I am a BCBA, and have been working in this field since 2010. It was supposed to just be a grad school job, but it stole my heart and here I am (in spite of a masters in Counseling). I know there is a lot of negative press out there about the field of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis), and I'll be the first to admit it's still undergoing a much-needed evolution. But I am passionate about showing and teaching others that respect for the client comes first, and that ABA should only be used to make someone's life better. I currently work in-home with special needs kids, but ABA is exactly the same for everyone. (The difference in my 2.5 year old daughter's behavior with me vs. my husband is the hardest evidence you'll ever see!) It's just the science of why we do what we do, and how we learn to do those things (good and bad). It's fascinating and I love it.
ALWAYS BE KIND. There is never any reason to be harsh when teaching a learner what s/he should be doing, when correcting, when instructing. Presentation of a task is 9/10 of its success. "Sit down, it's time to work" is going to motivate me waaaay less than, "We're going to finish this math, and then we'll do a quick game of 7 Up to see who writes on the Smart Board first for reading." Smile when you talk, make it sound as fun as possible (there is literally no reason to call it work), and show that there's a light at the end of the tunnel. If you speak harshly to a learner you sure can't blame them for taking the same tone with you. Do you feel more motivated to give your all for a boss that speaks down to you, or for a boss that supports and encourages you? Encourage kids to ask questions! Praise them for what they do well and do right. "It's awesome that you're being so careful to make sure you do this correctly. Thanks for trying your best." It doesn't matter that they're "supposed to" sit or wait or work quietly, that doesn't make it any easier! Adults are "supposed to" contribute to society by getting a job or by helping others, but if whichever path we pursue doesn't lead to a positive outcome for us then we're going to do something different. Be the teacher you wanted to have!
BCBAs don't really get those unless you're in the research side of the field. But we get emotional thank yous from learners and their families, artistic testaments of our learners' love for us, and occasionally a marriage proposal.
College of Charleston: B.S. Psychology B.S. Physical Education - Public Health and Human Performance The Citadel Graduate College M.A. Psychology - Clinical Counseling Florida Institute of Technology/Behavior Analyst Certification Board BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst
I was born and raised in Charleston, SC, where I live with my husband, 2.5 year old daughter, and two cats. I love playing with my kid, arts and crafts, decorating, the beach, doing house decor-type stuff, and new office supplies. Nothing makes me happier than containers I can use to organize things. I don't have a classroom since I work with my clients in their homes and schools, but I have done a colleague's classroom decorations for her and I am forever changing the decor and storage in my daughter's playroom...and every other room of the house if I'm being honest. Teaching a little person of my own about everything is seriously the most fun I have ever had in my life. I have always loved kids and I'm very passionate about showing people that you will always make more progress teaching with kindness than you will with punishment. It has never, ever failed with any learner.