Kristen Carmi has over 20 years of experience working with children and adults with disabilities. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Psychology.
Kristen first entered this field after earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology with a second major in Theatre Arts from Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. In the late 90s, Kristen worked with her mentor to develop self-advocacy programs for adults with disabilities living in residential treatment homes in the Washington, D.C. area. Additionally, the same team developed and facilitated social development with children and young adults through the course, “Act for Yourself: Social Skills Through Drama,” through the Continuing Education Division of Montgomery College.
After moving from Maryland to Los Angeles in 1999, Kristen earned her Master of Arts Degree in Psychology, with an emphasis in Statistics, from California State University, Los Angeles and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Kristen also completed the year-long Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) Special Education Advocacy Training (SEAT 2.0) coursework and practicum. She has presented research at state, national and international levels, including the California Association for Behavior Analysis, the Association of Behavior Analysis, and the Edwards-Bayesian Research Conference. She is also a regularly invited guest lecturer at colleges and universities in the Greater Los Angeles area, and she is currently an Adjunct Professor, teaching a graduate level practicum course at California State University Northridge’s (CSUN) Autism Clinic.
For the 12 years prior to South Bay Child Advocates, Kristen was a Program Director (2007-2012) and Regional Clinic Director (2012-2019) for the FirstSteps for Kids Hermosa Beach flagship office.
She is a member of various professional organizations including Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), California Association for Parent-Child Advocacy (CAPCA), California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA), Association of Professional Behavior Analysts (APBA), and the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science (ACBS). She is also a member of the CalABA Behavior Analysts in Education Special Interest Group.
Kristen has served as an expert witness on several school district and Regional Center cases. She began advocating for her stepson and fell in love with the process, marrying her expertise and passion for behavior analysis, parent training, collaboration and fighting on behalf of children and young adults with disabilities.
Kristen resides in the South Bay with her husband, sons and rescue pup, Albus Dumbledog. In her free time, she enjoys rock climbing, cooking, and learning from her brilliant network of family, friends and colleagues. She is grateful for the opportunity to empower families to secure the necessary services and supports to help their children obtain an appropriate education.
To date, South Bay Child Advocates has represented and advocated for families during more than 1,500 IEP meetings, IFSPs and Regional Center Fair Hearings.