AUTISM AND BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS TEAM

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Paige VanMeter, QASP-S, Director of Clinical Operations

 

I am an East Texas native and am passionate about serving my home community. I have a B.S. in Psychology from Texas State University. My graduate work from the University of West Florida is in Applied Behavior Analysis with an emphasis in Exceptional Student Learning. I have served both adult and child clients with Autism and other behavioral concerns in the home and in a treatment center setting. I have extensive knowledge/experience in special education and the public school system; I am proud to be a resource and advocate for children and their families. My area of expertise includes early intervention, social skills training, educational advocacy and parent training. I consider myself blessed to have the opportunity to play a role in the development of every client I’m able to serve.

 

My life after hours is filled spending time with my family and my two dogs that I adore. I enjoy engaging in activities that allow me to be expressive and creative, including practicing calligraphy. I am also proficient in American Sign Language and spend time volunteering in the Deaf community and interpreting appointments for Deaf individuals.

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Mallory Ford, Director of Operations

 

I was born and raised in the Kilgore/Longview area and am so thrilled to be able to bring these services home to my community. I hold a B.A. in Psychology from Centenary College of Louisiana and my graduate work is through the Florida Institute of Technology, studying Professional Applied Behavior Analysis. I have been so fortunate to study under some incredible trailblazers in our field. Post-undergraduate, I have worked consistently with young children on the Autism spectrum and with a variety of cognitive and developmental diagnoses. Having such a variety in the clients that I have served has been instrumental in providing me with well-rounded, diverse experience. I am passionate about being a support to my clients and their families by providing therapeutic services, including parent/caregiver training and vocational/life skills training.

 

In my free time, I enjoy spending time on my family’s farm, playing/watching sports and raising my Border Collie and Great Dane.

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Megan Ford, ABAT

After graduating from Tyler Junior College Nursing School, I worked as a Registered Nurse on the Trauma ICU floor at UT Health in Tyler, where I was exposed to patients with a variety of special needs, including Autism. Looking for a change of pace, I decided to shift my focus to the behavioral needs of children on the Autism spectrum, rather than their medical needs. I am thrilled to be able to play this role in the lives of children in my community.

 

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and playing with my golden retriever. My hobbies include: traveling, shopping, camping, fishing, going on cruises, and sports activities.

 

 

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Janeava P. Winters, ABAT

Throughout my life, I have always felt called to serve individuals with different abilities however possible. In high school, I volunteered for my district’s Special Education events and at Truman Smith Children’s Care Center. After graduating from Gilmer High School, I worked as a caregiver for multiple children with different abilities. I am also on the Wrangler Board for the Gladewater Rodeo and helped to build the Handicapable Rodeo program so that all children are able to participate. In 2017, my family adopted two children, one of which is on the Autism Spectrum. My little brother has opened my eyes to a whole new world & has encouraged me to pursue a career in Autism therapy! I believe it is my life’s purpose to make a difference in our community and to help individuals reach their fullest potential!

 

In my spare time, I enjoy building furniture & spending time with my family and dogs. I also love to watch sports & rodeo events. Go LSU!

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Caleb Warren, ABAT

I was born in Kilgore and raised in Gladewater. I have a B.A. in Psychology from Stephen F. Austin State University. My favorite courses were Clinical Psychology and Abnormal Psychology. I plan on returning to SFA for my Master’s and pursuing a career in counseling for adolescents. I am excited to support the children of this community and help make an impact.

 

In my spare time I enjoy fishing, reading, watching movies, attending concerts, and spending time with friends and family.

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Markeisha Nelson

I was born and raised in Valdosta, Georgia. I went off to college on a track and field scholarship in Kansas where I received my BA in Psychology. Growing up, I always had a passion for children- everything about them from the small giggles to the way their brains are like sponges and just soak up any type of information you’re willing to give them. Being in East Texas has brought much joy to my world in all things children related. From 2017 to early 2021, I was co-directing at a daycare facility and have experienced the way children develop, on and off the spectrum. It truly was one amazing ride. I am very blessed and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of something magical! ABA has definitely opened my eyes to a whole new world and, in doing so, has inspired me to further my education in psychology for the future.

 

Outside of the psychology world, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two beautiful children. I enjoy anything family related, reading books, aromatherapy and enjoying life because tomorrow is not promised!

