Compassion Is Fundamental For Treatment

Reggie Candio joined the Ruttenberg Autism Center in 2014. In his role as director of Adult & School Consultation, Candio is responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing therapeutic programs focused on enhancing social and independent daily living skills of individuals with autism, as well as providing consultation and psycho-education to clients and families. He also lends his expertise to the clinical programs at The Center for Autism in Philadelphia, as the director of Social Competency and Saturday Programs. Here he is responsible for directing, planning and managing the operation of a weekly social and adaptive skills program serving adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Opening this summer, Ruttenberg Autism Center will provide high quality, comprehensive autism evaluation, and treatment services across the lifespan to individuals and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Where did you get your degree?

“I received my Masters of Science degree and my Educational Specialist Certification in school psychology (Ed.S.) from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. I am nationally credentialed as a school psychologist as well as certified in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey.”

Can you describe your duties as a psychologist?

“As a school psychologist, my role is unique in that I apply my expertise in mental health, education and behavior management to support the social, behavioral and emotional needs of children, adolescents and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I develop, implement and oversee treatment programs that focus on the enhancement of social and independent daily living skills for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. I provide consultation and psycho-education to clients and families, conduct psycho-educational evaluations, and assessments and supervise treatment staff.”

How has education prepared you for your career in psychology and social sciences?

“Throughout my graduate training, I received specialized preparation and practical experiences that were both applicable to the fields of education and psychology. My experience in both the school and clinical settings, particularly during practicum and internship, afforded me the opportunity to apply the theory and knowledge I acquired in the classroom setting to professional practice. I have also benefited greatly from strong mentorship and guidance provided by savvy professionals not only in the field of school psychology, but in other disciplines that contribute to the development of children and adults.”

What advice would you give someone who is pursuing a career in psychology?

“I would advise anyone considering a career in psychology to first consider both the setting you would like to practice in and the kind of work you are interested in doing. There are essentially two main paths to explore in psychology: one that has an emphasis on applied service delivery and one that has a heavy research and academic focus – the primary differentiators between the two paths being the types of activities you are likely to engage in and the training required for each. One of the best ways to decide which route to take is to spend some time interviewing and working alongside professionals functioning in various capacities and specializations within the field. Building strong relationships and associations with other professionals that work in (or indirectly support) the field and taking an active role in your professional development is also vital to your continued growth and effectiveness as a psychological professional. Last, but certainly not least, compassion must be a fundamental component of your treatment approach, being ever mindful of the fact that the individuals and families we serve are not only looking for a psychological expert to guide them through treatment and intervention, but most importantly an empathic listener who truly understands the challenges they face every day and values their unique perspective.”