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: M.Ed, 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, 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: M.Ed, 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 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: M.Ed, Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I have a Bachelor’s 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 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.
Ashley H: M.A., Board Certified Behavior Analyst
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. 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 have a house full of dogs, cats, a cow, and a baby girl!
Clint E. M.S, BCBA
I am a BCBA with five years of experience directly in the field of ABA and several more years in the personal care field. I have worked in classrooms as an aide, in the community as a respite provider, BCBA over a day time facility for adults with intellectual disabilities and now work with BTS as a member of the BCBA team. My wife and I live in Belleville with our 2 fur babies.
Emily D: M.A., Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I was first introduced to the field of ABA as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri. During this time, I worked at a clinic for individuals with autism and neurodevelopmental disorders where I assisted in early intervention programs, social skills programs, direct therapy programs, and my favorite: the severe behavior clinic. Following graduation from Mizzou, I continued my education at Saint Louis University where I graduated with a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis. While in the program, I gained experience working in a school setting where my passion continued to grow towards serving clients of varying ages and diagnoses. Additional interests of mine include working with individuals with autism, mental health disorders, trauma histories, engagement in challenging behaviors such as, aggression, property destruction, and self-injurious behaviors, and the use of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, baking, and working on DIY projects.
I love that in this field, each day at work is different and I get to spend my days with clients who never fail to make smile. I strive to be a voice and advocate for all of my clients, assisting clients in reaching goals that are primarily meaningful to them. I am proud to be a part of BTS’s life changing efforts for clients and their families!
NaShona S. M.Ed, BCBA
I am beyond blessed to have the opportunity to work in the field of behavioral analysis! I have had wonderful opportunities to meet individuals that have brought so much growth to my own life as a teacher and a parent. I began my professional career studying Psychology at the University of Mississippi and later received my teaching certification from the University of Illinois. I was by that time a young mother and I desired to have a job that I could spend as much time with my children as possible. I started working as a para-professional in an early childhood classroom and the room they assigned me to was for children with autism. I always knew I wanted to work in some capacity with behavior and social skills but it wasn’t until this assignment in the early childhood classroom that I knew exactly what I wanted to do. In fact, I loved it! I began the very next year working on getting my Special Education license and in 2006 began teaching Special Education with a focus on verbal behavior. I returned to college yet again to receive my endorsements in Early Childhood Special Education. In 2015 I received my Masters Degree in Special Education and a post Masters in Applied Behavioral Analysis. I worked to obtain Autism Certification from Ball State University, and in 2019 become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst!
I have been honored and blessed to be married for 23 years to the most amazing husband and I have been blessed with 2 wonderful sons. My eldest son is in the United States Air Force and my youngest is a National Honor Society Student at Western Illinois University studying conservation science.
Patsy S: M.Ed,. Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I began my career working with children with special needs in 2008 while completing my undergraduate degree in Special Education at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). Once I graduated I started teaching and continued my education at SIUE, earning my graduate degree in 2013 in Special Education. In working with children with Autism and Behavior Disorders, I found my true passion in Applied Behavior Analysis and completed my post-master’s work in the field in 2017 with Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) and received my BCBA in 2018. It was during my time with Carbondale that I knew I wanted to shift my career focus from the classroom to providing high-quality ABA services and have been fortunate enough to do so with Behavior Therapy Specialists.
I was born and raised in the small town of Mt. Olive, Illinois (where I love spending time at my parent’s farm – Grace Homestead!) but moved to my husband’s hometown of Ferguson, Missouri a few years ago. We love going to the Ferguson Farmer’s Market, walking our dogs (a Golden Retriever named Truman and German Shepherd named Gryffindor) at the local park and enjoying a nice meal out at one of Ferg’s great restaurants! We are proud parents to a baby girl, born February 2019!
Rebekah N. M.S, BCBA
I have had the pleasure to work with BTS since 2014! I graduated with my bachelor’s in Special Education. With all intention of being a teacher. I taught at ICA and found out that I was more
interested helping with behaviors the children were having. I started to google jobs related to behaviors and found BTS! Jenna convinced me to go back and get my masters in Applied
Behavior Sciences. I recently graduated with my masters in 2018! I am now sitting for my boards exam. I am excited to see what the future has in store for the company and myself! I
love working in this field and helping our clients gain the skills and confidence they need to live their best life.
Tanea R: M.A,. Licensed Behavior Analyst
I am a wife and mother of 2 children. I began working my way through college 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.
Whitney M: M.A., Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I have worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities for a little over 8 years. I started my journey 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!
Speech and Language Pathologists
Mary F: M.S., CCC-SLP
I am a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist from Edwardsville, Illinois. I graduated from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, where I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Communication Disorders and Sciences. While at SIUC, I volunteered and completed a practicum rotation at the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Carbondale, Illinois. My time spent at the center confirmed my love for pediatrics and drive to help those with autism. Since graduation, I have been working in the pediatric outpatient setting providing services to children ages birth to 21 with a wide variety of needs. I am excited to provide services in the O’Fallon, Illinois area!
I currently reside in Columbia, Illinois with my boyfriend and 2 spoiled dogs, Parker and Bruno. Outside of being a SLP, I love to cheer on the St. Louis Blues and Cardinals! I also enjoy spending time outside kayaking and hiking area parks or spending a relaxing weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks.
Carmen P: RBT, Insurance/Billing Coordinator
My Journey into the special needs world began in 2010 when my son was barely over two when a hospital resident asked me if my son was “On the spectrum” What spectrum was she talking about? That was all it took to lead me down the rabbit hole into a world I knew nothing about. It was 5 months later that my son was diagnosed at two years old as HF Autistic. After that I made it my mission and sole purpose to help as many as I could in the best capacity that I could.
I love working in this field, this ever changing and growing field. The best part is not only am I able to help the families that I am come in contact with, but sharing with my motto that I have taken along on my journey “Progress is a Process” and ensuring that each of them know that we are all in this together.
Natasha B: Clinic Coordinator
I am originally from Missouri and became interested in this field when my younger brother was diagnosed with autism. I went to Southeast Missouri State University in 2013, and after graduating with my bachelor’s degree in communication disorders and a certificate in autism spectrum disorders, I knew I wanted to continue working in this field.
I have been working for BTS since February 2018, and even though I do not work directly with the clients, I do enjoy seeing them each day as the clinic coordinator. I love working for a company that is dedicated to helping individuals reach their goals each day.
I live on Scott Air Force base and I recently got married, so when I’m not at the office I’m usually at home with my husband and our three dogs, Jaromir, Joe, and Lucy. On the weekends, I enjoy taking our dogs on hikes and spending time with my family.