Bio for Michael Lafasakis, Ph.D., MS Ed., BCBA-D
- Dr. Lafasakis has been treating children with autism for 16 years as a head teacher and therapist for several early intervention, preschool and school-age special educations programs in New York City (NYC).He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D®), New York State (NYS) Certified Teacher in Early Childhood General & Special Education, Birth to Grade 2, and NYS Licensed Behavior Analyst.
- Dr. Lafasakis is currently appointed as the Consulting Clinical Director of ABA Services at The Infant and Child Learning Center (ICLC) and Stanley Lamm Preschool, part of SUNY Downstate Medical Center.For 13 years, Dr. Lafasakis was the Educational Director of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services at Hospital Clinic Home Center (HCHC) Inc., located at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center’s Infant Development Program. Dr. Lafasakis is also the founder and Chief Executive/Clinical Director of Kidz Choice Services, Inc., a private agency of 115 employees in Georgetown Brooklyn that provides home-based ABA therapy to children with autism and other developmental disabilities.
- Dr. Lafasakis holds a Master’s Degree in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, of the City University of New York (CUNY).He also holds an Advanced Graduate Certificate in ABA from Queens College (CUNY), and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood General & Special Education, Birth-Grade 2, from Touro College. For 2½ years, Dr. Lafasakis was a doctoral student in the Ph.D. program in Learning Processes Psychology and Behavior Analysis at The CUNY Graduate Center.Upon the birth of his son, Dr. Lafasakis decided to transfer to a different program and has recently completed a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Licensure Track) at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Walden University. Dr. Lafasakis has taught as an adjunct professor of psychology at the College of New Rochelle in New York and has lectured at Brooklyn College (CUNY) and Queens College (CUNY).
- Dr. Lafasakis has published research as a first author on parent training in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) in 2007.In 2008, his work was published in a book titled “How to Teach Verbal Behavior” by Dr. Peter Sturmey.Dr. Lafasakis published his second manuscript in 2010 in Behavioral Interventions on teaching vocal mand skills (e.g., requesting) to nonverbal children with autism.In 2017, Dr. Lafasakis published his 3rd manuscript in the Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders (JADD) on teaching skateboarding skills to a child with ASD.His work has been cited in over 115 peer-reviewed scientific journals and over 13 textbooks. Two of Dr. Lafasakis’ studies have been accepted by several states in the United States as recommended practices for nonverbal children with ASD and for parent training. A study conducted by Lafasakis, Thomas, Rossi, and Tursenovic titled “Training parents to teach vocal mands in the home: effects on acquisition and generalization of parent teaching and child correct responding” was awarded first place as the winning poster at the New York State Association for Behavior Analysis (NYSABA) 21st Annual Conference Student Research Award Competition in Saratoga Springs, New York in November, 2010. Dr. Lafasakis has presented at local, national and international conferences in autism treatment, developmental disabilities and ABA.Dr. Lafasakis has been an invited guest reviewer for JABA.
- Dr. Lafasakis is an autism advocate and mainly serves families in NYC by providing parents support through the special education process.
- Dr. Lafasakis is married to a remarkable Spanish woman named Erika and has 3 wonderful children: his sons George Emmanuel (Age 7), Michelangelo (22 months), and stepdaughter Nathalia (Age 22).Dr. Lafasakis is the first-generation born son of Mary and George Lafasakis, who immigrated to the United States from Greece in the 1960s.Dr. Lafasakis grew up in Queens, New York and was raised as a Greek-Orthodox Christian.
- In July of 1992, Michael was a victim of a violent crime that left him paralyzed on the entire right side of his body, which also caused a total loss of speech and hearing in his right ear.While Michael was in the hospital for 30 days, his doctors told him that he would never do any of the things he did before such as talk, walk, swim, throw a ball, or ride a skateboard.Despite his feelings of complete devastation, Michael was determined to get better and prove his doctors wrong.