Founder & CEO
After spending 18 years working with children of all abilities in her Montessori schools, Vivian decided to dedicate more attention to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She founded Mindful and Modern ABA Therapies (MMAT) with these children and their families in mind. The Montessori philosophy– structuring a teacher’s approach to the student’s style– is uniquely well-suited to serve students diagnosed with autism and other learning disorders.
Vivian brings insight and compassion to MMAT, in no small part due to her own early educational challenges. Diagnosed with dyslexia in the third grade, Vivian spent countless hours after school working on her phonetics. Through hard work and a strong will, she improved her reading and writing skills, eventually becoming an honor student. Despite her rough start, she went on to earn an engineering degree from North Carolina A&T State University.
After landing her first job at Cummins Inc. in Columbus, Indiana, Vivian worked as a mechanical and industrial engineer. She went on to work at Hillenbrand Industries Inc., but left in 1997 to pursue an MBA degree at Indiana University in Bloomington. At IU, she earned a triple major in International Business, Finance, and New Venture and Business Development, and spent a year in China consulting as part of her internship.
During her graduate studies, she finally received quality intervention at the Dyslexia Institute of Indiana. Inspired by the experience, for her graduate thesis she wrote a business and marketing plan for Maria Montessori International Academy. She opened her first school in 2001 and began working with children of all abilities.
Growing up with a learning disability, combined with her passion for education, eventually inspired Vivian to found Mindful and Modern ABA Therapies (MMAT).
While working at a summer camp during college, Autumn was given the opportunity to work with adults with disabilities. Inspired by this experience, she went on to earn her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Concordia University Wisconsin, with the goal of working with those with developmental disabilities.
After graduation, she returned to her Indiana roots, where she served the population doing community habilitation and case service management. After several years working with adults, Autumn decided to set her focus on working with children. With the field of Applied Behavior Analysis rapidly gaining momentum, both by awareness and need, Autumn began work as an ABA therapist.
After seeing first hand the difference and impact that ABA intervention can make, she decided to pursue her masters in the field, ultimately becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Autumn has worked as a BCBA serving children in center, home, community, and school environments. A priority in her work has always been to collaborate with families and other members of each child’s team to help determine individual goals and work to achieve them.
She joins the Mindful and Modern team eager to continue to serve children and their families as the ABA and Montessori methods work together to bring out the best in every child.
Stephanie Gagnon, MA, CCC-SLP, is a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist with a passion to help children communicate effectively so that they can experience success in all areas of their life: school, home, social situations. In high school and early college years, she was working as an assistant to children with Autism and other syndromes when she discovered the joy that comes from teaching children to communicate! In 2008, she graduated with a Masters in Communication Disorders, and began her career working with children birth to three. She became a Certified Early Intervention Specialist and devoted all of her continuing education on how to best serve that age group. She gained immense experience with a wide range of disabilities, and most importantly learned the importance of collaborating with the team members, including the caregivers and other therapists. She gained additional experience working with children with hearing loss during the years in Early Intervention. Stephanie moved to Texas with her husband, and worked at a multidisciplinary clinic, where she provided therapy to all age groups (birth to adult). Stephanie became certified in Beckman Oral Motor Protocol and trained in Melodic Based Communication Therapy (MBCT), while in Texas. Stephanie has also studied various approaches to feeding therapy, including Food Chaining and other sensory and play based approaches. In addition, Stephanie gained a great deal of experience working with nonverbal children who benefited greatly from Alternative & Augmentative Communication (AAC). She is experienced in working with both low- and high-tech devices, and supported several children and their families in developing a core vocabulary and learning how to best implement AAC, based on recent research. She is very sensitive to each child’s needs, always eager to work with the caregivers and other team members when establishing goals and developing treatment plans, and constantly striving to ensure therapy is effective, evidence based, and functional. Stephanie aims to provide a positive, joyful environment where she can gently motivate each child to reach his/her communication or feeding goals. If you peek into one of Stephanie’s therapy sessions, you will see a great deal of visuals (pictures, gestures, sign language) to help with routines and/or communication, sensory or movement breaks as needed, and most likely hear some singing and hopefully, laughter.
In high school Kailan was introduced to the occupational therapy profession while assisting in a special education class. It was this opportunity that inspired her to pursue her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Kailan attended the University of Indianapolis where she earned her Bachelor’s in Exercise Science in 2017 and her Doctorate in Occupational therapy in 2020.
Throughout college, Kailan continued to work with children first as an after-school counselor at multiple elementary schools. Then she began working at the Autism Society of Indiana where she provided respite services throughout graduate school. This is where her passion for working with children with autism began.
During graduate school Kailan had diverse fieldwork experiences, including a rotation at a pediatric outpatient clinic. In this setting Kailan gained experience evaluating and treating pediatric patients. Kailan was also able to work with colleagues to develop and implement a summer camp for children with disabilities, this camp focused on sensory based activities. Kailan completed her doctoral capstone project at the Autism Society of Indiana where she developed a reproductive health education course for parents of individuals with autism.