Renee is a START Support Specialist who works with individuals, and teams, through START's In-Home Therapeutic Coaching. As one of the first START Support Specialists to join the team, Renee has seen this part of the START model blossom since January 2016.
Renee had previously worked in the Human Services field for over two decades. When reflecting on the importance of Therapeutic Coaching, Renee identified, “We don’t just go in and work with the individual. We work with the family; we work with the system”. One of the cases that exemplifies this was ‘John’. At the time of his referral to the START program, John was living at his family home. John’s family reported behavioral challenges so great that not only did they struggle to support him but John was not able to receive other services. Through a positive psychology approach, START Therapeutic Coaching focused on building communication skills and coaching on how to best support John’s diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Starting small, eventually John was able to follow a set schedule and use visual cues. He became more self-sufficient at home to where a group home placement was considered. When John moved to his new home, START Therapeutic Coaching followed and helped to transition these skills to John’s new environment and caregivers. Renee reports, by working with the system around the individual, the learning continues and everyone builds their confidence and skills!