Here on our blog over the past few months, Innovative Behavior Options has been featuring Q&A sessions with some of our staff. In our latest post, we introduce you to Dontel, one of our ABA therapists who assists with our clients and their families.
Can you tell us a little bit about you?
I moved from Michigan to Georgia about three years ago. In addition to my work in ABA therapy, I also have some experience in singing, acting and modeling, as well as writing music. This also made Atlanta very appealing!
Fun fact about me: I’ve been in a couple of films. One is Marvel’s Black Panther, which was an awesome experience! I’ve also gotten the chance to model in New York during NY Fashion Week.
How long have you been a part of the Innovative Behavior Options team?
I came on with Innovative Behavior Options last month, and I love the environment and fresh approach they bring to the table for our champions.
I’ve been a part of the ABA therapy and special needs community for eight years, and I like to say that it sort of found me as opposed to me finding it. My smiley personality and love of seeing a smile on other people’s faces actually caught the eye of two ABA directors who used to come in every morning while I was a barista at a coffee shop. They told me one day that if I was ever looking for a change in career, to stop by their office, which was conveniently located next door! That was in 2011, and I’ve been serving the special needs community ever since.
What does a typical day look like for you?
My days include driving around metro Atlanta and the surrounding area working with different families who need ABA services for their family. I usually start around 9:00am and finish up around 7:00pm.
I end the day exhausted but with a full heart! I know that I’ve helped a little one become that much closer to being able to be a part of the everyday world, not only to communicate better with their families, but with others as well. Once I leave my last family, I head straight to the gym for a workout. Some of our stars are high energy and like to run and play so it’s important to me to match their energy!
After the gym, I head home to decompress and get ready to get up and do it all over again! I truly enjoy my job, and I love the feeling of knowing that I’m helping a family that will have lasting effects, and for that nothing else gives me more joy.
What’s the best part of your day or week?
Every day brings something different; a different joy or surprise, new knowledge and growth. It’s ongoing, so a better question might be, certain days are more full of knowledge, joy and surprises than others, but just about every day or every week brings at least one.
What are you most passionate about?
I’m most passionate about true human joy and happiness, and giving to those who need help on their journeys of happiness to a better quality of life.
What puts a smile on your face?
The best thing that puts a smile on my face is when a child learns a new way to communicate with their families. Seeing the joy (sometimes with tears) that a family receives when they see growth in their little one makes my heart melt and brings me the biggest smile.
We look forward to continuing to share more from our talented ABA therapists and other staff members here on the Innovative Behavior Options’ blog. For any questions regarding our ABA therapy services available to families with special needs children in metro Atlanta, we invite you to contact our office.