Get to know us

Stephen Hernandez, M.A, BCBA, Director

I have been working with children on the autism spectrum for the past 16 years. It has been such an amazing privilege to have been given the opportunity to work with these children and their families. I first got into the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) when I was an undergrad psychology major. I found a flyer that was seeking new behavior therapists. I answered that ad and soon after trained under some of the best consultants in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex.

I knew this was my life calling from the moment I started working with my first child. From there, I worked solely on in-home programs while finishing my undergraduate degree. Since then I have obtained a Master's Degree in Special Education and have become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Stephen Hernandez

I have worked with children on all levels of the spectrum. I have experience dealing with children with mal-behavior issues and have also had the opportunity to oversee social groups for middle school and high school aged students. Most importantly, I am a big proponent of natural environment training.

For the past 16 years, I have worked in Frisco, Plano, Dallas and as far as Crandall, TX. However, as my family started growing I decided to move them back to the Red Oak area where I was raised. After moving home, I quickly noticed a lack of services being offered to children on the spectrum in our area. Therefore, I decided to move my practice south to serve Ellis county and its surrounding areas.

Finally, I find working with children and having an impact on their lives and the lives of their famiy extremely rewarding. It is amazing to see each child grow and achieve goals and milestones that may have seemed out of reach if it wasn't for ABA. I am looking forward to helping children and their families in Ellis county.

 

Jodie Muse, Co-Admissions Director/Senior Therapist/Supervisor

Jodie has over 20 years of experience with individuals on the autism spectrum, their families, and many organizations. She has managed her own son's ABA program for over 20 years and worked with many other families. She has over 10 years of experience in public school as a certified Special Educations teacher. She has taught all levels of students grades K-12 within the classrooms, provided complete support for students; and prepared and administered hundreds of ARDs. Her expertise is in consistency, goals, expectations, addressing behavioral challenges, teaching self-help skills, generalization, and guidance for staff and parents. Her classroom is known for consistency, support, patience, and progress. As a mother and an educator, she is ready to guide success for each child and their family. She is also currently working on her Master's Degree in Special Education.

 

Alexsha Plageman, M.A.,BCBA, Special Consultant/Staff Development Specialist

Alexsha Plageman, M.A., BCBA received her degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of West Florida. She has over 10 years of experience working with children; 4 of those years being exclusively with children with Autism. As part of her career development, Alexsha received therapist training from the Autism Partnership. She has provided 1-on-1 therapy and social skills training through center-based and in-home based services. In addition to being a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Alexsha is a certified teacher. She is bringing her experience and knowledge to provide assessments, consultation and training to RBI.

 

Maddox Muse, Senior Therapist

Maddox Muse received a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Technology from The University of Texas at Tyler and is currently pursuing his Master's Degree in Special Education Mild to Moderate at The University of Texas Permian Basin. He has been married for 27 years and has two sons. His oldest son, who has autism, is 23 years old. Maddox has worked for Carrollton/Farmers Branch ISD for 10 years and is a Modified Academics Curriculum Special Education Teacher. He has provided Applied Behavior Analysis services in home to children with autism for over 10 years. He has expertise in pairing with children on the autism spectrum who have challenging behaviors and producing outstanding outcomes. He also enjoys teaching special needs children to play sports and functional skills including riding a bike. His goal for every student is to increase their academic, communication, and functional skills so they can have enriching lives in their family and community.

 

Rob Franzese, Registered Behavior Technician

Rob Franzese studied at Kansas State University and received his Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology. He has 20 years of education and training experience. Rob has a son on the spectrum and this is how he found his passion for ABA. His area of focus is in working with children and adolescents using the principles of ABA to teach social skills, executive functioning skills, academic skills and reduction of challenging behavior. He is currently working on his masters of Science in Educational Psychology with a concentration in Behavior Analysis as well as, completing the coursework necessary in becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In his spare time, he enjoys spending it with his family and friends.

 

Kandice Sevier, Registered Behavior Technician

Kandice Sevier, M.Ed., received her degree in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Autism Intervention from the University of North Texas. She joins RBI with over 10 years of experience working with children on the spectrum. Kandice has provided 1-on-1 therapy through center-based and in-home based services, as well as, taught in a classroom for children with behavioral, emotional, and learning disabilities. She is currently working towards completing the necessary training to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. For Kandice, there is no better reward than improving the quality of life for our special needs children and their families.

 

Sarah Porter, Registered Behavior Technician

Sarah Porter joins RBI as a Registered Behavior Technician.  She is currently attending Southwestern Assemblies of God University to obtain her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.  She has worked with children in a variety of settings including being a soccer coach, a private tutor, a nanny and an assistant school teacher.  She is excited for the opportunity to share her love of working with children.

 

Samantha Gonzales, Registered Behavior Technician

Samantha is joining RBI as a Registered Behavior Technician. She is currently working on her Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. She has many years of experience working with children. Most recently being a Preschool teacher and aiding in their educational, behavioral, and social development. She is extremely excited to work with new children and families and make an impact in their lives.

