“What would I do without my tech? She has been a tremendous asset to my son and myself for four years now. She goes above and beyond the call of duty in her ability to be creative. Never has she hesitated to create, suggest, or apply her knowledge and ability to the best interest of my child and myself.”

    “My husband and I could not be more pleased with the support we receive from our Family Consultant. I have learned a lot from my Family Consultant and have even brought her ideas to my son’s school program. She is very constructive and creative and flexible. My son has grown tremendously under her instruction.”

    “I really appreciate the structure of your program. I have seen it evolve over the years and it holds everyone accountable for their jobs. The supports you’ve offered my family over the years has made raising my daughter much easier.”

Our Philosophy and Mission

    The Whole Self Center’s philosophy suggests that every human being is more than a body with a brain. When caring for a child – a whole person - we are experiencing the creative spirit present in that child & in ourselves.

    • As we remain interested in exploring creative possibilities for the individual in the moment, we are more open to experiencing something new, such as developing a valuable skill we never knew or thought was possible.
    • In this way, we are less likely to stay stuck in repeating our old, inhibiting habits & behaviors.
    • By living this understanding with individuals with autism, we continue to become better able to respect & support children for who they already are, deserving of love & attention simply for being.

About Us - Meet our Admin Staff

Stephen C. Hartman, LCSW-C, Executive Director

Stephen C. Hartman is the Founder/Director of The Whole Self Center (WSC).  Stephen received his master's degree in social work in 1991 from The University of Maryland. He has worked as a Child Protective Services Worker, a Family Therapist, and a Mental Health Therapist for children, adolescents and adults.  He started working with individuals on the autism spectrum in 1996, and slowly realized the need to focus on this population exclusively.  

As a result of helping one 10 year old boy with autism enrolled on the Maryland Medical Assistance Autism Waiver, Stephen was asked to provide similar services to other children on the spectrum.  In 2002 he became an Autism Waiver Provider and opened The Whole Self Center, an agency later incorporated under the name New Ground Enterprises, Inc.  In the agency’s early years, Stephen acted in the roles of Family Consultant, Intensive Individual Support Services Technician, and Respite Care Worker. As more and more families learned of WSC’s high quality and compassionate services, Stephen continued to search for and hire qualified staff.  In 2012, the WSC serves over 100 children on the Autism Waiver with a staff of nearly 200 employees. Now that the agency has grown, as the Executive Director, Stephen is involved in creating, structuring, organizing, directing, and managing all aspects of WSC.  Stephen continues to personally hire all staff, believing that every employee needs to know their Director, maintaining a line of communication and accountability.  His focus is to continue to evolve the agency in ways that promotes superior service to our clients and high morale to our employees.

Aileen D. Helm, RN, MS, BCBA, Clinical Director

Aileen has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of autism.  Aileen was first introduced to the world of autism in 1987 while pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She was immediately fascinated by how little knowledge was available at that time regarding understanding and supporting individuals with different needs and abilities. She continued her studies receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing while working in Pediatrics and Neuro-rehabilitation.  While obtaining a Masters of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, she was able to better understand how to change an individual’s environment to support learning, attention, organization, and a sense of peace. In 2006, Aileen became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.  

During the past 25 years, Aileen has provided services to individuals with Autism and their families by working as a Technician, Behavioral Consultant, Family Consultant, Summer School Teacher and Nurse. As the WSC Clinical Director, she is involved in creating and monitoring highly individualized Treatment Plans for each client on our internet-based Whole Self Monitoring System.  Aileen is the direct supervisor of our professional staff (Family Consultants and Adult Life Planners) and she assists in supervising our direct care team of Technicians, Respite Care Workers and Therapeutic Integration staff.  She is in constant communication with families and staff, listening to their concerns and providing support and guidance with day to day issues as well as with long term goals and planning. Aileen’s role is to assure that our clients and their families’ needs are being attended to by a competent staff… not only to remain in compliance with Maryland Autism Waiver regulations, but more to the point – to strive to offer the best possible care to individuals with autism.

Judi Weaver, Office Manager

Judi has been with The Whole Self Center since 2003 and she has played in integral role in developing administrative systems to make our agency operate effectively.   In particular, Judi’s role is to recruit and then match in-home technicians to families who need them.   We believe that finding the right fit for families is key in supporting the technician and family to develop a positive rapport.  We have found that if families and technicians have input in choosing their match, everyone benefits in the long run – especially the person on the spectrum.  Judi enforces our rule that families must meet – and interview - the technician before WSC confirm the assignment.

Judi is also in charge of maintaining the integrity of the service.  To us, honesty and transparency is most important when operating any state/federal human service program.  We are not merely in the business of getting paid by the state; we are determined to do our best to show that the Autism Waiver program is being implemented responsibly and that individuals with autism are greatly benefitting from the use of state/federal funds.  In this vain, Judi is our primary overseer of mistakes and misunderstandings concerning the parameters of the Autism Waiver that occur on a day –to day basis.  Parents and Service Coordinators appreciate that Judi is able to play her role with kindness and humor.  Employees appreciate Judi’s attention to detail, since it is Judi who manages payroll.

Jessica Thompson, Administrative Assistant

Jessica has been with the WSC since 2004.  She started out as an Office Assistant, and she also worked as an in-home technician (Intensive Integration Technician).  We quickly discovered that Jessica has a eye for detail (like her mother, Judi) and that she could be trusted to scrutinize every session hour that employees submitted as their time with clients.  This skill was greatly needed before we created our internet-based Whole Self Monitoring System because Jessica had to complete most of her job manually.  As we expanded, Jessica helped us to understand what would make her work more efficient and in the process, we created a system that allows employees, to enter their session notes based on individualized treatment plans of clients.  The client hours are tracked so as to prevent use of non-allotted hours, and those hours are calculated for billing purposes as well as for employee wages.  

Jessica is the person who contacts employees and supports them to keep up to date with their documentation for purposes of payroll and billing purposes.   She works with Judi to monitor clients’ eligibility for autism waiver services with as their role in illustrating that our agency adheres to the mandates of Maryland Medical Assistance Autism Waiver.