Archive of ‘Meet the Team’ category
Samantha is in her second year here at St. Cloud State. She comes from Minnesota State University Moorhead, but ended up finishing her bachelor’s degree at SCSU. She received a degree in Community Psychology with a minor in Communication studies in 2018 and was accepted into the ABA program right after. Her parents are also alumni of SCSU, and she has been coming to campus since she was young and started off her experience at the college in the Lindgren child center. While she didn’t originally decide to come to SCSU she is happy she’s here and loves learning from the professors who are all very knowledgeable in their subjects.
Samantha previously worked with high functioning preschool-aged children in a day treatment environment that was designed to emulate a classroom. She currently works in a level four special education classroom in a general education middle school. The students are lower functioning and engage in high rates of physical aggression, verbal aggression, elopement, and property destruction. While she enjoys working with children of all ages, she thinks found her niche in middle school.
Something interesting about Sam is that she had a heart attack during her first year of college and acquired two neurological disorders. The primary symptoms include sudden loss of consciousness, vertigo, migraines, and chronic fatigue. To aide in her disability, she received a medical alert and mobility assist dog from the local organization, Can Do Canines (they are located in New Hope, MN). Her dog Obie helped her regain her independence and ensured that she could safely attend classes on campus again. After five years as a team, Obie is now retired and spends his days sleeping in the sun next to Luna, his kitty best friend. Obie and Samantha are now featured on a vehicle that was donated to Can Do Canines by Subaru.
Although behavior analysts can help anyone with behavioral challenges, we often work with children and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Interventions based in ABA can be very beneficial to people with autism. Not only is it backed by decades of research, it has become widespread in popular culture.
Children and adults with ASD are very intelligent. Often, they may have a hard time communicating their feelings to others and why they may behave in way that is confusing. Since BCBAs based their interventions on what actions a client does, a child or adult who cannot communicate is not something BCBAs worry about. Instead, we outline actions we want to see the client do more, and we measure how well our interventions work on increasing the appropriate behavior.
Interventions in ABA are effective for those with ASD because we know each person is a unique individual. No two children are the same. Clinicians in ABA prioritize getting to know the child and make their treatments fit their needs. We recognize that those with ASD may engage in actions that are confusing to teachers, parents, community members, and siblings. This can lead to frustration, and we, clinicians from the Husky ABA clinic, want to help!
At the Husky ABA clinic, we are experts in producing meaningful behavior change. This may create an individualized plan to teaching a child to independently toilet. Or teaching a child to recognize their frustration and ask for help! In addition, we work with families, teachers, and other important people in the child’s life to create positive environments.
For more information check out Autism Speaks
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Maybe you are interested learning more about what ABA, have attended the applied behavior analysis (ABA) workshops this month, or maybe you want to attend ABA workshops at the Husky ABA Clinic in the future (check out our Facebook).
ABA is the study of meaningful behavior change. In ABA, practitioners and clinicians, identify what causes behaviors (aggression, destruction, noncompliance) to happen and why they continue to occur and change over time. Behavior analysts focus on a client and what they’re doing; they also examine everything in the environment to create evidence-based interventions. For example, in a classroom, a behavior analyst may help a child struggling in school. She might look at how the child interacts with their peers, their teachers, and their family. She also may look at environmental factors like what tasks they like or do not like or even where they sit in class!
In ABA, there is a large focus on data collection. Behavior analysts want to document what changes are happening and be sure that any changes they put in place are helping their clients be successful. In ABA, we aim to keep our clients safe and independent. With the application of our science, we hope our clients can have the opportunity to access the things they need and enjoy, like a quality education, a job, and a social life. Not every child, can be the “the perfect kid,” and in ABA we recognize this. We want to help every child reach their full potential and set them up for success as they encounter new experiences.
At the Husky ABA Clinic, you can be confident that undergraduate, graduate, and faculty clinicians care for each family we serve. We all have experience working with children with a range of diagnoses and behavioral challenges. Additionally, faculty advisors are experts in the field, all Ph.Ds. Drs. Schulze, Witts, Traub, and Luna carefully supervise our graduate and undergraduate clinicians when they work with your child.
For more information about Applied Behavior Analysis check out https://www.bacb.com
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Dr. Odessa Luna is an Assistant Professor in St. Cloud State University’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program. Dr. Luna received her Ph.D. in Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences from Auburn University in 2019. Dr. Luna has been involved in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for nine years.
Dr. Luna is most proud of the work she has done supervising and mentoring master’s students in behavior analysis. Her former trainees are disseminating evidence-based practices for individuals with autism across the nation in clinics, schools, and residential centers.
Dr. Luna was originally drawn to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis by her in-home work as a therapist for a young child with autism spectrum disorder who was nonverbal.
Dr. Luna’s intervention expertise/area of expertise is parent, staff, and teacher training.
Some fun facts about Dr. Luna are that she enjoys playing Pokémon Go and trying new ice cream flavors!
For frequent updates on Odessa and the clinic team like us on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HuskyABAClinic
Dr. Kimberly A. Schulze is a Professor in St. Cloud State University’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program. Dr. Schulze received her Ph.D. in Special Education from Utah State University in 1990. Dr. Schulze has been involved in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for over 30 years.
Dr. Schulze is most proud of starting the distance ABA online program in 2002 along with Dr. Rudrud (professor emeritus).
Dr. Schulze was originally drawn to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis by her undergraduate advisor who was a student of Don Baer at the University of Kansas.
Dr. Schulze’s intervention expertise/area of expertise is Autism Spectrum Disorder, teacher training, social skills training, and distance teaching.
A fun fact about Dr. Schulze: One of the first ABA master’s graduates of the SCSU program. We had an operant lab with pigeons and rats back in the day.
To support Kim and the rest of the staff like our clinic on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HuskyABAClinic
Dr. Michele Traub is an Assistant Professor in St. Cloud State University’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program. Dr. Traub received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Florida in 2016. Dr. Traub has been involved in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for over 10 years.
Dr. Traub is most proud of her work mentoring students. She loves getting to know each student and working with them to help them achieve their goals!
Dr. Traub was originally drawn to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis by serving as a home-school instructor for a teenager with autism.
Dr. Traub’s intervention expertise/area of expertise is school consultation, cultural competency, and behavioral medicine.
A fun fact about Dr. Traub is that before she was a behavior analyst, she worked as a stage manager for theater and opera productions!
To stay update on Michele and the clinic like the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/HuskyABAClinic
Dr. Benjamin Witts is an Associate Professor and director of the St. Cloud State University’s Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis program. Dr. Witts received his Ph.D. in Behavior Analysis from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2013. Dr. Witts has been involved in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for 14 years.
Dr. Witts is most proud of his students’ success post-graduation, as his students continue to be a source of inspiration for him.
Dr. Witts was originally drawn to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis by its scientific and naturalistic approach to human behavior.
Dr. Witts’ area of expertise is research methodology, particularly single-case research designs.
A fun fact about Dr. Witts is he owns a first edition of every B. F. Skinner book, even a first edition first printing of Behavior of Organisms and a signed copy of About Behaviorism.
To keep up to date with Ben and the rest of the SCSU staff like the clinic on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HuskyABAClinic