What she does:
I am a licensed school psychologist, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), and owner of Peak Interventions. My company serves children and families with developmental days, and more specifically with autism. We provide Applied Behavior Analysis services. Our goal is to support families through the behavior ups and downs, and help children gain pro-social, adaptive, cognitive, and behavior skills to enhance their quality of life. We focus on making a better everyday life for children and families! We serve children with developmental disabilities including (but not limited to):
- Developmental Delays
- Learning Difficulties
I also provide required supervision for other individuals pursuing their behavior analyst certification. While I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue working with individuals I supervised while they pursed certification, I’m also excited to see previous individuals I’ve supervised providing outstanding support to children and families through local schools and organizations — as well as to families in other parts of the country.
A close family member struggled with significant ADHD throughout his childhood and into adulthood. Unfortunately, I saw the school system fail him. Schools often labeled him pretty quickly and attempted (unsuccessfully) to get him to learn via the norm- typical lecture format, instead of tapping into his strengths and building confidence. At that time there weren’t many options for private behavioral support for students or families. I quickly learned that I wanted to work with kids; I saw the challenges experienced by my family member, and knew I wanted to have a role in helping all children to have a positive school and life experience. I also wanted families to be able to enjoy their children rather than focusing on constant disciplinary punishment systems that were ineffective. Later, I then worked at a center-based school for children with significant emotional issues. At that time I was not aware that many of those children were likely on the autism spectrum. During my graduate work as a School Psychologist, I learned much more about autism spectrum disorders and felt a calling to work with this population. This ultimately lead to me pursuing and earning my BCBA certification.
What other assume:
Often, people assume that ABA is a very rigid field that focuses primarily on tabletop activities. People also assume that children with autism specifically do not desire to be social and cannot make significant social gains.
What they should really know:
Children with autism and other developmental disabilities are very capable learners, often when taught in a behavioral context; they can make significant gains across skill domains. All children can learn and all people value social relationships. ABA applies behavioral principles within the context of both structured and unstructured environments, through relationship building, play and specific instruction to help children gain valuable skills.
There is such a great need for supports among families. My biggest challenge is how to help more families and children in the local area that are in need — especially those that do not have access to insurance funding.
Seeing gains on each child’s individual level; small steps are huge gains worth celebrating.
Peak Interventions has a team of dedicated staff that provides in-home, community and school services to children with developmental disabilities. Each staff member brings a unique skill set to the team and we often work in collaboration with one another. Their caring nature is what drives our success!
Editors note: Heather’s passion for general well-being is further evidenced through her holistic approach to health and wellness. She and her husband (Daniel) provide their unique insight via their blog, The Pre-Industrialized Plate. Check out the informative articles and collection of yummy and healthy recipes!