When I was in elementary school, I loved to pretend to be a teacher. My best friend and I would play on a daily basis. Her name was Mrs. Thompson and mine was Mrs. Fruit. I believe I always knew I was going to be a teacher when I grew up!
In middle school, I learned about a family who was looking for someone to volunteer to play with their little boy with autism on the weekends. I signed up and was very eager to start. Little did I know how difficult this opportunity and experience would be.
Jake was about 3 years old and had difficulty providing eye contact, attending, and had seizures daily. I worked with Jake for about a year, but without training from the parents and being a child myself, I started to become disheartened. I didn’t feel like I was helping him. I was young and therefore didn’t know how to understand what I had been through, or what Jake was going through. Even though my weekends with Jake ended, my curiosity didn’t.
In my junior year of high school, I started my teaching career at the
In my second year of college, I started to do my observation hour requirements. I started my observations in special education at the
In May 2005, I graduated from
Immediately upon graduating, I started working at Developmental Disabilities Institute. I was the teacher of an EI classroom, and then a preschool classroom. I received priceless training while teaching there and I am grateful for the experiences I received.
In December 2007, I graduated from
In 2009 I started working with Achieve Beyond/Bilinguals Inc. as a Parent Trainer, SEIT, team leader and
Team Heroes Inc. is an organization run by Special Education Teachers and other dedicated, loving volunteers. It is run in an
In September 2010, I received my B.C.S.E. (Board Certified Special Education) Certification and started to publish the I Love to Pretend Social Stories Series.
I Love to Pretend stories were created in order to teach children with autism how to pretend play. There are three books in the series so far: Let’s Play Doctor, I’m a Daddy, and Let’s Play Cashier.
In September 2012, I received my B.C.B.A. (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) certificate. At that time, I was offered a job as Behavioral Consultant Supervisor at Kidz Therapy.
My experiences throughout my years of teaching include training in
I love to learn and I thrive from learning new ways to teach and make our world exciting to our students!
B.C.B.A. (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) - September 2012
B.C.S.E. (Board Certification in Special Education) - September 2010
Masters Degree in Special Education (GPA: 3.93) - December 2007
Saint Joseph’s College, Patchogue, NY
Bachelors Degree in Child Study (GPA: 3.85) - May 2005
· Wrote a thesis on students with Autism and the effects of reinforcement on behavior
Associates Degree in Liberal Arts (GPA: 3.8) - December 2002
Education-related Work Experience:
Achieve Beyond/Bilinguals Inc.,
May 2008 to present
· Utilized Applied Behavior Analysis and discrete trial teaching methods while teaching students with disabilities in the home and school environments
· Provided family training sessions to caregivers of children with autism
· Lead teacher for early intervention and preschool cases (ran team meetings, created program books, provided for consistency among team members, kept in contact with child’s home school, etc.)
· Completed Module 2 of the New York State ABA test
· Conducted Assessments (Day-C, VB-Mapp)
· Participated in “S.M.P. Program” (Supervisors
· Co-conducted a Bilinguals Inc. training with supervisor
· Developed IEPs, BSPs, DROs, and Program Recommendations for student’s individualized curricula
Team Heroes Inc. (Nonprofit for children with autism)
Founder, President, Program Director (April 2009-present)
· Interview and manage Team Heroes Inc. volunteers
· Run a Saturday sports program for children with autism (March-August)
· Modify program to meet each child’s individual needs
· Organize donations and assist in running fundraisers
· Organize resource fairs, orientations, and board meetings
Developmental Disabilities Institute,
Teacher (October 2005 to May 2008)
Teacher Assistant (May 2005 to September 2005),
· Completed Module 1 of the New York State ABA test
· Utilized Applied Behavior Analysis and discrete trial teaching methods while teaching children with autism in an early intervention (1:1 enhanced ratio) and preschool setting (6:1:3.5)
· Developed a training class with a colleague to train teachers and assistants in behavior intervention techniques and teaching methods
· Developed a video modeling program for a student
· Developed IEPs, SPAMs, BSPs, FBAs, DROs, and Program Recommendations for student’s individualized curricula
· Wrote progress reports and midyear evaluations based on assessment tests conducted (ELAP, ABLLS, PES)
· Created teaching techniques and behavioral strategies for two students attending partial day inclusion placements, at an off-site preschool
· Created and utilized social stories and interactive teaching stories
· Utilized music to desensitize students to sounds and decrease self-stimulatory behavior (student specific)
· Trained parents (hands-on) on