Welcoming Face Makes a World of Difference

Imagine being a family member of a loved one diagnosed with a developmental disorder who has their first appointment at an outpatient clinic. The patient has needs and so does the anxious family. At the Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders (GLCOE), Will Evans, behavioral technician, can be counted on to make each appointment worry free for everyone involved.

This is especially true for Payton Brown, 16 and Suzanne Brown, her mother. Payton is on the autism spectrum and has Williams syndrome, which is associated with learning difficulties. “It’s a bit of a puzzle, and there are things we need to work on,” says Brown. “Individuals with Williams syndrome tend to be friendly. Payton loves people; that includes Will. He’s fantastic.”

“They talk with each other about bands, food and Wales, because Will is Welsh,” notes Brown. “Payton never wants virtual appointments because she wants to see Will in person.”

A true calling

It didn’t take Will long to see that he had something to offer individuals of all ages with autism and developmental disorders. “More than 20 years ago, I was working as a camp counselor, and I realized something,” he explains. “Whether it is a five-year-old or an adult, I can see the person for who they are, and I can be myself with them— supporting them and helping them achieve things so they can lead fulfilling lives.”

At the center, he can appear anywhere—in a waiting room, during an appointment, assisting with speech therapy or walking outside with a patient who needs to calm down. “So many different patients come through the door every day,” he says. “I hop around and work with everyone. That’s something I honestly enjoy. My number one goal is for the patients to have a successful visit, and for the caregivers to have a successful visit.”

“By adding a behavioral technician to the outpatient clinic staff, our goal was to create more structure,” explains Matthew Siegel, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs.

“The clinic team huddles each morning to review the day’s appointments, and Will is a key participant as we review the information,” says Dr. Siegel. “He highlights and anticipates the needs of the patients for that day’s appointments. This position requires a unique blend of skills: maturity and calm, kindness and empathy, and technical skill related to behavior and communication and flexibility.”

Will Evans brings all those qualities – and more — with him every day.

More to the Story!

Read more about Will and the activity happening at the Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in the current edition of Building Blocks.

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The Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence is committed to advancing the care of people with developmental disabilities through ongoing training and mentorship of health care professionals who are interested in this field. Building the next generation of expert care providers for the developmentally delayed population is one of our most important responsibilities. If you’re like Will and would like to be part of our nationally recognized center, apply today!

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