My ABA Journey

My ABA Journey

Becca Allam, BCBA, MSc, BSc

At the start of my undergraduate degree, studying Psychology, I decided I wanted to work with children and become an Educational Psychologist. However, it wasn’t until my second year at Bangor University where I changed my mind after learning about Behaviour Analysis. I decided to learn more about the field and chose all subjects related to working with individuals with autism and/or learning disabilities, Behaviour Analysis and evidence-based practice within the education system. I volunteered my time to support young children with autism in after school clubs (some of which had ABA programmes) and also with Mencap supporting adults with learning disabilities so I could gain some experience during my time at University.

Becca Allam ABA Therapist

I began my journey into ABA soon after completing my undergraduate degree by working as a self-employed therapist. I had training from different BCBA’s, Lead therapists and workshop courses on how to deliver effective ABA interventions and worked predominantly with children with autism. I was able to gain invaluable experience working with these individuals and decided to pursue a career as a Behaviour Analyst. 

I enrolled into Bangor University to study a masters in ABA part time and continued to work as an ABA therapist.  I was given an amazing opportunity to volunteer at Focus Liverpool when it first started back in 2014 where children attended a 12-week cohort every Saturday. The Saturday School was created by three parents who had children with ASD and the aim of this Saturday school was to teach children with ASD how to develop their communication, play, social and group skills. 

We had a BCBA overseeing the assessments and target settings and I was able to have the opportunity to gain experience with this in each cohort. I progressed from Group Lead to Supervisor and then to Training Manager during the years we ran Focus Liverpool and found the whole experience to be a great learning opportunity for me. I saw the impact that these Saturday schools had, for not only the children, but also the families of these children who had the opportunity to speak to other parents and have professional talks from Speech and Language therapists, Occupational therapists, BCBAs and SEN Legal advocates. Furthermore, the success of Focus Liverpool led to other parents and professionals setting up similar groups around the country to provide the same opportunities for other children and families.

ACT 1 to 1

Whilst working on my masters and working as an ABA therapist, I had the opportunity to collect my supervision hours which were required for me to be able to sit the BCBA exam. Collecting my hours was hard, time consuming and expensive!  I had the privilege of working with different BCBAs who each guided me throughout the process. Having different BCBA’s supervising me allowed me to gain different experiences with different clients from early intervention programmes to social skills and working with the older population. My advice to those who are pursuing certification is to have more than one BCBA supervising you so that you can get more knowledge and more opportunities to develop your skills further!  Or find a supervisor with expertise in multiple areas of your interests within ABA as a science, so that they can provide you with learning opportunities to explore different applications of ABA.

I qualified as a BCBA in 2019 and since then have worked as a Case Manager at Rainbow Behavioural Therapies. I have found working for a company is so much more beneficial for me as I have a team around me and so many training opportunities to continue to develop my skills further as a Consultant. The ABA field can be a lonely place when you are a self-employed therapist or Consultant and it is nice that we have a team of BCBAs, supervisors and therapists to work with.

As a Case Manager at Rainbow I support Early/Intensive Behavioural Intervention programs, from initial assessment and intake to continuing support, training and consultation.  I support many fantastic children, families and schools who all bring me such joy to work with.

Becca Board Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA)

My role within Rainbow also involves training staff and families on ABA interventions which is an area I greatly enjoy. At Rainbow, our therapists are encouraged to complete the RBT course and are paid to attend supervisions with their allocated BCBA; something that was not available to me when I was a therapist and something I had to pay for to gain my required supervisory hours! I really enjoy supervising and training others. We truly value being able to offer this support at Rainbow and hope to continue to offer employed opportunities to those interested in gaining experience in the field of ABA.

My goal will always be to continue to support and work with children, adults, families, therapists, schools and clinics as an ABA Consultant. I also have a future interest in getting qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist as this is a key area of interest for me. In the meantime, I will be getting ready to welcome a new addition to team Rainbow who is due in May 2022! 

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