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WHO WE ARE

We are a compassionate team of parents and clinicians who devote our lives to understanding the unique growth needs of each child we serve. We created HUG Center to be a safe, kind-hearted haven for learning, where kids can grow, free from stress and judgment. Proudly serving Detroit, Michigan and its surrounding communities, we believe children of all abilities should have access to innovative therapeutic services.
Applied behavioral Analysis in Detroit

Zeina Kaddoum, Ph.D.

CEO and Founder

Dear parents, guardians, changemakers and friends,

Welcome to HUG Center—where we help children grow, one hug at a time.

I am Zeina Kaddoum, a Ph.D. holder in Population Health, mother of two, professor, and founder of HUG Center. With over a decade of teaching experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels, I bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to our therapeutic programs for neurodivergent children and families.

Combining my experience as an educator with personal insights, I have developed a deep passion for partnering with young ones to achieve big things. My belief is that neurodivergent children, when provided with the right mix of support, love, and services, can not only thrive but also create their own unique version of success in this world.

HUG Center is committed to providing growth opportunities for all children, enabling them to reach their highest potential. My passion for providing equitable solutions for groups with unmet needs, especially those of autistic and other neurodivergent learners, is what inspired me to establish HUG Center.

As someone who identifies as neurodivergent myself, I am deeply committed to ensuring that HUG Center’s therapeutic services are inclusive, ethical, and current with the latest behavioral health research. Having personally navigated the world with unique needs and challenges, I understand the importance of early access to quality services. At the same time, I am committed to continuous growth and development as a lifelong learner who strives to look beyond my limitations. My ultimate goal is to empower neurodivergent children to do the same—to build on their strengths, overcome challenges, and lead fulfilling lives.

HUG Center is a heart-led project and my hope for it is to be a safe and inviting place for the development of all children. I truly believe that every child has unique gifts and strengths that caregivers and professionals can nurture to help them achieve their full potential.

Thank you for considering HUG Center. We are honored to be part of your child’s growth journey.

To learn more about me, please visit the Birmingham Bloomfield Hills Mom site.

Sincerely,

Zeina

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Gabby Naula-Quintero, BCBA, MEd

Clinical Director of ABA Therapy

Dear families,

I am Gabby Naula, the Clinical Director of HUG Center, and I bring over a decade of experience in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. My career has been dedicated to providing compassionate, child-centered care to neurodivergent children and their families.

I am passionate about using the latest progressive approaches to ABA. My focus is on creating compassionate, assent-based programs that respect each child’s voice in their therapeutic journey. Teaching self-advocacy and communication skills is a top priority, as these are foundational for each child’s development and empowerment. We emphasize teaching self-advocacy by encouraging children to express their needs, preferences, and feelings in a supportive environment. Using techniques such as role-playing scenarios, visual aids, and technology-based communication tools, we help children build the confidence to advocate for themselves. 

At HUG Center, we believe in the power of collaboration. By working closely with families, we ensure that our programs are not only effective but also aligned with each child’s unique needs and family dynamics. Our team is committed to continuous learning and professional development, staying updated with the latest research and best practices in the field of ABA. This commitment allows us to provide the highest quality of care and achieve the best possible outcomes for the children we serve.

We also place a strong emphasis on community involvement and support. Through workshops, support groups, and community events, we aim to create a network of resources and a sense of belonging for families. Our goal is to empower parents and caregivers with the knowledge and tools they need to support their children’s growth and development. Together, we can build a brighter future for our children, one hug at a time.

Outside of work, I value quality time with my family and enjoy traveling. Hiking is a favorite pastime, particularly when it involves uncovering hidden waterfalls. Such outdoor pursuits ground me and remind me of the importance of balance in life.

Thank you for entrusting us with your children and allowing us to be a part of their journey. Your trust and partnership mean the world to us.

Sincerely,

Gabby

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Rebecca Hughes, MA, CCC-SLP

Director of Speech and Language Pathology Services

Hello,

I’m Rebecca Hughes, a highly qualified and ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, and the passionate founder of North Oakland Speech Services. I am thrilled to collaborate with HUG Center as their Director of Speech and Language Pathology Services, bringing cutting-edge speech therapy that seamlessly integrates with the rest of HUG Center’s outstanding programs.

With a Bachelor’s degree in Linguistics from Oakland University and a Master’s of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from Wayne State University, I have worked with both pediatric and adult populations in a variety of settings, including hospitals, rehabilitation centers, home care, private clinics, and local ABA centers.

My passion for speech therapy stems from my commitment to helping patients make progress and grow, while also educating their families along the way. As a specialist in Autism, Oral and Motor Speech Disorders, Apraxia of Speech, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, as well as Receptive and Expressive Language Disorders, I am dedicated to providing the highest quality of care. I am also certified in VitalSitm, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT), Natural Language Acquisition, and Language Acquisition Motor Planning (LAMP).

I take a patient-centered approach to speech therapy, treating each patient according to their unique needs. When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and four children, reading, traveling, and continuing to educate myself in the field of speech therapy.

I’m thrilled to partner with HUG Center to provide exceptional services to local families and children, and I look forward to helping your child reach their full potential.

Sincerely,

Rebecca

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Sara Nasser, MA, LLC, ATR-P

Lead Art Therapist

I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become.”- Carl Jung. This powerful quote embodies the transformative journey that art therapy can offer.

Hello families,

I’m Sara Nasser, a dedicated Clinical Mental Health Counselor and Art Therapist committed to facilitating transformative journeys with clients. I passionately guide individuals in tapping into their inner resilience and embracing change through the expressive power of art.

In my work with children and adolescents, I utilize art therapy as a dynamic and engaging tool for self-discovery and growth. Understanding the unique challenges young minds face, I aim to create a safe and supportive space where they can freely express themselves.

By incorporating various art modalities, I intend to tailor therapeutic interventions that address the specific needs of each child or adolescent. Whether it’s using drawing, painting, or other creative mediums, the goal is to foster a sense of empowerment, self-awareness, and emotional well-being.

Collaborating with HUG Center, I envision weaving the transformative impact of art therapy into their programs, enriching the lives of local families and children. I am excited about the prospect of contributing to the holistic development of young minds and guiding them toward reaching their full potential.

Sincerely,
Sara

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KC Hammerly, MS, OTRL

Director of Occupational Therapy Services

Hello!

‌My name is KC Hammerle. I am a national board-certified, licensed occupational therapist and the owner of Occupational Therapy Solutions. I am thrilled to partner with HUG Center to provide child-led occupational therapy to children who need support in reaching their full potential. My dedication to occupational therapy is inspired by its commitment to fostering independence, self-fulfillment, and aiding individuals in realizing their maximum potential. Occupational therapy is inherently child-led, focusing on achieving goals through enjoyable, interactive, and engaging activities.

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Eastern Michigan University. With over 15 years of pediatric practice, I have gained experience in various settings, including acute care, NICU follow-up clinics, home care, outpatient pediatric clinics, and schools. My extensive training covers numerous areas such as Sensory Integration, Beckman Oral Motor, Brain Gym, DIR FloorTime, neuromuscular handling techniques, Kinesiotaping, Interactive Learning Systems, Therapeutic Listening, and fine motor strengthening exercises.

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my four grown children and their significant others, cooking with friends, and participating in outdoor activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, and yoga. I’m excited to work with HUG Center to assist in empowering neurodivergent children to be the best they can be through the avenue of occupational therapy!

Sincerely,

KC