Diandra Alvarez
BAT Administrative Assistant

Diandra Alvarez is the Administrative Assistant for Behavior Analysis and Therapy, Inc in SWFL. Not only are her duties to manage and distribute information and paperwork for both the Behavior Education and Therapy Program and the Parenting for Success Program, but she also goes on home visits to aid in translation of Spanish-Speaking clients. She received her Bachelors of Arts degree from Florida Gulf Coast University and first-joined the BAI team as an intern during the Fall of 2017, and gained some experience in crisis intervention while volunteering for a Suicide/Crisis hotline during her senior year of college.


  • To pursue a BCaBA degree


  • Music
  • Traveling
  • Family and friend
  • Documentaries
  • Abnormal psychology

David Garcia, Ed.D., BCBA-D
Managing Partner

Dr. David Garcia is the Managing Partner of Behavior Analysis, Inc. and the Florida Autism Treatment Centers.

Dr. Garcia has taught behavior analysis and teacher education courses at Florida Atlantic University and Florida Gulf Coast University. He also taught Behavior Analysis Certification Board-approved preparation courses for students seeking behavior analysis certification. He has co-developed several new graduate level courses for Florida Atlantic University as part of the Florida Autism Endorsement Program for the ESE department. In addition to his extensive training and teaching experience, he is currently an expert witness for the Miami-Dade County judicial system on issues related to students with autism and related disabilities.

Dr. Garcia works with a variety of populations including typically developing children, children with behavioral disorders, dual diagnoses, and autism. He has provided training for teachers and other educators in school districts for over 15 years and has conducted over 100 training workshops throughout the United States and internationally. He has also published studies related to problem behaviors and persons with disabilities and has served as a guest reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and Teacher Education and Special Education.  In 2008 he was selected as the Outstanding Clinician of the Year by the University of Miami/Nova Southeastern University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and recently he received the 2013 Dissertation of the Year Award by the College of Education at Florida Atlantic University.


  • Evidence-based teaching strategies for teachers
  • Skill selection and measurement of IEP goals
  • Speech and Language development in children with autism
  • Clinical behavior analysis


  • Ed.D. in Exceptional Student Education from Florida Atlantic University
  • M.S. in Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas
  • B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida


  • Exercise and Fitness
  • Poker

Dr. Jimena Mekras, Ph.D.,BCBA-D
Program Director

Jimena Mekras has been working for BAI since 2011. She received her doctoral degree in developmental psychology in 2012 from Florida International University, focusing on prenatal and postnatal factors involved in the development of perception, learning, and memory. She has presented her work at the Society for Research in Child Development and International Society for Developmental Psychobiology conferences. Her experience working as an autism therapist at BAI encouraged her to expand her training in ABA. Jimena is currently a board certified behavior analyst and clinical supervisor at the Kendall Center.


  • Verbal behavior acquisition
  • Research


  • Ph.D. in Psychology from Florida International University
  • M.S. in Psychology from Florida International University
  • B.S. in Psychology from University of Florida


  • Movies
  • Traveling

Dr. Stephen Starin, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen Starin is the President/CEO and founder of Behavior Analysis, Inc. He is a doctoral-level Behavior Analyst who has more than 30 years experience working with persons with learning disorders and/or severe problem behaviors.

Steve began his career in behavior analysis working in a residential school for children with autism in Los Angeles, California. He was promoted to the Director of Treatment and Training after several months where he trained new staff on behavior analysis principles and procedures and oversaw the behavioral treatment of all clients in the program. Steve then went to Western Michigan University, one of the leading graduate training programs in the world, where he studied under Dr. Jack Michael. While at Western Michigan University Steve was chosen to direct the introductory psychology program, where 10 instructors taught more than 1000 students per year. He also conducted and published research in Dr. Michael's Laboratory for the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and in Dr. Alan Poling's Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory. The Michigan Psychological Association selected Steve as its Outstanding Student in Psychology in 1987. Later that year he received the Department of Psychology's Research Scholar award and the All-University Research and Creative Scholar awards.

After receiving his doctorate in Applied Behavior Analysis in 1988, Steve was chosen to be the District Behavior Analyst in Miami, Florida for the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Service's Developmental Services Program. In this position, he oversaw the behavioral treatment and education of all persons with developmental disabilities in Miami and the Florida Keys. He also taught Behavior Analysis to aspiring teachers in the Educational Psychology department at Florida International University. In 1990, Steve was selected as the Senior Behavior Analyst for the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Service's Developmental Services at the statewide level. Here he oversaw the Behavior Analysis Certification Program (upon which the current Behavior Analysis certification is built), directed the activities of the Florida Peer Review Committee (composed of internationally-recognized experts in behavior analysis), promulgated rules and regulations governing the practice of behavior analysis in the state of Florida and other activities related to the behavioral education and treatment of persons with developmental disabilities. During this time, Steve was also elected President of the Florida Association for Behavior Analysis.

In 1993, Steve left state government and established his own consulting firm specializing in treating individuals with serious behavior problems and assisting other agencies providing treatment to person with developmental disabilities. In 1994, he formed Behavior Analysis, Inc. The company, which began with just one employee, has now grown to over 60 employees and is one of the leading behavioral services companies in the world. In addition to serving as the President/CEO of Behavior Analysis, Inc., Steve has taught at several Florida Universities and the University of Nevada at Reno; has published scientific articles in the areas of developmental disabilities, behavioral pharmacology, applied behavior analysis, the experimental analysis of behavior, and philosophical issues relating to behavior analysis; and has served on the board of editors of, and is a referee for, several of the premier behavioral journals including the  Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and the  Analysis of Verbal Behavior. He consults with public and private agencies and provides seminars and workshops throughout the world.


  • Application of behavioral technology to special populations
  • Assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders
  • Effective educational methods (Direct Instruction, Precision Teaching)
  • Parent/staff training
  • Teaching behavior analysis


  • Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University
  • M.A. in Applied Behavior Analysis from Western Michigan University
  • B.S. in Psychology from Arizona State University


  • Reading
  • Photography
  • Natural Science
  • Sports