Erin Lombard
Expert Name: Erin Lombard
Expert Title: M.Ed., BCBA
Company Name:  Step By Step Academy
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Erin Lombard is a behavior consultant with over 12 years of experience working with children in homes, schools, and center based programs. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a previously certified Special Education teacher in Arizona. Along with providing consultation through SBSA, she also currently teaches Positive Behavior Support courses at Northern Arizona University.

Erin is originally from California where she earned her undergraduate degree in Child and Adolescent Studies from California State University, Fullerton. She obtained her master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Phoenix. She completed her coursework in applied behavior analysis from the University of North Texas. She is currently working on her PhD in Psychology at Capella University.

How to Find (and Keep!) Quality Providers

Many families with a child with autism have some type of home support program. Some families may have providers in their homes every day, while others may just have weekend support. Regardless of how many hours you have of in home support, finding and keeping quality providers can be a major challenge. Here are some tips for finding quality providers:

  • Ask other families for recommendations/share a good provider.
    • Most home programs cannot support one person full time, so typically a good provider may be seeking additional hours from other families.
  • If you have specific agencies in your area who train providers, seek more than one agency. It is usually OK to have multiple providers from multiple agencies in your home.
    • While this is a good way to find quality providers, consistency may be a challenge if each agency has restrictions on who can provide ongoing training to their providers.
  • Post up fliers at your local community college, university, or church.
    • If you find someone that is a good fit, make sure to do a background check and get fingerprint clearance. If you have a local agency that can employ and train your new provider, the agency will take care of this.

Now that you found your perfect provider, here are some tips on how to keep your provider for the long term!

  • Be Nice!
    • Say hello and smile when your provider arrives. Remember you want this person to feel comfortable working in your home.
  • Be on time!
    • Be home when the provider arrives and if you leave the house, return on time.
      • Do NOT expect your provider to stay longer than the scheduled time.
  • Have realistic expectations
    • This person is there to provide an intervention to your child.
    • This person is NOT
      • Babysitter for your other children.
      • House cleaner (although it is reasonable to expect the provider to leave the “work” area neat and clean when they are finished with their shift).
  • A personal therapist
    • Although your provider may “feel” like part of the family or your best friend, this person is there only to work with your child.
    • Do NOT discuss personal information about yourself, your spouse, or your family with your provider.