Hope 4 Autism CEO/founder, Dr. Sheila Barnes, is a doctoral level Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and a School Psychologist. Dr. Barnes graduated with a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in special education from the University of Central Oklahoma (formerly known as Central State University), a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Oklahoma and a second master’s degree in counseling psychology from Northwestern Oklahoma State University. Dr. Barnes has extensive experience working directly with infants and very young children with autism and other disabilities. Before becoming a university professor, she worked in a variety of placement alternatives from home-based infant intervention, public school early childhood special education, as well as a residential treatment center for adjudicated youth.
At the university level she served as the program director of Early Childhood and Special Education undergraduate and graduate programs as well as Associate Dean in the College of Education.
When she retired as a full professor, she founded Hope 4 Autism. Dr. Barnes currently has the honor of developing a master's degree program in ABA at Ouachita Baptist University where her father graduated (and where she was born).