MEET OUR STAFF

Deborah Pontillo
Deborah PontilloPh.D.
Owner/Director, San Diego Kids First
Pediatric Psychologist PSY #18934
Child Development, Behavior, and Learning Specialist
Voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, UCSD

“Every child is unique. To help children overcome social, emotional, behavioral, developmental, and/or academic challenges, we must not become preoccupied with simply assigning labels. Rather, we need to identify the child’s individual strengths as well as their weaknesses, to design effective strategies that suit their needs. I work very closely with parents, schools and other professionals to establish a comprehensive picture of the whole child. This collaboration creates the most significant and dramatic change.”

Dr. Pontillo is Owner/Founder and Director of San Diego Kids First. She has over 25 years of education, training and experience in pediatric psychology and is regarded as an expert in the field of child and adolescent development, behavior, and learning.

Dr. Pontillo received a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of British Columbia. She went on to earn a Master’s and Doctorate in Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, rated one of the top Clinical Psychology training programs in the U.S. She completed an internship in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego, and then a specialized pediatric early childhood post-doctoral training program at the Developmental Evaluation Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital. Dr. Pontillo opened San Diego Kids First in 2005, with the passion of identifying children’s strengths as well as their challenges, enabling them to maximize their developmental potential.

In addition to her work at San Diego Kids First, Dr. Pontillo is a Voluntary Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California San Diego, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine. There, she supervises Child/Adolescent Psychiatry Fellows in their final year of training. Additionally, Dr. Pontillo has developed several online training courses (entitled “Bright Stars”) for parents and teachers of children with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has participated in numerous speaking engagements, media interviews, and podcasts. Click here to learn more about Dr. Pontillo’s other professional activities.

Dr. Pontillo’s specialties include: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), ADHD/attention issues, learning disabilities/differences, giftedness, anxiety, emotional regulation skills training, social skills training, stress management, oppositional-defiant disorder (ODD), behavioral challenges, and other child developmental delays or concerns. She is trained in CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy), short-term solution-focused therapy, and psychodynamic therapy. She is an expert in diagnostic assessment and conducts both abbreviated and comprehensive batteries, depending on the needs of the family. She provides consultations, treatment planning, and follow-up sessions, and is directly involved in all evaluations conducted at SDKF. Dr. Pontillo consults regularly with all staff clinicians at SDKF to ensure all SDKF families receive the highest quality of care.

Dr. Pontillo holds office hours Wednesdays only for consultations. She is not accepting new regular therapy clients at this time. 

Dr. Pontillo lives with her daughter, her son, an aspiring therapy dog Labradoodle named Maple, and with her cat, Pina Colada. She speaks Spanish and English, and loves sushi and Indian food. When not working, she can be found with her kids at baseball and softball practices and games, taking long walks with Maple, or visiting with her kids and friends.

Charles Aguilar
Charles AguilarM.Ed.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Behavior Specialist

“Charles Aguilar is our Behavior Specialist for San Diego Behavior Solutions. He has been practicing ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) for 7 years, primarily providing ABA therapy to children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). He has extensive experience in providing 1:1 in-home ABA therapy and in providing behavioral modification/support for Carlsbad Unified School District. Charles is proficient in current evidence-based practices and scientifically validated methodologies in ABA. He specializes in behavioral modification and utilizes ABA principles to achieve lasting, meaningful, and positive change in his client’s lives”.

Charles earned his Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University and his Bachelor’s Degree in Human Development from California State University, San Marcos. He is currently pursuing his Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) credential. Charles is trained in Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT), Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Handicapped Children (TEACCH), and in Social Coaching. He strongly believes in implementing ABA naturally to ensure comprehensive and generalized learning. Natural use of ABA assists in effective learning, lasting behavioral modification, and fun and positive interactions. Charles is skilled in implementing ABA interventions within natural means and also training parents to do the same with their child. Parents of former clients often describe Charles’ therapy style as fun and engaging, but also structural and disciplined at the same time.

In his free time, Charles enjoys playing basketball, tennis, and boxing. He also loves to play the drums and piano. He has fun reading, watching movies, hiking, and exploring San Diego with his wife and baby daughter.

