This week’s Meet a Mom interview is with Jany Bello, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. This mom of two is the founder and owner of Exceptional Minds ABA, where they properly train providers to implement effective treatment. We spoke to Jany about her career, family life and more.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Miami?
I was born in Havana, Cuba and in 1996 my parents won a lottery called “El Bombo” which allowed us to move to the US. We’ve been here in Miami ever since.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have twin boys, they’re in the peak of their “terrible two’s” (lol). They’re two years old, and there’s truly never a dull moment in our home.
What’s been your favorite “mommy moment” so far?
Watching my kids go through milestones has been very bittersweet. Exciting because they’re having new experiences but also sad because they’re growing up. Thankfully, they still like for mom to rock them to sleep, so it’s my favorite time that I get to have with each one of them for all the snuggles.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
A target run! Haha or a Starbucks drive through. Also, getting my nails done, the place I go to (Delaray Nails) is so welcoming and fun it feels like I’m hanging out with girlfriends. A good glass of wine in silence!
What is your profession and what made you choose this profession?
I’m a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, I would with children, adolescents and even adults that may have a developmental delay, or diagnosis. We work on socially significant behavior and overall, I help them learn skills to become a more independent individual.
I stumbled on this field at FIU while studying for my undergrad. I originally wanted to be a pediatrician, so I’ve always known children was a population I wanted to work with, but chemistry and I did not get along, so I had to change my major. I chose “Behavior Analysis” as an elective. When the class started, I was blown away by the science and once my professor stated this was an “actual career” I knew this was it for me. From a very young age I’ve always loved talking with children and elderly.
Tell us about Exceptional Minds ABA, why did you decide to start your own business?
Being in Miami, I’ve seen a common pattern in ABA companies. I honestly feel like its turned more into a money-making industry rather than a servicing/helping industry (what it’s intended to be). Unfortunately, I’ve witnessed poor training, unethical, and unprofessional companies who throw their employees out into the work field with little to no training. This ultimately, affects the quality of services and when the parents of the client see low quality services they decide to pause or cancel services which ultimately affects the child.
I started Exceptional Minds ABA with the intent to properly train providers. I thought, “If I train the providers and help them become confident in themselves and the services they provide then, we can implement effective treatment without services having to be paused due to lack of training/ supervision and we can ACTUALLY help those in need and hopefully make a difference in their lives. “
Now, thankfully we are expanding our services where, once these providers are trained, we are becoming in network with many insurance companies therefore, we can provide jobs for them once they are credentialed with our board.
What are some of the services that are offered in Exceptional Minds ABA?
In Exceptional Minds ABA we provide services to those wanting to become ABA providers. Everything from the 40-hour RBT course to exam prep when studying for the BCBA Exam. We also offer ABA Basics courses to parents, family members, teachers and anyone in the community wanting to learn more about ABA Therapy and behavior. We are currently also working on getting credentialed with insurances in order to begin delivering ABA services to those in need in our community.
What do you love about your job?
The fact that I can make a difference in someone’s life no matter how big or small. From working with a child to hopefully saying “mom” or “dad” for the first time, to potty training, tying a shoe, getting dressed, or even learning to play with a toy independently. There’s truly so many areas that I can work in, and when I see my client’s smile after they’ve done something for the first time, that honestly makes everything worth it for me.
How do you manage your work life balance as a mom?
How does any mom manage? I have a GREAT support system. My husband is an amazing team player who literally steps in every day for our kids and helps me around the house. My children also have a fantastic set of grandparents who are extremely caring and involved.
I personally try to have a set of boundaries for myself as well, where I have a work phone and a personal phone. Usually on the weekends I do not touch my work phone and I try to enjoy my family as much as I can. Professional Boundaries help in this field.
What are your favorite activities to do with your family around Miami?
Anything outdoors, we love the Miami Zoo and will usually go there to let the kids run around. Berry Farms, Pinto’s Farm and all the petting zoos are a must. On those hot summer days, we are either in a pool or in a museum to avoid the Miami heat. We try to keep our toddlers as active as possible and thankfully Miami has some great parks and activities.
What’s something people might be surprised to learn about you?
I own a second small business. Designs by L&R Graphics, where I make t-shirts. It began as a small hobby that I would do when my kids went to bed, however in less than a year I made over 500 shirts.