At Acorn Health, our highly trained and talented staff members are the heartbeat of what we do. They bring unique experiences, training and abilities to our organization that create an energizing and special place for our clients and families.
To introduce you to some of our incredible team members, our new In Their Own Words blog series will highlight employees from across Acorn Health and let you hear directly from them about their roles, what it’s like working at Acorn Health, and how they make a difference in the lives of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Today, we introduce you to Callie McCloud, BS, RBT. If you visit our Cookeville, Tennessee clinic you will be sure to see her smiling face. Let’s meet Callie:
What’s your role at Acorn Health?
I am the Lead Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) at the Cookeville, Tennessee clinic. I have been an RBT for over 3 years.
What does an average day look like as an RBT?
My day starts with caffeine (at least for me), coming in to set up a session for my first client, greeting them and their caregiver to get a report of how things are going that morning, and then following their session schedule as laid out by the BCBA in line with their ABA therapy goals. This typically includes lots of breaks for playing, doing some work at a table, and working on social skills throughout the day.
What sparked your initial interest in working in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
I found out about ABA from a friend who was an RBT. I shared with her that I was graduating from college in a couple of months and had no idea what I wanted to do with my degree. She told me all about ABA and helped me secure an interview with an ABA practice. I fell in love with the field immediately!
What new research or ABA therapy technique do you find particularly interesting/promising?
I love doing Behavior Skills Training (BST) when training new RBTs. It involves giving instruction, modeling, role-playing, and giving feedback. It’s an effective and comprehensive teaching method that can be used in a variety of settings.
What’s something you’d want parents to know about ABA therapy?
There is so much to ABA, and I’m continually growing in knowledge everyday. ABA touches all aspects of someone’s life, including functional communication, social skills, life skills, safety skills, etc.
What’s a common question that parents ask you about ABA therapy?
Parents often have many questions about ABA therapy because they may have never heard of it until their child was referred to it after an autism diagnosis. ABA therapy is not yet as widely known as physical therapy or occupational therapy.
A common guardian concern I encounter is when a particular problem or unwanted behavior isn’t resolved immediately at the outset of therapy or a treatment plan. It’s important for us to work with parents and guardians as a team and to help them understand that results are not always immediate and that lasting progress takes time.
How do you see Acorn Health’s values exemplified?
Acorn Health’s values are hustle, growth, teamwork, accountability, and authenticity. I see those values exuded daily. Our team is always finding ways to work together, keeping each other accountable for what needs to be done, and hustling to make sure our clients get the highest quality ABA therapy we can provide.
How do the learners you work with every day inspire you?
I have worked with clients that have progressed from not leaving designated areas in their homes that will now move throughout the community freely. Seeing meaningful progress and growth, where clients can confidently use skills they’ve learned to do things they want to do in unfamiliar settings is one of my favorite things about ABA. It’s all about building that trust and teaching the communication skills for clients to succeed. My learners inspire me every day with their perseverance and progress.
Acorn Health is hiring! If you’d like to join our team and #growwithacorn in making a difference in the lives of children with autism, visit acornhealth.com/careers to view our open roles and apply.