Applied behavior analysis is a field where professionals work with patients of all different ages to assess behavior and develop intervention strategies. These strategies help patients develop new skills and meet their behavioral challenges. Some applied behavioral analysts consult with businesses and other agencies. And others work directly with various populations.
Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism
One area in which ABAs are greatly needed is working with children (and sometimes adults) with autism. According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control, 1 out of every 68 children is now on the autism spectrum, which is a tenfold increase in 40 years. ABAs can help their patients develop the skills they need to function better in society.
Especially relevant, each person with autism has different behaviors and manifestations. Overcoming the limitations and challenges autism poses requires a specialized behavioral assessment and treatment plan.
So, some areas ABAs focus their work with autistic people include coping skills, social skills and interactions with others in their community. People with autism may be mostly non-verbal. Or they may be verbal but need help understanding the social cues of others and how to interact successfully.
Reasons to Become an ABA
1. Applied behavioral analysis is a growing field. So ABA therapists will be in demand as governments and agencies attempt to help the growing number of autistic children and adults.
2. Because ABA combines psychology, counseling, education and social work into one package, students with different interests can satisfy more than one by becoming an ABA.
3. Helping children and seeing them make progress because of your expertise is a rewarding career.
4. Some ABA positions are flexible and allow you to set your own schedule. Sometimes even how much you get paid (depending on what the market will allow).
5. The very nature of ABA work encourages creativity and free thinking, and it also incorporates lots of fun activities like arts and crafts, sports, and many other disciplines.
6. Most noteworthy, every day—sometimes every hour—is different. One client may be best helped with an art project. While another may need speech therapy or autism-specific tutoring sessions to help them function better in a school setting.
The Scott Center for Autism Treatment
Florida Tech has The Scott Center for Autism Treatment right on its campus. The Scott Center is a research facility that also treats children with autism. Therefore, students have the chance to do important work there while developing their skills, as well as develop professional connections along the way.
So if you are interested in pursuing a career working with autistic children and adults, Florida Tech offers unique opportunities to gain expertise and network with prominent leaders in the field. Students can begin specializing in their sophomore year after taking core courses in psychology and physical science to develop a background in core subject areas. In addition, advanced degrees are also available to develop your skills even further. Download the applied behavior analysis fact sheet to learn more about the program and what Florida Tech has to offer in this meaningful field.