Get to know more about the healthcare provider in Tennessee, Advanced Behavior Consultants.
Our Mission Statement
It is our mission to provide our clients with the skills to enjoy an independent and fulfilling life imbued with meaningful relationships. We ensure that our interventions are as effective and relevant as possible by collaborating with the clients’ stakeholders, drawing from the latest research and applying the scientist-practitioner model. Additionally, the end-point of all interventions is a demonstration of the desired outcome with the relevant caregivers in the natural environment.
ABC, a developmental disability care in Tennessee, endeavors to help children and young adults alike overcome their daily challenges due to their health condition. We aim to provide individualized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children and young adults with autism across the spectrum by using the latest research to inform therapy procedures and providing high-quality, ongoing training to our behavior therapists.
Intensive initial and ongoing training is provided for our RBTs to refine and maintain their skills. Additionally, RBTs earn a bonus hourly pay rate calculated monthly based on the quality of their performance. Supervising BCBAs provide the RBTs with weekly feedback using an observation checklist to help them prepare for a monthly video submission of their performance which is reviewed by the leadership team. This high-expectation, high-pressure environment is attractive only to those RBTs with a strong drive to learn to be the best therapist possible. RBTs receive additional support during our weekly clinical review meetings where they can ask more in-depth questions of BCBAs in a distraction-free environment and where they can role-play scenarios to sharpen their skills.
1. Collaboration is vital to our success! Your BA (Behavior Analyst) will work closely with parents, teachers and other caregivers to determine and prioritize behavior goals and effectiveness of your child’s behavior therapy. This will ensure that the Behavior Support Plan (BSP) takes into consideration:
- Unique differences of your child
- Parent values
- Family culture
- Practical constraints
2. Positive Reinforcement:
ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapy sessions are designed to be fun, whether they are focused on skill acquisition (social language, or academic) or reducing problem behaviors. Play time with your BA and other positive reinforcers are used to keep your child motivated to work hard. For reducing problem behaviors, socially appropriate alternative behaviors will be taught that will allow your child to get their needs met or cope with difficult situations.
3. Whenever possible, natural reinforcement will be used to motivate behavior changes. When arbitrary reinforcement (e.g. candy) is used, a plan to systematically transition to natural reinforcement will be developed by your BA.
4. Evidence-Based. Advances in ABA Therapy are continually generated by ongoing research in autism and behavior. Your BA studies and evaluates newly published research to ensure that, if a new development would be therapeutically relevant to your child and his/her situation, it will be incorporated into your child’s BSP and therapy curriculum.
If you wish to know about Advanced Behavior Consultant’s Business Plan, please click here. You may also request an appointment to personally meet with us and discuss your care needs.
Meet The ABC Team
Committed to enhancing the lives of every individual we serve.
Our specialized team of healthcare professionals is dedicated to providing the intervention needed to better their patients’ condition. As such, we at Advanced Behavior Consultants make sure that the people we employ are qualified for the position. They have undergone extensive hiring process and they are carefully screened, trained and verified to ensure their individual capabilities.
Meet the members of our team.
Curtis J. Harris MS, BCBA, LBA | Director
Curtis has served as the Director of Advanced Behavior Consultants since 2011. In his 20 years of clinical experience, he has managed a variety of caseloads including all ages of children, adolescents, and adults with many different developmental and dual diagnoses, including autism. Curtis is extraordinarily enthusiastic about pursuing and conducting ongoing research in the practical application of behavior analysis to better help families effected by developmental disabilities. He strongly believes that every program he develops needs to meet the unique needs and constraints of the individual family with whom he works. He is driven by his belief that treatment that is data-based will continue to expand all providers’ ability to improve the meaningfulness of relationships and successful accomplishments of individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Curtis is collaborating with Clarksville community leaders to launch a nonprofit support organization to aid in social support and peer mentoring for parents with children with special needs. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree from University of North Texas in behavior analysis. Curtis has been exclusively working in the Clarksville and Fort Campbell area since 2008 and values the strong military and community support in the area. (Click here to see his Curriculum Vitae)
Amberley Heins, M.S., BCBA
Amberley Heins is originally from Upstate New York and has a long history of serving and teaching children and adults of all ages and abilities. While earning her Adolescent Education degree she spent her summers working at a camp serving children and adults with developmental disabilities. This experience had a profound effect on her career goals. After moving to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, she was introduced to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis and has worked to become a professional in the field. She completed her master’s degree in psychology and started practicing as a BCBA in 2019. She looks forward to using this knowledge and her personal familiarity with the stress of a being part of a military family to continue to serve this community and help foster growth and learning in the children and young adults with whom she works.
