February 17, 2022

Kelli Skiba, a consulting specialist for the Cape Cod region in the Partner Program, has worked at The New England Center for Children for more than 10 years. A colleague explained that Skiba was very deserving of recognition because she “is a fantastic leader, advocate, and a great supporter of students and staff. Kelli has incredible communication skills and can navigate challenging situations with outstanding professionalism. It is such a pleasure to work with Kelli and receive her support.”

How long have you worked for NECC?
I have worked at NECC for 10.5 years. I started my NECC career in the residential program (Westboro 1), spent some time on the day school, and was a teacher in our Home-based program. I then transitioned to the Public Schools Services department where I was a lead teacher for three years (preschool and middle school) and then transitioned to my current role as a clinical supervisor.

What is your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of the job is getting to work with incredibly smart and dedicated individuals every single day. My daily interactions range from conversations with doctorate level BCBAs, public school personnel, lead teachers, paraprofessionals, parents, and students. I feel blessed to work with people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences who contribute to my professional and personal growth daily.

Why did you choose a career in helping children with autism?
It may seem somewhat cliché, but I have always had a passion for working in the field of special education. I spent my middle and high school years as a member and president of my school’s Best Buddies chapter. I have always enjoyed spending time with individuals with disabilities and getting to know them and their families. I feel incredibly fortunate that I am able to do something I love every day!  

It is all about the mission for me! NECC’s commitment and dedication to improving the lives of individuals with autism is what it is all about. I think that the focus the organization places on educating their employees is paramount in bettering the lives of individuals with autism and their families. Being a part of the Public School Services department has allowed me to work in a number of different communities and has given me the opportunity to share our organization’s expertise and mission with so many!

What is something about you that your colleagues might be surprised to learn?
It may not be surprising given my geographical location, but in my spare time I love going to the beach and spending time boating with my family. We do not shy away from any opportunities to be on the water (no matter the temperature) – from May through October we can be found on Cape Cod Bay. One of the first places we took my daughter upon leaving the hospital was to the beach – a true Cape Cod baby!

Who is someone you look up to?
It’s not necessarily a ‘someone’ that I look up to but more so a group of people. I am in complete awe of the families that I work with each and every day. Of course, parents and caregivers sometimes share the struggles they face raising a child with autism, however the majority of my conversations with parents are focused around their child’s progress and the ‘wins’ they experience at home.

What is your life philosophy or a motto you like to live by?
As I am sure many of us can relate, the past few years have come with some challenges. One of those challenges for me has been figuring out how to give my all both personally and professionally (it turns out that being a first-time working parent during a global pandemic can be trying at times). I recently read the book Be Where Your Feet Are by Scott O’Neil. I won’t share too many of the details but the idea of ‘being where your feet are,’ or being present in the ‘here and now’ really resonated with me. I am certainly far from mastery criteria, but when I find myself reaching for my phone to respond to an email during dinner this motto prompts me to take a necessary pause.