Denise Chichester began her career with Rainbows in 1993 as an Early Childhood Special Education teacher and worked her way through many other positions until 2001. In 2010, Denise returned to Rainbows as an Autism Specialist and Respite provider. She feels her biggest accomplishment has been gaining a larger knowledge-base on strategies to teach children with Autism.
Denise received her Bachelor’s degree in education from Emporia State University and a Master’s degree in Art of Teaching from Friends University. She is licensed in teaching has credentials in Early Childhood, as well as specialized training for children with Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities. She also has her Autism Specialist Certificate provided by Kansas Center for Autism Research and Training.
“I chose to work with children because I love experiencing the uniqueness of each child,” Denise said. “I love teaching a skill to a child and see the smile on their face when they learn the skill. I learn from children and they motivate me to be better in everything I do.”
Like many other Rainbows’ staff, Denise chose Rainbows for her own child. Denise’s oldest daughter, Lauryn, attended Rainbows during her infant/toddler years. “She had a great kick start of all development skills because of her exposure to Rainbows,” Denise said.
Denise greatly enjoys the ability to work with children and families. One of her roles is to develop a program for each child based on their needs and next steps. “It is rewarding to me to hear a family voice a concern that is happening with their child and help solve the problem,” Denise said. “Watching children progress on a plan I developed is a very rewarding experience.”
In her free time, Denise enjoys spending time with her family; playing games, camping, sightseeing, and other activities. She also enjoys helping with her youngest daughter, Maddy’s Girl Scout Troop.