Jordan Ko
Jordan KoPh.D.
Staff Clinical Psychologist
Specialist in Early Childhood Development, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other Neurodevelopmental Differences

“Wherever there is a child in need, there is an opportunity for kindness, for treating the child as an individual with unique strengths, and for making a difference.”

Dr. Jordan Ko is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in working with children, adolescents, and families in psychotherapy and assessment. 

Dr. Ko majored in Child Development at Tufts University. She completed her Ph.D. in Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara and her doctoral internship at UCLA Semel Institute. She acquired specialized training and experience in autism intervention and assessment at the UCSB Koegel Autism Center and UCLA Child and Adult Neurodevelopmental (CAN) Clinic.

Her 2-year postdoctoral fellowship took place at San Diego State University and the Child and Adolescent Services Research Center at Radys Children’s Hospital. She has experience in assessing and improving the social communication skills of young children, and served as the lead clinical trainer in San Diego, training therapists across California in a parent coaching intervention called Project ImPACT for Toddlers. 

Dr. Ko has a diverse background providing services to children and adolescents with various presenting concerns, such as autism, ADHD, behavior concerns, trauma, developmental delay, social skills, mood concerns, and anxiety. She utilizes a collaborative, strengths-based approach when working with children and families to partner with them to reach their goals. She aims to foster a safe space for clients to feel heard and validated, as well as build insight, skills, and confidence. Her goal is to provide culturally sensitive care that is informed by evidence-based practices, which are supported by research but tailored to the individual needs and values of each child and family.

She has experience with a range of evidence-based practices, including cognitive behavioral therapy, parent coaching interventions (Project ImPACT, Parent Child Interaction Therapy), autism interventions (Pivotal Response Treatment), and social skills interventions (UCLA PEERS® for Adolescents, the UCSB START Program).

Dr. Ko has conducted research on interventions to improve social communications skills in toddlers through young adults with autism, as well as implementing interventions in community settings. She has published in peer-reviewed journals and presented her findings at international research conferences, including the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR).

Dr. Ko was born and raised in Southern California and enjoys cooking, tennis, and a variety of outdoor activities with her husband and rescue pup (a beagle- terrier mix). 

Cassidy O’Brien
Cassidy O’BrienLCSW
Staff Child/Adolescent Therapist
Early Childhood Specialist

“In working with families, I utilize a transparent and collaborative approach; YOU are the expert in your child, and therapy works best when we work together as a team to support your child.  Similarly, when working with children, I take a child-centered and strengths-based approach, meeting each child with warmth, empathy, and acceptance of their own individual life experience.  I believe that children, no matter how young, are deserving of respect and understanding, and I strive to create a safe space for children to heal – and to have fun in the process.”

Cassidy O’Brien is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose professional experience includes helping children cope with anxiety, depression, trauma, and difficult life transitions. She also specializes in teaching self-regulation and social skills, enhancing cognitive and behavioral flexibility and working with parents on behavioral management strategies. She has experience working with children and adolescents of all ages, and specializes in working with “littles” (ages 0-5), with extensive training in early childhood mental health. She also has extensive experience working with children with ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) , utilizing the AIM-HI program, a package of evidence-based intervention strategies designed to reduce challenging behaviors in children with ASD. Additionally, Cassidy has a passion in working with individuals who have experienced trauma; supporting children and families in understanding the impact of traumatic experiences and walking hand-in-hand towards healing.

Cassidy earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Ohio University and her Master’s in Social Work Degree from the University of Southern California. She previously worked at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she specialized in trauma and early childhood mental health, while also treating children with anxiety, depression, ASD, ADHD, and emotion regulation issues. Cassidy’s therapeutic approach is informed by several therapeutic modalities, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), AIM-HI (An Individualized Mental Health Treatment for Children with ASD), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF CBT), Child Parent Psychotherapy (CPP), Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), and Mindfulness-based Interventions. She is completing her certification as a Registered Play Therapist and enjoys incorporating play therapy interventions into her work with children.

Cassidy approaches her work with children by viewing them in the context of the whole family, using a family-systems lens to cater to the unique relationships and dynamics within the family and to support the strengthening of those relationships.  Drawing from her training in early childhood mental health, Cassidy strives to promote attachment in child-caregiver relationships, knowing that secure attachment with a caregiver is the foundation to a happy and healthy childhood – and beyond!

