Featured Certified Autism Specialist – Heidi Carico

Heidi Carico, MA, NCSP, CAS, Lead School Psychologist

City/State: Morganton, NC

School/Organizations: Burke County Public Schools, North Carolina School Psychology Association Board Member


1) How has earning the Certified Autism Specialist been meaningful and satisfying?

Becoming a Certified Autism Specialist acknowledges my skills, training, and professional development in the area of Autism. I feel that having this certification gives the parents and school staff members more confidence in my, skills, abilities, and recommendations for furthering a student’s education. It has also allowed me to be recognized by the Burke County Public Schools Board of Education for my achievement of this credential.

2) How has the CAS credential affected your professional growth?

The CAS certification has encouraged me to continue to develop my expertise in the area of autism and to develop this as an area of specialization that is much needed in the field of school psychology.

3) How has your CAS credential been a benefit to your organization?

The Burke County Public Schools Exceptional Children Department has benefited from my certification and the certification of my colleagues by being awarded the International Institute of Education Standards 2012 Autism Competency Award. It has helped parents and school staff members have enhanced confidence in our school system’s ability to meet the needs of students with autism.

4) How do you like to be recognized, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done?

My recognition for a job well done comes from witnessing positive outcomes for the students and families with which I work.

5) What is your greatest challenge or roadblock?

My greatest challenge is having the time and resources to provide comprehensive school psychology services in the schools with which I work.

6) What makes you feel like a valuable contributor?

I feel valued when the contributions that I make have a positive impact on those with which I work, inclusive of students, parents, and school staff members.

7) What do you enjoy most about your job?

The most enjoyable part of my job is seeing positive outcomes for students.

8) What support, tools/resources, skills or empowerment do you need to be more effective?

Continued local, state, and national level support of comprehensive school psychology services in schools allows me to perform my job duties most effectively.

9) What strengths or talents do you possess that aren’t being used?

My job role lends itself well to focusing on my strengths of advocating for those in need, facilitating communication between home and school, and providing leadership. Additional strengths that I would like to use more often include the ability to help analyze systems level data to ensure that students are receiving the best prevention and early intervention services possible.

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