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You have made a significant decision to further your formal education in the field of applied behavior analysis. You likely have an interest in behaviors and their relationship with the environment and a desire to learn and apply behavioral techniques that will help individuals achieve beneficial behavioral change. While applied behavior analysts work with individuals of different ages, the skills of an applied behavior analyst are especially needed with children with autism.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2020) reports that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 in 54 children, representing a tripling of the prevalence rate since 2000. The respected and specialized behavior analysis assessment and intervention strategies you employ in your role as an applied behavior analyst can help autistic children and others with developmental issues to learn new skills and meet behavioral challenges.

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For this Discussion, you will analyze your decision to embark on a course of study that will lead to your becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

Reference:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Prevalence of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years — autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2016. Surveillance Summaries69(4), 1–12. https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/ss/ss6904a1.htm

To Prepare

  • Reflect on what motivated you to pursue a course of study that will lead to your becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
  • Consider what professional goals you will have once you earn your BCBA.

By Day 4 of Week 4

Post a reflection addressing the following:

  • What led you to decide to study behavior analysis?
  • What experience do you have in behavior analysis?
  • What work do you hope to do once you earn your BCBA and how might this impact your desire for positive social change?

Behavioral analysis is a growing field. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board recently reported that the demand for board certified behavioral analysts increased by 127% just within the last three years. The field is expected to continue on this growth track. Besides this exciting statistic, I have selected this as my career path because is aligns with core areas of my strengths and interests. I am inquisitive, observant, and I enjoy applying what I learn to practical daily living. With an extensive career working with vulnerable groups of adolescents in residential settings, I can see the value of a knowledge base in behavioral analysis.

I was first led to explore behavior analysis after seeing the high level of need for this discipline in residential settings. The youth I worked with in these settings had extensive trauma and the pain and impact of the  trauma they experienced was clearly evident in the many dysfunctional behaviors observed in the residential setting. Most of the staff in the residential setting were paraprofessionals and did not have a high level of training in behavior management.  These observations caused me to look further into career paths specific to the behavioral needs of these high needs youth.

My experience in this area includes working hands on with the youth in these residential settings. As a youth worker in the early years of my career, I was responsible for monitoring the youth and managing the residential milieu. From there, I advanced to case management roles where I had the responsibility of developing care plans, which included behavioral interventions to help manage the behaviors of individual youth residents. Later, I was given oversight responsibilities for these settings and responsible for managing others who were responsible for the hands-on day to day activities in the facilities. At this time, I desire to take on a more analytical approach to the behavioral needs of these youth. I believe that behavioral analysis is an apt choice for what comes next in my career.

Finally, the work that I hope to do after earning my BCBA is to continue working in the area of adolescent behavioral health. I want to work in mor of an administrative or consultant  capacity, helping bring greater understanding to the behavioral needs of youth in these settings. Many youth in the protective care systems spend years in residential care/foster care settings. These settings need qualified professionals to help youth manage their behavioral needs and to also work on the other side of the table, helping the caretakers, foster parents, case managers, and others implement effective treatment modalities for these youth.  My skills and training in these area can bring positive social change by helping equip staff and residents at these facilities with the strategies they need to be successful in a residential milieu that they have to call home.

References

Behavior Analyst Certification Board (2019). Retrieved from https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/US-Employment-Demand-for-Behavior-Analysts_2019.pdf

Read your colleagues’ postings.

Note: For this discussion, you are required to complete your initial post before you will be able to view and respond to your colleagues’ postings. Begin by clicking on the To Participate in this Discussion link, then select Create Thread to complete your initial post. Remember, once you click on Submit, you cannot delete or edit your own posts, and cannot post anonymously. Please check your post carefully before clicking on Submit!

By Day 6 of Week 4

Respond to at least two colleagues’ posts by providing your perspectives on their professional goals once they earn their BCBA.

Be sure to support your posts and responses with specific references to behavior-analytic theory and research. In addition to the Learning Resources, search the Walden Library and/or the internet for peer-reviewed articles to support your posts and responses. Use proper APA format and citations, including those in the Learning Resources.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights that you have gained because of your colleagues’ comments.

I decided to study behaviour analysis because my goal is to become a behavioral therapist. My mother and aunt are currently behavioral therapists working with children and adults. Our goal one day is to open our own behavioral health clinic to continue our mission to help individuals cope or overcome their behaviours. I am currently working as a service coordinator working with adults and seniors with disabilities. Many of my clients have behavioral diagnosis and are in need of support. My hope is to continue to work with adults and seniors with disabilities and assist them with their behavioral needs. Behavioral issues that currently are affecting their life. My hope is to improve their well-being and decrease their specific behaviours. According to ” Copper, Heron, Heward (2020) “, Applied behaviour analysis is a scientific approach experimenting ways to improve individuals behaviour and finding out the reason why the behaviour change occured.

 

Resources

Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.). Pearso

 

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