Cassidy’s counseling style is accepting, sincere and validating. She makes it a priority to create a safe, inclusive environment, and she believes in the innate capacity of individuals and families to heal and thrive when given the right compassion, tools, and support.  She believes that therapy is for everyone and that every person deserves the opportunity to reach their goals and feel their best. She is available for Telehealth or in-person appointments.

Jesse Olague
Jesse OlaguePsy.D.
Staff Psychologist
Specialist in Neurodevelopmental & Behavioral Disorders,
Trauma, Anxiety/Mood Disorders

“At Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles, our mission statement was ‘We Treat Kids Better.’ I have adopted that mission statement wholeheartedly into my professional work with children, teens, and families as I strongly believe it is my role to look beyond the problematic behaviors, symptoms, and labels, and assist parents and teachers to view the child/teen as a unique individual with both strengths and weaknesses. It is in doing so that I feel that I am able to do my best work, as I customize my assessments and therapy to provide a better outcome for each child, teen and family I work with. It is my greatest joy seeing parents once again enjoy their children and their children enjoy their parents.”

Dr. Jesse Olague is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in developmental/ psychological assessment and psychotherapy for children, adolescents and their families. He is also one of San Diego Kids First’s experts in early childhood development and behavior.

Dr. Olague specializes in ASD/ADHD/Learning Disorders, and other Neurodevelopmental Disorders, Anxiety/Mood Disorders, Emotional Dysregulation, Disruptive Behaviors/Behavior Management, Anger Management, and Trauma. He utilizes systemic, evidence-based practices such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), and Incredible Years-Parent and Child (IY). He is certified in Seeking Safety (SS) and Managing and Adapting Practices (MAP). Dr. Olague is a graduate from USC/CHLA’s California Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (CA-LEND) Training Program.

Dr. Olague is passionate about developing and implementing interventions and accommodations to allow children and adolescents to reach their potential. When necessary Dr. Olague helps families implement behavioral approaches and responses that will help diminish the child’s problematic behaviors.
Dr. Olague also provides services in English and Spanish, both in-person and via tele-health.

Before joining San Diego Kids First, Dr. Olague was a Faculty Clinical Psychologist at Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital Child Partial Hospitalization Program where he was responsible for treatment planning /implementation, program development, and teaching/ training/supervision of doctoral students. Prior to moving to San Diego, Dr. Olague was a clinical psychologist at Kaiser Permanente Orchard Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he provided psychological assessments and therapy for preschool and school-aged children and adolescents.

Dr. Olague obtained his PsyD in Clinical Psychology from Azusa Pacific University and completed his internship in clinical psychology at the Child and Family Guidance Center specializing in Trauma Psychology. He then completed a Two-Year Fellowship in Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology specializing in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Trauma Psychology at Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles (CHLA) with an appointment at University of Southern California’s (USC) Center for Excellence in Developmental Disorders.

When he’s not working, Dr. Olague enjoys spending time with his family, two dogs, and is an avid Dodgers fan. He also enjoys drawing, exercising, and cycling on San Diego’s bike trails.

Elisabeth Thurlow
Elisabeth ThurlowPsy.D.
Staff Psychologist PSY# 31761
Specialist,Child/Adolescent/Adult Psychological & Psychoeducational Assessment

“Hans Asperger once said, ‘Not everything that steps out of line, and thus is ‘abnormal’, must necessarily be ‘inferior.’ I strive always to respect and appreciate the unique strengths and gifts of every client I meet.”

Dr. Elisabeth Thurlow is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist specializing in the psychodiagnostic assessment of all ages. Dr. Thurlow has over 25 years of experience evaluating children, teens, and adults with a variety of neurological, genetic, learning, behavioral, emotional, and autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Thurlow has been sought out widely for her expertise in conducting gold-standard diagnostic evaluations of autism spectrum disorders and is trained in administering the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS).

Dr. Thurlow earned her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles, where she developed an interest in personality testing while conducting research on the factor models of personality. She earned a Master’s degree and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Alliant International University, Los Angeles. While there, she completed an intensive clerkship in psychological assessment. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and the Department of Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Thurlow has been a staff psychologist in the Department of Neuropsychology at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, and in the Autism Spectrum Assessment Clinic at the University of Miami in Miami, Florida. She has also been on faculty in the Department of Psychology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Thurlow is known for being an astute diagnostician with a compassionate, collaborative approach to working with families.

