Bronco Spotlight: Autumn Lucerk

Bachelor of Science in behavioral science; Master of Arts in applied behavior analysis, 2017

Current Job Title:

Board Certified Behavior Analyst

Current Employer:

LittleStar ABA Therapy

Describe your current job:

I work with children and adults, ages 2-18 years old, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). As a behavior analyst, I work to remediate the deficits of ASD. We accomplish this goal by increasing adaptive behaviors and decreasing maladaptive behaviors. Areas that we work on are communication, living skills, social interactions and stereotyped or repetitive behaviors. We also assist with staff training to make sure our therapists are able to implement programs or procedures.

What is the most rewarding and the most challenging part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the improvements in the client’s behaviors. Seeing a client’s family smile because their child made an improvement or a client smile because they now have a way to communicate their needs makes each day rewarding. The most challenging part of my job is having to think quickly in the moment. New behaviors arise and you have to be able to analyze the situation and respond accordingly.

What experiences impacted the choice of your career path?

As a behavioral science major, I was required to take the course Introduction to Behavior Analysis. This course helped me to view the world in a new way. It helped me to analyze my behaviors and behaviors of others around me. This course exposed me to the field of behavior analysis and applied behavior analysis. For my practicum experience, I chose to be placed at Woodsedge Learning Center/ KRESA West Campus. During this practicum rotation, I was able to see the impact applied behavior analysis can have on children with autism and developmental delays. I knew after this experience; I was the right field for me. Dr. Malott and his graduate students were very helpful in sharing information about the field and opportunities that were available to undergraduate students or students seeking a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis. From the information shared I applied and was accepted into Dr. Malott’s master’s program.

What advice do you have for others pursuing a career similar to yours?

As an undergraduate, I would recommend looking for research opportunities available and multiple practica opportunities to give you a varied amount of experience. When applying to a Master’s program, look for one that will give you experience in your area of interest (i.e., schools, center, in-home, staff training, research, OBM, Etc.) and for a program that is accredited. I recommend gaining experience that can set you apart from other behavior analysts. It will be helpful when applying for jobs. 

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