Marcy Caldwell, CAS
City/State: Wichita, KS
School/Organizations: Family Consultation Services (FCS)
Since obtaining my certification as an Autism Specialist members within and outside of my agency have begun seeking guidance and making referrals to me. It sets my knowledge apart from others in my field, giving others the insight that I possess a more in-depth understanding of autism and the practices best geared at working with individuals on the spectrum. When working with individuals with autism it is important to remember that, as with all people, we must meet them where they are at and walk with them through this journey at the pace best fit for them.
1) How has earning the Certified Autism Specialist been meaningful and satisfying?
It has provided me with endorsement that has allowed me to increase referrals and supports within my agency and community. It has also connected me with more professionals outside of my surrounding area who specialize in Autism and are a source of additional insight and growth.
2) How has the CAS credential affected your professional growth?
Obtaining the CAS has allowed me to network within my community and connect with area agencies that have a need for specialists working with Autism. I have begun marketing in the community and doing podcasts to discuss Autism and how best to help those diagnosed.
3) What changes need to be made in your work environment?
Initially insurance funding needs to be addressed so that individuals with autism can seek the services they need without financial burden. Additionally, we need to create a stronger community around awareness and identification of autism; signs and symptoms. Providing other clinicians with training about the basics of autism and ASD.
4) How do you like to be recognized, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done?
For me the best way to be recognized is with a “thank you” and referrals for me individuals in need of help.
5) What is your greatest challenge or roadblock?
Funding is likely the biggest challenge. With recent legislative approval for funding of autism, there is great hope about providing services to those in need without financial barriers.
6) What makes you feel like a valuable contributor?
I care about the work that I do and the people that I see. To me it is not just a job to provide help and support to individuals with autism and their family, it is a passion to see their lives grow and flourish despite all differences.
7) What support, tools/resources, skills or empowerment do you need to be more effective?
I am always looking for additional trainings and tools to use with individuals on the spectrum. Knowledge is power and power creates change.
8) What strengths or talents do you possess that are not being used?
I am a creative and innovative provider in therapy, I’m still working with and trying to find the best fits in how that looks with individuals with autism. I believe it will come, it is just getting comfortable with the creativity in a newer area of service.
9) What de-motivates you?
I try to use everything, barriers and obstacles, as motivators. My philosophy is “there’s nothing you can’t do”.