With the exception of one year in Perugia, Italy, I grew up in Isla Vista, CA, a tiny little town in southern California where the University of Santa Barbara is located. We used every bit of that town, but one of my favorite memories is riding horses to 7-11 to get a slurpy. We had a horse between us and there was always one to borrow. My older sister and I would walk to the stables, get the horses and ride to the next town over, taking direct paths.
I was fluent in Italian as a child and have since studied to be able to speak again. My mother was a force of nature and wanted to take a whole year to study Italian language and culture, so off we went. She changed my name to Andrea and told me I would be entering public school there in the historic center of Perugia and would have my grandmother for the first two weeks to translate. No one in my family had a drop of Italian blood, but somehow there were 5 of us total who all spoke it. I have decided to reconnect with the culture, language and friends.
My first love was to be a rockstar, I tell my kids, “It’s not too late!” I spent every waking minute practicing drums, once we moved out of our apartment and into a house.. My next love was cooking and I decided to forgo college to enter a culinary program after high school. I spent countless hours in kitchens and even moved back to Italy at 19 to train in Italian cooking. I’m not sure what happened then, but I woke up one day in Italy and said to myself, “cooking is not for me, I do not want this to be my life.” I thought of psychology, but without any direction and decided to move back to the US.
A few years later, when working at Sega Video Games, I was miserable, lost, and frustrated to have such a lack of direction and excitement in what I was doing. It finally dawned on me that the only way to care, is to work with people and to try and make a more tangible difference. I was about to type that I left my job and then I realized Sega fired me, making the transition easier! I soon found work with quadriplegics. I would get them out of bed and handle some of their care. Soon after that, I was connected to the autism world by a friend who knew about an opportunity with a 4 year old Philippina girl.
I was in love with the field of autism, it brought me every challenge I never knew about previously. It took me to The Son-Rise Program for six months, where I learned quite a bit, that I still use today. About 25 years ago, I decided to open my own business, offering in-home treatment to children on the spectrum. At this point, I didn’t offer parent coaching or adult counseling.
I have been blessed with two sons who have probably taught me more than anything. They taught me to have drive, they taught me to be humble, they taught me to work on myself, and they taught me how to be a father.
After growing up in California, I moved to Connecticut for 20 years where their mother and I raised our children. I had the opportunity to move back to San Francisco after all these years and lived there for 3 years with my younger son.
What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst
A BCBA is one of the most popular credentials to obtain for the autism spectrum disorder. It focused on behaviors of all different types, including business and working relationships, but is most known for its focus on autism. A BCBA is Master’s level professional, who takes a pretty extensive exam to add the board certification.
What is The Vogl Method
My methodology which I call the Vogl Method, has always been about using the individual’s passions and interests to teach all else. A way for us to constantly go through that filter. For adults, this can be directly through your passions or can also be way means to simply work through your heart first. I believe in a child-first approach that allows for growth and communication through play and shared experiences. Using the Vogl Method for Autism, I focus on behavioral issues, speech, eye contact, social skills, academic success, and independence through the passions of the children and individuals I serve. Obviously, there are many topics taught that overlap into other ages and levels of severity, but this will hopefully give you some idea of what you can expect.