The staff at Children’s Autism Center is a huge reason why we are so successful. Below you will find our directors, BCBAs, BCaBAs, and behavior therapists who help us provide the absolute best care for our clients.

Phyllis Sample, M.Ed, BCBA

Executive Director

Phyllis Sample has 19 years experience working with children with developmental disabilities and autism.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology from Texas Christian University and her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities from the University of Texas at Austin.  She has worked in both the public and private sector of education as a Speech Pathologist and PPCD teacher.  After leaving the school system to raise her children, Phyllis returned to the field of early childhood to embrace Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis.

In 2005, Phyllis moved to Round Rock, where as co-director of the Autism program at Bluebonnet Trails MHMR she helped to create their autism program.  Recognizing the need and having the desire to further serve the early childhood autism population in Williamson County, she independently developed the Children’s Autism  Center in the Fall of 2008.

Courtney Wright M.Ed., JD, BCBA

Assistant Director and General Counsel

Courtney has the dual role of General Counsel and behavior analyst at CAC. In over nine years of practice, she has worked at law firms as well as for a national insurance company. Courtney came to CAC in December 2012 after leaving her position as partner in a Dallas law firm. After doing a great deal of volunteer work for autism awareness in Dallas and being inspired by her mother, Phyllis, Courtney decided to make a career change to work with children with autism.  Courtney has a Bachelor of Arts from Texas Tech University, Juris Doctorate from Baylor School of Law, and a Masters of Education from University of Missouri. Courtney enjoys spending time with her husband, David, their two year old son, and their Great Dane.

Dr. Bruce Weinheimer, PhD, BCBA-D

Licensed Psychologist

Bruce Weinheimer is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 30 years of experience in clinical and administrative positions. His primary areas of expertise include the fields of developmental disabilities, applied behavior analysis, and psychopharmacology. His experience has included provision of clinical treatment, assessment, and program evaluation and consultation within long-term care settings, psychiatric facilities, and community-based services.

Dr. Weinheimer was the Chief Psychologist at Austin State School for over 16 years and is the Coordinator of Psychological and Behavioral Services for State Supported Living Centers within the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services. He serves on Institutional Review Board as part of this responsibility. He has experience applying a range of standards and regulations and has served as an expert witness within his areas of expertise. Dr. Weinheimer has post-doctoral training in clinical psychopharmacology and is a Diplomate-Fellow in Psychopharmacology with the Prescribing Psychologists Register.

Mary Matese, M.A., BCBA

Behavior Analyst

Mary has worked in the field of developmental disabilities for 25 years, starting as a respite provider for children with developmental disabilities while attending college (an experience which in turn inspired her career).  She grew up in the heart of Cajun county and graduated cum laude from Louisiana State University in 1989.  Mary received a fellowship from LSU and did research in the area of autism that was published in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry as well as the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities.  She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Clinical Child Psychology in 1992.

Ms. Matese received her certification as Board Certified Behavior Analyst in August of 2008. She has experience working with people with developmental disabilities of all ages in home, residential, and clinical settings and has a particular interest and expertise in treating challenging behaviors such as aggression and self-injury.  When she’s not at Children’s Autism Center, she can be found puttering around in her garden or spoiling her rescue dogs Augie, Chester, and Sweetpea.

Rebecca Donnell, M.Ed, BCBA

Behavior Analyst

Rebecca serves as our Preschool Teacher where she creates and develops a unique, individualized ABA-based curriculum for children on the spectrum, and supervises programs as a board certified behavior analyst.  In addition, Rebecca has extensive training in early childhood play-based therapy for children and parent training. Rebecca attended the University of Houston where she studied Communication Disorders, and was able to begin studying ABA therapy and working with children on the Autism Spectrum. Knowing the capacity of speech and language wasn’t where she was best used, in 2005 Rebecca enrolled at Texas State University and received a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. The following two years were an eye opening experience in the Texas education system, which drove Rebecca to pursue and complete her Master’s degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis. Finally on the career path she has always dreamed of, Rebecca resides in Round Rock with her boyfriend of 5 years, Max, and their two children Kirby (a Yorkshire terrier) and Frankie (their rescue cat).

Suzy Albarran, M.Ed., BCBA

Behavior Analyst

Suzy is originally from Houston and moved to Austin in 2002 to attend the University of Texas where she earned both her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Child Development, and her M.Ed. in Autism and Developmental Disabilities.  Suzy has worked with children for over 12 years starting in the classroom setting, and moving to Early Childhood Intervention & Autism Services for Williamson County as a parent educator and direct service provider.  She has provided behavioral intervention services for children aged 2-15 and has experience with challenging behaviors such as aggression, self-injury, and food refusal.  Suzy spends her time away from CAC with her two boys, Luke and Andrew, and enjoys spending time with family and friends.    

Meghan Acuna B.S., BCaBA

Assistant Behavior Analyst

Meghan is our Clinical Assistant and a board certified assistant behavior analyst at CAC where she has been providing ABA therapy services for the past 2 years. Meghan has worked with children on the Autism spectrum for over 7 years. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders. When Meghan’s not working at the clinic, she enjoys running and playing with her Cocker Spaniel, Lilly.

Carolyn Peterson, M.A.

Director, The Bridge: Social Learning Center

Carolyn serves as our director of The Bridge: Social Learning Center where she works on the social, emotional and executive functioning components of ADHD, autism spectrum disorders, Asperger’s, related developmental disorders, and children and adolescents with executive functioning deficits. Carolyn received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, MN graduating magna cum laude in the field of counseling psychology with an emphasis in developmental psychopathology. Carolyn draws upon her business experience and entrepreneurial spirit to develop our programs under The Bridge and coordinate marketing and scholarship efforts for CAC. Carolyn’s areas of interest and research include ADHD life course, outcomes, and interventions, executive functioning,  emotion regulation, coping skills, developing meaningful relationships, and parent support and training. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys spending time with her husband, and two daughters. She is an avid reader, and enjoys being a contributing member to her family’s non-profit, Caring Together in Hope, serving caregivers of family members with dementia.