Annemarie has been working with children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), among other disabilities, since 2014. She found her passion when she started working in Special Recreation Associations during her summers at home while completing her undergraduate degree. Helping children develop those social skills in group settings got her interested to learn more and get more experience. During her Junior year of college, she traveled abroad to Chisinau, Moldova where she took part in an OccupationalTherapy volunteer program. She brought her own materials where she was able to teach daily living skills to young adults with ASD and Down Syndrome by creating her own activities such as cookingAmerican recipes and also with fun creative crafts. When she discovered the creative side of therapy Annemarie realized this is what she wanted to do for a career. It wasn’t until after she graduated fromNorthern Illinois University with a Bachelors Degree in Rehabilitation Services in 2015, when she started working as an entry level behavioral technician. Annemarie’s passion for the field continued to grow as she developed the skills to enhance communication, daily living skills, and social based skills for her clients. She gained experience working in various settings such as schools, clinics, and home-based settings with clients between the age groups of 2-25 years of age. Annemarie graduated with a Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with an emphasis in Autism in 2018, and then became a Board Certified BehaviorAnalyst (BCBA) in 2019.
Her professional experiences include developing treatment plans for clients of different backgrounds and bringing in those goals to fit their needs in the home, school, and community settings. The Early Denver Start Model is a therapy technique for early intervention Annemarie has used in the past. This is an example of building positive and fun relationships with clients through joint play activities, while teaching language and social skills. Annemarie has used other evidence based strategies in the past such as: discrete trial training, naturalistic teaching, functional communication training, and picture exchange communication systems. While incorporating these techniques in homes, she also enjoys helping families and therapists learn how to use BehaviorIntervention Plans to modify maladaptive behaviors. Outside of work Annemarie loves attending sporting events (Chicago Bears, Cubs, Blackhawks games), going on road trips, and playing fun games at home with her husband and daughter.