I have chosen to receive my degree in Psychology. Eight years ago I had a child diagnosed with Autism. Then, three years ago, my youngest son was diagnosed with the same disorder. In order for my sons to receive services for their disorder they had to be diagnosed by a Psychologist. One of the main services my children have received over the years is a therapy called “ABA” (Applied Behavior Analysis).
The role of an ABA therapist is to come in to the home of an autistic child and work on function and academic skills. For functional skills this may include, potty training, dressing, eating unpreferred foods, behaviors; which can include aggression or self-stimulation, language, and social skills. These programs are tailored specifically for that child. Though autism has similar characteristics, not one child is the same with their disorder. In order to best serve the child, each program is individualized. Typically the therapist in charge of assessing the child, and setting up the program, hold a degree in Psychology with other certifications. Depending on the severity of the child, and the intensity of the program, will affect the amount of hours that the supervisor/director of the program spends with that child. The role of the supervisor/director is to help train the therapists that go into the home on a daily basis to work with the child. They are also in charge of reporting the goals of the child to funding sources, such as regional centers, and districts on a quarterly basis.
I have been inspired to receive my degree in Psychology after being a stay-at-home mom for 8 years, while watching such therapy in my home 40 hours a week, and seeing the progress my children have made with such a program. Not only will I be able to apply what I have learned for my children in the future, but my hope is to go on and become certified in the field. It is then, I will be able to help other children and families live a happier/easier life do to their children’s acquiring skills. Who not better serve these families, then one who has walked the same path?