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Who is qualified to implement ABA?  

Just as a medical treatment program should be directed by a qualified medical professional, ABA programs should be created and supervised by a highly trained and experienced BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) that has the supervised experience providing ABA treatment for children with autism.  A BCBA has the board certification (Behavior Analyst Certification Board) which is required for a person to become a Behavior Analyst, and it is recognized worldwide.  In the field of ABA, this is the gold standard for professionals.  

Because of the huge demand for ABA intervention many individuals and programs now claim to provide ABA and unfortunately some who claim to offer ABA lack the field's established minimum requirements in education major and practical experience.

Beware of the misapplication of ABA.

What do the job titles mean, specifically?

BCBA  The Board Certified Behavior Analyst® (BCBA®) is a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. In addition, BCBAs supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement behavior-analytic interventions.

BCaBA - The Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst® (BCaBA®) is an undergraduate-level certification in behavior analysis. Professionals who are certified at the BCaBA level may not practice independently, but must be supervised by someone certified at the BCBA/BCBA-D level. In addition, BCaBAs can supervise the work of Registered Behavior Technicians, and others who implement behavior-analytic interventions. 

RBT - The Registered Behavior TechnicianTM (RBT®) is a paraprofessional who practices under the close, ongoing supervision of a BCBA, BCaBA, or FL-CBA. The RBT is primarily responsible for the direct implementation of behavior-analytic services. The RBT does not design intervention or assessment plans. It is the responsibility of the RBT supervisor to determine which tasks an RBT may perform as a function of his or her training, experience, and competence. The BACB certificant supervising the RBT is responsible for the work performed by the RBT on the cases they are overseeing. 

Job title position descriptions are from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, which can be accessed at: http://www.bacb.com

Meet Our Team:

NICOLE KOREN, BCBA, LPC - CLINICAL SUPERVISOR

Nikki is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Professional Counselor.  She graduated from Lewis University with her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and School Counseling. Nikki completed a Post-Master’s degree certificate program at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale with an emphasis on Applied Behavior Analysis. Nikki has been working in the field for over 4 years and certified in CPI.   Her area of expertise is in staff and parent training, implementing discrete trial teaching, program development, and applied behavior analysis support in residential and workshop settings. 

DANIELLE ZIGANTO, BCBA - PROGRAM MANAGER

Danielle earned her bachelors degree in psychology from DePaul University and her masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) from Ball State University. She has been working with children with autism since 2012 and has experience implementing the principles of ABA in a variety of settings, including school, clinic and home. Danielle enjoys creating skill acquisition programs for her clients as well as seeing their progress during sessions. In her spare time, she enjoys riding and showing her horse.

AMBER RUE - BCaBA - PROGRAM MANAGER

Amber earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville in 2010 where they had a program that was able to place her in home providing ABA therapy.  She has worked in Foster Care for some time and had many children on her caseload that had special needs.  Amber was introduced early to autism because her best friend's sister had autism.  She watched the family struggle for years without resources near their hometown.  Her best friend's mom eventually quit her job to stay home with her daughter tried to do the best she could for her to be successful.  Amber went into this field to try to help families that are in the same type of situations.  She further did this by obtaining her BCaBA from the Florida Institute of Technology in 2017.  Amber loves watching the kids gain skills and grow!


ABBY ELLIS - HUMAN RESOURCE COORDINATOR 

Abby earned her associate degree in Accounting and a BS in Business Management with a concentration in Human Resources.  Prior to joining our team she was a Human Resources Representative at The Children's Home Association of Illinois and HR/Office Manager at Heritage Health.  She was motivated to become our HR expert because autism has affected her family personally and she wanted to help in hiring individuals who have a passion for helping our clients and therefore making a difference in our client's and families lives.  What she enjoys most about working here is seeing the progress the children are making, hearing their laughter and seeing their smiling faces every day!

