Chris Abildgaard NCSP, LPC, NCC is the director of the Social Learning Center at Benhaven. He is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist, a Nationally Certified Counselor & a Licensed Professional Counselor with a specialization in Autism Spectrum Disorders and social cognitive interventions. Chris has enhanced his knowledge of social cognitive deficits through attending trainings and on-going collaboration with Michelle Garcia Winner, SLP. Through his clinical practice and professional interests, Chris has been exploring methods for integrating Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) with tools to improve one's executive functioning.
Kristie has worked as a Speech and Language Pathologist for almost 20 years. Upon earning her Master’s Degree from Boston University, she began her career working with children with autism spectrum disorders. She continued to work and learn in a variety of settings, while targeting social communication challenges in children and adults. She has recently earned her 6th year degree and certification in Supervision and Administrative Leadership from Sacred Heart University.
Ben earned his Master of Social Work Degree from the University of Michigan with a concentration in interpersonal practice with youth and adolescence. He is a Connecticut certified school social worker who currently works in a public school setting. While working in school, Ben works with students diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder both in group settings as well as individually. Within his work with clients, Ben incorporates innovative and effective interventions that have a strong emphasis on experiential learning. Some techniques that Ben often utilizes are adventure based therapy, role playing, video modeling, and establishing and tracking personalized behavior charts. His prior professional experience includes working with children at risk, as well as students with social, emotional and behavioral issues. As a lifelong learner, Ben attends conferences and workshops and is constantly researching effective techniques to successfully work with children and teenagers with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Mary Hernandez, B.A
Mary has worked with Chris for the last 4 years. She has worked in the field of special education since 2006 beginning as a Residence Hall Director at Mitchell College in New London, CT. From there, Mary moved to Darcey School in Cheshire, CT to work as an Instructional Assistant in the Early Intervention Program. Through her work with Chris, Mary has been involved with home programs and clinic based social groups. Mary received her undergraduate degree in Education and Psychology.
Erica Ciarciello, B.S:
Erica Ciarciello is a new addition to the Social Learning Center staff who graduated this past May from Keene State College in New Hampshire with a Bachelor's of Science in elementary education and psychology. Throughout her years as an undergraduate student, she has interned in a first, third, and fifth grade classroom. She was hired back in September 2011 as an Educational Assistant for the Benhaven Learning Center.
Kevin Lane, B.S:
Any questions pertaining to billing, fees for service, or general information about our services please email Lois and she will get right back to you within 24 hours. If you would like to schedule a consultation with Mr. Abildgaard, please contact Lois at the above email and she would be happy to set that up.