Webcast Information

Webcast Information

Photo of Teresa Lyons
Teresa Lyons

Photo of Cindy Bates
Cindy Bates

Coaching that Leads to Change
Teresa Lyons, M.Ed., BCBA, Technical Assistance Associate, VCU
Cindy Bates


Coaching is an ongoing practical professional development activity that pairs classroom teachers with fellow educators who can provide high quality support in the implementation of evidence-based practices for students with autism spectrum disorder. Coaches partner with classroom teachers in an ongoing conversation that leads to accurate and consistent application of those practices that lead to growth and success for both the student and the classroom teacher. In this webcast, participants will be provided with information on the essential practices of coaching and will learn about tools and resources to support them in coaching. Participants will also learn about how coaching is being addressed within a school division within Virginia.

Teresa Lyons, M.Ed., BCBA is a Technical Assistance Associate with the Virginia Commonwealth University – Autism Center for Excellence (VCU-ACE). In this role, Teresa provides embedded technical assistance to support long-term systems change in two SWVA school systems – Botetourt County and Wise County. Teresa is working with divisions in a process that engages them in assessment, planning and implementation leading to change starting with central administration then to school administration then on down to classroom teachers. Systems-change is being addressed through changes in policy, procedures, coaching and instruction.

Teresa became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2012 after completing coursework through the Florida Institute of Technology. She received her Masters of Education from Lynchburg College with an emphasis in Special Education. Teresa received her undergraduate degree in Elementary and Special Education from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY.

Teresa comes to VCU-ACE with more than 18 years experience working with students with disabilities starting in the field as a paraprofessional in an ECSE program in NY to classroom teacher to autism specialist to technical assistance provider. Prior to joining VCU-ACE, Teresa worked with the VDOE Training and Technical Assistance Center at Virginia Tech. Teresa supported school divisions in the use of evidence-based practices in autism spectrum disorder and in the use of assistive technology for students with disabilities. Particular emphasis was placed on the development of autism and assistive technology teams, individual student and classroom consultations, professional development, as well as participation in the VDOE Autism State-Directed Project activities. Teresa also worked with a division in SW Virginia in the implementation of evidence-based practices through a collaborative grant with the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder out of the FPG Child Development Institute at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cindy Bates, M.S., BCBA, is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has a Certificate of Autism Studies from Radford University. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in special education from James Madison University and a Master of Science degree in school counseling from Radford University. Cindy taught special education in Wise County, Virginia for 18 years and has worked with students with disabilities in a variety of settings. She has served as the Special Education Coordinator for Wise County Schools for the last nine years, and recently added Autism Coordinator to her title. Wise County participated in the National Professional Development Center on Autism grant project during the 2010-2011 school year and is currently participating in a state grant project through VCU Autism Center for Excellence.