After receiving an autism diagnosis, there are many different services available to serve the spectrum of needs that vary from person to person. One intervention offered at the Thompson Center is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce the Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) that make up our Applied Behavioral Intervention Services (ABIS) division. Read our latest spotlight to meet Emma Keicher!
How long have you worked for the Thompson Center?
I have been a BCBA at the Thompson Center for nine years. For the past few years, I have also been the Applied Behavioral Intervention Services (ABIS) Clinical Operations Manager. Prior to becoming a full-time BCBA here, I was the first part-time staff hired to be an “ABA Implementer,” which we now call a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT).
What are your main job duties?
I provide ABA services to patients, as well as oversee our RBTs and BCBAs in the ABIS division of the Thompson Center.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Columbia. I left for a few years to attend college, and then moved back here!
What is your educational background?
I moved back to Columbia for my master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education at Mizzou. I completed my BCBA coursework through the Florida Institute of Technology, along with supervision from past BCBAs at the Thompson Center.
Where did you work before you came to the Thompson Center?
I worked as an ABA Implementer at a clinic in Fort Worth, Texas after graduating with my bachelor’s degree. I also worked as a private ABA implementer for Boone County Family Resources and Missouri First Steps prior to joining the Thompson Center.
What is your favorite thing about working at the Thompson Center?
I get to work with a variety of professionals at the Thompson Center, as well as my team of ABA providers, students, and faculty from our master’s program in Applied Behavior Analysis.
What got you interested in working with people with autism?
I have always enjoyed working with children, and I had experience with some friends who had siblings with developmental delays. In college, my degree was in psychology. I took a course in behavior analysis, which led me to this field.
What do you wish more people knew about ABA?
ABA is still a relatively new field and is rapidly changing. I enjoy being able to learn more about ways we can improve people’s lives through our involvement with the master’s program in ABA at Mizzou.
What is the most valuable thing you’ve learned in your time working at the Thompson Center?
I have learned that being flexible and open to new ideas helps to expand and improve our services. We have so many amazing providers here who are working together to support families and provide supervision to our students from various disciplines.
When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy spending time with my family.