Get To Know Ashley Lehman: CIP Bloomington’s Program Director
Ashley Lehman, M.A. brings a wealth of experience to her role as Program Director at CIP’s Bloomington Center. We recently sat down with Ashley to learn more about her impressive background and goals for the future.
Can you tell us about your education and background?
I received my Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana State University where I studied Speech-Language Pathology. During that time I completed a student practicum working with children with communication disorders, provided in-home support services for families on the autism spectrum, and interned under a Traumatic Brain Injury Specialist in South Bend, IN. I later went on to receive my M.A. from Ball State University and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
What were your previous roles and what brought you to CIP?
I began working with children on the autism spectrum in the community & in homes several years ago. From that experience and my initial purpose push, I grew in my position to manage speech, occupational, and behavioral divisions for individuals on the autism spectrum accompanied by other mental deficits to bridge the gap of standard operations and qualitative services.
What are your areas of expertise?
I have collaborated across various disciplines in order to achieve the highest level of student engagement, delivery of quality services, and have developed protocols for individuals with learning differences. I also managed multiple scopes of practices including diagnostics, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and behavioral health with the ultimate goal of collaboration and best prognosis outcomes in mind.
How have your previous jobs aided you in your current position at CIP?
My previous experiences allowed me to learn the ins and outs of day-to-day operations of an organization through an employee, family member, and most importantly, recipient lens. Managing life-changing intervention strategies through the science of Applied Behavior Analysis & other therapeutic approaches taught me the importance of creating an environment where all can fully exceed their highest potential.
What do you enjoy most in your role?
Overall, I enjoy assisting the transformation that takes place by all involved in CIP internally & externally. Cultivating a space where students excel authentically & independently paired with an environment where each employee executes their expertise confidently is really why I do what I do. There is an aspect of the Director role that allows me to connect with each student’s journey. The moments when I am sitting with families, team members, & students and they express that they feel like they’re right where they are meant to be represents purposeful work and results in progress.
How has your experience made you the leader you are today?
By leading with purpose, I believe successful outcomes will emerge. I began 1:1 working in-home with families in 2013. At that time, I chose to expand my skill set to further support individuals diagnosed with autism. Through consulting, family coaching, recruiting, process analysis, data collection, evidence-based intervention implementation, & operations across multiple roles, my goal to provide the best service with measurable outcomes to families has not wavered.
What do you think are the biggest challenges currently facing young adults with autism and learning differences?
A prevalent challenge that our students face in the midst of a global pandemic often relates to the inability to remain internally and externally motivated for sustained periods of time in order to achieve a goal. This process takes diligence, perseverance, and education around the pattern of behavior change which I fully intend to reinforce utilizing my experience as well as CIP’s continuum of growth.
What are your short and long-term goals for CIP Bloomington?
Our collective current goals include continuous community outreach for student opportunity, ongoing education for staff and students, and lastly manifesting a culture that demonstrates purposeful progress for all participants.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I enjoy running, hiking, Pickleball, and spending time with my husband Will and son, Brooks. We (used to) enjoy traveling and the beach! Previously I have explored multiple countries/cultures including Iceland, Thailand, Japan, and the Dominican Republic.
About the Author: Sarah Williams
Sarah B. Williams is CIP’s National Director of Public Relations. She works to develop and implement communication strategies that will broaden CIP’s impact and overall awareness. Sarah earned a BA from UC Berkeley and has been published in media outlets that serve the autism and LD community. Sarah is passionate about helping young adults with learning differences achieve success. Her son is a CIP alumnus.