WHITESTONE, NY – Quartet Behavioral Spectrum Services, 14-08B Clintonville Street in Whitestone, held its Grand Opening on August 20. The four founders decided a year ago to open a clinic in the heart of Whitestone to help families in our community who have children with autism. The National Herald was invited to attend the opening and spoke with the founders, two of whom are Greek-American, to learn more about their vital work.
The four partners, Athina Gerolymatos, Nicoletta Sklavounakis, Beata A. Malachowska, and Luisa Tabares, have many years of experience working with autistic people and those with other related developmental disorders.
Gerolymatos, the company’s CFO, told TNH that “we all came together during the pandemic to create this company to help families across the five boroughs, Nassau and Suffolk counties.”
She noted that they chose Whitestone for the location of their first Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Clinic due to its relative proximity to so many of the communities needing support.
Sklavounakis, a licensed master social worker and licensed behavior analyst (LBA), pointed out that she and her fellow founders had been working in other settings, including in-home and schools, but saw the need for a clinic since “scientific studies show an approximate 90% increase in the success rate with clinic-based programs.”
She added that “we support ages 1-21 from introducing verbal behavior in the early years to job readiness later” and look forward to expanding these services as time goes on.
Gerolymatos said that “we provide trauma focused applied behavior analytic services recognizing how traumatic experiences impact a person’s mental, behavioral, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.”
Among the advantages of their clinic-based program are access to peers which increases social interactions and imitations of appropriate peer behavior; heightened supervision opportunities with multiple LBAs on site; ideal setting for generalization of skills in a different environment from home; quicker access to supervision and oversight; integration opportunity of in-home services with services in clinic; complete control of clinic environment with access to all professionals (LBAs, Behavior Technicians- BTs, Registered Behavior Technicians- RBTs); and help children transition smoothly from 1:1 to group learning environments.
Sklavounakis noted that beginning ABA as early as possible is important for young children diagnosed with autism and consistency is the key. While they are there to help the children with the skills they need to eventually become independent, they are also there to support families and improve their quality of life.
They are also in the process of hiring additional staff and those interested may apply online or call 516-780-0770 for more details.
About the Founders
Athina Gerolymatos, MSED, received her first master’s degree in Special Education from Long Island University with a concentration in autism and has recently received her second master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University. She completed her dual bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders and Byzantine and Modern Greek studies at Queens College. She has been working in the ABA field for 23 years as an Early Intervention Classroom teacher and in-home ABA provider. She brings to the company her Early Intervention experience as well as her knowledge of classroom management, curriculum creation and staff training. Gerolymatos is passionately awaiting to become licensed in the field of ABA.
Nicoletta Sklavounakis, LMSW, BCBA, NYLBA is an LBA and has been practicing for the past six years and has been in the field of ABA for a decade. She received an associate’s degree in Early Elementary education, a bachelor’s in Psychology from Queens College, a Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University, and a master’s in Social Work from Fordham University. Her scope of practice covers working with ages 5-21 year olds. Aside for her love for ABA, Sklavounakis wanted to incorporate the component of advocacy and counseling that Social Work provides and utilize it to benefit families.
Beata A. Malachowska, MSED, BCBA, NYLBA is also an LBA and has worked in the field of Special Education and ABA for the past seven years in New York. She also practiced before that in her home country of Poland. Malachowska is dually certified in New York in Special Education and Early Childhood Development and brings to the company her expertise of working with younger children (Early Intervention) and is expanding her scope of practice to ages 1-21.
Luisa Tabares is the youngest partner and has worked in the field of ABA as a teacher assistant for two years where she honed her ABA skills and her love for the field. Tabares is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Social Work so she can utilize her experience in autism with her love of advocating for and assisting families.
More information about Quartet Behavioral Spectrum Services is available online: https://quartetbehavioral.com.