Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Bit of News...

Before I really get into the "news," I feel like it's important for you to know a little bit about what I do, work-wise. So, in case you haven't been following along very long--I'm an ABA Treatment Specialist working with children on the autism spectrum. "ABA" stands for "Applied Behavior Analysis," which is a very specific therapy that looks at the functions of behavior and determines how to increase specific behaviors and decrease others. The type of ABA I primarily provide is known as verbal behavior, and focuses on increasing communication. It's within the realm of psychology, but also sort of a different animal.

**I'm trying really really hard not to nerd out right now and go waaaay more in-depth than anyone cares about.**

Anyway, I'm involved in the direct-therapy aspect of that, and I also do treatment programming and other related things, but I do it all under the supervision of a licensed behavior analyst.

So, now that that's out of the way, here comes the news.

A few months back, I got an email that contained this message:

I'm going back to school, ya'll.

Starting the 18th, I'll be taking a year's worth of online classes to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (I also have to complete 1500 supervised hours and knock out a beast of an exam with a 40-something percent pass rate, but I don't even want to think about that monster at this point!). Being licensed will not only allow me to make significantly more money, but it will let me practice independently if I choose, supervise other BCBA applicants and treatment specialists, do contract work with school systems and other institutions, have more control over treatment planning and decisions, and generally just provide better services to the kiddos I work with and their families.

So I'm excited.

I was really conflicted for a long time about doing this. If you've been reading along for awhile, you might have seen this post about my career panic and the feelings I had (and still have fairly often) about being on the wrong career path, wishing I had done something else with my life, and being panicked about changing course. The problem was (and is) that I have no idea what I would change my career to. As much as I would love a creative career, I am really becoming content with my job, and proud of the difference I make. So if I'm going to be doing this for awhile, I can at least be making more money while I'm doing it, and working at a level that really challenges me and reflects my capabilities. Besides, working as a BCBA for a year will completely pay (two times over) for the extra classes I have to take. So I honestly don't know why I waited for so long.

Anyway, I really say all that to say that I'm not sure what that means for this little blog. I plan on still blogging as often as I can, just because I love it, and I'm going to need something outside of work and school. But even though they're online, they're actual graduate classes from a state university, so it won't be a walk in the park. I just don't know how often I'll post, but I will definitely pop in here and there with Project Life posts, life updates, and such! Thanks in advance for being patient with me as I find my new normal. You all are the best.

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