Dr. Thurlow lives by the beach with her husband, son, daughter, rescue dog, Agatha, and three cats, Mabel, Gladys, and Cosmo. She speaks French, Spanish, and English, and she loves the sounds and flavors of the tropics. When she’s not in the office, she loves exploring new places, hanging out with her family, going on long walks, reading crime novels, and laughing with friends.

Sheri Friedman
Sheri FriedmanM.A.
Educational Therapist

“Each child comes to me with their own unique story, their own set of circumstances. But what every child has in common is that each is the source of limitless opportunities for support, structure and success.”

An Educational Therapist with more than 25 years of experience, Sheri is dedicated to meeting the emotional, social, and academic needs of struggling students. She works with a wide range of the pediatric population (and beyond), providing targeted intervention to children and teens with ADHD, learning disabilities, executive dysfunction and weak cognitive, auditory, and/or visual processing skills. With all her clients, Sheri’s mission is to provide each child with limitless opportunities for support, structure, and success.

Sheri lays the foundation of success begins by creating a warm and trusting rapport with students, parents, teachers, physicians, and allied professionals. Sessions are individualized and specialized, integrating a variety of effective, creative methodologies along with evidence and brain-based therapeutic learning tools. In this way, Sheri prevents and circumvents the cycle of frustration, failure, and despair that affects so many children and their families—and replaces that it cycle with joyful learning.

Sheri holds a B.A. Child Development and an M.A. Psychology, as well as credentials in child mental health, teaching and special education.

Outside of work, Sheri partakes of beach walks, hiking, kayaking, writing, reading and Reiki. She adores spending time with her three sons, family, and friends, all of whom bring her great joy.

Kim Brownell
Kim BrownellLCSW
Staff Clinical Therapist (In-Office/Home Visits)
Child/Teen Therapist (ages 10 and up)
Adult/Family/Couples Therapist
Group Therapy Facilitator
IEP/504 Expert Consultant

”I feel lucky to do what I do for a living. With each client, I work hard to achieve balance between humor, creativity and diverse effective treatment modalities. I meet each client where they are, using treatments that best fit their individual needs. I collaborate frequently with outside providers and school personnel to provide the best support. I look forward to speaking with you!”

Kim is a Licensed Therapist (LCSW, LICSW) with more than a decade of experience working with children, adolescents, families, couples, and adults in a variety of settings. She brings key experience from working within school districts, allowing her to effectively guide families in navigating the district to obtain optimal support for their child. Kim offers Saturday appointments, and also in-home appointments on Mondays and Thursdays.

Kim takes a systems approach, understanding each patient—and helping them to understand themselves—as a product of family, culture, organizations, religious affiliation, academic settings and more. Customizing her work with each client, she integrates traditional approaches with creative, dynamic modalities.

As a staff therapist at Rady Children’s Hospital Outpatient Clinic, Kim learned the inner workings of many elementary and middle schools in the Poway Unified School District—not to mention previous experience with almost a dozen schools in New York State. Kim has worked as a clinician and as a trainer for educational staff. Her background as a licensed therapist includes extensive experience in the field of eating disorders, including work with the New York State Psychiatric Institute and the UCSD Center for Eating Disorders. She continues to provide therapy to people in recovery from eating disorders, Body Dysmorphic Disorder and Disordered Eating. Kim has special expertise in mood disorders, body image, self-esteem, life transitions, marriage/family/couples therapy, bereavement, distress tolerance, sleep hygiene, stress management, school advocacy and LGBTQ issues.

Kim holds an MSW from New York University and clinical licenses in New York (LMSW), California (LCSW) and Massachusetts (LICSW). Additionally, Kim is certified in DBT, CBT & Trauma-Focused Positive Youth Development, and is Gottman certified for Couples, Marital and Family Therapy. In addition, she is certified in EMDR for trauma (children through adults).

Earlier in her journey, Kim spent more than a decade working as a professional singer, dancer, and actress in New York City. She performed in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular and has toured with national and international Broadway productions. When off duty, Kim can be found engaging in all things creative (including singing loudly, reliving her days on stage for an audience of one small elderly Yorkshire terrier), painting random furniture, binge watching Pinterest videos, dancing and spending far too much time roaming the aisles of Home Goods to feed her passion for decorating.

