Featured Certified Autism Specialist: Karen Jaggers

Karen Jaggers, NCC, LPC, CAS

State/Country: Texas/, USA

School/ Organizations: University of Houston, MS/Mental Health Counselling – Capella University, CalSouthern University (PsyD Clinical Psychology candidate)

1) How has earning the Certified Autism Specialist been meaningful and satisfying?
I have been working with individuals on the autism spectrum for over fifteen years.  I have long advocated for a certification in autism that is well rounded and encompasses more than behavior.  Its great that now parents and professionals can search for an autism specialist who has met a strong vetting process.

2) How has the CAS credential affected your professional growth?
I believe adding the CAS credential to my other credentials is important because a large part of the individuals I work with as a psychotherapist are on the spectrum or families of these individuals.  By achieving the CAS designation, new clients can be assured that they are receiving information and advice from a professional with proven experience in autism.

3) How has your CAS credential been a benefit to your district/ organization/ or employer?
My partner Dr. Debra Stokan (child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist) and myself take pride in our many years of experience helping families with autism spectrum disorder.  This designation further assures them that we are striving at all times to remain at the top of our fields in serving the autism community.

4) How do you like to be recognized, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done?
The reward that I get is seeing my clients become more successful as they work toward improving their social skills, behavior and personal independence skills.

5) What is your greatest challenge or roadblock?
My greatest challenge or roadblock is that there are so many families with autism, and that the numbers continue to explode.  My own son was diagnosed seventeen years ago and it was almost unheard of diagnosis.  Now its one of the more common diagnosis’ in young children today.

6) What makes you feel like a valuable contributor?
Seeing the progress that students have made is my greatest reward.  Its wonderful to be able to help families better understand their children and create plans to allow the individual to meet their greatest potential.

7) What do you enjoy most about your job?
I absolutely love my job.  What I enjoy most is knowing that even in the most difficult of cases I should be able to help this family and individual gain improvements that will affect their quality of life.

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