Meet the Blackbird Team!


Paige Nadeau

Behaviour analyst, nanaimo clinic director

Paige is a qualified Behaviour Consultant on British Columbia’s Registry of Autism Service Providers(RASP)list. Based out of Nanaimo, she works with families across Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.

Paige loves science and being around children, so becoming a Behaviour Analyst was an easy decision for her — she gets to engage with and apply cutting-edge research while she designs and oversees effective treatment programs for kiddos and their families. Paige specializes in assessment and program development for Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention (EIBI) programs for children under the age of 6. She also oversees the Direct Instruction program at Blackbird, where she designs indivualized academic programming for school-aged children in Distributed Learning programs. Paige aims to design and implement fun, engaging, and effective treatment programs for each child at Blackbird.

Paige has a Masters degree in Professional Education with a concentration in Applied Behaviour Analysis from the University of Western Ontario. She also holds a Bachelor of Science degree with concentrations in Educational Psychology and Biology from Athabasca University. Paige currenly working towards completing the requirements to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA).



Katie Rinald

BCBA, Blackbird Special Education Director

Katie is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and has been working in ABA Treatment since 2004. Katie’s two primary areas of focus are early intervention for children under 6 and toilet training. She is a renowned expert in toilet training and works with families with children of all ages all over Canada who experience toileting challenges.

As the director of Blackbird Special Education, Katie works in both the Vancouver and Nanaimo locations to oversee high-quality treatment programs for children wtih ASD.

Katie has a Masters degree in Special Education with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities from the University of British Columbia. She is currently completing her Doctoral research in the experience of parents in the transition to kindergarten for their children with ASD.

Shelby mercer

senior Bi, Nanaimo clinic program supervisor

Shelby is an experienced Senior Behavioural Interventionist (Senior BI)who works with children 2-12 years of age. Shelby spends much of her time at our Nanaimo centre, but she also supports children in other centres and in-home settings around Vancouver Island.

Shelby has always loved being around children, and has extensive experience working with children with developmental disabilities as a BI and respite service provider. With her past work as a childcare provider, Shelby has experience with large groups of typically developing children as well. She is unfailingly enthusiastic, loves to incorporate play into her work as much as possible, and has an uncanny ability to redirect and calm children during challenging situations. Shelby works with many different families training and supervising BIs for Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention(EIBI)programs, assisting in programming, and monitoring on-going program-related goals. Shelby also trains and supervises BIs within our Direct Instruction program, where is is responsible for assisting in programming, monitoring curriculum goals, and implementing mini-assessments. With her extensive experience as a BI, Shelby is passionate about training interventionists to make treatment fun and engaging.

Currently, Shelby is in the final stages of completing her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology through Athabasca University. Following this, Shelby plans to pursue a Graduate degree in Behaviour Analysis and work towards completing the requirements to become a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst (BCaBA).


Samantha Hayward

behavioural Interventionist

Samantha is an experienced Behavioural Interventionist who specializes in providing Early Intensive Behaviour Intervention to children under 6. Samantha supports children at our Nanaimo centre, various preschools and daycares in the area, as well as in-home settings in the Parksville, Nanaimo, and Ladysmith regions.

Samantha has extensive experience with young children, which is evident by her high-energy, incredible patience, and creative nature. Having worked and volunteered in several daycares, preschools, and Montessori schools in the past, Samantha has a well-rounded approach to early education and she is a valuable asset to the Blackbird team.

In her free time, Samantha likes to hike, camp, and explore Vancouver Island. Samantha is currently working on finishing her Bachelor of Arts degree, and plans to pursue further education in the field of Applied Behaviour Analysis.


Jennifer Sawyer

behavioural Interventionist

Jennifer is an experienced Behavioural Interventionist who also specializes in providing Early Intensive Behavioural Intervention to children under the age of 6. Jennifer is based out of Campbell River, but also serves families in the Comox Valley region. Jennifer’s primary focus is in-home intervention, and she is skilled at adapting home environments to suit a variety of learning needs.

Jennifer is kind, hands-on, bubbly, and very passionate about providing quality learning opportunities to her clients. Families that Jen have worked with describe her as warm, respectful, reliable, and lots of fun! Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UVIC, which she regularly utilizes in her practice. Jennifer is incredibly intelligent and has a keen aptitude for the behavioural sciences and education. Jennifer is well-versed at remote supervision, and is able to conduct much of her work without regular in-vivo monitoring and training.

In her free time, Jennifer enjoys fishing, reading, and playing with her pet mice! Jennifer plans to enter Graduate studies in Behaviour Analysis in 2020, when she will begin accruing the necessary requirements to become a BCBA.


Blackbird also works with many other skilled intereventionists,

who we often feature on our Facebook page; please visit us there to learn more!