), and a cat named Cali. She loves to play slow pitch softball, playing with animals, going hiking, country music, and baseball season. Whitney hopes that she can help the children and families we serve get the most out of every single day and that she can advocate for and support our clients to reach their goals and become as independent as possible. 

Allison Novotney, MOT – Occupational Therapist

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Allison graduated in July 2019 with her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from College of Saint Mary in Omaha, NE and is currently in the process of becoming certified by NBCOT and licensed in the state of Iowa. Allison graduated from College of Saint Mary with her Bachelor of Rehabilitation Studies degree in 2018. While in the process of becoming certified and licensed, she is being trained in applied behavior analysis at Axis ABA Therapy and Support Services. Once certified and licensed, Allison will provide occupational therapy services at the new Axis location in West Des Moines. Allison enjoys reading, yoga, spending quality time with family and friends, going for walks, listening to music, cooking new recipes, and traveling. Allison has experience working with children with disabilities as a paraprofessional in a public school, volunteering at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Omaha, NE, and as a pediatric rehabilitation tech in a one-on-one outpatient clinical setting. She is excited to join the Axis team and aspires to foster joy in each client through increasing independence and improving functional skills needed for daily living. 

Kelsey Baughman, M.A., CCC-SLP – Speech Language Pathologist

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Kelsey received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Northern Iowa, and graduated with her Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Northern Iowa. Kelsey has always had a desire to help children and families. After job shadowing a pediatric Speech Language Pathologist she knew she had found her career path. Kelsey has experience working with children ages 18 months – 15 years as a student Speech Language Pathologist. During her time at the University of Northern Iowa, she was involved in Dance Marathon, Special Olympics of Northeast Iowa, and the UNI National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. Kelsey enjoys discovering new restaurants in the Des Moines Metro, spending time outside, traveling, reading, and spending time with family. Kelsey is excited to join the Axis team and work to make a positive impact on children and families in the Des Moines Metro.

Dree Ellingworth, M.A., CCC-SLP – Speech Language Pathologist

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Dree received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology at the University of Northern Iowa. Dree personally experienced the positive influence this field had on her life after she received services as a child for stuttering. Coming from a large family, she has always loved working with children. Dree has 3 years of post-graduate experience working with children and adults. As a student at the University of Northern Iowa, Dree spent time volunteering, attending conferences, and was part of the National Student Speech Language and Hearing Association. In her free time, Dree enjoys spending time with her husband, Sean, as well as reading, fishing, being active, cooking, and visiting local coffee shops. She is thrilled to join the Axis team!

Tatiana LeClair - Registered Behavior Technician / Certified Professional Crisis Management Instructor

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Tatiana is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She is also a certified instructor for the Professional Crisis Management Association. She has her Associate of Arts Degree from Des Moines Area Community College, and looks forward to continuing her education in Child and Adolescent Psychology. She has 10 years’ experience working in early childhood education in a daycare, preschool, and elementary school settings. Tatiana has always been very passionate about working with children, and the move to work with children and adolescents with disabilities is a natural fit. Tatiana is originally from California, but grew up at the Lake of the Ozarks, MO. She met her husband Dan, and moved to Iowa. She enjoys watching her Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland Raiders, and once in a while, to keep her husband happy, the Red Sox and Patriots. She has a love for the outdoors and likes to play disc golf and various sports. She also coaches youth soccer. She has a passion for art and loves to paint. Tatiana looks forward to making a difference and creating a positive change for children and families.

Kelsey Taylor - Registered Behavior Technician

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Kelsey is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Kelsey holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Drake University, and is currently working on obtaining her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis to further her certification. Kelsey knew that she wanted to pursue a helping field that would allow her to directly interact with youth. She has always been passionate about helping children build and develop their talents and skills through implementing programs that allow them to discover their potential in a safe, respectable, and encouraging environment. She enjoys being part of an amazing learning process, celebrating little things every day, and seeing so many smiles. During her free time, Kelsey loves to be outside or traveling to new places, at the gym, playing volleyball, jamming to country music, or playing her piano

