Family behavior specialists open Gloucester office

by Quinton Sheppard - Posted on Oct 31, 2018 - 12:43 PM

Photo: Connex Family Services recently opened in Gloucester Court House. Shown, from left, are Anne Harlow, operations supervisor, and owners Bianca Riddle and Katia Riddle. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Connex Family Services recently opened in Gloucester Court House. Shown, from left, are Anne Harlow, operations supervisor, and owners Bianca Riddle and Katia Riddle. Photo by Quinton Sheppard

Connex Family Services, a practice that specializes in bringing families closer, recently opened in Gloucester Court House. Bianca Riddle, who owns the business along with her sister Katia Riddle, said it has been their longtime dream to serve their community in this way.

“We kind of gave up everything to do this,” Bianca said, “but we’ve had a lot of support throughout the process.”

She said their practice includes a board certified behavior analyst and behavior technicians; each has years of experience and background in family services.

Bianca said the practice utilizes Applied Behavior Analysis, which uses behavioral principles in everyday situations with the goal of either increasing or decreasing targeted behaviors. She said often young children who receive intensive behavior intervention can develop skills that allow them to participate independently in a mainstream school setting.

In turn, she said families benefit from learning strategies for facilitating their child’s use of newly-acquired skills. Also, challenging behavior is also reduced in the process.

The practice also is in the process of offering a variety of classes for families to participate in and bond. According to Bianca, classes include, but are not limited to, peer-led breastfeeding, a “You’re Not a Bad Parent” class; courses integrating music for babies and toddlers; and more. Classes, she said are offered monthly and as they are requested.

“As a team, our main goal is to provide quality programs in this rural area,” Bianca said. “This is one of the last areas to get quality programs for kids.”

She and her sister gave up steady jobs to pursue opening Connex. “Through the process, we’ve learned a lot about compassion and being humble,” Bianca said. “You don’t start a business thinking you’re going to make big money–especially in this field.”

However, she said the rewards that come from helping those in need far exceeds those that come from monetary payment. “We started with our first client without getting paid,” she said, “but we noticed a difference in that client, which kept us going. It’s that type of thing that changes us as people.”

Bianca said they were able to see a way to change the community and how to do so. “Yet, we are the ones changing because of it,” she added.

According to Bianca, Connex offers both in-home and center-based services with flexible hours. 

Those who may be interested in taking advantage of any services or programs that Connex may offer should call the practice at 757-524-0887. “If you need services regardless of a diagnosis, our door is open,” Bianca said. “If you’re in a crisis, we’re just a phone call away.”

“We’re not about making money,” she added. “We’re for serving the community. “If someone is at their last point, that’s when abuse happens.”

Finally, Bianca said her dad Robert and her six-year-old son Kirk, have been integral in getting Connex up and running. “We couldn’t have done it without those two people,” she said. “They’re definitely part of the team.”

For more information, visit http://connexfamilyservice.info. ;