Elizabeth Kolb-Jackson is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst and director of the Florence Clinic in South Carolina. She has a long history of working with children with autism and has been a part of EAP since the organization first started serving children in South Carolina. Outside of EAP, Elizabeth is very active in her church and loves to give back to the community by offering her expertise in ABA therapy. She has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from South Carolina Upstate University, and a master’s in curriculum and special education from Arizona State University. Learn more about Elizabeth in the Q and A below.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: Seeing my clients make any type of progress is my favorite part of what I do. Whether that is saying their first word or using the bathroom alone for the first time, just seeing the sense of accomplishment they feel after making that progress is a reassuring aspect of my job. Seeing their success reassures me that what I do has a significant impact.
Q: What is one tip you can pass along to parents that will help them with their child at home?
A: Don’t use autism as a crutch or an excuse for your child to not do the things other children are doing. Children with autism are perfectly capable of performing the same activities as other children, but often parents will excuse their behavior and the child no longer feels motivated to complete the tasks. The biggest mistake I see is parents removing the demand for their child to do certain tasks because of their autism. As soon as demand is removed, and a parent accomplishes the task themselves without the child taking initiative, the child learns they don’t have to partake in order for the desired outcome to occur.
Q: What is your favorite client success story?
A: Hearing my client say their first words is always a huge success and very memorable. In general, any time I can help a child with their first forms of communication, whether that is verbal communication or some type of augmented communication, it is a huge success. I love working with a child and seeing that moment when it all clicks for them…they realize they need to communicate their wants and needs and figure out a way to do so. Another memorable moment is from several years ago when I was working with a child who ate a very limited diet. Through our work together, I was able to persuade him to eat a banana which was a dig deal because he didn’t really eat any fruits or vegetables. His mom was so happy that she wrote a cute news article and emailed it to their entire family to showcase her son’s progress.