Kiley Johnson - Registered Behavior Technician

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Kiley is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Kiley received her Bachelors of Science in Psychology through the University of South Dakota, which led her to pursuing a career with children. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis through Arizona State University. Kiley has always had a passion for helping children, and being a positive role model in their lives. Kiley lives in Ankeny with her husband, Matt, her dogs (Stella and Beau), and her cat (Pearl). In her free time, she enjoys going to movies, taking her dogs on walks and to the dog park, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Kylie Shear - Registered Behavior Technician

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Kylie is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology through Iowa State University, and her Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis through Saint Joseph’s University. Kylie has experience working with children in the field of mental health, ages 10 to 17; and experience in the school setting working with elementary to middle school aged students. After having several years of experience working with children, Kylie got to know more about Applied Behavior Analysis and saw the positive changes in behavior ABA services provide. Kylie enjoys biking, running, and being outdoors in the summer time. She loves to visit new places and spend time with family and friends. Kylie is excited to be at Axis to offer dedication and support for children and their families.

Courtney Kokemuller - Registered Behavior Technician

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Courtney is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Grand View University and has always known that she had a passion for making an impact on the lives of children. She is currently working on her Master’s Degree in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis through Arizona State University. Courtney has experience working with ages 18 months to 11 years within an early childhood education setting and loves getting to make a child smile all while knowing she is making a difference. Courtney is from Des Moines, but currently lives in Ankeny with her fiancé Tyler. During her free time, Courtney enjoys watching movies, cuddling up in blankets (since she’s always cold), browsing Pinterest, listening to country music, being outdoors, sketching and painting, and photography. 

Dakotah Weaver - Registered Behavior Technician

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Dakotah is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.  She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Human Services and Psychology from William Penn University. Dakotah chose this field because she has always wanted to make a difference in the lives of children. She is currently working towards her Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis through the The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family, friends, boyfriend and her dogs (Oaklie and Mable). She loves to travel, play soccer, spoil her dogs, listen to music, take naps, spend time outside, and watch Netflix. 

Kallie Shear - Registered Behavior Technician

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Kallie is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Iowa State University, majoring in Criminal Justice and Sociology, and received her Master of Education degree in the Foundations of Behavior Analysis through the University of Cincinnati. Kallie has experience working with challenging behaviors in a residential setting with youth ages 0 to 17, and also experience working with students in the Intensive Behavior Support classroom in a school setting. Through the many kids she has gotten the privilege of knowing over the years, Kallie has found her passion for working with children with different needs, and helping them become successful at home, school, and in the community. In her free time, Kallie enjoys biking, running, trying new restaurants, and traveling.

Paxton Sudbeck - Registered Behavior Technician

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Paxton is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She received her Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Sciences Disorders from the University of Northern Iowa. Her plan is to continue her education and obtain her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology. In her free time, she enjoys playing with her husky (Atticus), reading, hanging out with friends and family, camping, and traveling. She has a love for working with children and is always ready for learning new things!

Taylor Rassel - Registered Behavior Technician

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Taylor is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Northern Iowa, and is currently working towards her Master of Education degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis with an emphasis in Autism through Ball State University. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her dogs, family, and friends and loves to travel to new places.

Lauren Curtis - Behavior Technician

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Lauren is currently working on becoming a Registered Behavior Technician.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Science through Northern Arizona and is currently earning her Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis through Arizona State University.  She has experience working in various school settings with children of all needs.  She has always loved kids and loves working with them to achieve their goals.  In her free time, she enjoys being outside and being active, reading and learning, and spending time with her friends and family.  Lauren is excited to be a part of the Axis team!

Mickey Brueland - Registered Behavior Technician

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Mickey is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.  Mickey received her Bachelors of Science in Child, Adult, & Family Services from Iowa State University and has past experience working in Early Intervention with children ages birth to 3.  Mickey plans to go back to school this fall to pursue her Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.  Mickey loves to spend time outdoors with her husband and two dogs (Fen and Lucy), and loves to travel as much as possible

Heather Besch - Registered Behavior Technician

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Heather is a Registered Behavior Technician credentialed through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. She received her Master of Science degree in Psychology with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis through Purdue University Global. Heather and her husband are licensed foster parents. She has experience working with children who have endured trauma, and she has advocated for her foster children to get all the services they need to be successful in all aspects of their lives. Her passion for helping her foster children lead her to go back to school to pursue her degree. Heather enjoys spending time with her 4 kids, traveling, going to concerts, and cheering on the Iowa Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs, and Minnesota Vikings. Heather is excited to be apart of the Axis team where she can continue to work with children.  

