About Steven & Kaitryn Wertz

Steven R. Wertz, M.Div., BCBA,

Steven Wertz autism specialist photo

…has 30 years of experience in training parents to educate children with autism and other special needs. Steven is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has worked one-to-one with over 1,000 children with autism-spectrum disorders. Since 1998, he has served as director of the Growing Minds Autism Program, which he developed in order to train parents to help their children make the maximum possible progress with autism spectrum disorders. Steven has taught the Growing Minds approach to parents and professionals in both Europe and North America. 

As a senior teacher with The Option Institute’s Son-Rise Program from 1983-1998, Steven worked with children and parents, trained the Son-Rise Program teaching staff, created program designs, facilitated groups and provided consultations for professionals. To our knowledge, Steven is the only individual to have earned certification in both Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) along with senior certification in the Son-Rise program, making him uniquely qualified to access and integrate loving and playful interaction with evidence-based methods. Steven holds a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Counseling, and has also worked with at-risk youth, quadriplegic patients and chemically dependent mothers and their children.

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Kaitryn Sheehan Wertz, M.Ed., L.M.H.C.

Kaitryn Wertz autism counselor photo

…has 30 years of experience helping individuals and couples to make positive life changes, improve relationships and develop personal strengths. Kaitryn is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor with 30 years of experience counseling parents whose children have autism spectrum disorders for issues related to their special life circumstances. In addition, she works as a Certified Jungian Psychoanalyst in private practice. With her husband Steven Wertz, Kaitryn established the Growing Minds Program in 1998. Since then, she has provided both individual and group services to hundreds of parents and professionals in North America and Europe. Kaitryn was certified as an Option Process Mentor in 1982 and was a primary teacher at The Option Institute from 1983 to 1998. She was a founding member of Kripalu Center, where she taught yoga and stress reduction from 1972-1983.  

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