Meet the Care Team is our blog series highlighting the incredible people that serve our families at AnswersNow. Today, we’re sitting down with Josh, a BCBA based out of Colorado.
1. What led you to AnswersNow?
I have worked in a variety of different settings providing ABA therapy. In my last role I felt that having the paraprofessional provide services was a huge block to clinical quality. I decided to explore opening my own company and learning if any companies were currently focusing on a BCBA-Direct Model. I was fortunate enough to find AnswersNow and after meeting the team it was an easy decision to join!
2. Why did you decide to become a BCBA?
In my sophomore year of college I was an aimless psych major with no clear career direction. A group of graduate students presented an opportunity to work directly with kids with autism in a small center on campus using “Applied Behavior Analysis.” I had no idea what that was but wanted to get out of the lecture hall. I applied and was accepted into the program. I immediately fell in love with using the science of behavior to change lives. The approach was so effective and logical to me! I continued in that program through my undergraduate and then immediately started my masters in ABA.
3. Why did you decide to work with AnswersNow? Are there any benefits the role brings you personally?
In meeting the team it was clear that there was a heavy focus on clinical quality and creating a supportive environment for the BCBAs doing the hard work. Those are the most important things to me!
One of the benefits of working at AnswersNow is that the company actually delivers on work/life balance for BCBAs. This is the only company I have worked at where BCBAs are not implicitly, if not explicitly, expected to work more than 40 hours per week!
4. Have you ever worked in an in-person setting? How would you say the AnswersNow model differs?
I have worked in-person in school, residential and managed care in-home and in-clinic. The AnswerNow model removes the barriers to providing service for clinicians and families while still allowing us to work directly with learners and their families in the home and community.
5. What would you say to families who are tentative about the efficacy of virtual autism therapy?
I was tentative at first as well but since joining AnswersNow I have without a doubt provided the highest quality care in my career and seen amazing progress as a result!
6. What would you say to someone who’s considering working as a BCBA for AnswersNow?
If you like providing high-quality care and removing one of the main stressors of the job as a BCBA, all from the comfort of your own home and sweatpants then this is the role for you. If you don’t, then that is just weird.
7. What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? Do you have a specific anecdote or story that stands out?
I started working with a 3 year old learner and her mother in August. We were providing a caregiver led model due to the learner’s age and skill needs. I noticed that when mom was providing reinforcement she wasn’t being as enthusiastic as I would. I gave her that feedback and additional modeling and she started using more differential reinforcement. We immediately saw the learner’s responding and she would light up with the biggest smile every time mom praised her enthusiastically. It was a beautiful moment. This caregiver also had trouble understanding my models on how to prompt the learner so I brought down my son’s teddy-bear to use in the models. It still sits next to my desk makes me smile every time I see it.
8. What's a fun fact about you?
Everything? But specifically that I spent 6 months traveling through South America with 4 months of that spent traveling by bike!