Ericca Van Wyk - Behavior Technician

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Ericca is currently working on becoming a Registered Behavior Technician. Ericca is currently enrolled at Des Moines Area Community College. Ericca has six years of experience working with kids ages 1 to 11 in the daycare and school setting,  In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter (Jasmin), watching movies, taking her parents' dog (Lucy) to the dog park, shopping, traveling, and spending time outside. 

Kaci Hodge - Behavior Technician

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Kaci is currently working on becoming a Registered Behavior Technician. Kaci received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Arts with a Psychology minor and Art Therapy Certificate from Grand View University. She has always loved working with children and has a passion for helping them succeed in their everyday lives. In her free time, Kaci enjoys soaking up the beauty of nature, traveling, cooking, and spending time with her family. 

Renu Suddapalli - Behavior Technician

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Renu is currently working on becoming a Registered Behavior Technician.  Renu earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and History from Iowa State University, and is currently earning her Master’s degree in Mental Health and Rehabilitation Counseling from Drake University. She is passionate about helping others find ways to live more productive and mindful lives. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, biking, boxing, and getting coffee and going on long drives! 

Dani Stromert - Behavior Technician

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Dani is currently working on becoming a Registered Behavior Technician. Dani earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education from Iowa State University. After graduation, Dani taught early childhood special education in the public school setting for several years, which led to her become passionate about developmentally appropriate practices for all children. She loves helping children reach their full potential and feel successful, regardless of boundaries that they may face. Dani and her husband are excited to live in the Ankeny community. In her free time, she enjoys reading (especially outside), traveling, spending quality time with friends and family, and playing with their dog, Tucker. 

Brittany Yoakum - Behavior Technician

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Brittany is currently working on becoming a Registered Behavior Technician. Brittany is currently working on completing her Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology through Purdue University Global. She plans to continue her education and earn her Master’s degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. Brittany has experience working with children ages 0-17 in the field of mental health and at-risk youth as well as children on the autism spectrum. She also has experience working with adults with intellectual disabilities in a day program setting. Brittany lives in Ankeny with her fiance Jason and their 7 children. In her free time, Brittany enjoys watching her children play sports and dance. She also enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors, photography, and anything crafty. Brittany has a passion for working with children and loves seeing them learn and grow. She is excited to be part of the Axis team and make a difference in other’s lives.

Eilish Rhinehart - Client Relations Specialist

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Eilish is our Client Relations Specialist. Eilish received her bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University where she studied Professional Fields, Communication & Art, and Social Sciences, as well as a minor in Psychology. Eilish has a combination of experience working as a front desk coordinator and working with children from a childcare facility setting, to providing respite care for children and adults with cognitive and developmental disabilities. Eilish passionately supports and promotes the inclusion of individuals with a variety of abilities in our community in both personal and professional life. She lives in Ankeny with her husband Nic and enjoys trying new restaurants, going to the movies, reading, singing Disney music in the car, and dancing with her grandparents. Eilish loves personal development and strives to become better every day so that she can continue to be a positive light for families in our community. She is excited to form relationships with families in our community and be a part of the Axis team.

Kayla Holland - Office Administrator

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Kayla is our Office Administrator. She is currently a senior at Iowa State University majoring in linguistics and minoring in Teaching English a Second Language (TESL). She previously attended Indian Hills Community College where she received an A.A. degree and also participated in women's soccer. After Kayla graduates from Iowa State she plans to become an ESL teacher for elementary/middle schoolers. Kayla has experience tutoring children and adults from various countries in English. In her free time she enjoys being with her boyfriend and going hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and going to the beach. She also loves to travel and spend time with their cat Theo.