Autism Acceptance Month 2024

April is Autism Acceptance Month with a global kickoff recognizing World Autism Day on April 2, 2024!

Easterseals UCP provides support to the autism community through our Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) support services, led by an engaged team of experienced Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). ABA is a scientifically supported approach that utilizes the understanding of human behavior to teach meaningful behaviors, such as social and communication skills, fostering an improved quality of life and happiness for individuals.

Last month, leaders from the Autism/ABA team held a retreat to develop their cultural, clinical and operational short-term and long-term goals. After their meeting, we caught up with the team to learn more about how their experiences with autistic individuals has positively impacted their own lives. It was rewarding to hear this dedicated team with several years of experience express such personal joy in their work. Here’s what they had to say.

“I’ve been in this industry for 23 years and a BCBA for 12 years. I continue to learn and be amazed at how individuals are so unique in their own way,” says Shanun. “Everyone moves through life in their own way and it’s just so beautiful”

“I’ve been in this field for 12 years. In working with autistic individuals, I’ve definitely grown more compassionate, involved and invested in my community,” says Joseph, who has been a BCBA for 10 years. “When I see the positive changes that individuals can make, it makes me ask how I can serve the community even more.”

“Working with autistic individuals has made me reframe what’s important in life,” says Jennifer, who’s been in the industry for six years and a BCBA for 4 years. “Since doing this work, I’m now better connected with friends, family and even my neighbors!”

“Everything is built on connections,” says Amanda who’s been a BCBA for 7 years and in this industry for 19 years. “Through these connections, I’ve received an incredible amount of joy from the sweet smiles, hugs and seeing kiddos wave to me for the very first time.”

“I’ve been a BCBA for 13 years and in this field for 25 years. Before this work, I was pretty rigid. However, working with autistic individuals has taught me to be more flexible,” says Audrey. “It’s made me a better person, mom and mentor. I set out to help autistic people but they’ve actually helped me way more than I could ever help them!”

“I’ve been operationally supporting ABA providers for 27 years,” says Paul, Easterseals UCP’s Autism & ABA Operations Manager. “I’ve met many great friends and even met my wife doing this work. It’s an honor to work with autistic individuals and being part of the community activities. This work positively impacts every part of my life.”

“Working with autistic individuals has helped me walk in love and service daily. It also gives me an opportunity to walk in my faith,” says Natalie, who has been in this field for 15 years and a BCBA for 9 years. “

Learn more about our Autism + ABA services at Please consider directly supporting our Autism program by purchasing items from Autism’s Amazon Wishlist.

Please note: In recent times, some individuals with a diagnosis of autism have spoken out about their preference of the use of identity-first language when being addressed and when addressing themselves. This has led Easterseals UCP to adopt the same approach. However, we do understand this is not the opinion held by every individual with an autism diagnosis, and so the switching between person-first and identity-first language can be seen throughout our marketing and communications.

Easterseals UCP and PORT Health are trustworthy, compassionate partners providing exceptional disability, behavioral health and addiction treatment services to help our neighbors live their best lives. Purpose, dedication and empathy drive our in-person and telehealth service delivery. Our diverse and inclusive 2,600 member team provides more than 10.2 million hours of meaningful support to 40,200 kids, adults and families in 11,000 home, facility and community locations across North Carolina and Virginia. Learn more at