Why did you choose to pursue a career in ABA?
I babysat for two sisters with autism in 2010 and knew right away that this was my passion. After studying special education and occupational therapy while gaining experience in multiple areas, I finally landed on becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) so I was not limited with the area of skills I teach to my clients. You can teach any skill in any area with ABA and I also enjoy problem solving with behavior modification. Nothing beats watching the quality of our clients’ and their family’s lives improve following behavior plans!
Do you have any special areas of interest?
My special interests surround animals. Exotics and alpacas are my favorites. My long-term goal is to work part-time at a zoo as a BCBA on an animal behavioral husbandry team specializing in enrichment and encouraging species-typical behaviors while reducing stereotypic and other maladaptive behaviors in captive animals. I always want to work with children with autism, too. For now, I enjoy hiking, training, and doing some dog sports with our 4 dogs and spending time with our other domestic pets.
What varied experience do you have in your field?
I have worked with children and teens with autism from age 2-18 years. When I was a specialized care provider, I enjoyed taking my clients out into the community to practice independent living skills or just have fun at their favorite places. If you really want to know your clients inside and out, I recommend spending overnights and around the clock care at their houses while their parents are out of town! I have also worked as a camp counselor and behavior aide at some local respite and adaptive programs. I have been doing ABA since 2013 with experience in home, school, and center settings.
What degrees, licenses, certifications and/or special training do you hold?