Kim is not accepting new regular therapy clients at this time.

James Rivet
James RivetEd.D.
Educational Consultant
Executive Functioning coach, Academic/Study skills Coach

“When students struggle in school, families struggle as well. Left unaddressed, academic and social problems compound into LIFE problems. Triangulating between students, parents and teachers, I can turn things around quickly—at school and at home.”

Dr. Rivet provides private, at-home sessions to empower families with customized strategies to ensure their child’s success in school. Through time management, organizational skills, communication skills, study habits, note-taking, test taking techniques and many other skills, Dr. Rivet provides hope for families grappling with the ever evolving challenges of today’s classrooms.

Dr. Rivet’s in-home educational consulting sessions are ideal for any child, teen, or family struggling with education, homework, curriculum, study habits and more. To schedule an appointment, please email Dr. Rivet directly at drrivet@sdkidsfirst.com.

An educator, consultant, and researcher, Dr. Rivet has a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership. He has worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Follett Corporation, and taught graduate courses in Education. He has also taught grades K-12 in the San Diego Unified School District. He serves on several advisory committees and is a frequent speaker on education at conferences throughout the country. 

Outside of work, Dr. Rivet enjoys spending time with his grown daughter, Pia. He can often be found swimming La Jolla Cove, a passion he has pursued for more than 35 years.

Anna Williams
Anna WilliamsM.A., L.M.F.T.
Clinical Therapist
Behavior/Parent Coach Specializing in Behavioral Modification, Depression, Anxiety
Certified Specialist in Pediatric and Adult OCD

“Every time we ask questions of our children or recognize a teaching moment, we resist simply rescuing our children from their problems; instead, we teach them skills that will last them a lifetime.”

Anna is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 15 years of experience in Behavioral Therapy & Parent Coaching, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Cognitive Behavior Therapy and Behavioral Management for Autism Spectrum Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, and Depression.

Anna Williams is certified through the International OCD Foundation BTTI to specialize in pediatric and adult OCD. She has been trained in cutting-edge treatment modalities, including Exposure and Response Prevention (ERP) and Cognitive Therapy.

Anna works with families, parents, children, and teens to produce lasting changes in the most naturalistic setting possible. She believes the parent-child connection is the most important intervention.  Anna is skilled and experienced in rebuilding this connection for healing. Anna provides Telehealth and in-office appointments. 

Anna received a Bachelor’s Degree from Cal State Monterey Bay and a Master’s Degree at Alliant International University School of Professional Psychology. She is an AAMFT Board-certified supervisor. Anna previously worked at Rady Children’s Hospital, where she specialized in depression and anxiety treatments for children and adolescents, frequently employing Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Anna also treats ADHD, ODD, and other childhood mood disorders. She has worked with very severe populations of children who also possessed Co-Morbid diagnoses. She serves as clinical faculty at University of Phoenix, teaching in the Health and Human Services, Psychology and Masters in Marriage Family Therapy programs.

Anna volunteers for the Fleet Family Support Center and VVSD, providing pro bono counseling for returning sailors and their families.

Anna has two sons, a dog named Buddy and a husband who retired from the Navy. When she is not working, Anna loves to hang out with her family, watch sports and explore the beauty of San Diego.

Jacqueline Gamboa
Jacqueline GamboaPsy.D.
Staff Psychologist PSY # 22784
Specialist, Child and Adolescent Assessment and Psychotherapy

“I strive to create a warm, positive, and fun testing environment for my clients so they can work to the best of their ability and we can achieve the most optimal results.”

Dr. Gamboa is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in the assessment and treatment of children, adolescents, and young adults. She offers mid-day and after-school appointments for psychotherapy, counseling and consultation.  Dr. Gamboa contributes key expertise to the assessment team, particularly in standardized testing for children and adolescents with developmental and/or educational challenges, including Autism Spectrum Disorders and ADHD.

