For the last 10 years, working with individuals with learning differences and helping families has been a significant part of my life and purpose. What interested me the most in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis when I first started was the focus on measurable progress. Children with autism may face challenges with functional skills, communication, self-care and social skills. Children with autism may also exhibit behavioral challenges that require intervention. Behavior Analysts develop programming to address these concerns. Using Applied Behavior Analysis, we are able to evaluate the effectiveness of the interventions we implement and adjust the plan as needed based on data collected. In this way, we can make a more meaningful impact on the lives of our clients and help them meet their goals.
Sometimes what may appear to be a small milestone to one family is a triumph to another family. As Behavior Analysts, we celebrate with families as their child hits a milestone, whether it is saying their first word, using a picture to communicate what they want, trying a new food, sitting successfully for a haircut or making a new friend. There is no goal or milestone too small that it isn’t worthy of a true celebration (and sometimes confetti and a dance party just because!).
The children I have had the honor to work with during my career have taught me far more about life than the textbooks I had to read and classes I had to take when training to be a Behavior Analyst. These courageous kiddos have taught me the real meaning of resilience, determination and how to find joy in everyday life.
Kara J. Guy, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA
Behavioral Concepts (BCI)