Kayla Wynn, M.S., BCBA
Kayla, a native Tennessean, started her career working with children on the autism spectrum after graduating from Austin Peay State University (APSU) cum laude with a degree in Psychology and a minor in theatre arts. Her classes in developmental psychology and child development inspired her toward a career using science and research while working with children. Now, as a BCBA, she is passionate about helping children and young adults of all ages learn skills they can use throughout their entire lives to build meaningful and fulfilling relationships. Kayla loves her hometown of Dover, Tennessee, where she lives with her husband and stepdaughter and many close family members. In her spare time, Kayla also enjoys reading and playing with her many cats and chickens.
Brittany Hicks, B.S., Team Lead RBT
Brittany joined the ABC team after learning about ABA Therapy in her Psychology studies at APSU. She is a mom of three rambunctious boys and enjoys every opportunity to learn about how behavioral principles can be applied in everyday parenting roles and help improve the relationships of parents and families with children with developmental delays. She is currently working towards her BCBA credential at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT)’s program for a Masters in Behavior Analysis.
Clairre Strickland, B.S., Senior RBT
Clairre studied general psychology and industrial-organizational psychology at University of Phoenix. Since joining the ABC Team of ABA therapists, she has been enthusiastically pursuing professional development and cannot wait to further her career as a dedicated, creative, and inspirational therapist. Clairre has one son, who she loves supporting to the fullest in everything he does. In her spare time, Clairre enjoys the fine arts- she had the opportunity to visit the Van Gogh Exhibit when it came to Nashville, which she recalls as “life-changing”. Her goal in life is to make an impact on children and adult’s lives in the greater Clarksville community.
Marivelle Ray, RBT
Mari has been in Clarksville since 2017 where she is now raising her 2 young boys with her husband. She is currently on her final year at APSU studying for her B.S. in Psychology. Mari wants to use her degree to assist individuals with developmental disabilities to have equal opportunities and to lead fulfilling lives. Mari wants to use her degree to the best of her ability to help children and adolescents alike. Aside from spending time with her kids, she loves spending her free time around downtown Clarksville showing support to local businesses.
Courtney WarHawk, M.S., RBT
Courtney was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She graduated in 2018 from the University of Akron, receiving her B.A. in Psychology. She is passionate about helping others overcome and adapt to their challenges. What Courtney loves most about her job is seeing how much progress her clients can make. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, playing video games with friends, and going on road trips.
Marie Ryales, B.S., RBT
Marie initially started as an intern after graduating with her degree in Psychology from APSU. She spent months growing and applying herself into the role of RBT. She is a tremendous asset to The ABC Team. Her favorite part of providing ABA services in the home environment is getting to meet so many amazing families. Marie grew up in Hawaii, and now calls our diverse community of Clarksville home. Marie’s favorite movie is Little Rascals, and one of her favorite music artists is Prince. Marie also enjoys watching Jeopardy and answering as many questions as possible.
Moise Vidro, B.S., RBT
Moise was born and raised in Columbia, South Carolina. His family moved to Tennessee when he was 16 which led him to study Psychology at APSU. Moise grew up with a little brother who has autism, which sparked his interest in ABA Therapy. Taking Professor Harris’ Behavior Modification class at APSU, served as a catalyst for Moise to pursue a career in the ABA Field. Moise finds his work as an RBT extremely fulfilling. Moise just celebrated his one year with ABC, where he enjoys working with a variety of clients. Moise values family first- this is most evident in his work. In his free time, Moise enjoys everything outdoors, hiking, and video games, and good food.
