Meet Our Behavior Consultants
Each of our behavior consultants is focused on helping individuals with disabilities live their best lives by developing customized plans to meet their specific needs.
I am passionate about helping those in need, focusing on their strength, and equipping them with skills to achieve their full potentials. I have more than 18 years of experience working in a variety of roles with people with disabilities, people who are homeless and people with substance abuse issues. I earned a bachelor’s degree in health and human services from Purdue University Fort Wayne and a master’s degree in psychology from Indiana Tech.
I have worked in several facilitaties, such as the Washington House, Whitington Home, Genesis Outreach, Benchmark (AWS), LADA, LIFE, ResCare, New Wave, and Meridian Health, using my education and skills as a professional, assisting those with needs in the community.
In my spare time, I enjoy being around my family (even the 3-year-old great grandchild who is the main entertainer), outdoor cooking, simple gardening, and relaxing while listening to jazz (preferably live jazz).
I started my journey eight years ago after retiring from Fort Wayne Community Schools as a middle school guidance counselor. During my time at Easterseals Arc, I have worked with and supported some amazing people. Over the years I have watched them learn how to handle their behaviors, improve their decision-making skills, utilize their coping skills, work on conflict resolution, and the list goes on! They have improved their quality of life by using the tools we worked on during the time we spent together. I love working with middle schoolers, high schoolers, and young adults, but I have also worked with more mature individuals, too.
Hi there! My name is MaryClare. After high school, I obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in social work. I have worked as a social worker for nearly 20 years, starting my career in the medical setting, assessing patients for temporary or permanent placement in psychiatric care, independent community living, residential, and skilled nursing care. I gained invaluable experience collaborating with multidisciplinary teams and learning the diverse roles of professionals and caregivers in patient care and community living. I worked daily educating and assisting individuals and their families in making decisions about their lives, planning for their best level of care, healthcare management, and mental health management. My later career transitioned into the nonprofit sector, where I used my background to guide organizations through innovative community projects, challenging transitions, and meaningful growth initiatives. I have circled back to my passion of working with individuals and combined that passion with organizational management to serve individuals, families, and organizations in planning for the best possible outcomes for vulnerable or underserved populations.
I have had the opportunity to support individuals and families in many ways my entire life. I love working with people and especially caring for others! Whether it be children or adults, individuals with special needs, or anyone who can use an advocate, my passion is developing and helping others so they can have a positive and better quality of life.
My passion is working with individuals with differing abilities who need extra supports to learn to communicate, interact socially, and manage their emotions, among other things. I am a firm believer that ALL behavior = communication and that no person is “bad.” I have a master’s degree in social work and therefore take a person-centered approach focusing on the individual’s goals, their vision of their best life, and how we can work together to achieve that. Having my bachelor’s degree in special education: severe interventions and teaching experience at Fort Wayne Community Schools, I am also knowledgeable and passionate about helping individuals learn, grow, and thrive!
Bio coming soon
I graduated from Roosevelt University in Chicago with a master’s degree in special education, specializing in emotional disabilities, learning disabilities, attention deficits including those with hyperactivity, and with special education guidance counseling. I also studied under Cathy Pratt, autism specialist, and Carol Gray, author/ developer of Social Stories. I have more than 36 years of experience working with special education students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, and at Forest Hospital in Des Plaines, Ill., St. Joseph County Intermediate School System, Northeast Indiana Special Education Cooperative and Fort Wayne Community Schools.
During my career, I have worked as a special education teacher, a teacher and behavior consultant. My students have included those with behavior and emotional disabilities, autism, mental illness, developmental delays, intellectual disabilities, and other health challenges. I not only have experience developing and implementing behavior plans, but also with assisting people to develop or improve their social skills across settings.