Melissa Gard is a graduate of the University of Kansas where she received her PhD in behavioral psychology and her master's degree in human development and family life. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral (BCBA-D). Her clinical work is focused on the treatment of autism using the principles of ABA and she has worked with families across settings (home, school, community) and internationally to this end. Melissa joined the Building Bridges team in 2012.
Melissa serves as the Clinical Director for Building Bridges for which she regularly collaborates with each BCBA regarding treatment planning and programming. She is also available as a resource for each of the families we serve. She supports the clinic's mission to provide the highest quality, evidence based therapy and works to ensure that each case includes all of the critical components of treatment, individualized for the child's needs (intensity, parent and family involvement, supervision, treatment across all relevant settings, and use of a range of treatment strategies with a focus on fading to natural teaching / learning and programming for generalization and maintenance).
In addition to her clinical work, Dr. Gard is a professor at the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) where she teaches graduate students pursuing their BCBA certification. She also teaches at the National University of Naturopathic Medicine within the Department for Integrative Health Research, where classes are focused on the planning and implementation of behavioral interventions and measurement of behavioral outcomes. She is on the board of the Oregon Association for Behavior Analysis and is committed to the organization's efforts to promote community education in the area ABA and the further establishment of professional networks for behavior analysts in Oregon.
She fully enjoys living in the Pacific Northwest and finds restoration in yoga, hiking, and exploring the beauty of the coast, mountains, and gorge.