CINDY BENNETT - DIRECTOR

Cindy attended Lindenwood University in St. Charles, MO as a business major and has worked in finance since 1997.   Her first professional job was for a small manufacturer's rep company in the aerospace industry and her most recent position was as the Director of Finance for a global software company.  Cindy has also owned and managed a successful technology reseller from 2008 to 2016.  At the Illinois Valley Autism Center Cindy utilizes her fiscal administration skills to ensure the facility runs efficiently while continually expanding resources for the children's skill advancements.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Registered Behavior Technicians

JESSICA J., RBT

Jessica attended Mid-Continent University where she graduated with a BS in Psychology.  She went on to obtain her MA in Human Services from Capella University in 2012.  Jessica has specialized in the area of Mental Health.  She has provided personal care to individuals with developmental disabilities and mental illness by teaching and assisting with activities of daily living, working one on one to improve socialization and has provided individual and group counseling services to children and adults.  What Jessica enjoys most about her position is that she knows each day she works with a child makes a major difference on their quality of life.

Ali S., RBT

After Ali graduated from LP High School in 2010 she attended Illinois Valley Community College.  Ali has continually been in the presence of children while she grew up and then worked as a nanny for two years.  While attending school she decided to join Illinois Valley Autism Center in September of 2013.  Ali worked hard and earned her RBT as soon as that certification became available in December 2015.  She loves helping others.  Ali's favorite part about being a Registered Behavior Technician is seeing the children succeed and grow in their skills.


TRISHA L., RBT

Trisha attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Menomonie, WI where she graduated with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) in 2013.  She took a number of courses focusing on the development. and lifespan of an individual.  Her previous work experience was working as a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional (QIDP) severing adults with intellectual disabilities in a house setting with the main goal of providing and teaching activities of daily living so they become more independent.  Trisha loves her position as a RBT because she gets to work 1:1 with each child and especially likes the NET environment that engages the child in a play therapy aspect.  She loves seeing the children's skills heighten and expand!


SELENIA A., RBT

Selenia attended Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, IL where she graduated with a BS in Psychology with an  emphasis on behavioral studies and a minor in sociology. Her previous experience was working for Head Start as a Family and Community Service Worker for five years.  She worked alongside parents and families throughout their children's preschool year.  She also helped to improve the families' preschool experience with their child with family fun nights and parent volunteering.  She also assisted the families with transitions to kindergarten, IEP meetings and IHP meetings.  Selenia has always wanted to make a difference in a child's life.  She believes a little act of kindness and a smile can go along way in the world we live in and she also feels that knowing a child has learned from you can make you a better and kinder person each day...not only are you improving their lives, but they are also improving yours!  


CASEY L., RBT

Casey attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and graduated early in December 2009 with a BA in Urban and Regional Planning.  After she graduated, she spent three and a half years in the Peace Corps in Albania where she worked in an orphanage as well as being associated with community nonprofits such as one which works with children with autism.  This experience led her to a career change to the fields of youth and education.  Casey has been employed at LaSalle Peru High School as a Paraprofessional since August 2014, primarily in life skills classes implementing classes for community experience.  She is currently undertaking coursework for a Masters in Special Education with Specialization in Learning Behavior Specialist I, intending in graduating in 2020.Casey started with the Center in May of 2017 and earned her RBT registration in January of 2018.  One of the reasons she enjoys working with children with disabilities is that each of them has fun, unique quirks.  At the Center she enjoys finding creative ways to engage the children in play.

AIDA I., RBT 

Aida attended Purdue University in Indiana with a major in Neurobiology and a minor in Psychology in 2016.  She has always worked with children but wanted to work in a more specialized field that she felt required a lot of support.  Since Aida is a neuro major she was also interested to learn more about children with autism and treatment options. Aida loves seeing the progress the children make, even when it is something simple, because it can really be life changing for them and their family.  She also loves building relationships with the clients and feels honored to be a part of their treatment and honored to have the families' trust us to help their child.


TESSA M., RBT


Bio coming soon!


TARA D., RBT


Tara attended Aurora University and graduated with a major in Psychology in May 2018.  She had previous ABA experience working with children affected by autism  in the home environment.  Tara made ABA therapy her career choice because her sister has autism and she had the opportunity to observe the help she received and seeing how far she has come inspired her to try and make that same difference in someone else's life as was made with her sister.Tara enjoys watching the kids grow and watching the progress they make.

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

 

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