Autism Services Director Nicole McLain brings passion, experience and dedication to the Heartspring team. Under her direction, CARE Clubs and Camp SSTAR have revamped its services, expanding the number of children it can serve. CARE and Behavioral Services (Applied Behavior Analysis) also combined to create a more efficient Autism Services program.
Nicole’s resume boasts a wide variety of roles including director of various autism services and centers from across the county, psychologist, autism specialist and faculty instructor. Before coming to Heartspring, Nicole was the program director at Trident Academy in Charleston, S.C. where she developed and managed a program for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, oversaw a language-based learning differences education program and created a comprehensive and global learning program for students impacted by high-functioning autism.
Heartspring had always been a place where Nicole had wanted to work. She believed in Heartspring’s mission and thought the organization would support her goals of educating others and changing children’s lives. In 2015 she took the position of CARE Director and almost immediately began making her impact on the program. Under her leadership, the CARE Clubs social program expanded by adding more clubs to serve more children. Camp SSTAR also moved off-campus to a local church to help keep up with the increase in enrollment. She also began new programs like Parents’ Night out, a childcare service offered once a month so parents can spend time together on a Friday night. She also continues to see clients one-on-one offering psychological services to children and their families. She is always trying to find new ways to inform the public whether it is through consultations with local churches and businesses or through her bi-weekly blog, “At Home with Autism.” In 2016, Nicole’s role expanded to encompass the Behavior Services (ABA) program.
In her free time, Nicole enjoys playing with her children, swimming, reading and spending time on the family farm in Beloit, Kan. Nicole has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Kansas State University, Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from Illinois School of Professional Psychology and over 60 additional graduate school hours in school psychology and applied behavior analysis from Fort Hays State University, Wichita State University and Florida Institute of Technology’s Applied Behavior Analysis Program.