As a Behavior Technician at BCI, our job is to provide children with effective 1:1 therapy based on their individual behavior plan. These plans are designed by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst based on each client’s individual goals which typically involve replacing certain undesirable behaviors with more desirable behaviors. This may include increasing functional behaviors around adult daily living and increasing functional communication and language skills.
Communication is a major part of how we function day by day. Social interactions through gestures, eye contact, and facial expressions are forms of social development. These forms of social development may be challenging for nonverbal children, which may hinder their communication skills and ultimately affect their interactions with others such as family members, teachers, and peers.
This brings me to explain the complexity of working with my very first client. My clients is medically complex with both a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and as well as the genetic disorder known as Noonan Syndrome which causes issues with his physical development and developmental delays. Communication and eye contact became a barrier for my buddy and are the cause of his undesirable behaviors.
Luckily, his parents are an extremely supportive and patient team. I feel I have grown to be a part of their family unit. With the help of a communication device, I’ve worked with him for about a year, side by side, day by day, making progress as we work towards his goals with American Sign Language (ASL). In just a short period of time, I now understand the importance of interaction between parents and child.
During a recent session, my client pointed to his tablet and was granted his preferred item. As we moved forward with the following demand, I paused the tablet and he independently signed “more” and pointed to the tablet. It’s difficult to articulate what I felt in this moment. It was a sense of joy to witness the use of sign and connection as my client pointed for the desired item. I was left speechless, teary eyed and filled with an abundance of pride for my kiddo. With such praise, he continued to make the connection of the sign throughout the session. He is now able to sign more and utilize his communication device for all he needs and wants with eye contact.
This was the beginning of many successful milestones for my buddy and I know he will continue to break barriers. This job opportunity has been impactful and rewarding. What we do daily matters greatly in their successes. It’s meaningful to their families. With the collective efforts of his family, the BCBA, and my direct care, it has been nothing but gratifying. I love what I do, and it has become so much more than a monetary job for me.
– Jamie S., Behavior Technician