Motivator Spotlight: West Behavioral

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In November 2023 we chatted with Lindy West, BCBA, LBA from West Behavioral and she gave us insights on her impactful ABA strategies, her approach to work-life balance, and she shared her experience and vision for creating meaningful change in the field of ABA therapy.

1. Can you share your journey in ABA therapy and what inspired you to pursue it?

I first fell in love with ABA in 2010. I was a Junior in college at the time trying to decide on a focus post-graduation. I was meeting with my advisor to discuss graduate school options. My main area of interest at that point was between neuropsychology and behavioral psychology. My advisor recommended I participate in a pilot program that upcoming summer. The program was a practicum at the McNeese Autism Program for undergraduate students. Until that point, I had never heard of ABA so I initially was apprehensive about participating. Once I began the program it was a "love at first sight" situation for me, especially once I was exposed to the data and graphs. It really just clicked for me and I knew this was what I wanted to do. By day two of the program, I was already in the process of applying to graduate school. One of the first client's I worked with had been in the program for approximately eight months by the time I began. The client was speaking two-to-three-word sentences at that point but had started the program mostly non-vocal. Seeing the progress and knowing what impact that would have on the rest of his life hit home for me. I knew I wanted to help others and ABA was the way to do that.

2. What's been the most rewarding aspect of your role as a BCBA or clinical owner?

I feel like there are so many pieces to this. When I first began ABA as a tech I really fell in love with seeing how small victories each day lead to long term success. As I grew as a professional and as my business grew, I began to feel more passionate about dissemination of ABA. I feel like one of the biggest differences I can make is by teaching and supporting others. Seeing my supervision candidates move forward and develop their own clinical skill set is really rewarding for me. I love how through them I can still make an individual impact in each client's life but I also enjoy watching the confidence and skill set of the candidate grow.

3. Share one powerful ABA strategy or technique you find impactful for your clients.

I feel like this is a hard choice between enhanced choice and shaping down behavior. Giving choices is so powerful and yet so simple. For me Dr. Adithyan Rajaraman's research on the enhanced choice model goes hand in hand with Dr. Hanley's research on skills-based training. Through both of these I feel like we can offer compassionate care that teaches the client the importance of their communication.

4. Outside of work what's a hobby or interest you're passionate about and how do you balance it with your professional life?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and our dogs as well as reading. I think it's really important to prioritize boundaries between the professional and personal life in order to offer as much as possible to each. My clinic is currently open Monday-Thursday for in clinic services with minimal in school services being offered on Friday. This gives me flexibility on Fridays to catch up on work (either at the office or at home) that way my nights and weekends are free to enjoy with my family. I feel like another piece to this is having a really solid staff. By having a staff that works as a team, it makes it easier for everyone to balance the two.

5. One thing you love about Motivity?

One of things that drew me to Motivity was the ease of use. We piloted many systems before moving to digital from paper and Motivity was very user friendly compared to other systems we tried. I feel like this is huge when it comes to having parents being involved. With very little training they are able to have their child's progress at their fingertips. A second piece I have is how responsive the system is. I can log on to a session being conducted at a different location, adapt a program and the technician immediately gets that update. This has been phenomenal for providing services at multiple school locations while the BCBA is at the clinic.

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Motivator Spotlight Feature of the Month
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