ABA Therapy – a career that changes lives

Stephanie Johns, PGDipPsych a Senior Behaviour Interventionist on the Happy Oak team tells us in her own words why she loves working in a career which makes a difference.

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) continues to change lives for the better. I’ve seen it change the lives of children, their parents, and their therapists. For all of us who have seen a good program in action, it is clear that ABA therapy is the best intervention for children with autism. Each of us have our own unique experience, let me share with you mine.

The psychological field is notoriously difficult to break into, so when I was offered a job as an ABA therapist, I took it. Looking back, I realise that I really had no idea what the job entailed, or the positive difference I would make in so many lives. Without ABA therapy, the children I work with would never reach their full potential. These days, my goal is to do the best work I can, to teach each child new skills, in the most effective way for them to learn, so that they may lead happy fulfilling lives, now, and in their future.

Prior to finding my place with Happy Oak Behavioural Consulting in 2013, I worked with three other ABA providers. The team that keeps up to date with the latest literature, on the job training, encourages personal growth in the field, and cares for their therapists, I couldn’t have found a better workplace. However, the biggest draw for me is the incredibly fast changes I see in the children I work with. From teaching a child running up to their friend and excitedly asking them to play hide and seek, who just two years prior was considered non-verbal, to teaching a child in preschool how to walk without assistance, to a child finding the courage to put their head underwater in the pool, each day presents itself a new reward.

ABA therapy is no longer just a job, or a way into the field, it has become my career now. Happy Oak is supporting me as I apply to study my Masters at Monash University next year, in an aim to further my ABA skills and career. At Happy Oak, I also have access to an incredible BCBA supervisor for my studies. Whilst I take this year off from study and focus on work, I am taking every opportunity to further develop my skills as a professional in the ABA field. Through Happy Oak, I have attended the ABA Today conference, written individualised learning plans, assisted with a yoga course, and completed the AUSTSWIM training to become a certified swimming teacher.

From working in our Malvern centre, to day care centres, kindergartens, primary schools, and in family homes, I am always making a positive difference in each child’s life, just as they are making a positive difference in mine. So if you’re looking for work with flexible hours, a job that will look after you, and a career that will make a substantial positive difference in children’s lives, then Happy Oak Behavioural Consulting is the place for you.

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