How Strong Teams Support Individual Successes: Caisse's BCBA Certification

By Sara Porcaro | Mar 23, 2021
Behavioral Health, ABA, Disabilities, Rhode Island, BCBA, Career Development, Professional Growth, Teamwork
Treatment Coordinator Caisse Simons

"It takes a village," the common wisdom says--and it's wisdom that applies to much more than raising children. The impact of community, and the support network it creates, is something that can change a person's timeline; with the right people to surround ourselves with, and the right words of encouragement, the offer of a helping hand or the answer to a question, a community can achieve together what one individual might not have alone. That's why today comes a story of success, both through hard work and dedication, and through the support of a professional community: we're celebrating Treatment Coordinator Caisse Simons' success in passing her Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification, as well as looking towards the future for the next steps in her career with us at Perspectives!
After graduating with her bachelor's degree in psychology from Sacred Heart University, Caisse took with her not only her degree, but an enlightening internship experience with Great Beginnings Montessori School, where she was able to work with children of all abilities. The internship opened her eyes to potential career paths, as like many students, Caisse didn't know exactly where she wanted to go with her newfound knowledge and her skills; she knew only that she wanted to work with children, given that she'd been babysitting since her high school days and enjoyed helping them accomplish their goals. She soon found herself going home to Rhode Island and applying for a Behavior Specialist position at Perspectives in 2017--and since then, her ambition and dedication to the youths we support has led her through not only a master's degree from Salve Regina, but also to the successful completion of her BCBA certification.
"[My team] is so supportive, and they were always willing to answer any questions I had during my time here," Caisse says. "When I was completing my supervision hours for my BCBA certification, I was able to get a lot of feedback and tips from my peers who had already passed the exam; that was a huge help."
"I'm grateful to have found Perspectives; it's a really good agency to work for."
It's that support--both from her peers and Senior Director Brenda Verdi, who guided her as she progressed from Behavior Specialist to Lead Therapist to Treatment Coordinator--that gave Caisse not only the room to learn as much as she could, but to sink into the work and feel confident in her skills before moving to a new role. Rather than jump right into a new role, she slowly added hours in Lead Therapy as a Behavior Specialist, and after fully transition there, she began taking on Treatment Coordinator hours along her regular duties in 2019 to learn the position and grow her confidence before settling in completely. All along the way, Caisse was able to learn how to write up lessons, train new staff, and do other important parts of the job with other team members ready to give her tips to improve. Now, equipped with her BCBA certification and the experience, skills, and solid network of supportive peers, Caisse is excited to begin taking on hours as a Clinical Supervisor.
"Brenda always had my comfort in mind," says Caisse as she thinks back on her advancement through the agency. "I was able to work at my own pace, get all the feedback and help I needed, and I'm really glad to have had that immersion rather than jumping right into a brand new position."
As a professional who began her first post-college job at Perspectives and worked her way up to the role she's in now, Caisse was also grateful for the opportunity to see every piece of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) team's work. Her experience in each position--in the work they do and their importance in delivering quality services--gives her a greater understanding of the team as a whole, and it only deepens her appreciation of the work everyone does together--especially seeing how everyone sprang into action at the beginning of the pandemic to ensure families were still receiving the best care possible through telehealth and other options. All in all, Caisse is grateful to be on a team that not only strives to do their best work for individuals no matter the circumstances, but also one that allows her to develop her talents at her own pace so she, too, can do her best work.
"It was great to have a place where I didn't feel rushed or pressured to get certified, and I think that definitely made it easier to pass the exam," she says. "I'm grateful to have found Perspectives; it's a really good agency to work for."
And when it comes to students looking to find their way forward, as Caisse once was, her advice is clear: "I would say definitely take advantage of internships because it lets you try new things but also gives you an understanding of what you like and want to do."
Now, as Caisse continues to develop her role within the agency and the ABA team, she has an understanding of not only her talents, but how she can use them to make a difference--both to individuals we support and her fellow team members. She's marching ahead on her career path, equipped with her hard-earned certification and a great network of professionals, and we're excited to continue working with her along the way. Congratulations on passing the BCBA exam and taking the next step in your career, Caisse!


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