Meet the Team

Olivia Liu

Co-Founder

Olivia has worked with autistic toddlers and children since the beginning of 2016 in home and school settings. She also worked as an Education Assistant in public schools to gain experience and learn more about the school system. She is currently completing her Masters online and will be graduating in 2022. Olivia is a registered autism service provider (Category B) in British Columbia.

 

Over the past few years, listening and learning from autistic advocates, resulted in a major shift in her practice as a professional working with autistic populations. Moving towards a focus on the strengths of the individual, to foster important self-advocacy skills and self- empowerment. 

 

Some of Olivia's interests are learning more about neurodiversity affirming practices, creating educational resources, and telehealth. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she discovered her interest in telehealth by actively sharing telehealth related resources to educators around the world.

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Daniela Marco

Co-Founder

Daniela has worked with neurodivergent toddlers, children, and teens since 2013. She is currently completing her master's degree in Special Education at The University of British Columbia. Daniela is a registered autism service provider (Category B) in B.C. and a certified Sibshop faciliator.

 

Daniela is passionate about promoting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) instruction by incorporating the interests and strengths of neurodivergent (autism and ADHD) individuals to learn essential STEM skills. Daniela strives to help neurodivergent individuals discover their passions within STEM, which may potentially lead to a vocation that they will enjoy and find meaning in pursuing.

Daniela is also passionate about providing support to the whole family, particularly, supporting siblings and fostering positive sibling relationships. As an adult sibling of a neurodivergent individual herself, Daniela believes that educating and supporting siblings is just as important as educating and supporting neurodivergent individuals and their parents.

 

As a student researcher, Daniela's current research interests are in STEM skill acquisition, direct instructional methods, sibling psycho education and supports, and participatory research. Daniela is recently learning more about participatory research, which involves community partners and participating individuals in every step of the research process. This would make for a truly collaborative approach, which is much needed in autism research. 

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Our Story

Olivia and Daniela met in 2016 while attending their undergraduate program at Capilano University. They instantly clicked, since then have pursued their careers in special education together. They eventually graduated and attended different graduate programs, but they both stayed connected and shared the same values and insights. 

Olivia and Daniela have always wanted to create a service that addresses a gap in the current service models, exploring different possible ventures since 2018. They both realized that S.T.E.M. education is largely unaccessible for autistic youth and that there is a need for more neurodiversity affirming practices in BC --- especially for group based services. Daniela and Olivia began brain storming about how to create a neurodiversity affirming S.T.E.M. social group. Hence, S.T.E.M. Sprouts was born! 

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