Our Founders

Barbara Simeroth, M.S. Ed.

Barbara SimerothBarbara Simeroth first became aware of neurodiversity as an elementary school student while participating in a gifted program. Throughout the years, both her students and family have uniquely prepared her to work with those who think differently. She is an experienced classroom teacher, department head and independent consultant. During her years as a high school teacher, she observed bright students with ASD going to college and either failing out or earning a degree but never attaining meaningful employment. This is when she began SpectrumWise, a Virginia-based college consulting firm, specializing in preparing and placing students in colleges that have dedicated on-campus comprehensive autism support. When clients asked for social skills instruction, she looked for an evidence-based program and in 2017 Barbara became a certified PEERS social skills training provider. Her pilot PEERS group in Richmond was featured on NPR. With her colleague Holly Roper, Barbara began PEERS RVA, to teach the PEERS evidence based social skills curriculum. Barbara earned her Master of Science degree in education from Old Dominion University, VA and a B.A. from Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA. She resides in Richmond, Virginia and is the mother of three sons and two much loved grandchildren.

Holly Roper, M.A.

Holly Roper

Tailoring services in a holistic manner is Holly Roper’s philosophy for helping find the balance that her clients seek. As a counselor, she has a passion for building a strong therapeutic relationship, based on trust and non-judgmental regard. Her goal is to make all of her clients feel comfortable and safe by meeting them exactly where there are on their journey. In addition, she is trained in the integration of psychology and theology. Seeing a need among her younger clients for help with social interaction, in 2018 Holly became a certified PEERS social skills training provider. With her colleague, Barbara Simeroth, Holly began PEERS RVA to provide evidence based social skills. In her role as social coach facilitator she helps parents and other coaches understand the curriculum and problem solve in order to better support the PEERS student. Holly earned her Masters of Professional Counseling degree from Liberty University and her B.A. from the University of Richmond. She currently resides in Richmond, VA.