About Shine Behavioral Academy

About Us

We Are You…

We are first and foremost parents and professionals in the special needs industry, many of us are parents of children on the spectrum and understand firsthand how difficult the educational experience can be for not only our students but also for their caregivers and families. We know that parent/guardian involvement is essential in order for the child to be immersed in appropriate education and intervention at all times.

The course work at The SHINE BEHAVIORAL ACADEMY will be individualized for all students. The program will not be grade determinant, and the students will work at a level commensurate to his/her abilities. We accept both verbal and non-verbal students. We believe that the ability to learn comes in all forms, shapes and sizes and we must adjust our curriculum to teach to students with varied sensory, communication and learning challenges. Acceptance will be determined by the initial evaluation performed prior to enrollment.

Providing our students with that little bit of extra effort and quality makes all the difference! We offer three small classrooms with a low ratio of student to teacher and paraprofessional, every classroom has a designated teacher present at all times. We also provide an open “center” area where children can learn at their own pace or join others in group activities outside of the classroom. Little extras like a BEAM laser projection system with hundreds of educational games, a rock climbing wall, custom lighting that can be adjusted for our students and an outdoor play area for gross motor activities, socialization and a safe place to get all that energy out make all the difference!

Come on in for a visit and check us out!

Emilye Schmale

Our Founder & Head of School

Emilye Schmale

First and foremost, I am a mother. My eight-year-old son was diagnosed 7 days after birth with his first diagnosis of Hydrocephalus. This resulted in three brain surgeries and a later diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Just before my son’s third birthday we received yet another diagnosis, this time Autism.

I have walked this journey with many others in the DFW area for many years and I‘ve seen the pain and the joy, the success over the little things and the daily struggles and stress from a firsthand perspective. I connect with fellow ASD parents in groups, online forums, at playdates, doctor appointments and special needs functions and conferences. I have felt the desperation and desire for help and support. I saw a way to make a difference, that is why three years ago I created Shine Behavioral LLC, a high quality multi-disciplinary ABA center. We have been honored to be chosen again and again by parents in our community as their therapy center of choice. It is those same parents that asked over and over for not just a therapy center but for a SCHOOL for their unique children to be educated in a truly customized setting.

As the Founder of Shine Behavioral Academy, it is my dream that every child on the spectrum be educated the way the need to be, we must teach in the way they learn and not try to mold the student into our standard educational platforms. It is important to me to provide a safe place where students can learn & grow. After over 15 years as a sales & marketing professional in the corporate world, I am now immersed in my true passion, supporting those on the spectrum via Shine Behavioral LLC and Shine Behavioral Academy.

Helena Gaynor

Our Principal

Helena Gaynor

Meet Helena Gaynor. She has spent the past 19 years in Education, specifically serving children with suspected or identified disabilities, including Autism. Helena graduated from Purdue University and is dual certified in general education and special education.

In her most recent roll, Helena was the Special Programs Director for a Head Start Agency, where she developed the Special Programs branch of the organization, which included writing policies, procedures and developing curriculum and instruction that was inclusive for all learners. This program supported and advocated for children with suspected or identified disabilities, including Autism. The program also helped build the capacity of understanding for families and their rights within the Public School settings. Helena is passionate that all learners are supported individually with positive supports delivered in the way that they need to receive them.

Helena and her husband, Ryan and moved to Texas from Minnesota almost three years ago. They have four puppies, the youngest being a “foster fail” that joined their pack in September. Helena is an avid quilter and loves to be creative. Helena is thrilled to become a part of the Shine team and to join our mission to teach children in the way that they learn!

Evan Skelton

Our Lead BCBA, LBA

(Clinical Director of Shine Behavioral LLC)

Evan Skelton

I hold my Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and my Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of South Florida. I am certified by the national Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) as a BCBA and I have over 10 years of experience working directly with children from ages 2-14, early intervention holds a special place in my heart. I have always felt passionate about working with children, but for me, nothing compares to working with children on the Autism Spectrum. There is something so special about getting to know each child on a personal level and seeing the beauty, intelligence, and sense of humor most others may never be fortunate enough to see.

As an ABA provider, I place a heavy focus on early intervention and school readiness. As a school-based Behavior Analyst at the Academy, it is my role to oversee and collaborate closely with other service providers and teachers to ensure each student gets the best continuity of care and attention while incorporating the principals of ABA into the school environment. For me, there is no better reward than improving the quality of life for our special need’s children and their families.

Abbie

Paraprofessional

Abigail Terry

Meet Abbie Terry. She is currently enrolled at UT Arlington, as a Junior, majoring in Special Education and minoring in linguistics with a focus on sign language. Abbie will be joining the Shine Behavioral Academy team as the Jr. Teacher, beginning in August of 2022. Abbie has spent the past year working with children who have varying abilities within the Autism Spectrum as a Behavioral Technician at Shine Behavioral Center, LLC. Abbie has also spent over 1000 hours volunteering for Camp Blessing, which is an inclusive summer camp for all abilities. Abbie excels at working with children with challenging behaviors and building a child’s self-esteem.

Abbie has two cats and is a lover of all animals. Abbie enjoys theater, art, and reading. Her favorite book is The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway. Abbie is excited to be joining the Shine Academy team and join our mission to teach children in the way that they learn!

Cynthia

Paraprofessional

Cynthia Myatt

Meet Cynthia, she has been a RBT certified Paraprofessional at Shine Behavioral since January 3, 2022. She comes to Shine after a successful 22 year career as a Special education Paraprofessional with Burleson ISD, and 16 years’ experience working in home for a family with 2 now young adults with Autism. She chose to enter the field of ABA, and retire from public school when her position with the family came to an end, and Covid shut down the schools. She has experience with ABA therapy both in home and clinical settings.

Away from work, Cynthia likes to spend her time with her 3 grown children and their families. She is active in a local church, serving as a Sunday School teacher, church clerk and nursery worker. She also loves to find time to go fishing and camping. She is excited to be part of the Shine Academy family and works diligently every day to help our Academy teachers and students experience success, feel loved and appreciated!

As an ABA provider, I place a heavy focus on early intervention and school readiness. As a school-based Behavior Analyst at the Academy, it is my role to oversee and collaborate closely with other service providers and teachers to ensure each student gets the best continuity of care and attention while incorporating the principals of ABA into the school environment. For me, there is no better reward than improving the quality of life for our special need’s children and their families.

Small classrooms
Small classrooms with a warm individualized setting for each child’s needs.

The BEAM interactive educational projector

The BEAM interactive educational projector game system- to help make teaching fun and teach the way our children learn!

A safe and secure outdoor playground for gross motor, gym, socialization
A safe and secure outdoor playground for gross motor, gym, socialization and just plain ol’ fun!

Customized center area for independent and group work out of the classroom.
Customized center area for independent and group work out of the classroom.