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Ariana Morgan

I was born and raised in Kilgore, Texas. I have two little boys, 9 siblings, and 9 nieces/nephews. I went to Collin College in McKinney and returned back home to East Texas shortly afterwards. I have always had an interest in sociology and psychology as I grew up around my grandmothers who is also a therapist. From the second I met this team, I knew I had FINALLY found my place in this world. I have found such fulfillment, knowing that I am making a positive difference in how a person lives their day-to-day life. My only hope is that my clients look forward to seeing me just as much as I look forward to seeing them each day! I am incredibly thankful for being given an opportunity to join the KPS Autism & Behavior Analysis Team. This team has BIG plans and I can’t wait to see where we are 10 years from now.

 

In my spare time, I enjoy watching my boys play sports, bike riding, and volunteering for local nonprofits. We love to explore and travel the world, in addition to camping, hiking, and crafting.

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Chloe Hicks

I was born and raised in East Texas with three younger brothers. In my early high school career, I realized I had a true passion for the field of psychology. I am currently pursuing my bachelors degree in psychology and plan to graduate in the fall of 2021. That being said, I am going to be continuing my graduate studies with the goal to obtain my PhD in order to be a clinical psychologist that specializes in play therapy. Though I am fascinated about the science of psychology, I truly love spending time with the clients.

 

Whenever I am not studying or working; I enjoy conducting research on behalf of my professors, training my rescue puppy, and spending time with my fiancé. I’m so grateful to be a part of the ABA team!

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Kirstie Mills

I was born in Arkansas and raised between East Texas and Eastern Central Arkansas. I have an Associate’s of Arts in Education and am currently working towards by Bachelor’s of Science in University Studies at East Texas Baptist University. 

 

I have always felt called to serve. One of my first and favorite jobs was working with children who had different abilities at a state daycare that specialized in developmental delays and foster children. I have also worked in the Life Skills classrooms at Hallsville Independent School District. I have had the honor of serving my community by volunteering at Mission Marshall and The Boys and Girls Club. I believe that we can make the world a better place one act of kindness at a time. 

 

In my spare time I share my life with my husband Justin and our fur babies. I love making new memories with my family and friends. My hobbies include singing, playing guitar, being in nature, and traveling. I’m grateful to have been invited to be a part of the incredible work this team does. 

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Gerry Hernandez

I was born in Mexico but was raised in East Texas. After starting my college career in kinesiology at Tyler Junior college, I realized that wasn’t the career path I wanted to take. After a semester, I switched over to general psychology and I realized that the science of behavior, having the ability to help people in any way, and understanding why people behave the way they do is really what drew my interest. I graduated from TJC with my Associates in Psychology in the winter of 2019 and am currently earning my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at UT Tyler, with the end goal of getting my Masters to pursue a career in counseling for adolescents. I am super excited for this opportunity to be able to make a difference in someone’s life and I look forward to what the future has in hold. 

 

In my spare time, whenever I’m not busy with school, I like to play tennis with friends or participate in any sports related activity. Watching or attending sporting events with friends and family is something that I really enjoy. I also love to spend time catching up on movies and shows on Netflix.

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Francie Machado

I was born and raised in the Southern Island of Luzon, Philippines. I came from a family of 8 siblings and 17 nieces and nephews. I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education, majoring in English at Central Bicol State University of Agriculture. I worked as a licensed High School teacher for over 3 years in the Philippines. In 2016, I moved to the beautiful island of Oahu, Hawaii and worked as a Preschool Teacher for almost 5 years. 

 

It is what makes me happiest to teach and contribute to someone’s success. Helping for me is more than a mission, it is a passion. To see children grow and develop their full potential is the best feeling ever! I am blessed and grateful to be part of the Autism & Behavior Analysis Team! 

 

My life has been exciting despite many challenges. During my free time, I spend my time with my better half, Tony; music is our jam. I love singing, traveling and enjoying the nature. Goooo ABA TEAM!

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Reed Tompkins

I was born and raised in central California. In 2020, I moved to East Texas with my wife and our dog. I have found out that I have a love for working with people with all forms of disability. In California, I worked with students on improving their cognitive function. I have an AA in Liberal Arts/Social Science. I am so proud to have this new work family.