Cushla Hall has been improving the lives of children and youth with behavioral health and developmental needs for nearly 15 years as a Care Manager, Court Appointed Special Advocate, and as a Casework Specialist. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology as well as numerous certifications from the Department of Community Services. From Australia originally, she has been serving the New Jersey community since 2011. She brings lots of energy and enthusiasm to supporting families at our center!
Mayra is a licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, who holds her Associate in Applied Science Degree, is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and is a Certified Athletic Trainer. Of all the clinical work she has done, she finds working with children the most rewarding and humbling. She loves watching kids improve over time and see them develop into amazing human beings. While she chose her career because of her love of helping, the best part of what she does is seeing the impact she’s personally made with the kids she’s worked with. Besides helping kids, Mayra enjoys sports (especially Spanish league soccer), hiking the Palisades, and drinking specialty teas and coffees.
Michael Tobin, born and raised in Allendale, NJ, and has over ten years experience working with children with special needs. Our first ever hire, he has worked at Brain Balance since before our doors opened in 2011. He studied at the University of Pittsburgh and worked with Board Certified Behavioral Analysts, implementing ABA strategies. An avid sports fan, Michael coaches and plays basketball year round. He enjoys the outdoors, live music, and is the proud owner of a 3-legged dog named Skittles. He and his wife live in town.
Marilyn Rukaj has over 5 years working with children and we call her ‘the child whisperer’. She has been at Brain Balance since 2015. Marilyn is pursuing a career in Child Mental Health Counseling and Child Advocacy. Fun Fact: Marilyn was a Jr. Olympian!
Nicholas Clark was introduced to Brain Balance through his classmate, and daughter of our program’s founder, Dr. Robert Melillo. Nick had already earned his B.S. in Kinesiology and Applied Physiology at the University of Delaware, but was inspired when he realized that his talent and skills could impact the development of a child’s brain. “Coach Nick” joined our team in 2014 and was a natural, guiding children through their sensory-motor and synchronization activities. Nick has a unique way of inspiring kids to try harder and do their best; you may hear him sing a tune or two during your child’s sessions! Another fun fact about Nick: he has five sisters!
For Brian McHugh, working with children with special needs is a family affair; his mother was a teacher of children with autism and his brother works at a behavioral school. As a result, Brian grew up around kids with special needs and is truly passionate about helping them achieve their full potential. He studied psychology and sociology at Montclair State University and will attend graduate school for psychology this year. After he completed his externship at Brain Balance in 2015, he joined our team permanently. In his free time, Brian enjoys hiking, photography, and archery.
140 Hopper Avenue
Waldwick, NJ 07463