In the beginning of Colorado ABA Therapy, there was one (well….. technically two).
With a desire to serve, Ms. Gonzalez has helped build Colorado ABA Therapy from the successes and frustrations that laced her experiences in the field.
She began by doing it all!
Providing consultations, program development, direct therapy, and even insurance billing. She credits her opportunities and growth to the guidance of Mr. Washington, Colorado ABA Therapy’s cofounder.
Now, as the Clinical Director, Ms. Gonzalez oversees the therapy services of over 100 families in the greater Denver area!
In this interview, Ms. Gonzalez gives us a little insight into her inspirations and outlook for Colorado ABA Therapy.
What inspired you to work with special needs children?
I have always been involved with children in some way throughout my life. I started babysitting very young and then had various childcare positions in daycares and preschools. I didn’t work with the special needs population until I was well into my undergraduate program when I started as an ABA therapist in Hawaii. Shortly after, I went on a mission trip with a non-profit organization to Uganda. We were the first young women’s group to attend and our job was to visit the local schools that the organization sponsored.
After we visited the schools that were established, we went around to the villages to see some of the children the organization is helping who did not attend school. These were the children with special needs that the school did not have the resources to support. It was such a moving experience that I was determined to find a way to help these children. When I returned from Uganda, I started to see how much help our own children needed here and it was important to me to find the best way to do this.
How did your experience in ABA shape your vision for Colorado ABA Therapy?
I think that my experience in ABA has had a big impact on what I see for Colorado ABA Therapy. I also think that my vision has changed over time as the company has developed with the guidance of our founder, Mr. Washington.
Initially, I had a combination of great and not so great clinical experiences in ABA. I have been able to take everything good that I learned and put it towards our vision. I also was able to do my best to eliminate and avoid parts of ABA that I felt I did not connect with. Now with Colorado ABA, I have been able to experience the creation of a higher level of services that we envision which has been something I have never experienced. When Mr. Washington and I set out to create this practice, it was very important to us that with whatever direction we went, it was always for the greater good for everybody we serviced which also includes our staff.
Our service to our clients and staff is the heart of what we do. Many people do not understand the inner workings of our day to day when our intention is to do the best for everybody.
What is something about you that others might be surprised to know?
I have been an athlete my entire life. Starting in t-ball up to the boys rec league, then I was a cheerleader for many years, a Latin dancer, a competitive weightlifter, and a mud runner.
how do you reflect on the beginnings of this organization compared to where we are now?
When Mr. Washington and I first started Colorado ABA Therapy, my “final goal” was to have a center. It really did not occur to me at that time that we would be here today with center-based services and in-home services and still be at the beginning of our journey.
I am amazed at where we have been, what we have accomplished, and how many more families are out there that we have the opportunity to help. It is much greater than myself and much greater than I initially even imagined. I am grateful and humbled everyday by the work that we are doing for others.
What is one thing you’d like every parent of special needs children to know?
I want you to know that there are people out there who love you and your children as much as you do. I see and love every child that comes our way as if they were my own.