Tashaunda Grimmett, B.S., RBT
Tashaunda is a Clarksville native with a passion for all things psychology. She is a recent graduate of APSU where she earned her Bachelor of Science in psychological sciences. Tashaunda is currently pursuing her master’s degree in psychological science at Western Kentucky University. Tashaunda’s love for working with children began in the summer of 2019 while she worked at APSU’s summer camp. In her spare time, Tashaunda enjoys playing with her two young nieces, (who keep her on her toes), reading, exploring nature, and watching Netflix.
Precious Sanders, RBT
Precious Sanders, originally from Clarksville, Tennessee. Precious has worked with children for many years in a variety of positions. Precious enjoys working with children who have different neurodivergent abilities. Working in this field has been a long-time dream come true for Precious. Helping the children she works with develop and grow is the greatest reward for Precious- She is truly passionate about her profession. In her spare time, Precious enjoys being outdoors, crafting and painting with her daughter.
Sheryl graduated with her Bachelor’s in Psychology from American Public University in 2017. Sheryl loves having a positive impact in the lives of her clients- This line of work is extremely rewarding for Sheryl. Sheryl is a proud mother of two children- She values family first. Her hobbies are cooking, reading, researching, spending time with family adventuring and playing games and spending time with her dog.
McKenzie’s interest to become a Behavior Technician started when she was an intern for ABC. She has always loved being around children, so this opportunity has really sparked her passion to obtain further knowledge, so that she may serve her clients in a greater capacity. When McKenzie is not working, she loves going to the lake and going on hikes with her husband and their dog.
Brian Peters, M.S., Masters Level Mental Health Clinician
Brian initially began at ABC as an intern in 2018 and grew into the roles of Training Coordinator, Clinical Assistant Supervisor, and now Master’s Level Mental Health Clinician. Brian has his master’s degree in counseling with a concentration in clinical mental health counseling and is currently seeking his Doctor of Psychology in Counseling. Currently, Brian partners with APSU to provide counseling to some of our clients and promote a neurodiverse-friendly environment. In his spare time, Brian likes to spend time with family and his dogs, listen to live music, and watching Sci-fi movies.
Joshua Morales is currently attending Austin Pea University where he is majoring in Psychology. Joshua enjoys teaching kids to advocate for themselves. Joshua is a Veteran of the United States Army, and enjoys working with Military Families. In his spare time, Joshua volunteers at the YMCA and as a Recreational Aid for Rec Centers in Clarksville facilitating sports and various activities for the youth of Clarksville. Joshua enjoys reading, physical fitness activities, and all things health and wellness. Joshua is excited to be part of the ABC Team and looks forward to making a positive impact in the lives of children within the community.
Paige is currently in her last semester of her psychology degree at APSU. Paige is from McEwen, TN and currently resides in Hendersonville, TN. She loves positively impacting the lives of children. In her spare time, Paige volunteers at the Humane Society, and at S.T.A.R.R.S., providing horse-back riding lessons for children with adaptive needs. She spends most of her free time outdoors, playing with her animals and caring for her plants. Paige is excited to join the team and make a lasting and positive impact on the lives of children within the community.
Jamiell Field, Practice Coordinator
Jamiell works to provide quality customer service to parents who have recently received a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum. Jamiell Field has a background in Clinical Management in the United States Army, where she managed Pediatrics at Bassett Army Community Hospital, Fairbanks, Alaska. Jamiell has spent the past several years serving her community in the Health and Wellness Industry. She has provided workshops on various topics from Alternative Medicine to Homesteading. Additionally, Jamiell has worked with several community organizations assisting families who require assistance from ancillary services throughout the greater Clarksville community. Jamiell is a United States Army Veteran who graduated cum laude from Everglades University with a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. After spending a decade at home raising her four children, Jamiell has decided to return to the workforce where she is presently the new Practice Coordinator at ABC.
