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Sally Talala-Hooper, M.A.

Whenever children are involved, there is change… dynamic change in fact. Families are certainly dynamic. We often grow, we sometimes shrink, we move, our kids change grade levels and schools and friends, we change jobs... and so it rolls. Sometimes as life rolls on we lose our footing and behaviors can get away from us or just organically pop-up with new circumstances.

Classrooms are dynamic too. They are constantly changing. Students as well as staff come and go, progress is made, regression sometimes happens, novel challenges arise, new state curriculum is adopted, laws change, schedules are modified, students come from diverse populations with varying needs... Let’s face it; all this dynamic change can be exhausting.

The silver lining? The unique and dynamic nature of children allows for innovation, transformation and potential. Meaningful progress for kids can be realized when we apply evidence-based solutions. My approach is simple - I believe in maintaining a positive mindset, creating partnerships with a purpose, and always striving for significant outcomes for children. When you work with me, you should expect collaboration with transparency and consistency.


Dedicated & Experienced

I have nearly 30 years of experience working in the field of autism and special education. While pursuing my undergraduate degree at UCLA, I began treating children under the direction and supervision of the late Ivar Lovaas, PhD. The training I received while at UCLA has been pivotal throughout my career. 

Later, I attended Chapman University, earning a M.A. in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage & Family Therapy. It was during this time that I began working as a Behavior Consultant and Workshop Facilitator for a non-public agency, Autism Partnership. I specialized in behavioral interventions for children with autism, adapting home and school environments for optimal success, consulting nationally to school districts developing treatment programs, and training parents & classroom personnel in principles of Applied Behavior Analysis.

The majority of my career was spent as Autism & Behavior Specialist for a local school district in Palm Springs, CA. There, I designed and managed intervention programs for students with autism, monitored implementation of state & federal regulations for students, and served as a liaison between the school district and other agencies. Additionally, as a Behavior Intervention Case Manager, I conducted FAA's and other assessments, developed positive behavioral support plans for students with behavioral disorders and developmental disabilities and served as administrative designee on all IEP's for the district's early intervention program for students with autism.

Currently I contract privately with school districts and individual families. I am especially enjoying helping families with "neurotypical" little ones that just need some extra help getting back on track behaviorally.


Papers presented

Association of California School Administrators, Pupil Services & Special Education Symposium, Monterey, California.

Annual Convention of the Association of Behavior Analysis, Chicago, Illinois.

Arizona FEAT Conference, Tools for Teams, Tucson, Arizona.

​Taubman, M.T., Brierley, S., Wishner, J., Baker, D., McEachin, J., and Leaf, R.B. (2001). The Effectiveness of a Group Discrete Trial Instructional Approach for Preschoolers with Developmental Disabilities. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 22, 205-219.

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