Spotlight: Christina Chikuni
Christina Chikuni has been a Service Coordinator at Pressley Ridge for nine years. Prior to that, she served as a TSS for Pressley Ridge. Christina developed a strong interest in working with children with autism, and now does so as a Service Coordinator specializing in cases involving Autism Spectrum Diagnoses.
Christina embodies so many Re-ED principles, but perhaps the most noteworthy is “Competence Makes a Difference”. When it comes to knowledge of ASD services, Christina knows more about the array of providers and programs than anyone I’ve ever met. She is the go-to person at our office when anyone has questions about autism services – be they therapeutic, educational, or recreational. She is always happy to field questions, and can always be counted on to produce contact information to address any issue that a family is having.
Christina’s competence continues in the field, where she is a polished advocate for the children and families she works with. Getting the proper supports for kids with disabilities can be a challenge in homes, schools, and the community. Christina knows that the cognitive competence of children can be enhanced, and that intelligence can be taught. To that end, she works exceptionally well at developing IEPs and making sure that her kids have the right supports at school. She is as competent at this as any educational advocate I have ever worked with.
Christina is tenacious when it comes to making sure that providers are doing right by her clients, and at the same time, she is so deft that she never appears adversarial. It is because of these qualities that Christina’s families trust her so much. The Re-ED principle “Trust Is Essential” is so evident in Christina’s work that her families revere her, and many providers making referrals ask for Christina by name. Christina has the most coveted combination of skills desired by an employer or a family in need: she is compassionate, dedicated, and highly skilled. She makes those who care aspire to be more like her.