An advocate for ABA – Applied Behavior Analysis – Ashley Bowman values every opportunity to talk about The Barry Robinson Center’s (BRC) new program. The ABA program recently launched in southeastern Virginia and already serves a number of clients due to high demand.
Bowman, ABA program manager, joined BRC in November 2019.
“I love the ability to work with so many different people,” she explained. “I am able to train staff to become excellent therapists, and I teach kids and young adults new ways to communicate. Also, I assist with interactions, not just with therapists and our children, but with families too.”
When she was in college, she had a very different career path in mind than ABA.
“I fell into the field of ABA. While completing my undergrad, I was searching for an internship after my move to Wisconsin. I saw a job posting for an ABA therapist that I thought sounded interesting, ” she explained. “I learned about ABA therapy from this company and fell in love with the science. There are challenges, but the rewards are worth it.”
After earning a B.S. in criminal justice with a concentration in human trafficking and domestic violence, she completed BCaBA (board certified assistant behavior analyst) coursework with the Florida Institute of Technology. Currently, she’s completing a master’s degree in Behavioral Psychology.
“I started my ABA career as a line therapist working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Wisconsin,” Bowman said. “After moving back to Virginia I knew I had to stay in the ABA field. I then became a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and later a BCaBA while working with local ABA agencies.”
As program manager, Bowman has been instrumental in setting up BRC’s ABA program and connecting with community partners. For example, in January 2020, Bowman hosted an Autism Family Meeting on campus, sponsored by the Tidewater Autism Society of America.
“Behavior analysis is an incredible science that so many could benefit from,” she said. “We’re here to continue BRC’s mission of improving the lives of children and their families.”