Dr. Gamboa received a B.A. in Psychology from La Sierra University and a doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology, San Diego. She has broad experience working with children, adolescents and families, and is an expert in treating Anxiety Disorders, Anger-Management and/or Behavioral Challenges, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Parenting, Family Relationships, Depression and Substance Use/Abuse. Dr. Gamboa has provided psychotherapy and assessment services in her role as psychologist at the San Diego Regional Center, Rady Children’s Hospital Outpatient Psychiatry, St. Vincent de Paul Villages, and the College Counseling Centers at USD and SDSU. Dr. Gamboa’s approach is primarily psychodynamic, but she also offers play therapy, family therapy, motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and attachment and affect regulation-based interventions.

When Dr. Gamboa is not in the office, she enjoys traveling, hiking, riding her bike, playing guitar and spending time with her friends and her large Bengal cat, Gilby.

Brooke Schuman
Brooke SchumanB.A. Psychology & Communications
Office Manager

“I am so grateful and excited to be a part of the San Diego Kids First team! I am passionate about this amazing organization and providing the best level of care for each of our families. I have learned so much from every clinician in the practice and am inspired by their hard work and dedication. I love being the main point of contact for the office and am happy to help in any way possible!”

Brooke Schuman earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communications from the University of California, Davis. She previously worked as a Research Assistant in the Psychology department at UC Davis as well as a Student Manager in the department of Student Affairs. Brooke also spent a semester at Charles University in Prague where she conducted a research project on cross cultural management.

Inspired to help others and a passion for working with children, Brooke has held many roles in her communities centered around giving back. While at UC Davis, Brooke was a volunteer instructor for “Sprout Up” providing environmental education to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd graders in their classrooms. In Prague, she volunteered on a weekly basis to teach English at the local elementary school and for the past three summer’s, Brooke has worked at the Jewish Community Center where she frequently collaborated with parents and inclusion programs. 

Having an interest in Child Psychology, Brooke is excited about her role with us. She excels at keeping an office running smoothly by efficiently managing schedules, communications, marketing, client relations and evaluations.  Brooke takes pride in her work ethic and ability to adapt to a new environment while maintaining a friendly nature. 

In her free time, Brooke enjoys going to the beach with her friends, exercising and going on hikes. Brooke is getting ready to apply for graduate psychology programs next year and is grateful for this new chapter in her life.

Linda GriebelInsurance Biller/Bookkeeper
619-224-6343

San Diego Kids First contracts with Linda Griebel at Griebel Billing Services in order to provide monthly super bills for out of network benefits, to all our families with PPO plans. If you would like to take advantage of this free service, please call Linda at 619-224-6343, mention San Diego Kids First, and provide her your insurance information. 

Linda has been a bookkeeper for mental health professionals since 1987. She has been a wonderful asset to the San Diego Kids First team since 2005 and we are so grateful to her for providing such a wonderful and unique service to our families!

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What Others Say About Us

I am a general pediatrician with a special interest in ADHD, spending about 20% of my clinical time caring for ADHD patients. I have known Dr Pontillo since 2005 and have an enormous respect for her clinical skills and insights. She is my “go to” psychologist for more complicated developmental issues and for diagnosis of subtle high functioning disabilities. Dr. Pontillo’s interest in her patients and her ability to clearly delineate developmental problems allows parents to move forward with establishing a treatment plan. She is an invaluable resource to the San Diego Pediatric community.

Nicholas Levy, MD, Medical Director, El Camino Pediatrics, V. Asst Clinical Professor, School of Medicine, UCSD

Dr. Pontillo is an exceptional, and one-of-a-kind child psychologist. I have referred many children of my patients to Dr. Pontillo and she has always given them the best care and attention. Referring a patient to another professional is a big responsibility. I always look for a colleague who is efficient, professional, experienced and one who is able to come up with a clear diagnosis. I keep referring to Dr. Pontillo because of her expertise, efficiency and especially her warm and caring personality that is extremely necessary when dealing with children. I very highly recommend Deborah Pontillo, Ph.D as a child diagnostician, developmental and behavioral specialist, and therapist.

David Kravetz, M.D., Professor of Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, UCSD

I’ve been referring my patients to Dr. Pontillo for the past several years with the utmost confidence that she will care and understand their developmental needs. Dr. Pontillo always provided them with a balanced and age appropriate intervention to help not only the child but the family as a whole.

Chrystal de Freitas M.D., Pediatrician Carmel Valley Pediatrics