Jaclyn Hunt, CAS
City/State: Colonia, New Jersey
School/Organization: Autism and Special Needs Life Coach LLC
Jaclyn Hunt is an example of how someone is working with an individual that does not require Speech Therapy, OT, PT etc. This type of assistance is not eligible to bill insurance but is still much needed for individuals transitioning into adulthood and the importance of teaching them life skills for everyday living and functioning. They may be introduced to communication apps, such as Autismate, and taught how to use their debit card correctly, and even teach them how to handle high pressure situations when checking out at the grocery store when people are frustrated behind them.
“Early in my career I discovered a passion for working with those on the Autism Spectrum, particularly adults, due to the fact that I came across very few professionals who had even basic knowledge or training in this specific area. Today, I have been working with adults on the Autism Spectrum across the United States for about a decade as a Life Coach teaching the real life skills necessary for effective functioning in our society. I also work with adult relatives, professionals, and essentially all those affected by Autism. During this time I was always confident in my abilities and knowledge pertaining to Autism, and my clients continually expressed their satisfaction with my services. However, I had a desire to take that success a step further and apply for my Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) credential. I was unaware of the immediate positive results that would occur after obtaining this certification. For instance, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that I was recognized by an organization that adheres to very high standards of excellence. Similarly, my network of professionals was impressed by the commitment I had to providing quality services to my clients. Additionally, my client base has continued to grow at a steady rate with those clients expressing increased confidence that I truly understand the problems related to Autism and the real life issues they are currently experiencing. All in all, earning my CAS credential has clearly been both a personal and professional success for me. It is affordable, respected, and makes a great impact on those seeking out Autism services.”
1) How has earning the Certified Autism Specialist Credential been meaningful and satisfying?
I very much enjoy being recognized for the work I have been doing for years by an accredited entity naming autism as my specialty.
2) How has the CAS credential affected your professional growth?
My client base and professional networks have not only grown, they have become more specified and prestigious. Clients quickly recognize that I am knowledgeable in autism and I am viewed as an equal with professionals that have similar distinctions.
3) What changes need to be made in your work environment?
Adults on the Autism Spectrum are often dismissed in our society. Children on the spectrum grow up to become adults on the spectrum and more services and recognition for these adults must become available sooner rather than later.
4) How do you like to be recognized, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done?
It is very rewarding for me when a client reclaims a sense of hope or makes a breakthrough that leads them on a path towards achieving goals they never thought possible. This is what keeps me motivated and passionate about my work.
5) What is your greatest challenge or roadblock?
The greatest challenge with working with adults on the Autism Spectrum is finding them. Society often labels these adults incorrectly and makes it very difficult to access them efficiently. Many of my clients were never diagnosed as children, and have repeatedly been failed by society their entire lives.
6) What makes you feel like a valuable contributor?
When I see a teenaged client who once struggled in high school get on the Dean’s list at his college, or a middle aged client find the career of her dreams after years of erratic employment history, or see a couple living with Autism on the brink of divorce learn how to communicate effectively makes me realize how valuable my services and abilities are to so many affected by Autism.
7) What support, tools/resources, skills or empowerment do you need to be more effective?
In order to be more effective I need to be able to reach out to more adults on the Autism Spectrum. It is easy to find children on the spectrum because they are identified in school. Adults on the spectrum are harder to identify and reach out to because they are isolated and many times off the social radar.
8) What strengths or talents do you possess that aren’t being used?
I am an extremely organized individual. I feel that I could put this skill to greater use on a much larger scale if the proper opportunity presented itself. Fortunately, this quality is a good one to have when working with those on the spectrum. I am able to teach them skills to help keep their lives in order on a smaller scale, which is still very beneficial to all those I work with.
9) What de-motivates you?
I do not like wasting time. My motivation plummets when someone misses a scheduled appointment. I make it a point to be available to all of my clients through phone, email, text, and Skype. When a client shows a lack of caring for my time, and for the time they set aside to deal with issues they reached out to me to discuss, I quickly lose my motivation. I rather use that time to answer an email or do a free consultation with someone who is ready and willing to start making changes.