Meet Our Team: Cara Franke, M.Ed., BCBA

Give a little background information about yourself: I grew up on the east coast and got my undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  I began working as an ABA therapist in college and spent a couple years gaining experience in the field after I graduated.  I moved to Austin in 2013 to attend grad school and became a BCBA after finishing my M.Ed. in Special Education (with a concentration in Autism and Developmental Disabilities).  I had initially planned to move back to Maryland after completing grad school, but fell in love with Austin and have been here ever since!

What brought you in to this field?  I actually found myself in this field very unexpectedly!  As an undergraduate student, I needed an internship and the career counselor for my department put my resume into a system.  One of the first places to contact me was a clinic that provided ABA therapy.  Though I admittedly had no experience with ABA or individuals with ASD, they provided an extensive training program.  I began working with my first client and was amazed at the differences I saw in her from ABA therapy!  I felt that I was making an important difference and knew that this was the field I wanted to be in.

What are some favorite parts about your job?  I love seeing a client make breakthroughs in communication.  It is so rewarding to see clients learn to communicate what they want and need, feel that they have been heard, and overcome the frustration of not being understood.  I love that Building BLOCS also places an emphasis on parent training and that families are so actively involved in the child’s therapy.  I want parents to feel empowered and confident in their ability to bond with and teach their child.  And I love that this job is fun!

What are a couple interesting facts about yourself?  My husband and I had our first child, a baby girl, 4 months ago and we are loving life as new parents!  We also have 2 dogs, our first “babies”.  I don’t have much spare time these days, but when I do I love exploring Austin, yoga, and reading.