First Steps Interventions, Inc.

Our vision is to develop a dream team of knowledgeable, compassionate and ethical behavior analysts to provide effective and evidence-based training and intervention to culturally diverse families.

Our Mission

Our mission is to provide effective behavior interventions using a variety of methods based on the core principles of applied behavior analysis. First Steps Interventions, Inc. strives to deliver contextually relevant interventions by utilizing the child's natural environment and by incorporating family members and familiar environments at all stages of intervention. It is our philosophy that a well-rounded program should be culturally sensitive, developmentally appropriate and incorporate all aspects of the child's life. By providing our team with ongoing training and mentorship, we are able to develop innovative and accessible treatments for a wide range of challenges.

Our People

Our people make us who we are, and our vision is centered around teaching, training, supervising, mentoring and supporting the amazing staff who uphold our values and carry out the challenging and rewarding work of applied behavior analysis.

Jenilee Acevedo-Medina

Founder and President

Jenilee Acevedo-Medina is the Founder and President of First Steps Interventions, Inc. In 2008, out of a desire to provide a more well-rounded program to the children whom she serviced, Jenilee created a small but powerful team who shared her dedication for creating lasting change in the lives of the children and families that have been affected by a developmental disability. She has been working in the field of behavioral intervention and autism for over 10 years and has dedicated her career to maximizing her knowledge and skills to train therapists, newly certified individuals, caregivers and children. She received both a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Florida International University with a Minor in Social Work and a Master of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.

Jenilee has presented on the benefits of continued supervision and the importance of caregiver training at various Florida Association for Behavior Analysis (FABA) conferences. Jenilee is also a member of the Multicultural Special Interest Group which is dedicated to disseminate ethical and effective behavior analysis practices across the globe.

In 2017, she had the opportunity to become an Invited International Professor at Universidad del Istmo in Guatemala, teaching Masters level Applied Behavior Analysis students through highly supervised practicum. In 2018, she contributed to the well-established ABA masters program at abaScool in Spain as a Professor. As the field of ABA grows in South Florida, Jenilee is putting First Steps Interventions, Inc. at the forefront of effective and ethical applied behavior analysis interventions.

Paloma Rodriguez

Clinical Director

Clinical Director, Paloma Rodriguez, Ph.D., BCBA-D, oversees all clinical programs, including the Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EiBi) program. She has a doctorate in Developmental Science from Florida International University and utilizes her understanding of children's development in the creation and implementation of our ABA programs. Her research focus has been on increasing the effectiveness of social interactions as reinforcers in young children with autism, and this work has extended into our various social skills programs.

Paloma is passionate about disseminating best practices in ABA and is currently the assistant director of the Behavior Analysis Masters Program at FIU where she has an opportunity to meet the best and brightest students entering the field. FSI serves as a practicum site for students in the masters program at FIU, allowing the students to get real world experience, while keeping FSI on the cutting edge. In addition to teaching at FIU, Paloma is also passionate about disseminating ABA to Latin America and has participated in several projects to help promote the effective and ethical applications of the field abroad.

Paloma and Jenilee met while working at an ABA center in 2006 and together found not only that they made an excellent team, but that there was more to ABA than discrete trial training.

BCBAs & BCaBAs

Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs)

Our meticulously groomed team of BCBAs and BCaBAs are a reflection of the time and dedication that First Steps Interventions has devoted to training and supervision at all levels. Almost all of our behavior analysts began as behavior therapists and have worked their way up the ranks through hard work and commitment to the field. FSI believes that the best teams are homegrown. To this end, we encourage our teammates to further their career goals by attending graduate school and other professional development programs. We also offer free, in-house continuing education and workshops year-round.

RBTs

Registered Behavior Therapists

Our energetic team of registered behavior therapists (RBTs) are primarily graduates or soon to be graduates of Florida International University's undergraduate behavior analysis program, and have received extensive hands-on training prior to providing treatment. They are all gaining experience and preparing to take the board exam to advance in the field of applied behavior analysis. All of the RBT and RBT candidates at FSI have an ultimate goal of becoming board certified at a higher level and are committed to learning and developing their skills in the field.