ABTA Associates

Each Associate has first hand work experience in public education. Each of us has hands-on classroom experience as well as expertise in mentoring and consultation. Our knowledge of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), best practices, teaching strategies and the public education system make us uniquely qualified to train other educators.

Patricia Schetter, M.A.

Patty Schetter, MA, BCBA: Patty holds a Masters Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavior Analysis and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She also holds a California Pupil Services Credential in School Counseling and has been working with individuals with ASD and other behavioral challenges since 1990. She is the owner and director of ABTA and is responsible for the development and approval of all training materials and program recommendations developed by the Associates. Her professional experiences have included working as a classroom teacher in non-public school for learners with ASD, behavior analyst providing consultation services in a variety of settings including home and school programs and Program Specialist for children with ASD in the public schools. Patty is also the current Coordinator of ASD Education Initiatives at the CEDD at the UC Davis MIND Institute and State Liaison for the National Professional Development Center in Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has been an invited presenter at local, national and international conferences and forums including the California Association for Behavior Analysis, the Association for Behavior Analysis, The International Williams Syndrome Association, the National Autism Conference, the Texas State Conference on Autism, the California Association of Resource Specialists and Special Education Teachers, the Capital Autism Conference, and the Sacramento Aspergerís Syndrome Information and Support Network. Patty is the author of Learning the R.O.P.E.S. for Improved Executive Function and The Autism Program Development and Review Protocol (APDAR).

Kandis Lighthall, M.A.

Kandis Lighthall, M.A. received her B.A. from Sacramento State University in 1970. She earned her M.A. in Education with an emphasis in Special Education in 1984, from California State University at Chico. Throughout her career she has worked with many populations however, her main focus area has been students with moderate to severe disabilities including Autism. Kandis began her teaching career in British Columbia, Canada where she established one of the first integrated classrooms for students with moderate to severe disabilities on a general education campus. Upon her return to California she established one of the first inclusive classrooms on a community college campus for students with moderate to severe disabilities. Her classroom was a Special Education Resource Network (SERN) demonstration site for the Individual Critical Skills Model (ICSM). She has been an invited presenter at TASH, CEC, CARS +, the Capital Autism Conference and is the 2006 recipient of The Carol Gray Award for her contributions to the field of Autism education. Kandis has been a successful teacher educator for the past 15 years as a part time instructor at CSU Chico, UC Davis Extension and the Bureau of Education and Research. She recently retired from public education after a distinguished career. Kandis is the author of The School Participation Checklist, R.E.A.D.Y. for Inclusion, and What Makes School Great?

Gail Cafferatta, B.A.

Gail Cafferatta, B.A. received a B.A. in psychology, with an emphasis in animal behavior, from University of California, Davis and teaching credentials from California State University, Chico. She has been teaching in public education for almost thirty years. She has experience with students from pre-school age to college age. In addition to teaching ten years as a regular education teacher, Gail has worked with students with a wide variety of special needs, including autism, severely handicapped, emotional disturbance, and behavioral challenges.

Gail has served as the liaison between special education and regular education in the development of Special Day Classes on regular education campuses, has worked in juvenile hall and residential settings, provided educational consulting for non-public schools serving students with severe behavioral challenges, and is a regular speaker at graduate level psychology and education classes at California State University, Chico. She has also developed an instructional model for self-evaluation and self-advocacy to use with adolescents which she presented at the California Association of Behavior Analysis.

Gail has been a member of the statewide network of trainers for positive behavior interventions, PENT, for many years, currently serving as part of the PENT leadership team. Prior to serving on the PENT leadership team, Gail was part of the training team for the CASP (California Association of School Psychologists) Functional Analysis Assessment and Positive Behavior Intervention Plan Certification Training.

Gail is currently serving as a program specialist in Butte County SELPA. She is the lead program specialist for all pre-school autism programs and the lead trainer in the county for functional behavioral assessments and analysis, positive behavior intervention plans, and quality evaluations of behavior plans.

Victoria Bluett-Murphy, M.S., B.C.B.A.

Victoria Bluett-Murphy, M.S., B.C.B.A. is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) with an M.S. in Psychology/Behavior Analysis. She has worked as a behavior analyst in a variety of public and non-public settings for the past 15 years. Her experiences include implementing and supervising home and school based intensive behavioral intervention programs for children with ASD, developing and training others in functional behavior assessment and behavior support plans, training and developing functional analysis assessment and positive behavior intervention plans and conducting extensive staff training and program development for students with ASD.

Victoria has been an invited presenter at many state and local conferences including C.A.S.P. and has taught courses at community college, the California State University and UC Davis Extension. She has conducted program reviews for Local Education Agencies to assist them with developing their programs and services for students with ASD and to assist them in the development of legally defensible programs.

Amber Fitzgerald, M.A.

Amber Fitzgerald, M.A., BCBA has been working with individuals from birth to adulthood with a variety of special needs (autism spectrum disorders, emotional disturbance, behavior challenges, and moderate to severe disabilities) for the past 11 years. She has worked directly with students with Autism and other behavioral/developmental challenges in both the non-public and public school systems as an in-home behavior technician, special educator, district behavior specialist and Program Specialist for students with ASD. Amber developed and offers trainings for parents, adult programs, special educators, general educators, administrators and para- educators in the following areas: behavior management, behavior plan development, collaboration, functional communication, understanding Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders, visual classroom support systems, classroom and case management and data collection. Amber has also taught courses at California State University, Sacramento for teachers earning their moderate to severe educational specialist credential.

Amber has been a member of the statewide network of trainers for positive behavior interventions, PENT, for 3 years. In addition to holding an Educational Specialist Teaching Credential in the area of moderate to severe disabilities, Amber has her Masters Degree in Special Education from California State University, Sacramento.

Contact Information


PO Box 8321

Woodland, CA 95776

Phone: (916) 826-1915

Email: pschetter@autismandbehavior.com