Summer Mingo is the cofounder of South Georgia Behavior Associates. She started her career in marketing and PR and realized she was uninspired by it. Someone close to her received ABA services when they were younger, and she decided to pursue a profession where she knew she could have a positive impact on her community. Summer’s practice focuses on building systems and environments around a family’s lifestyle and involves them heavily in their service model. They plan for generalization and individualization right from the start.
After experiencing some sensory issues, Summer sought out a therapist and received her own autism diagnosis once she was already a practicing BCBA. This opened her eyes to the profession in several ways and she began to change the way she approached behavioral analysis. She’s passionate about teaching people how to have boundaries and she takes things slow with clients. This allows her to build trust with them, so nothing has to be forced.
Summer’s recommendations for becoming a better practitioner are enlightening and helpful for any BCBA, from beginner to veteran. She believes that any behavior can be shaped and prefers skills-based training over compliance goals. Being client-centered and forming an alliance allows everyone involved to have a say in treatment as opposed to anyone having the upper hand. It’s helpful to go into each new case with an “I know nothing” attitude instead of trying to compare it to something you’ve already encountered. Having a blank canvas helps you get out of a programming rubric and allows you to start fresh and look at the whole picture.
- Summer’s story and how having autism shapes her BCBA practice.
- Why skills-based treatment can be better than compliance goals.
- Suggestions for improvement within the BCBA profession and opportunities for growth.