Our Current IBI team is filled with trained and knowledgeable staff who have a love for their field. Their goals are to provide the children in their services a warm welcoming place to learn. Their commitment to Making Small Talk shows in their work ethics and interaction with the children and families on a daily bases.
President and program director
Linda Hurren is the Founder and Program Director of Making Small Talk (MST). MST provides services to children, teens and adults on the Autism Spectrum as well as many other learning disabilities, and provides support to parents. MST has a variety of programs including Social Skills, IBI, Direct Instruction programs, workshops and behavioural and tutoring services. Making Small Talk is an approved agency through TPAS and Kinark. Making Small Talk works alongside other professions to provide a full support program to the children and families. Prior to founding Making Small Talk, Linda was an educator for special needs in the UK where she was involved in writing curriculums for her clients within the Further Education system. Her work was greatly influenced by a personal meeting with Princess Diana in 1998. She moved to Canada in 2002 and worked with children on the Autism Spectrum Disorder within the school board before establishing her own business in 2007 under York Autism Centre in King City. This then flourished and expanded into the services and programs offered today as Making Small Talk. Linda has twenty plus years of experience supporting and writing programs for children, youth, adults and supporting their families with learning disabilities. Linda runs workshops and training sessions, and provides behaviour consultancy to families. Making Small Talk is now expanding to serve more children and families within the York Region.
MARY BETH LEROUX
Mary Beth has been working in the child care field for over 19 years in both the U.S. and Canada as an Early Childhood Educator (ECE) running nursery school programs and managing child care centres. While completing her Graduate Certification for Autism and Behavioural Therapy she was introduced to Making Small Talk. Mary Beth has developed a School Readiness Program for pre school children diagnosed with ASD where she works alongside the child to help them reach their full potential preparing them for full integration in a traditional classroom setting. Mary Beth is certified in Handwriting Without Tears where the children have made great gains and she is a lead member in the social skills programs. Mary Beth is excited to be working with Making Small Talk and applying her unique skill set to the great team here.
After spending time volunteering in an elementary school, Alida saw a need for passionate instructors. She raised her children and returned to school to earn her BA in Psychology. She knew she wanted to work with children and decided to pursue a diploma in Behavioural Sciences. She started her career with Making Small Talk in 2016, and looks forward to the adventure each new day brings.
Stafani recently graduated from Penn State University with her Master of Education in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). She graduated from George Brown College with a postgraduate honours diploma in Autism and Behavioural Sciences and from Western University with a bachelor’s degree in health sciences. During her university years she volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of London where she got to work with many different children and teens from a wide array of backgrounds. During college she had the pleasure of doing her placement at Making Small Talk and then was offered a position as an Instructor Therapist. During her time in this role her passion for working with children with autism really flourished. She is also a member of ONTABA. Stafani is an enthusiastic and self-driven individual who continues to strive to gain more knowledge and experience within the field. Stafani is excited to be working at Making Small Talk as the Senior Therapist, where she feels the great team here really impacts all of their client's lives for the better.
Sophia recently graduated from Seneca College with a diploma in Behavioural Sciences. During college, she had the opportunity to work with both children and adults on the Autism Spectrum while on her placements. Sophia started working with children with special needs while living in Brazil. During this time she began her studies in Psychology and this is when her enthusiasm for this field really began. Sophia is ecstatic to have joined the team here at Making Small Talk as an Instructor Therapist where she can help the children progress in a fun and nurturing environment. She is an energetic, dedicated, and passionate individual who hopes to continue her education in the field of Behavioural Sciences in hopes of impacting the lives of more clients.
Soledad joined the team as an Instructor Therapist after completing her student placement with Making Small Talk. She graduated from Seneca College with a diploma in Behavioural Sciences. She is passionate about ABA and hopes to extend her education in the field soon.
Amelia joined the MST team as an instructor therapist in 2018. She graduated from Sheridan College in 2009. Amelia has had a decade long career in developmental services, supporting youth and adults with a variety of cognitive and physical abilities. Amelia believes in the importance of building relationships, and an individualized approach to suit each client's unique needs.