My curiosity for autism came about when I taught martial arts.
I remember the frustration I felt when a student politely raised his hand and said “Ms. Christina, I’m tired. No, no, no!” and promptly lay down in the middle of the group while we were practicing roundhouse kicks. As marital arts is known for its discipline, I punished the student with endurance drills, and when the student refused, I sat him out of class that day. Minutes later his mom politely explained her son had autism and asked me if I could allow him to rejoin! Needless to say, I felt awful.
I quickly modified my instructions for the student so he could participate with the group. Soon after that session, I found a part-time nanny position for a child with autism that essentially introduced me to applied behavior analysis (ABA), and then ultimately became a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA).
I’m not going to lie. Learning ABA was very overwhelming for me.
The language and concepts are so precise that it probably took me a couple of years of doing direct therapy, supervision, workshops and lots of online searches on ABA before it “clicked” and I was able to see the “big picture” (probably a glimmer, but it was an AHA! moment). I was able to connect how these programs contributed to client’s short term and long term growth.
Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both in home and clinical therapy, as well as offering consultative services through the Medicaid waiver program. Through these, I’ve had the privilege to meet some great people, and, even more rewarding, offer families who are dealing with the daily struggle, a helping hand. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience, but I know there’s so much more I can do to help.
That’s why I started Paradigm Behavior.
I understand the need for parents to be able to naturally integrate concepts of ABA into their lifestyle. My goal is to create a comfortable space for parents and therapists to utilize resources that are not overwhelming and effective. I enjoy Paradigm Behavior as a platform to stay curious and stay creative in this field. On my website you’ll find a mix of free and paid resources that are readily available for you to pick up and use today.