I always thought that I wanted to be a Clinical Psychology or Counsellor but after completing several workplace experiences, I knew this wasn’t for me. In the summer of 2014 between my second and third year of university, one of my friends signed up to volunteer for a charity who took children with disabilities and their siblings on trips throughout the school holidays. As I was keen to get as much experience as possible, I decided that I should also sign up. It was this volunteering experience that initially made me realise that I wanted to work with children and young people as I realised how rewarding it was. Fast forward a few months to a one-off lecture on Applied Behaviour Analysis and I knew instantly that this was for me. It felt like everything suddenly made sense to me. As soon as I walked out of the lecture, I booked on to the open day for the Masters course in Behaviour Analysis at the University of South Wales.
I completed my Masters in 2016, with my dissertation focusing on comparing types of token economy systems with children with Emotional and Behavioural Disorders in a Pupil Referral Unit. After this, I then started a Postgraduate Diploma course at the University of South Wales to start collecting my hours to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. Throughout this time I undertook placements in a specialised education school, an Academic Intervention Service where we helped to teach reading, and an Early Intervention Service. In my spare time I also worked as a self-employed Lead Therapist on home and school programmes with multiple children. After becoming a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst in 2019, I started working at the Early Intervention Service where I had previously trained. As well as being a nursery for children with autism and developmental delays, it was also a training clinic run by the University of South Wales. During my time here, I worked directly with the children and also trained many students to become both behaviour therapists and consultant behaviour analysts. I also assisted in running the 40-hour Practical Skills in ABA course to teach almost 30 parents and professionals about ABA to become Registered Behaviour Technicians.
I have recently started working for Skybound Therapies as a consultant and supervisor, where I am continuously learning new ways of doing things everyday! Over the years I have worked with children from ages 2-15 years old. I have worked with diagnoses such as Autism, Fragile X Syndrome, Downs Syndrome, Dyspraxia, and Apraxia. My proudest moment in my career so far is teaching children, who have previously had no effective communication system, to be able to ask for what they want or need using the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)! It brings me so much joy to see children travel across a room to their PECS book, look through their PECS book to decide what they would like, and travel back to me to ask me for what they would like!