Tonya S
Specializing in autistic speech

Cheyenne C.

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My Work Style

I would say that my personal work style is a bit of a mixture- I am very detail oriented and like to look at the big picture, however, am sensitive to all of the small details that it takes to get there. I also work cooperatively with colleagues and feel that the best work is often accomplished within an interdisciplinary team. My number one goal as a clinician is to improve the quality of life for my clients- we get there through hard work, having fun and persevering.

Area of Expertise

Social Skills instruction, Natural Environment Teaching (NET), problem behavior reduction, early childhood instruction, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, Independent living skills, staff and parent/caregiver training

BHCOE Accreditation

What I Do To De-stress In My Free Time

Spend time with my family, travel, spend time working outside or in nature, cooking and reading (fun, non-professional books!).

Why I Became a BCBA

I was on a path to becoming a speech pathologist when Behavior Analysis found me. I was completing a speech practicum in a school setting when the speech pathologist put me in charge of facilitating the social skills groups. I LOVED IT! The speech pathologist said that I seemed so natural and comfortable in that role. She then asked me if I had ever heard of ABA, I hadn’t and so she connected me to a BCBA friend of hers. I shadowed her for a couple of days, and it was wonderful. I just really fell in love with the science and the service! As I have worked my way through from being an RBT to a master’s level clinician to a BCBA, I have found this to be a wonderful journey filled the most amazing kiddos and families.

What Previous Clients Would Say About Me

I think my previous clients would say that I am dedicated and compassionate. I treat them with respect, dignity and each as the unique individuals that they all are.

What I Love Most About What I Do

Working with all of the amazing people and their families. I have learned so much about life from my clients over the years.

Most Challenging Professional Moment

My most challenging professional moment to date was working with a child involved in the foster care system and the foster family as well as the biological family. It was challenging because both families had very different environments and parenting styles and often, I was the mediating factor between the two for the child. It was critical that all people involved put aside their own feelings in order to come together as team to rally around the child to promote his success. There were a lot of emotions involved and understandably so. It was challenging to support both sets of parents in order to support the child.

Most Rewarding Professional Moment

Working with a learner who had not left her home in almost two years and gradually tackling each variable that interfered with her going back into the community (wearing shoes, overstimulation, anxiety, weather related components). This was hindering her ability to engage in social interactions, attend school, etc. and significantly impacting the quality of her and her parents’ lives. We started with a gradual shaping and exposure program that eventually led to her playing outside, then asking to walk around the block and going for a ride in the car. She is now expecting to return to school this fall. These are the moments I live for!

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