monica lugo, bcba, lba
Monica has always had a passion for helping others in need, particularly individuals with disabilities. She initially began tutoring individuals with disabilities at a young age. During this time, Monica helped run a summer camp for children with various learning disabilities. There was no doubt to her that this was the field she was meant to be in. She received her bachelor’s in Psychology from Florida International University and simultaneously began working as a behavioral therapist implementing direct therapy to children with autism and down syndrome, with a focus on skill acquisition. Monica’s next steps included saying farewell to Florida and moving to Baltimore, MD. She went on to receive excellent training while working 5 years in the internationally renowned Neurobehavioral Inpatient Unit at Kennedy Krieger Institute, affiliated with John Hopkins Hospital. During this time her primary focus was behavior reduction assessments and interventions and diving into research opportunities. Monica received extensive training in implementation of functional analyses and treatment of life-threatening challenging behavior. This experienced opened up Monica’s eyes even more to how much she wanted to continue on the path of doing whatever she could to help individuals with disabilities and their families have a better quality of life. While living in Baltimore, she also conducted behavior therapy sessions and parent training in the home environment as well. Monica completed her Master’s in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) at NOVA Southeastern University and became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She wanted to continue utilizing and expanding her skill set, therefore her career journey took her next to Texas. In Texas, she worked as a BCBA and was Clinical Director of an early intervention autism clinic with a focus on both skill acquisition and behavior reduction. In 2019, Monica relocated to Kansas City, KS and accepted the position of Executive Director of Client Services at Behavioral Health Kansas City (BHKC). She believes that very powerful and meaningful changes occur through collaboration between colleagues, as well as with families. Monica is very excited to be part of the team and to witness all the positive and lifelong changes occurring throughout the lives of the all the individuals within our multiple divisions at BHKC.