Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment and Services Center

The Leadership Team

Louis J. Kraus, MD, DFAPA, FAACAP, is the director and founder of the AARTS Center at Rush. Kraus is also Woman's Board Professor and chief of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He is a federal court monitor in a consent decree with the American Civil Liberties Union and the federal attorney general’s office. In this role, he monitors and makes suggestions regarding mental health treatment at all juvenile justice facilities in Illinois.

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Holly Lechniak, LCSW, is the outreach director for the AARTS Center. She also serves as a clinician for the center and coordinator for the SPARK study. Lechniak has spent the past decade providing services to children and adults with autism across school and clinic settings, with specialization in supporting challenging behaviors and providing relationship and sex education. She provides autism consultation for individual students and school programs across the Chicagoland area and directs the social work internship program at the AARTS Center.

Jennifer Moriuchi, PhD, is a clinical instructor and the associate clinical director of the AARTS Center. She specializes in diagnostic evaluations across the lifespan, with children, adolescents, and adults, and works with individuals with autism and their families in therapy and consultations. She also helps coordinate the psychology externship program at the AARTS Center.

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Latha V. Soorya, PhD, BCBA, is a clinical psychologist and Director of the AARTS Center. Soorya has been providing clinical care to individuals with ASD and related neurodevelopmental conditions for over two decades. She brings expertise in clinical evaluations and is a trainer on gold standard autism diagnostic instruments (e.g., ADOS2, ADI-R). Soorya’s research seeks to develop and disseminate evidence-informed therapies for social and mental health needs of individuals with ASD across the lifespan.

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Allie Wainer, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist, assistant professor of psychiatry, and the research director of the AARTS Center. Wainer received her PhD from Michigan State University and completed her clinical internship at JFK Partners at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

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Lisa Yeh, MD, is the medical director for the AARTS Center at Rush. She is board certified in both general adult psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry. Yeh has been working with children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) throughout her career. She is dedicated to working with the ASD population, their families and finding ways to improve treatment options and outreach.

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The AARTS Team

Natalie Berger, PhD, is a pediatric neuropsychologist and assistant professor of psychiatry. Berger specializes in neuropsychological assessment, with a focus on helping families to understand the neurodevelopmental sequelae associated with their child’s complex medical condition (e.g., genetic disorders, congenital heart disease, history of prematurity).

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Rachel Durbin, BS, is an AARTS research volunteer. She provides support for the SPARK study team by assisting with outreach and data collection. She recently joined the AARTS team after graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Laura Hedrick, PhD, is a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow at the AARTS Center. She completed her doctorate at the Illinois Institute of Technology and her doctoral internship at AHRC - New York City, an agency serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan.

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Kumail Hussain, MD, is a second-year fellow physician in child and adolescent psychiatry. Some of his clinical interest include pediatric psychosis, anxiety disorders, PTSD and global psychiatry. Hussain has co-authored a few chapters in psychiatry textbooks and has given some oral presentations in international conferences.

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Caroline Leonczyk, PhD , is a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow at the AARTS Center. She completed her doctorate at the University of Alabama at Birmingham as a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellow. She completed her pre-doctoral internship at Duke University with a specialization in autism.

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Sarely Licona, BS, is a clinical research coordinator with the AARTS Center. She coordinates various research including analyzing behavioral and early interventions and medication studies. She provides support by assisting with patient evaluations, facilitating study visits and submitting to regulatory boards.

Sophia Martinez is the operations manager for the AARTS Center at Rush. She has been with the center for three years, and has taken the administrative lead for the program. Prior to beginning with the AARTS Center, Martinez was a paralegal at Kirkland and Ellis, LLP. She graduated from the University of Illinois with bachelor’s degrees in psychology and criminal justice.

Brenden Mei, BA, AM candidate, is a social work intern at the AARTS Center. He is currently a second-year social work student at the University of Chicago, School of Social Service and Administration. Brenden has worked with people with developmental disabilities, including autism, at a variety of settings. He conducts individual and group therapy at AARTS.

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Christina Montes is the administrative assistant for the AARTS Center. She provides administrative support to managers, other employees and office visitors through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication. This support helps to ensure efficient operation of the office. In addition, she assists individuals and families in getting access to appropriate services.

Kritika Nayar, MS, is a sixth-year doctoral student studying clinical psychology and pediatric neuropsychology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. She has many years of experience assessing and treating children and their families. Her research focuses on studying the brain and behavior relationships in families of individuals with autism and related neurodevelopmental disabilities.

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Edith Ocampo, MS, is a program coordinator at the AARTS center and provides data management oversight for research and outreach operations. She has extensive data management experience having managed data for over 10 grants in the Departments of Psychiatry and Nursing over the past 15 years.

Jenny Phan, BA, is a psychology extern at the AARTS Center at Rush, where she conducts diagnostic evaluations with individuals referred for concerns about possible Autism Spectrum Disorder. She is currently a third-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Loyola University Chicago. Her clinical and research interests center on risk, resilience, stress and coping in youth and families from diverse backgrounds.

Cynthia Pierre, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist at the AARTS Center. Pierre is a graduate of the clinical psychology doctoral program at Loyola University Chicago. She comes to the AARTS Center from Indianapolis, where she completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Riley Children’s Hospital with an emphasis on treating children and adolescents on the autism spectrum.

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Clare Polega, MA, serves as an advanced psychology extern at the ARRTS center. She provides assessment and diagnostic services to clients at the center. Polega is a fourth-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Adler University, where she focuses on child and adolescent psychology. Her clinical interests include working with youth with neurodevelopmental differences and their families.

Madison Printen, BS, is a Clinical Research Coordinator within the AARTS Center. She coordinates various types of research including clinical trials, medication studies, as well as behavioral intervention research. Printen provides support by assisting with IRB submissions, patient evaluations and facilitating study visits.

Teddy Rankin-Parker, BM, is a social work Intern at the AARTS Center. He is an MSW student at the University of Illinois' Jane Addams College of Social Work, specializing in mental health. Teddy provides individual and group therapy to AARTS Center clients, as well as assists with outreach and research studies.

Rachelle Reynozo, RMA/RPT, is the medical assistant to the AARTS Center. She is certified in both medical assisting as well as phlebotomy. She comes to us from the Pediatric Development Center at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital, where she worked alongside Dr. Yeh for four years with an emphasis on Autism and medication management.

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Tamara Rostein, BA, is a diagnostic extern at the AARTS Center where she performs intake as well as diagnostic assessments for AARTS center clients. Rostein is a second-year doctoral student studying clinical psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

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Donald Simpson, MD, is a second-year Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellow who comes to us after completing his General Psychiatry Residency at Griffin Memorial Hospital in Norman, OK. Simpson has experience working with both children, adolescents and adults for the past four years during his training and as gained experience with a wide variety of disorders.

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Emilee Valler, PhD, is a clinical psychology postdoctoral fellow at the AARTS Center. She obtained her doctorate from the Combined Counseling and School Psychology program at Florida State University. Valler trained at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston for her pre-doctoral internship, focusing on Autism throughout the lifespan.

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