How Center-Based Therapy Brings BCBA Jenn Abrom Closer to the Kiddos
December 30, 2019
December 30, 2019
It is not solely the kids who receive the benefits of “therapy” at Hopebridge. The impact of applied behavior analysis (ABA therapy) is multiplied within our centers, as it often extends to the child’s parents, siblings, grandparents and even therapists.
“Working with all these special little kids puts a smile on my face each day, but there is also a real joy in connecting with their families,” said Jenn. “I look forward to the moments when parents get emotional because a kid says, ‘mom,’ for the first time, or when they begin to recognize others in their family. It’s wonderful to experience progress in the center, but a truly incredible feeling once parents begin seeing changes at home too.”
Being able to work more closely with the kiddos and provide their families an extra layer of support is one of the main reasons Jenn came to Hopebridge, as well as what inspired her friend, former colleague and Hopebridge ABA Trainer Kecha Harris to suggest she make the move.
“Kecha told me about the new center and how much she liked it. Her passion showed through and really spoke to me,” said Jenn. “I had worked in various ABA environments – clinics, in-home, school and even combined settings – but wanted to transition entirely to center-based therapy, so this sounded like the perfect fit.”
“Jenn’s care and compassion speaks for itself and her number one priority is the kids we serve. She is hardworking and open to new ideas that benefit our families. We are lucky to have her with us here in Marietta,” said Kecha.
Jenn thrives on the community that is created within the center, thanks to the closeness of her teammates like Kecha, support from a center manager. She enjoys the structure and working side-by-side with others who share a common goal – the kids – and being able to celebrate their progresses together each day.
“I love working in a center because it is a huge benefit for the kiddos as well. In this setting, we are not only able to offer them consistent services, but we have the resources and supervision to bounce around ideas, which I have seen lead to more significant progress,” said Jenn.
Prior to working for Hopebridge, Jenn attended school at the University of Florida, where she discovered her in the field during a “Introduction to Behavior Modification” class. After graduation, she worked as a behavior therapist in Florida and fell in love with her practice and the science behind it, in addition the to kids, of course! She was determined to fully commit to ABA and soon enough, put in the extra time and work to become a BCBA before moving to Georgia.
“To me, autism is not who these kids are, it just adds to their character,” said Jenn. “Our kids have different strengths and challenges, but they do not define them. It is our job to use different ways to work with them to give them the most fulfilling life and independence.”
Jenn gets excited about all of the children she works with, but there is one young kiddo who stands out in her mind. At less than 18 months old, this little boy did not use any words or other form of communication. At the time of diagnosis, his parents were told he would remain nonverbal and was never going to talk. When Jenn first started working with him, he cried the majority of their sessions, but over the course of two years, he not only began using words, but ultimately spoke in sentences! He played with toys more appropriately and could have outings with his family to the library and other places around town.
To Jenn, this is what the job was all about.
“This is why I am here. Seeing his progress was amazing and made me want to continue working in ABA,” said Jenn.
Are you ready for a tighter knit community like Hopebridge? If you’re ready to make the change to center-based therapy like Jenn, visit our Hopebridge job board to join our ABA journey.
Fun Fact: “I have two little dachshunds at home, Lilo and Kobe. These little fur babies are the loves of my life.”
Music on my Playlist: “I like R&B and soulful, spiritual music. John Legend is one of my favorite artists.”
Favorite Yoga Pose: “I’m into power yoga. I like the Warrior Two pose. It’s very balancing and helps me focus.”
Life as a Plant Mom: “I enjoy gardening. It’s not currently happening outdoors due to the weather, but I have lots of indoor plants and I try to keep them thriving. I’m not always the best at it – I once killed a succulent and my husband teased me! – but I’m getting better. Air plants or succulents are my favorites.”
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