Daltrey Abney ET/P (she/her)
FOunder & Lead Educational Therapist
Daltrey Abney, our founder, hails from Bentonville, Arkansas. She graduated from Boston College with a dual-degree in Elementary Education and History, and completed her educational therapy training at the University of California Riverside. She is a certified educational therapist, elementary school teacher, and English Language Learner teacher. Association of Educational Therapists has certified her as a professional level ET. After teaching at an international school in Japan, she returned to the U.S. to focus on developing strategies that help students struggling to succeed in the typical classroom setting. When she first moved to Los Angeles she worked at Pacific Point Academy, a school for students with learning differences. It was there that she developed her passion for students that learn differently and received training in programs such as the Wilson Reading Program, Visualizing and Verbalizing, CogMed, CAPDOTS, SMARTS, Read Naturally, Building Thinking Skills, PACE, Step Up to Writing and more. She has experience with students with ASD, ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, executing functioning challenges, language disorders, processing inefficiencies, and a number of other learning differences. She specializes in assessing and working with students with complex profiles and multiple diagnoses. Her goal is to help students build confidence in themselves as learners through individually tailored instruction designed to enable them truly thrive.
Tess Niemi (SHE/HER)
Tess Niemi is an educational specialist who earned her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Barbara. Since then, she has worked with students of varied learning profiles as a behavior therapist and an academic interventionist. She has worked with children with a wide range of mild to moderate learning differences, including ADHD, ASD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, processing disorders, and other school-based challenges such as anxiety and low motivation. For the last six years, Tess has provided primarily one-on-one interventions and is accustomed to working as part of a collaborative team in support of her students. With training in Applied Behavior Analysis, Wilson Reading, CogMed, CAPDOTS, Step Up to Writing, Building Thinking Skills, Read Naturally, Step-by-Step Problem Solving, and ST Math. Tess is able to customize her approach for each student in order to target specific goals. Academic subjects that Tess tutors include reading, reading comprehension, writing, and math for K-12 students. Additionally, Tess is a trained executive functioning coach for all ages and loves to help students develop systems for organization, time and task management.
Ïxkári Estelle (They/Them)
Interventionist, HOmework Den Director, & College CouNselor
Ïxkári Estelle is Los Angeles born and raised. They are an educator, curator, writer, researcher, and community care worker. After receiving their Bachelor’s in English from the University of California, Los Angeles, they earned a Master’s in English at the University of California, Riverside. Ïxkári has 9 years of experience collaboratively developing and presenting content, designing social justice-oriented community experiences, and working with high school and college-level learners. They are especially passionate about increasing the accessibility, cultural relevance, and baseline of care that make up every space they are in, from their curated events to their classroom/s. As an interventionist they work closely with our educational therapists to deliver highly individualized intervention that helps our clients meet their educational therapy goals. Ïxkári is thrilled to support clients' executive functioning and advocacy skills as Discover’s Homework Den Director. Additionally, they are excited to be able to use their near-decade of experience helping high schoolers with the college application process including college selection, SAT/ACT prep, application essay writing, scholarship applications, resume building, and meeting deadlines.
Amanda Smirz (She/Her)
Amanda was born and raised in the Chicago, Illinois area. She received her Bachelor's degree in Special Education from Roosevelt University, further receiving certifications in Elementary Education and English Language Learning. She formerly worked alongside Daltrey at Pacific Point Academy. While not providing therapy services, she is thrilled to be completing the handling of administrative tasks such as client correspondence, session scheduling, billing, and supporting the team so as they can provide the best therapy services to clients.
Educational Therapy Dog
Okay, there's no such thing as an educational therapy dog. However, Meera is a trained service dog and can provide deep pressure therapy! She loves to lounge around the office and hide in her favorite cozy spot under the couch in the waiting room. You can find her there most Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. In addition to providing pets, cuddles, and kisses, Meera is also the mascot for Meera's Pack and Meera's Homework Den. These are group services that we offer that provide extra social and homework support to students. Most importantly, Meera is neurodivergent, too! She has anxiety, struggles in overstimulating social situations, and has a hard time regulating her attention. She helps us have conversations around empathy, accommodations, advocacy, and other important topics in the neurodivergent community.