 

Elise Hernandez, Office Manager

Our office manager, Elise Hernandez comes to us with several years of experience in the medical and insurance fields, working as a senior claims examiner for companies such as The Hartford and Zurich. She is passionate about helping others and spending time with her family and friends. She has been married to Stephen for 10 years and together they have 4 children. She is a licensed clinical reflexologist and a natural health & wellness enthusiast.

 

Rebecca Friday, Support Specialist

Rebecca has over 15 years of experience in the child care industry starting off as a nanny. She has spent the last 10 years as a Pre-School Teacher for Mother's Day Out programs at Ovilla Road Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church in Red Oak. She has dedicated much of her life to early learning and development. She enjoys working with children to encourage the love of learning at a young age and watching them grow and learn in a fun stimulating environment. Rebecca has been married to her Husband for 20 years, is a Mom of three daughters ages 11, 15, and 18, lives in Midlothian and spends most of her free time with her family.

 

 

Employment Opportunities


We are looking for motivated, engaging, and fun individuals who love working with children to apply for employment with RBI. Training is available and supervision is provided to get you started on a career in the field of ABA. Please contact: 469-673-8867 for more information on employment opportunities with us.

 

 

 

 

Testimonials

Stephen Hernandez has been a godsend to our family for the past 17 years.

  • Tammy M.

He began his career with our son learning with the rest of us. ABA and various other approaches such as RDI and floortime were just emerging in the behavioral field to help children with autism. Our son has been able to reach his full potential through the guidance of Stephen who has never given up on teaching him a concept or skill no matter how many times it had to be repeated. I have also had the pleasure of working with Stephen under different consultants and with other children. From the highest functioning to the lowest, Stephen knows how to bring out the best in that child. All families including ours, want to keep Stephen involved in their children's lives (even if they just need a little tutoring) because he is that invested in their progress and the families overall success. To say anyone would be blessed to have Stephen become the leader of their child's path to reach their full potential would be an understatement!

He helped me regain my confidence as a mom!

  • Nikki H.

Stephen entered our lives when autism was still new to our family and we were struggling in several areas. He helped me to regain my confidence as a mom and taught my son challenging skills, all while maintaining a friendly rapport with both of us! His genuine dedication and understanding of our families was apparent in his flexibility and willingness to work through issues until a reasonable plan was developed. When other parents ask me for recommendations, Stephen is always the first person that comes to mind. Even though we worked through difficult moments, my son's prominent memory of Stephen is that he was "fun".

He has been transformational in our son's life and his journey living with autism.

  • Libby C.

Our family cannot say enough great things about Stephen Hernandez and his amazing work. He has been transformational in our son's life and his journey living with autism. Stephen worked as both a teacher and behavioral therapist for two and a half years and then continued with our son in social groups and one-on-one sessions. The difference he made and the progress our son has had due to his time with Stephen are nothing short of miraculous. Stephen even helped him get his Driver's License! Our son's social skills, focus and independence skills were all greatly improved. Stephen's patience, dedication and commitment to his students is unbelievable and such a comfort to parents who are faced with what appear to be insurmountable problems. We cannot recommend him enough!

These experiences could not be taught in a regular classroom setting.

  • Beth S.

Our family was fortunate to find Mr. Stephen when our son was in middle school.  We had heard wonderful things about him from other families and luckily we were able to schedule one-on-one therapy and social group sessions with him. Mr. Stephen was part of our extended family for 8 years.
One of the Mr. Stephen's strengths is that he is able to take clinical work and apply it in a way that our population finds interesting, non threatening and fun.  It was a different setting and feel than a typical therapy office visit.  All of his students/clients were treated with the utmost respect despite their disabilities.  His consistency in communicating information and his approach to teaching social skills were creative, different and an alternative way to learn.  "Field trips" were part of the social group sessions with life experiences such as cooking, shopping for food, budgeting, buying presents for holidays, talking to strangers, understanding relationships, game playing, bathroom etiquette, birthday parties, turn taking and even a baby shower!  These experiences could not be taught in a regular classroom setting.
On the educational side, we incorporated behavior strategies used in therapy with Mr. Stephen, to our son's Behavior Intervention Plan at school.  Mr. Stephen also attended several ARDs to provide input to our son's teachers on what he was working on and to give his recommendations.  Additionally, he would follow up with my husband and me to discuss areas that we felt our son needed to improve on.  Our son is 20 years old and what a difference Mr. Stephen has made on his life!

 

our son has a 3.9 GPA, earned a black belt in Taekwondo, and is an Eagle Scout!

  • Joe & Brook Z.

Stephen has worked with our 16 year old son since he was 2 years old. Without a doubt, our son would not be where he is today without Stephen's assistance and guidance. He has a 3.9 GPA, earned a black belt in Taekwondo, and is an Eagle Scout. He will be pursuing his undergraduate degree at a major state university in a couple of years. When we started with Stephen, our son did not speak and was developmentally delayed. The ABA program that Stephen employs is perfectly suited for children under the spectrum. We consider Stephen a part of our family. He is a man of character and has a singular gift to help children.

 

UNIQUE ABILITY TO CONNECT WITH OUR SON.

  • Clayton & Paula H.

Stephen is a great role model and his unique ability to connect with our son has encouraged him to learn and relate better with peers and adults in various community roles.

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