By: Stephanie Dille-Huggins, Director of Clinical Education
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our highly anticipated mentorship program at Cornerstone Autism Center. With this new endeavor, our mentors aim to empower staff at all levels within the organization, offering guidance, support, and expertise to help them navigate through challenges and seize opportunities that lie ahead. We recently sat down with the Director of Clinical Education, Stephanie Dille-Huggins, and asked her a few questions about this new program!
The purpose of the RBT® Mentor program was not only to honor RBTs who had served Cornerstone for an extended period of time and had demonstrated the skills necessary to be highly effective ABA therapists and assets to the Cornerstone organization but to further create a role that allowed for new hires to immediately gain access to mentorship with someone knowledgeable about the duties and responsibilities in serving as an RBT.
This program brings a substantial list of benefits to the table for both mentors and mentees! A direct benefit for RBT Mentors is that they can gain access to ongoing clinical training that allows them to further advance their ABA therapy skills and knowledge of autism spectrum disorder and further develop their training and leadership skills. It also allows our clinical team to collaborate with our RBT Mentors in a new capacity, further building collaboration among RBTs and BCBAs. For our mentees, they receive the benefits at the onset of beginning at Cornerstone of being able to access direct mentorship, guidance, and support from an established RBT that can help answer their questions, as well as guide them in how to provide highly effective therapy and show them around the center to help them feel more comfortable.
RBT Mentors must have served the Cornerstone organization for a minimum of 18 months, as well as received high remarks on their evaluations throughout their time with us across several different areas, including therapy implementation & delivery, professionalism, and ethics compliance, and overall work ethic. Mentors must display the ability to implement highly effective ABA-based therapy with their clients, be an active member of the treatment team, and demonstrate the skillset necessary to guide others and collaborate.
Our RBT Mentors not only get to share their knowledge and expertise in providing direct ABA-based therapy to children with ASD with new RBTs in our organization, but they also get to mentor and guide veteran RBTs. Each of our Mentors has a great deal of experience and knowledge to share with their peers. Our Mentors have worked with a variety of children here at Cornerstone and implemented a variety of ABA-based interventions that have taught them so much- it is amazing to see our Mentors share their clinical insights and perspectives with others to further advance their knowledge and understanding that further increases the quality of care that is provided to each child we serve. Being an RBT Mentor allows these individuals to fulfill Cornerstone’s mission to maximize, embrace, and fulfill in many different ways!
Recently, our Avon location welcomed four new RBTs to our Cornerstone family. Our clinical team witnessed Avon’s two RBT Mentors quickly get to work in helping our new RBTs feel welcomed and comfortable in the center as they simultaneously modeled and guided these individuals through what highly effective therapy looks like from the get-go. They have become a support system for our new members as they further develop their ABA-based skills and abilities. In a recent conversation with Avon RBT Mentor Haley Alexander, she shared:
“Being an RBT Mentor has been a great experience being able to be a part of mentoring our new hires and seeing the progress they are making daily with our clients when they are implementing therapy. My favorite part of being a Mentor so far has been having the one-on-one time with our new RBTs where I get to know them personally, establish how they learn best to help them further gain knowledge of ABA, and be a part of their initial journey!“.
June 23, 2023, Stephanie Dille-Huggins, Director of Clinical Education