Hi everyone! My name is Liliana Martinez. I am a Lead Behavior Therapist within the Comprehensive Behavior Program (CBP) at SARRC. I joined the SARRC team in 2020 after graduating from ASU.
Can you tell us a little about what your job entails?
As a lead behavior therapist, I practice the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) with children with autism. I help our clients create successful social interactions with their families, friends, and teachers. I assist my client with making good student choices at school, whether it’s creating behavior targets to increase engagement in the classroom or to increase engagement with friends on the playground. I take on the leadership role in presenting during group supervision as well as brainstorming ways to begin program writing depending on our clients’ needs.
What is the top trait you should possess as a lead behavior therapist?
The top trait one should possess as a lead behavior therapist is to be open to learning. As a therapist, there are things that work for some clients and some that don’t. Along the way, there will be failure. I think it is important to recognize that it will always be a learning process for you just as much as it is for the client.
What is the biggest thing you have learned in your position at SARRC?
The biggest thing that I have learned in my position at SARRC is to always speak up about anything I am not sure about. Engaging in group supervision and asking questions during our 1:1 meetings has definitely helped me grow as a person and a therapist.
Tell us about one of the most rewarding experiences you’ve encountered at SARRC.
One of the most rewarding experiences was when a client of mine was finally able to express their emotions through words. After months of working with my client and knowing how difficult it was to express their emotions verbally, they were able to identify the emotion they were feeling and why. I felt so proud because I believe it is an important skill to have.
Being able to identify what emotion we are feeling is the first step to being able to move forward on how we are able to cope with things. The client’s communication has significantly increased, and it is so rewarding seeing him share this skill with everyone around him.
What is something that makes SARRC’s program stand above the rest?
I am grateful to have heard of SARRC as soon as I graduated because they take pride in capturing their five values: People, Excellence, Learning, Leadership and Innovation. I recall being a month into being hired and SARRC taking the initiative to educate their employees on real-life events. They had a guest speaker to speak on the current events and I felt extremely proud to have chosen this organization.
Aside from being an organization with great values, the Comprehensive Behavioral Program takes the time to make sure its employees are taken care of. They provide the resources to make sure we have the materials we need to make our sessions run as smoothly as possible. They provide materials to help us build rapport and deliver individualized reinforcement to our clients. It is definitely a learning environment that prepares us for the next step.
INSPIRED BY Liliana’s CAREER AND IMPACT?
Learn more about career opportunities at SARRC by browsing our open job positions at autismcenter.org/careers!