Puzzle Pieces is excited to announce that Olivia Hardy will be joining the all-female administrative staff starting March 9 as the Behavioral Services Director.
Olivia will enrich the scope of services offered to current Puzzle Pieces clients and also allow the nonprofit to reach new clients. Through Olivia’s new role, Puzzle Pieces will now be accepting clients who need positive behavior support, but may not attend the campus for other services. Positive behavior support is defined as shaping a behavior that one wishes to change through evidence based practices, and providing the training within the home and community to ensure success.
“As Behavioral Services Director, my goal is to help individuals with disabilities acquire the skills they need for the different stages of their lives, such as communicating effectively with others, performing activities of daily living, and being active participants in their community,” Olivia said. “I am eager to provide early intervention services for communication, social skills training, and help both children and adults develop adaptive functioning skills. I strive to help individuals set goals for themselves based on their interests and help them acquire the skill set they need to reach those goals.”
While Olivia is a board certified behavior analyst, she is also a sibling to a brother on the autism spectrum. She first heard the word autism when her brother was 5 years old, and since then has spent much of her life learning about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Early in her college career, Olivia had the opportunity to work with an individual at Puzzle Pieces who received intensive applied behavior analysis services as a child. It was this experience that allowed her to see the vast, life-changing progress that the client made and gave her the assurance that she wanted to work in this field.
“Puzzle Pieces couldn’t be more excited to have Olivia working alongside our team to ensure evidence based practices are implemented and staff are trained frequently to ensure quality of services in all of our divisions,” said Puzzle Pieces Executive Director Amanda Owen. “It's a surreal moment for me having Olivia join our team at Puzzle Pieces. When passion can match experience, it's a game changer. I am grateful that she could have done many things with her degree and experience, but she chose to come back to the place where her passion began.”
Olivia holds a bachelor’s degree in Social and Behavioral Science and masters degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, both from the University of Kentucky. She has published research in the Journal of Early Intervention and the Teacher Education and Special Education Journal.