Vickie has been working with CSD since 2016. She previously worked on various Autism research studies conducted by Kaiser Permanente. She coordinated the Study for Early Development (SEED) and the Environmental Exposures and Autism Study at the San Jose Autism Spectrum Disorder Center.
Director of Neuropsychology
Dr. Elsie Mak is the Director of Neuropsychology and a neuropsychologist at Best Steps. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Palo Alto University, with a focus on neuropsychology. She completed her neuropsychology practicums at VA Palo Alto Healthcare System and Laguna Honda Hospital and Rehabilitation Center, pre-doctoral neuropsychology internship at Cincinnati VA Medical Center, and postdoctoral neuropsychology residency at Kaiser Permanente San Francisco. Following licensure, she worked at the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Autism Spectrum Disorder Center, conducting Autism and other psychological and cognitive evaluations for children and adolescents. She was also a supervising psychologist at Kaiser Permanente San Jose ASD Center. Dr. Mak previously worked at Center for Social Dynamics, Children’s Health Council, Pacific Coast Psychology Group, Stanford Math Project, San Andreas Regional Center, Gifted Support Center, and Richmond Area Multi-Service. Dr. Mak also has a private practice at Saratoga, California, providing neuropsychological evaluations, psychotherapy, and consultations for adults and children. Dr. Mak has a M.S. degree in Computer Science and a B.A. degree in Computer Science and Mathematics, and she was previously a software engineer before pursuing her passion for neuropsychology.
Lacy Ryburn is a native Californian who was born and raised in Danville, California. She studied psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree. She went on to get her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Argosy University in the San Francisco Bay Area. She has a breadth of experience providing therapeutic services to children and families from diverse backgrounds and with various mental health, behavioral, and developmental challenges including children with autism spectrum disorder.
H. Nicole Hess
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
H. Nicole Hess is a licensed clinical psychologist with over 10 years of experience with psychological assessment of children and adults. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Pepperdine University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology at Pacific Graduate School of Psychology (now Palo Alto University). Her education and clinical experience has been largely focused on psychological evaluations and neuropsychological assessments to address a wide range of referral concerns, and she has a specialty in and passion for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). She has served in many roles for individuals with ASD including early interventionist, clinical manager, and diagnostician at various agencies including Kaiser Permanente, Children’s Health Council, and Center for Social Dynamics. During her time at Kaiser Permanente, she achieved research reliability on the ADOS-2 as well as other developmental assessments. She is the co-owner of a well-established assessment practice in Willow Glen.
Dr. Melanie Hsu, PhD.
Dr. Hsu attended the University of Washington for her undergraduate degree in Psychology. After working for a year as a residential treatment counselor and in a genetics lab, she attended the Pacific Graduate School of Psychology at Palo Alto University to obtain her PhD in Clinical Psychology with emphases in Child & Family and Health Psychology. Dr. Hsu’s passion for working with children and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder and developmental disabilities started during a practicum at Children’s Hospital Oakland at the Children’s Hospital Autism Intervention (CHAI). She completed her postdoctoral residency at the Kaiser Permanente Autism Spectrum Disorder Center in San Jose and worked there for four years in diagnoses, research, supervision, and training. Dr. Hsu currently continues to work part-time at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research with the Autism Research Project as the clinical lead for ECHO (Early Life Exposures, Child Growth, and Neurodevelopment) study.