Dr. Laura Forkum, BCBA-D, LBA  Executive Director/ Founder (laura@autismbehaviorservices.org)

Laura Forkum is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). She has a Masters in Special Education with a concentration in autism from University of Louisville and she has a PhD in Exceptional Learning with a concentration of ABA from Tennessee Tech University. She has experience working with children with autism and related disabilities in home, clinic, and school setting with a focus on early intervention. She is an approved Division of Mental Retardation Services (DMRS) approved Behavior Analyst in the East Region of Tennessee. She is a member of the Association of Behavior Analysis, Tennessee Association of Behavior Analysis, the Autism Society of Middle Tennessee, Council for Exceptional Children, and Division of Early Childhood.

Jessica Shelley, MS, BCBA, LBA (jessica@autismbehaviorservices.org)

Jessica Shelley grew up in a small town in Northwest Georgia and attended Jacksonville State University in Alabama where she graduated with an undergrad degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in Behavioral Psychology. During her time at JSU, she became interested in applied behavior analysis while completing her practicum at an early intervention preschool program. While completing her Master’s she worked as a graduate assistant at The Little Tree Preschool in Jacksonville providing services to children in an inclusion setting. After graduate school in 2011, Jessica moved to Chattanooga where she took a job working with children and adults in day programs, classrooms, and residential settings. After a few years with adults as a DIDD approved BCBA, Jessica decided to make the return to a clinic setting and has been working with school aged children. Jessica is a Tennessee licensed BCBA and a member of ABAI.

Kayla Williams, Lead RBT (kayla@autismbehaviorservices.org)

Kayla is originally from Collierville, TN.  She moved to Chattanooga to attend the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Studies.  Kayla knew from a young age that she wanted to work with children.  In high school, she served on 4 international mission trips to orphanages, volunteered in a NICU/children’s hospital, and participated in multiple soccer camps for children with disabilities.  During college she worked at a preschool and became interested in ABA when she was pursuing an internship.  She is eager to learn and has a passion for helping others.

Jennifer Appling, Office Manager (jenniferappling@autismbehaviorservices.org)

Jennifer was born and raised in Palisade, CO and later moved to Orange County, CA to be with family. She has now traveled her way and has arrived to Chattanooga to enjoy the location and plant her new roots here. She has a passion to help others and help children grow and learn. She has had years of experience with childcare services, therapy clinics, and ABA services. She previously spent her time as a Behavioral Interventionist, working with children with disabilities directly. Now she is enjoying the role of Office Manager and working with children and their families to find the best services to fit there needs. She is excited to grow and learn with this company. 

Rachel Moffett, RBT II

Rachel is originally from Greenback TN and graduated in December of 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. She been a camp counselor for Friends Discovery Camp and Camp Zooability. She has always known that I wanted to work with children with disabilities. Rachel has recently been accepted into grad school and will soon be starting her masters in ABA therapy. She is very excited to learn and grow in this field.

Gracie Miles, RBT II

Gracie is originally from Unionville, TN and moved to Chattanooga for college. She previously worked with kids all throughout high school and proceeded to work for inner city Memphis with kids for a summer. Her passion for working with kids led her to discover ABA in her career pursuit. She soon fell in love with the field and working with individuals with disabilities. She is currently attending the University of Memphis online, getting her degree in early intervention and applied behavior analysis. She is excited to grow and help others. 

Hayley Stevens, RBT

Hayley was born and raised in the Chattanooga area and has recently arrived back home after getting her degree. She graduated from University of Georgia with her bachelors in human development and family science. She has always had a passion for working with children and helping others. In her last semester of college she discovered the field of ABA and found that it would fulfill her passion to make a difference in the lives of adolescents. She has worked with kids her whole life, volunteering at camps, special Olympics, and working as a teacher’s aid in kindergarten classrooms. She has recently been accepted into grad school and will soon begin studying her masters in ABA. Hayley is excited to be a part of the ABS team and to strive to make a difference in the lives of our kiddos.


Kelsie Fairbanks, RBT

Kelsie is originally from Springfield, MO. She has arrived to the Chattanooga area to currently attend Southern Adventist University. She is finishing her Bachelors of Science in Psychology with Clinical Concentration. She also plans to attend grad school in the future. She has previous experience working with children as a Pre-K teaching assistant. She has a passion and interest in ABA because she loves helping children and seeing them make progress. Kelsie has always known she wanted to work with children and is excited to learn and grow in this field. 

Kamiesha Cooper, Behavior Technician 

Kamiesha is originally from Montgomery, Al. She moved to Chattanooga to attend Southern Adventist University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology. Kamiesha is currently pursing her master’s degree in Social Work with an emphasis in Mental Health. She is eager to learn new things and is passionate about helping children overcome adversities.

Adrienne Finney, Behavior Technician 

Adrienne is originally from Memphis, TN. She graduated from the University of Memphis in August 2021 with her Bachelor’s in Professional Studies with a concentration in Child Development and Family Studies. Adrienne worked previously as an Early Childhood Educator for thirteen years. She had many students with various disabilities who would work with various RBT’s and BCBA’s inside of her classroom. She recognized the need of children with disabilities for more personalized care. Adrienne was amazed by the work that RBT’s and BCBA’s would facilitate and knew that ABA was the field she needed and wanted to work in.

D’Vondria Clark, Behavior Technician 

D’Vondria is originally from Charleston, South Carolina. She is currently attending the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga where she will receive her major in Psychology and minor in Sociology. After D’Vondria completes her bachelor’s she will continue her education and enter a master’s program. She has always enjoyed working with children and would work Chattanooga’s summer camps as a camp counselor. She is excited to now be working with children year-round and expanding her knowledge in the ABA field. D’Vondria strives to be a child therapist and found that ABS would be a great opportunity to gain experience as a part of our team.


Tex is the clinic’s  in-house pet who frequently visits ABS when his owner, Jessica, is present.  Tex loves to sleep under desks, play fetch, and work for treats.  He enjoys making new friends and greets everyone enthusiastically with a wagging tail and a smile.  He helps at the clinic in encouraging smiles, play, and relaxation.  His favorite clinic activity is when a friend chooses time with him as their reinforcer, especially when they want to throw him a tennis ball!