This time of year, as we reflect on all that we’re thankful for, our extremely talented staff tops the list. We’re so grateful to get to work with smart, driven, and compassionate people! Today, we want to introduce you to our newest Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), who is all of those things. Meet Shaelene!
Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I was born and raised on the island of Guam. I am very family oriented and have nine sisters and three brothers. After high school, I moved to Hawaii to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. When I graduated, I immediately got a job in the ABA field working as a paraprofessional. After six months in the field, I pursued my Master’s degree in ABA at Ball State University and became a BCBA.
My dream goal would be to bring ABA services to Guam and give back to the place I was born.
What’s your official title? What is your role at IBO?
I have been part of the IBO team for about a month now (I was a BCBA in Seattle, WA prior to joining IBO). Here, I manage a caseload of clients, supervise Register Behavior Technicians (RBTs), and provide training and support for clients’ families.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Typically, I go to client’s homes, with the exception of Fridays when I work at the Roswell therapy center. Home visits are always an exciting part of my day because they allow me to observe and interact with clients and their families in their most comfortable setting. I am typically interacting with my clients and probing or teaching skills using a naturalist approach, while providing feedback and coaching for their amazing RBTs.
What interested you initially about this type of work?
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to help children. After graduating college, a friend told me about ABA, and I was immediately intrigued. My first client was extremely tough, but instead of giving up, I wanted to gain the knowledge necessary to be able to help. That is when I encountered my first BCBA and knew that was exactly what I wanted to do.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love the opportunity to continue to learn and grow with every client I encounter. I have been given the knowledge in school, but the real growing and experience happens in the field. Through every encounter, every family, and every client I am always finding new ways to teach new skills across different environments and cultures.
What is the best part of your week?
The best part of my week is being able to reflect and review programs for clients and to watch their continued growth and progress. For certain skills that are showing a need for support, it gives me an opportunity to do research and discover new things and new ways to teach skills.
What causes are you passionate about?
I am passionate about everything I do. From my job, to fitness, to my faith. Everything I do, I do with complete passion. When I’m not working, I spend a lot of time focusing on my fitness goals. And when I’m not doing either of those, I am spending time with my family because my life revolves around my family and faith.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned recently?
The most interesting thing I’ve learned lately was the recent research on the effectiveness of the interview-informed, synthesized contingency analysis (IISCA). This training has been a highlight in my recent research specifically because it is relevant to many cases I currently manage.
What puts a smile on your face?
Compassion and joy! This is such a broad statement, but it is the pure joy that comes from clients being able to communicate their needs and the compassions that comes from the RBTs and families who work with these clients daily to help them reach their full potential.
If you’re interested in learning more about ABA therapy or working with one of our wonderful ABA therapists, like Shaelene, check out our website or give us a call at 770-250-0093.