Meet Our TeaM
Our Founder, Jose A. Merida, CBA/FL served as the Senior Analyst and Executive Clinical Administrative Director of New Way Day Services (independent ABA company in Florida, USA) since its inception in 1999. Jose had more than 27 years’ experience serving individuals with special needs in the Miami-Dade and Broward areas, in Florida.
Jose was approached by a legal team in December of 2011 to work with a client who needed ABA therapy services. However, his insurer, Florida Medicaid, would not cover the medically necessary therapy. In early 2012 the case went to Federal Court where the plaintiff, the ABA team for New Way Day Services, the legal team presented his case.
The evidence of ABA’s effectiveness in improving the plaintiff’s individual needs was overwhelming that it led to ABA being funded by Florida’s State-run Medicaid programme. Since then, many State-run Medicaid programmes are now providing ABA for children on the spectrum.
When hearing of the situation in the UK, it sounded all too familiar – just like USA situation a few years prior. He and his wife Caridad had no choice but to get involved, and they formed ABA Horizons in early 2018.
One of his first actions was to commission research into understanding the potential costs of a “business as usual” approach to service provision for those on the spectrum (you can see the results of this research in our Cost Analysis Tool).
Jose was a kind-hearted maverick, entrepreneur and acutely observant behaviour analyst. He served many families and communities throughout his career. He was a mentor to many, helping and encouraging many of his employees with the clinical and logistical support they needed, as they ventured off on their own path.
Jose’s absence remains acutely felt. But although he is no longer here with us in person; he remains so in spirit. Our team strive to uphold his rigorous standards and to implement his vision: that children on the spectrum in the UK should have access to evidence-based services, such as ABA.
Director and CEO
Cary Bouza-Merida. Mrs. Merida has had extensive experience in the operations of New Way Day Services, Incorporation. She serves as the office administrator. As the President and Chair of A Better Day Learning Center, Mrs. Merida is dedicated to working closely with funders to assure that all children can receive treatment regardless of their families’ financial capabilities.
Mrs. Merida strives to make quality services accessible to all families and children across the UK. Her exceptional executive leadership skills have provided the ABA Horizons team with a wealth of resources that are used to help families across the United Kingdom have broader access to our Applied Behavioral Analysis Services.
Director & Outreach Manager
Jamie is the Outreach Manager for ABA Horizons, working with Clinical Commissioning Groups & Local Authorities in order to secure ABA services for families across the UK. He manages teams across the business and ensures communication between all parties. He qualified as a Quantity Surveyor in 1988. In 1995 following personal experience of a long term condition, Jamie started with Macmillan Cancer Support as a Development Coordinator. This role brought together patients, carers and health professionals to form self help, support and user involvement groups. He has worked for the MS Society and Rethink Mental Illness. All of these roles involved working with professionals from health and social care, developing new services and ensuring that individuals receive services. In his free time, he enjoys running and being outdoors.
Operations Director, BCaBA, IBA
Nic became aware of ABA after he moved to Florida in 2015, where he completed his Psychology degree and started his career in ABA. Like many in the UK - he had no prior exposure to the profession, but quickly realised it's importance. He was fortunate to receive mentorship from José (and throughout his career); providing direct services, assisting in training, case management and supervision of tutors, helping wherever it was needed. He became a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst (BCaBA) in 2017, and more recently a International Behaviour Analyst (IBA). With the experience and knowledge he learned from José and Caridad, he aims to continue their goals: to further establish ABA as an accessible resource and to help as many kids on the spectrum and their families as possible.
Senior Tutor, RBT
Rosario has been working with children with learning disabilities after completing her BSc Psychology degree in 2012. Since then Rosario has worked in a well-known clinic and SEND school while pursuing her MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. Rosario qualified as a Registered Behaviour Technician in 2019. She has been working in the Applied Behaviour Analysis field for over 2 years having the fantastic opportunity to work with children and young adults with Autism on home-based and school-based programmes, as well as assisting BCBA’s in conducting assessments and writing annual reports. Rosario is passionate about Behaviour Analysis and its application to educating children on the autism spectrum and she is willing to keep learning and developing in her career.
Behaviour Tutor, RBT, IBT
Alma’s interest in ABA grew during her undergraduate degree in Psychology and she continued pursuing it academically by completing a postgraduate degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis in 2020. Soon after she started working for the company as a tutor, gaining valuable experience in working with children with Autism in home and school based programmes. Alma qualified as a Registered Behaviour Technician and as an International Behaviour Therapist in 2021. Alma aims to develop her career in ABA by qualifying as a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and to continue representing and furthering the application of ABA in the UK.
Behaviour Tutor, RBT
Sian's interest in ABA first arose during her work in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) settings with adults with ASD, IDD and behavioural difficulties, gaining 6 years of experience. She enjoys teaching functional living and communication skills to enhance the quality of life of individuals. She discovered ABA throughout her undergrad degree in autism studies, which eventually led to further study ABA at masters level, and pursue a career. Sian is excited not only by the opportunity to utilise ABA strategies with children with ASC, but also at the prospect of gaining more experience and developing further in the field.