Anne-Marie Harris, Practice Manager
Anne-Marie works directly with parents who have recently received a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum for their child to connect them to resources, both military and civilian, and determine if Advanced Behavior Consultants is a good resource for their family. Her goal is facilitating a foundation of trust and candor between families in Clarksville and Fort Campbell and their ABA Therapy providers. As a mother, she strives to help advocate for the services that can help support and empower each mother and father of a child with special needs. Anne-Marie has a degree in Management Information Systems and, prior to working at ABC in 2011, spent 12 years in a Fortune 1000 manufacturing company working with New Client Implementations as a Project Manager.
What is ABA?
Behavior Analysis is the scientific study of behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the principles of learning and motivation from Behavior Analysis and the procedures and technology derived from those principles, to the solution of problems of social significance. Many decades of research have validated treatments based on ABA.
The Report of the MADSEC Autism Task Force (2000) provides a succinct description, put together by an independent body of experts:
Over the past 40 years, several thousand published research studies have documented the effectiveness of ABA across a wide range of:
- populations (children and adults with mental illness, developmental disabilities and learning disorders including, but not limited to Autism Spectrum Disorders)
- interventionists (parents, teachers and staff)
- settings (schools, homes, institutions, group homes, hospitals and business offices) and
- behaviors (language; social, academic, leisure and functional life skills; aggression, selfinjury, oppositional and stereotyped behaviors)
Applied behavior analysis is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior (Baer, Wolf & Risley, 1968; Sulzer-Azaroff & Mayer, 1991).
Advanced Behavior Consultants Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity Statement
Advanced Behavior Consultants is committed to ensuring we cultivate an environment that promotes cultural diversity, as well as neurodiversity. We believe our mission can only be fulfilled if our clients, families, and staff feel respected, included, and valued because of their differences—not despite. Below are some ways we ensure diversity is imbued within our company culture:
- We nurture an environment in which employees at all levels of our organization feel empowered and encouraged by their peers, supervisors, and the ABC Leadership team to attain higher education, professional development, and career opportunities in which to contribute to the field of ABA from the perspective of diverse life experiences. ABC provides employee tuition benefits with online in the field of Psychology, as well as a robust and high-quality BCBA internship program to provide required experiences toward Board Certification in the field of Behavior Analysis. We realize that an inclusive therapy team can provide a diverse perspective and voice to clients.
- We provide services to clients regardless of gender, cultural, linguistic, economic, religious, and racial background. ABC staff have access to and, when necessary, utilize translation services for oral and written communication. As providers working in our client’s homes, if we are to be successful, we must collaborate with parents and caregivers to align ABA interventions for each client with their family culture. During intake, our BCBAs will ask questions about communication preferences, including the need for translation services and other communication support services, house expectations, and rules of conduct respectful of the family religion, family structure, family dynamics, and family values.
- We value neurodiversity as a natural form of human diversity and a vital part of the inclusive human mosaic. We reject the medical view of autism that categorizes motivational, cognitive, and sensory differences as symptoms of a disorder. All neurotypes have their own strengths and challenges. We believe that to thrive as a human being, a person must be seen and appreciated, especially by those who are there to help them. We harness our clients’ strengths and interests to teach them adaptive skills that promote self-determination and autistic flourishing. We are mindful that our stance on neurodiversity is a journey, requiring continual self-evaluation as we listen and learn from the populations whom we serve.
- Clients of all socio-economic backgrounds have need to access quality ABA services. We accept multiple payment options to allow for equity of access to care for client families experiencing economic hardships and low-income circumstances, including private insurance, Tricare military insurance, and Tennessee Medicaid BlueCare coverage. Client caregivers experiencing economic hardship have access to extended payment plans for co-payments and cost-shares upon request. When no insurance coverage is available for needed services, administrative staff will provide community resources to caregivers for applying for economic support in the form of grants and other financial opportunities.