Behavior Therapy Specialists was founded in 2014 by Jenna Cuenca, M.Ed., BCBA providing in-home ABA therapy. What started as a company with one BCBA and one Behavior Technician has grown to a team of 7 BCBA’s and Program Managers, and over 35 Behavior Technicians! Behavior Therapy Specialists is also thrilled to offer Speech and Language Services so that a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach can be administered!
Despite this exponential growth, BTS remains committed to our core mission, vision, and values that drives all aspects of our service delivery!
To foster a personalized, developmentally appropriate, and collaborative therapeutic approach
To be responsive to the needs of the child and the family in order to produce meaningful results that will improve their everyday lives.
To serve as allies, advocates, and partners to the children and the families in which we serve
To increase acceptance and understanding of Autism and all disabilities to the community and society at large.
To promote scientifically proven, evidence based practices to the treatment of Autism and other developmental disabilities
To maximize each child’s potential while celebrating their uniqueness and individual strengths
Meet Our Team
Jenna Cuenca: Owner, Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I have been working with children with special needs since 2002 in multiple capacities. While attending undergrad at Nova Southeastern University (see more), I worked at a research based school focusing on teaching children with autism and researching the field of Behavior Analysis. After graduation I became a special education teacher working in classrooms ranging from pre-school to high school.While teaching I attended Graduate school at Georgia State University and received my BCBA in 2011. In 2013 I decided to shift my focus from the school environment, to the home environment and began Behavior Therapy Specialists of Illinois and Missouri. We began with 1 BCBA and 1 RBT and have grown tremendously. I am so happy to be able to serve the needs of so many families. I continue to strive to have our main focus be the individuals, their families and the communities we serve.
Jessica Dow: Owner, Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Hi! I feel very fortunate to have the rare opportunity to wake up each day getting to do the something I love and to have a career that brings such joy and purpose to my life! I have been serving individuals with Autism and other disabilities (see more) since 2005 and have experience working with individuals across the lifespan (ages 2-80). My journey started at the University of Minnesota where I obtained my bachelor’s in elementary education followed by my master’s and teaching license at McKendree University in Lebanon Illinois in Special Education. Later I completed my studies in Applied Behavior Analysis at Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. After spending 10 years working with adults with disabilities in a group home setting, I endeavored to widen my scope of practice and joined the BTS team to provide ABA therapy to children with Autism. July 2016 I joined Jenna and Lori to become a partner/owner. My background in education along with my experience with the adult population makes me comfortable working across a wide variety of populations and disabilities, although my specific areas of focus/expertise include group home consulting, transition programming, family/parent training, staff training and development, and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). I am a wife and mother to 3 young children and understand the complexities, challenges, and joys of parenthood! My favorite part of this field is working with the whole family unit to bring out the best for each individual while honoring the traits which makes each individual unique. It is my commitment to each family I work with to serve with empathy, flexibility, and compassion as we navigate the therapy process together!
Lori Waltman: Owner, Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I have a Bachelors Degree in Speech Communication Disorders with a minor in Child Psychology, a Masters in Special Education and a Post-Masters in Behavior Analysis. I have worked with individuals with special needs (see more) in multiple capacities since 2001, which includes, but not limited to, being a paraprofessional, special education teacher, director of special needs ministry at my church, and volunteer coach and current facilitator of a special needs baseball league. I began working part-time for Behavior Therapy Specialists in 2014 while completing my requirements to sit for the Behavior Analyst Boards and working full-time as a Special Education Teacher. In 2015 I gave up teaching to work for Behavior Therapy Specialists full-time as I completed the requirements to sit for the boards. In 2016 I passed the Behavior Analyst Boards and decided to buy into the company to become co-owner of Behavior Therapy Specialists. My decision to buy in was mainly due to the fact that we put the needs of our families and individuals served first and I love being able to work with so many amazing families. It is my goal as a BCBA to continue to grow and learn from the families that I work with as I strive to continue to meet the needs of these families.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts/Program Managers
Lisa C: MA, Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I began my journey towards helping those with autism in July of 2009 when my son was diagnosed with autism. Shortly after (see more), I went back to school and received my Bachelor’s of Science degree from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Upon graduation from Armstrong, I attended Arizona state University where I received my Master’s in Education with an ABA specialization in May of 2014. I have been working with individuals with autism (between the ages of 1 year to 17 years of age) since 2013. I enjoy seeing the progress each of my clients make.
