We are autism experts, helping children, teens, and young adults with autism reach their potential. The Centre specializes in autism services and supports and our staff is highly trained in the science and application of autism-specific practice. Our services and program teams are led by psychologists and board certified behavioural analysts and include: communication professionals, occupational therapists, and educational specialists.


Deborah Allard Usunier,
Executive Director

Deborah has spent over thirty years working in the not-for-profit sector, the past 10 years as the Centre’s Executive Director. Her varied background includes Sessional Instructor at MacEwan University, Director of Provincial Programs and Services at the Canadian Mental Health Association – Alberta Division, and Manager of Health Promotions and Volunteer Development for Alberta & Northwest Territories at the Canadian Diabetes Association. She has served as a board member on a number of not-for-profits in Edmonton and was a provincial trainer for the Government of Alberta’s Board Development Program.

Michael Stolte Ph.D, CCC, R. Psychologist,
Director of Clinical Services: Edmonton and area

Michael, an Alberta Registered Psychologist, has been with the Centre since 2006. He holds a PhD in Special Education (University of Alberta, 2017), a Masters Degree in Counselling Psychology (Trinity Western University, 2003), and a Bachelors Degree in Psychology (King’s University, 1995). A published author in autism supports, Michael has been named a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) Strategic Training Fellow in Autism Research. His research focuses on applying evidence-based practice and care in community settings and his clinical work focuses on assessing and treating complex mental health conditions and supervising multi-disciplinary teams. Michael is a member in good standing of the following professional organizations:

  • College of Alberta Psychologists (Alberta)
  • Psychologists’ Association of Alberta (Alberta)
  • Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (Canada)
  • Canadian Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology (Canada)
  • Canadian Psychological Association (Canada)
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (International)
  • International Society of Autism Research (International)

Prior to joining the Centre, Michael administered federally funded vocational placement and training programs for individuals with disabilities in British Columbia. Michael also provides limited counselling, assessment, and consultation services as an Associate with CHVBV Psychologists of Edmonton.

Shane Lynch PhD, R. Psych.,
Director of Clinical Services: Southern Alberta

Shane, an Alberta Registered Psychologist, has been with the Centre since 2011 . He holds a PhD in Special Education (University of Alberta, 2010), a Masters Degree in Learning and Development (University of Victoria, 2003), and a Bachelor’s of Psychology (University of Windsor, 1997). Named a CIHR Strategic Training Fellow in Autism Research, Shane has published and lectured nationally and internationally on autism, behaviour, and early intervention. Prior to the Centre, Shane was a Curriculum Developer and Lead Facilitator of the Joint Action for Children Committee’s Positive Behaviour Support Training Initiative of the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital. Shane also serves as the Director of Positive Behaviour Supports, Inc., province-wide organization supporting families and schools working with individuals with severe and complex challenging behaviours.

Leny D. Velasquez, Ph.D., BCBA-D.,
Behavioural Consultant/Clinical Supervisor

Leny has been at the Centre since 2014. She received her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre in 2015 and her Board Certification in Behavioural Analysis in 2011. Leny began her career as an in-home interventionist in 1999 and has worked as a trainer and/or consultant for a number of organizations both in Canada and the US, working in homes and community settings, and collaborating with caregivers and schools to provide quality care for individuals with disabilities.

Brenda Bishop Machibroda
Director of Quality Assurance/Intake PUF

Brenda has been with the Centre since 2009.   Her background is in Special Education and School Leadership.   Her career has been devoted to serving children and families – in the school system as Teacher and School Administrator; and at the Centre as Intake Coordinator, Quality Assurance, and Coordinator of the Centre’s PUF program through Alberta Education.  She facilitates the Centre’s parent workshops as well as organizes the professional development we do for teachers and teacher assistants.   Brenda is passionate about  providing supports for individuals with disabilities and having an impact on systems that can maximize services for them and their families.

Sharon Randhawa, MSc., BCBA
Clinical Supervisor, Board Certified Behaviour Analyst

Sharon has been with the Centre since 2016. She received her training and Masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis at Simmons College in Boston, MA. Prior to joining the Centre, Sharon worked in schools and homes in both USA and Canada.  Sharon recently completed her Pivotal Response Training Level III and enjoys supporting families at the Centre and working with their children.

Susan Gyane, CHRP, B.Ed.
Director of Human Services

Susan has been with the Centre since 2010. She is a Certified Human Resources Professional with 20 years of experience. Prior to her career in human resources, Susan served as an elementary school teacher and holds a Bachelors in Special Education.

Jackie Ryan, MA, CPA, CMA,
Director of Teen & Adult Services

Jackie Ryan has more than 16 years working in the autism field and is currently the Director of Teen and Adult Services at the Centre for Autism Services Alberta. She recently completed a Master’s Degree in Leadership from Royal Roads University. Her research was on leadership to promote self-determination of individuals with ASD, for which she won the University Founders’ Award. Other certifications include PRT Level III, PEERS Provider, CWC Level I, and is currently working on Level II (Train the Trainer) certification. Jackie was recently diagnosed with ASD. She is the mother of three sons, the youngest of whom is 21 years old and has autism. She is passionate about the inclusion of individuals with ASD in all that affects them, including research, development of programs, and directing their own supports.

Joanne Fodchuk, MSLP, R.SLP, S-LP(c),
Clinical Supervisor

Joanne has been with the Centre since 2015.  Joanne received her Master of Speech Language Pathology from the University of Alberta in 2004 and her Bachelor of Education in 2001. Prior to joining the Centre, Joanne worked as a Speech-Language Pathologist for over a decade in community and school paediatrics, in both urban and rural areas and with both private and public services.  She has expertise in early childhood speech and language development, language development in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, telehealth best practices, and social communication.

Kara M. Straub, B.Sc., OT, OT(C)
Clinical Supervisor, Occupational Therapy Coordinator

(Biography coming soon)

Gail Stanford
Community and Family Services Coordinator

Gail has been with the Centre since 2005.  She received her education in Newfoundland at Memorial University graduating with a BA{ED} degree. Gail comes to the Centre with  over 30 years of experience working with children, teens, young adults and families. Gail was a pioneer with the Autism Society of Newfoundland as well as working closely in the early childhood as a trainer.

Marty Lohr, B. Comm, CGA

Marty has been at the Centre since 2014.  She received her Certified General Accountant designation from CGA Alberta in 2006, along with a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Laurentian University.  Marty began her career in the real estate industry, but then transitioned to the not-for-profit sector.  She has 10 years of experience working with not-for-profits and registered charities.