Meet Our Team

Amanda Backer, M.Ed.
Program Director

Amanda has worked in the field of autism for over 20 years. During her career, she has discovered a true passion for helping adults with autism to succeed in their transition to adulthood. Amanda created California Autism Network to ensure that those seeking this support would have the tools needed to be successful in their goals for the future. It is also Amanda’s deep belief that there is much more to life than professional success. One of the main priorities set for California Autism Network is to provide clients with a network of peers that they can relate to, share experiences with, learn from, and trust. This company was created from the heart, and all of our employees maintain this same vision.

Maria Tolento, BA

Program Manager– Murrieta Region

Maria brings over 7 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities, with a specialized focus on autism spectrum disorder within educational environments and one-on-one settings. Her dedication to empowering individuals with autism has been demonstrated through her commitment to fostering independence and facilitating personalized growth journeys. Maria is passionate about extending her expertise to support adults with autism in achieving greater levels of autonomy and self-sufficiency. Her background underscores her proficiency in tailoring interventions to meet the unique needs of each individual, ensuring meaningful progress and development

Rosa Gonzalez, MA

Program Manager– Riverside Region

Rosa is a Transition Specialist with over 4 years of experience working with differently-abled adults. Rosa has siblings with Autism and has the insight needed to adapt to various learning styles and personalities. Her mission in life is to make people’s lives easier by providing them with the necessary tools, support, and guidance to succeed and thrive. When she’s not working, you can find Rosa reading a comic book or singing with her band.

Joselynn Sakaguchi, BA

Autism Transition Specialist

Joselynn is a dedicated Transition Specialist at California Autism Network with over 5 years of experience in the field. Her passion lies in empowering her clients to achieve their fullest potential, and lead fulfilling and independent lives. Joselynn has a profound ability to connect with clients on a personal level and excels in facilitating growth and development in a one-to-one setting, tailored to each individual’s needs. Joselynn is committed to making a meaningful difference in the lives of those she serves.

Jordyn McCoy, BA

Autism Transition Specialist

Jordyn is a devoted Transition Specialist with over 4 years of hands-on experience working with both children and adults diagnosed with ASD. Her expertise lies in establishing strong one-to-one connections, and she believes that meeting people where they are enables them to thrive and succeed. Jordyn combines her empathetic nature with proven strategies to provide personalized care and foster a supportive environment for self-sufficiency.

Michelle Gonzales, BA

Autism Transition Specialist

Michelle is a dedicated Transition Specialist with over 7 years of experience in the field. She is very passionate about creating and encouraging independence for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Michelle is kind, compassionate, and brings it with her everywhere she goes. Michelle considers herself very lucky to find her passion and have the opportunity to facilitate growth. When she is not working, you will find her listening to audio books and spending time with her family.

Kenneth Christensen, BA

Autism Transition Specialist

Kenneth has first hand experience as a successful high functioning autistic man, and uses his expertise to help others like him become independent and successful. He has a BA in Anthropology from UCR, and when he is not working as an Autism Transition Specialist, he writes comic book scripts. He is most known for “The Artemis Wish”, which became an Amazon’s best seller.  Kenneth enjoys studying philosophy and listening to jazz on his record player during his free time.