Ashely H: M.A., Program Manager
Since I was a young child, I knew exactly that my passion in life was to work with individuals with Autism. My brother was diagnosed with Autism when I was 7 and he was 5. (See More) My brother received Speech and ABA therapy at our house for many years. I was very eager to be part of his therapy and loved seeing the look on his face when he accomplished even a small goal. Seeing him overcome his challenges filled me with more joy that I can ever explain. I have worked with individuals with Autism for over 7 years now and started working with BTS since 2015. I obtained my Bachelors in Speech Language Pathology and Audiology at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville in 2015. Soon after, I obtained my Masters in ABA with Emphasis in Autism from Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. My favorite part of this job is having fun while also teaching a child. Seeing them smile and laugh after overcoming a challenge is what makes my job my passion.
I was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and moved to Edwardsville when I met my husband in school. Yes, that means I am a Blackhawks fan, but no I am not a Cubs fan, I was born a White Sox fan but also roots for the Cardinals. My husband and I have four dogs, a cat, 2 chickens, and a duck. On top of that we are expecting a baby due in October!
Whitney M: M.A., Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst
I have worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities for a little over 8 years. I started my journey (see more) working in a children’s residential facility with youth who were wards of the state due to severe abuse and neglect. All of the residents had diagnoses of intellectual and behavioral disabilities and ranged in ages from 9-21. I started in the recreation department and worked in that for three years and then moved up to implement a life skills program. After three years I worked as a case manager for the last year I was at the facility. In my time there, I had the opportunity to work with and coordinate with a BCBA and I realized that was the direction I wanted to move in and decided to get my Masters degree in Psychology with an emphasis in ABA. I started my journey with BTS a little over a year ago and haven’t looked back since. I believe in what our company does and love being able to bring some level of comfort and assistance to our clients and their families. I look forward to growing along with this company and seeing what the future brings!
Tanea R: M.A,. Licensed Behavior Analyst
I am a wife and mother of 2 children. I began working my way through college (see more) when my son began 1st grade. We both graduated with in 5 months of each other. This journey has been a team effort, and passion project. One that was full of hard work and dedication, but one that was worth every step.
I received my Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with an emphasis in marriage and family, and a minor in Sociology of family studies from Greenville University, Greenville Illinois. I received my Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University, Muncie Indiana. I also received certification in Autism from Ball State University, Muncie Indiana.
I began working with individuals with developmental disabilities in 2005. What started as a job change, turned into a ministry. I began to watch these individuals and their families. I would see the feeling of hopelessness, and rejection they felt. Often marriages were affected, and soon they became confined to their homes for fear of judgement. I wanted to simply reach every family I could and help them find their hope. Help them fill their homes with peace and joy once again.
I have provided support in a variety of areas including parent training, teacher training, behavior reduction, skill acquisition and developing life skills. I have a passion for working with individuals and their families. It’s my calling, and I was fortunate to find a team of people at BTS who feel the same way.
Speech and Language Pathologists
Victoria T: M.S., CCC-SLP
I have worked as a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist in schools and private clinics for many years. I have extensive experience in helping children with autism (see more), developmental disabilities, language delays, stuttering, speech disorders and literacy difficulties. I conduct assessment and intervention in a holistic manner and believes in a functional, evidence-based, child-centered approach to your child’s speech and language therapy.
The first thing you will notice about me is that I am from Australia! I moved to O’Fallon IL because my husband is on military exchange at Scott AFB. I have a daughter at high school and two adult children back in Australia. I also have one cuddly bulldog/boxer, who sometimes gets a bit bossy when she wants a walk.
I love to talk about the kangaroos that used to jump around my backyard and when I lived near the beach. I love to play fun therapy games with my kiddos and have a huge sticker collection. I have so many cool toys, you will always hear lots of laughing from my room!