Why I Opened My Own ABA Practice
It’s July 11, 2023, 1:47 AM. I am writing this 2 hours and 47 minutes into our official launch date. I should be sleeping, yet here I am, writing the first blog post for my very own ABA practice!
Just a few short months ago, I was suffering from the dreaded “burnout” syndrome. I was tired of the technical work involved in my job, and I had conflicting feelings about the ABA I was practicing. Even though I was consulting with my mentors, utilizing the knowledge I gained in college, training my RBTs, and putting in the hours to create flawless treatment plans, I felt like I was reliving groundhog day. (I tried thinking of a better metaphor for this, my brain is rebelling against me). Then an opportunity came my way, and I was finally on the other side! As the clinical director of my own company, I was now driven to take each of my problems with our field, and address it head on – so that I can finally allow ABA to create real, lasting change, in a manner that “feels right”. In my quest to find the answer, I encountered new ideas and methods – all within our field of applied behavior analysis – that had me tickled pink with excitement. Greg Hanley and Steven C. Hayes are just some of the names responsible for bringing my passion back. I discovered my truth! I couldn’t believe my luck – I finally felt like my career choice truly reflected my lifelong calling. I immediately started collecting and synthesizing my findings into a neat, academic literature review paper, so that I can prove that my truth is also backed by science. To my great surprise, I am still refining and editing that neat, academic literature review paper, way past my self imposed deadline. So since my paper didn’t make it to completion before our launch date, because – ya’ know – life, I will just share with you an excerpt of the introduction. It’s enough to give you an idea of what to look out for. Because as soon as I have a finished product, you will see it right here, on this blog page. Before you read on, here’s my message to you. When you feel stuck, eat that first chip. (Finally, a good metaphor!) Learn, discover, pursue the parts of your career/life/unique journey that excite you, and it will be the first (chip) of many more! Burnout will be gone for sure! (See what I did there? I rhyme too.)
Okay, for the excerpt – here goes:
The author of this paper summarized all of the above-mentioned components into a model of care titled “HAMOC” – the Holistic ABA Model of Care. As the connotation of a hammock implies, this title reflects a softer, happier ABA that just feels better. HAMOC goes beyond traditional ABA by combining several existing, proven concepts with more recent, evidence-based approaches, to enhance the effectiveness and comprehensiveness of the treatment. In summary, HAMOC utilizes ACT to address deficits from within; implements superior training packages to BCBAs, giving them access to resources, and training them to effectively collaborate with team members; constantly assesses and reassesses to ensure socially significant progress; incorporates self management techniques; adheres to the dimensions of ABA; and follows Greg Hanley’s method of Today’s ABA.
This review aims to determine if implementing a comprehensive model of care, termed HAMOC (Holistic ABA Model of Care) improves the overall effectiveness of ABA in an agency setting for high-functioning individuals with autism. The proposed treatment package takes existing evidence-based ABA concepts and combines them with more recent innovations to provide a complete model of care that emphasizes a trauma-informed approach. In designing HAMOC, the following questions were explored: What evidence is there currently to prove that the components of HAMOC – including ACT, skill based training and OBM for BCBAs, providing resources for BCBAs, collaborative care, assessment, self management, and Today’s ABA – significantly improves social validity and treatment outcome? Finally, how can we ensure that the Holistic ABA Model Of Care adheres to the 7 dimensions of ABA?
Did that get you salivating for more? Look out for the full version, on this page!
Raizy Schwartz, MS, BCBA, LBA
Looking forward to hearing from you! Reach out!