Laura Takagi, M.Ed, BCBA, LBA
Position at the Hallowell Todaro ADHD Center:
How long have you been working at the Hallowell Todaro ADHD Center?
I’m just getting started!
Where did you grow up?
My dad was in the Army so I moved around a lot. I was born in New York and had the opportunity to live all around the United States and in Germany.
I’ve lived the longest in California and here (which are my favorite places!)
What are your favorite books / TV shows / movies?
I love a good mystery novel but lately I’ve been reading nonfiction. My most recent reads are “Atomic Habits” by James Clear and “Fierce Conversations” by Susan Scott.
What is your favorite sport and/or sports team?
The Mariners and the Seahawks!
Complete the following sentences:
When I’m not at work, you can find me....
with my family. I prefer being outside and favorite place to be is on or near the water. I love to take my kids down to the lake on summer evenings.
When I want to de-stress, I...
take a walk, talking a good long walk helps me re-focus (and adding sunshine is helpful bonus!). In the winter, I head to a yoga class.
My favorite time of year is...
this is tough - I love the sunshine in the summer but I also love winter. I may have been one of the few people not stressed by our snow storms last February.
My favorite thing to cook is...
I was not much of a cook until about a year and a half ago when I discovered a love for healthy eating - I enjoy exploring recipes. It’s my challenge/game to find healthy recipes that my whole family will eat. We use a ten point rating system for new meals which helps me decide if it’s a winner.
The best gift I ever received was...
I can’t think of anything specific but I do love that, as my children have gotten older, they take time to find thoughtful gifts. It’s so meaningful when they put thought into how much I might like something.
If I could travel anywhere in the world, I’d go to...
I’ve never been to Greece and would love to go. But i also would like to take my family to Ireland. But I am also one of the few adults I know who loves Disneyland, I would go anytime and hope that our kids never grow out of wanting to go!
What led you to pursue a career helping others?
I have always been drawn to helping people. While I was taking a behavior class in my undergraduate program, a family with two children with autism came to our class to talk about applied behavior analysis. I started working with them shortly after that visit and have been fascinated by behavior change ever since. Throughout my time working with kids and young adults with autism I have been most excited about seeing how breaking targets down into small parts and focusing on motivation, helps people progress. Seeing people set goals and make changes is incredibly rewarding.
What education, skills and expertise do you bring to your role?
My undergraduate degree is in psychology and my masters is in special education. I am also a board certified behavior analyst.
I have been a behavior analyst working with individuals on the autism spectrum for the past ten years. I have been most excited about working with my clients who have been able to engage in goal setting with me. I love working with a child or adult who can give input while problem solving with me. Working together to set goals and break them down is an exciting way to track your progress! I have a strong skill set related to identifying goals and breaking them down, I feel this helps make progress much more manageable! When you can identify your next small step instead of looking at the big picture, things feel much less overwhelming.
Who/what inspires you?
I am inspired to people (including myself) make positive changes in their lives.
What’s your personal philosophy/approach toward the work you do?
Everyone has the ability to make changes, I think people get stuck in behavioral patterns and just think ‘this is just how it is.’ Sometimes you just need a push to help reframe the situation, set goals and find motivation.
What is one small thing people can do to improve their lives and increase their happiness?
Pay attention, slowing down and focusing on what is happening can really make a change. Sometimes we get going so fast that we forget to enjoy what is happening.
We provide coaching and therapy to help people manage a variety of cognitive and emotional conditions.