A Labor of Love: Empowering Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders


autismI have had the pleasure of working with children and teens with autism spectrum disorders for the past 14 years. Autism is a neurological disorder which affects communication, social skills and behavior. Autism affects individuals in different ways and if you have met one child/person with an autism spectrum disorder, you have only met one.

According to Autism Speaks, autism affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.

I’m a board certified behavior analyst and I have worked with kids 18 months through adulthood. I have had experiences in home, clinic, school and community settings.

Over the past 14+ years, I have poured my life, energy, time, & money into positively impacting the lives of students with an autism spectrum disorder. I love my career. I love problem solving. I LOVE hearing kids talk for the first time. I LOVE toilet training… I know thats weird but toilet training is so much fun! I love implementing an effective behavior plan and seeing the lives of an entire family change for the better.

I love working with and mentoring young professionals and watching the light bulbs go on for them.

I love the creativity aspect of making materials to teach various skills. I love working with various community groups and being respected as a professional. I lReubenove lots of things about my career.

My career has its challenges as well. I have been punched so hard, I got a concussion. I have been bit, hit, scratched, thrown up on, and kicked. I have had furniture thrown at me. I have been cursed at. I have even been peed on. BUT I LOVE MY CAREER.

I had the pleasure of asking a few colleagues 5 things they like about working with kids with an autism spectrum disorder.

My Top 5

  1. I love the problem solving aspect of behavior analysis and kids with autism. I’m presented with a child or teen and someone is complaining (parent, teacher, etc.) of a specific problem. I get to analyze and figure out the best steps to effectively change the problem.
  2. I love that no day is the same. Every day is different. We all have good days and bad days and we all have things that we like and don’t like. I get to figure that out everyday.
  3. I love working on communication development with kids. Hearing a child’s first words is inspirational! Watching a child understand what is being said to them and actually learning from others is truly amazing! I’m so fortunate to be one part of this journey for the child.
  4. I love working with the entire family. Unlike most teachers who only get the student for a few hours of the day in a setting away from home, my job typically entails a more whole approach to working with the child but also the family. Its fantastic to see changes impact more than just the child.
  5. I love the creativity! I get to design teaching materials for each individual child. No child is the same and I get to figure out the best way to teach a particular skill. Surfing pinterest has become a mild obsession.

You don’t have to be a behavior analyst to help!  

April is Austism Awareness Month.  The Autism Society of Dayton is hosting a 5k Walk on Saturday  April 25th at Payne Recreation Center. Come walk to support those with Autism in the Dayton community! 

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Lisa H
Hi, I’m Lisa and I’m a 30-something year old Mom to 2 adorable and active boys. Kamdyn is 6 months old and Kasyn is 3 years old. I have spent my professional career working with students with an autism spectrum disorder as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. I currently work part-time with my husband through www.keyaba.com As a Mama and Wife, I grocery shop with coupons and try living a frugal life (although I’m not perfect). I also like to scrapbook and capture every moment possible. I love to travel. I’m getting better at meal-planning and cooking regularly. My boys and I are on-the-go and always taking advantage of various opportunities and activities around Dayton. My favorite things about motherhood are watching my children learn and discover and rough-housing with my boys.


  1. And THIS is why I LOVE referring clients and families to you!! You have an ongoing passion for what you do and you do it so well, Lisa. Changing lives…. it’s what you do. Thank you for your commitment, your expertise, your creativity and your willingness to share that with all who are touched by autism (and other disabilities!)

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