Welcome to the second episode of How to ABA! Today, we start off with a spotlight on Shayna, and we hear a little bit about her background and start in ABA, where she is now, as well as some practical tips she has for new BCBAs.
I (Shayna) have been a BCBA since 2005, but I’ve been working in the field of ABA since 1997. After graduating in 1997 with a degree in psychology, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I ended up getting a job in sales and marketing, but it wasn’t long before I found that it wasn’t for me. I really needed to find something different, but wasn’t sure what career would be good for me. While away at a friend’s cottage, I was talking with her aunt about my dilemma and how I was looking for a new field, and she asked me if I’d ever heard of autism or ABA.
This sounded like something I would love to be involved with, so I applied for a volunteer position with ABA, which turned out to be a paid position. I absolutely loved what I was doing and really saw an impact on the children I was working with. I eventually became the director of another ABA program, but didn’t get a master’s degree in it until later. After getting my master’s I’ve been a private consultant, working in people’s homes, and now I have a social skills center that also does one-to-one therapy.
I really try to keep things simple when working with children and their parents. The most important thing at the end of the day is that kids are progressing and learning. My best advice for a new BCBA is to keep your enthusiasm and be confident. We need to be compassionate to our patients as well as their parents, and we need to remember that we are doing ABA to try and improve lives and give our patients the life skills they need to be successful.
- The importance of really getting in there and being hands-on as a BCBA.
- Our main goals as BCBAs.
- What do parents need more than anything?
- Practical ABA resources.