Our team currently consists of two child care workers: the founder and director, Rebecca Timmins, and assistant director, Kaitlyn Zierk.
My name is Rebecca Timmins and I graduated with my Master of Science degree in cognitive and affective psychology from University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. My thesis used EEG to examine the relationship between autistic traits and mirror neuron integrity. My undergraduate degree was a psychology major with neuroscience and philosophy minors, also from UWO.
As an undergrad, I was fortunate enough to take a capstone course under my research mentor called “The Neuropsychology of Autism”, and it inspired me to become a behavioral line therapist with kids on the spectrum. I enjoyed my time at the Appleton ABA center and I fell in love with working with kids with autism. But with my cognitive and neuroscience background, there were some parts of behaviorism I disagreed with (like how it often does not take into account neurological, cognitive, or emotional perspectives). Overall I view ABA as helpful, but I am excited to be able to incorporate cognitive natural stress reduction activities such as mindfulness training, yoga, biofeedback, music and the arts.
In my free time I enjoy writing (I published a sci-fi novel at age 23), video games (Skyrim, Harvest Moon, Animal Crossing, any Mario game), gardening, exploring nature, and spending time with my Pomeranian-Chihuahua, Seifer. My goals in life are to live in a way which gives me meaning and purpose, and to worry less and smile as much as possible. 🙂
My goal in creating this center is to provide a revolutionary, holistic approach to child care for kids with autism and to encourage each individual’s strengths while minimizing weaknesses. I am incredibly open-minded and always willing to learn new things, take advice and criticism, and most importantly grow! I feel incredibly privileged to be starting this endeavor with my assistant director and consultant Kaitlyn who can provide invaluable insight into developing the best strategies for our center.
Hello! My name is Kaitlyn Zierk, I am the assistant director at Celebrate Neurodiversity. I love working with kids and I love teaching them, but not only that. I love to learn from them! I have always found that children are some of the most genuine and brilliant little people in the world. They truly are such a valuable piece of society, no matter where they come from or where they have been or will go. They are, and will always be, inspirations to us all.
With that said, I’d like to share just a little bit about who I am. To start things off, you may find it interesting that I am actually diagnosed with Asperger’s! However, just because I am “on the spectrum” I definitely don’t let that define who I am or stop me from succeeding. It has always been a dream of mine to help others diagnosed just as I was and to be able to give them the hope of success that society and media often tries to take away. I’ve always told people, “who is better suited to help than someone who has lived it.” Meaning, I have lived my entire life with Asperger’s, and everything worked out great! There is no reason to think your children will experience anything different.
In addition, I would like to share just a snippet of my successes as someone with Asperger’s. I am a certified Personal Trainer and successful Yoga Instructor. I absolutely love weightlifting and practicing/teaching Yoga. I have had the privilege of teaching Yoga to many diverse groups of awesome people ranging from children to adults, and even elderly. Despite my young age at the time (20), I met and fell in love with my now husband Mike.
Apart from the business of life, I like to take a step back and put things into perspective through meditative Yoga. I try to live by the saying “Rome was not built in a day.” because we as humans are always building upon ourselves, learning and growing. As you can see, with a little time and patience, we will all thrive!