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ABOUT
JOHANNA BANKS
Founder,
Autism Consulting
of the Carolinas

Born with Cerebral Palsy herself, Johanna has a special passion for children with special needs and is dedicated to maximizing quality of life for everyone she serves. Although Cerebral Palsy impacted strength and development on the left side of her body, presenting a fair share of significant challenges, Johanna always embraced opportunities to be active and to live life fully - competing on her hometown swim team, working as a certified lifeguard during high school, and most importantly, discovering her deep desire to create beautiful, happy, productive lives for others, regardless of their challenges.

 

Along with a close friend and with the help one of her teachers, Johanna founded Camp New Hope, a day camp for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities, and also served as a respite worker for parents of a child with autism.

 

During her undergraduate years at Ithaca College, Johanna studied Therapeutic Recreation and was founder and president of the local Habitat for Humanity chapter. Under her leadership, the group built over ten homes for people in need. During that time, she also sat on the Ithaca College Board of Student Accessibility Services, working to develop strategies for students to maximize their academic potential and building action plans centered around individual strengths and the belief that obstacles could be overcome.

 

Johanna also spent two of her college summers as a camp counselor at the Double H Hole in the Woods Ranch, a weeklong camp for children with physical disabilities and life-threatening conditions such as Cerebral Palsy, HIV/AIDS, and various childhood cancers. It was at this camp that children ages 6-16 could concentrate on “just being kids” and participate in traditional camp activities such as horseback riding, swimming, and boating with peers who faced similar circumstances.

 

After completing her years at Ithaca, Johanna enrolled in the Master of Social Work program at Adelphi University and immediately went on to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. By 2008, she was a Psychoeducational Therapist at the Charlotte, North Carolina TEACCH Center, performing assessments on children and adults suspected of having Autism Spectrum Disorder.

 

Following her tenure at TEACCH, Johanna became a Social Worker in the Exceptional Children's Program for a local North Carolina school district. In this role, she was the chair of the Autism Problem-Solving Committee; she trained teachers to better reach children who had Autism diagnoses and assisted in problem-solving techniques to optimize success.

 

Since then, Johanna's career path has included various positions serving adults with learning disabilities, mental illness/drug addiction, and other cognitive and developmental disabilities. She has a natural talent for connecting with people in need, truly loves serving other human beings, and finds great satisfaction in providing the kind of help and guidance that will lead to better quality of life for those she serves.

 

All that said, it is her passion and love for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders that she considers her true calling in life - thus the creation of Autism Consulting of the Carolinas.

 

Johanna is married and is the mother of a little girl. She loves spending her time with friends and family either at home, in the mountains of North Carolina, or at the beach.