Therapy room at Lighthouse Autism Center with toys on a table with blue chairs and book shelves above

Lighthouse Autism Center Staff Spotlight: Ruthie

Ruthie’s Lighthouse Autism Center Journey

Ruthie is a Registered Behavior Technician Trainer at our East Moline center and has been with Lighthouse Autism Center since July of 2023. She is a mom to a seven-year-old boy and her favorite hobbies are writing poetry and painting. Ruthie also enjoys trying new things and meeting new people. She is a huge movie buff and her idea of a perfect evening is sitting on the couch watching a good movie and eating popcorn.

What made you decide to apply to Lighthouse?

I made a choice years ago to work in different fields- never doing the same thing twice. I was determined to find my purpose. I worked jobs as complicated as the government and as simple as a warehouse. There was one job I could never get away from- children. Everywhere I went I found myself teaching or molding a child from different walks of life. I applied at Lighthouse not knowing what was in store. I saw the website and was sold almost immediately. I knew I could be a teacher but never knew about being a Registered Behavior Technician. I live to try things I’ve never tried, so I applied, and now my life is filled with so much more purpose. 

What is your favorite part of working at Lighthouse Autism Center?

My favorite part of working for Lighthouse is its solid foundation, which is very important for autism and the people working with individuals on the spectrum. Change is good, but too much change creates inconsistency. I love the energy as well. Everyone here is happy to be here and this is something I rarely saw throughout my many career choices.

How would you describe your experience working for Lighthouse?

My experience here at Lighthouse has reached new levels mentally for me. I usually go into the workforce and grasp everything at the beginning and when I have reached the ceiling of elevation, I quit and move on to another career. Here at Lighthouse, there is no limit. There are more opportunities and space to grow, if you are willing to work for it. I’m constantly challenged, creatively, mentally, and physically. I love the fact that I can be my authentic self and use my creativity to help each learner reach their goal.

Do you have a favorite memory from your time here?

My favorite memory from my time at Lighthouse happened within my first month of joining the team. When I was in training, I was so worried that I was not grasping all the terms and understanding how to run the programs. Every step of the way someone on the team was yelling “Go Ruthie” or “You got this” and it gave me the push and encouragement I needed to succeed. Now I can do the same for other trainees. 

What advice you would like to share for those interested in a career at Lighthouse Autism Center?

While I do not have a college degree and I have never worked with children diagnosed with autism before Lighthouse, within 6 months I have advanced to an RBT Trainer through hard work and training from my fellow team members. Something that has not been easy as a single parent. If you are afraid because you believe you are not enough or you can’t help a child with autism, then you are the right person for the job because you have humility. All of this to say: “The sky is not the limit; it is only a point of reference.” —-Pastor Frank R. Livingston.

Ready for a career where you can make a difference?

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