Becoming a L4Life ABA TherapistFriday, June 22 2018
Nilushi explains how she came to be an ABA Therapist at Learning For Life.
Nilushi is a Clinical Supervisor at L4Life and is currently studying Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University. Beginning as an ABA therapist with L4Life in 2013, she has worked with many children with ASD in their homes, kindergartens and schools. She coordinates the L4Life Certification Training Program for staff, regularly conducts seminars for new therapists on ABA theory as well as practical training.
1. What is your study and work background?
I have a Bachelor of Arts (Psych) which I completed at Monash University in 2015. I am currently studying Bachelor of Speech Pathology at Australian Catholic University. Before L4L, I worked as a pharmacy assistant at a chemist, which was my first job.
2. How did you come to work with L4Life?
I had previously applied for a job elsewhere, where I did not receive an offer. However, the saying ‘when one door closes another one opens’ is very much applicable in this situation. I searched on the internet for other ABA therapist jobs and came across L4L, it sounded like a great and inviting organisation. I believe that it was meant to be, as L4L has been a wonderful organisation and community to be a part of for the past 5 years.
3. What interested you in this career path?
I have always loved kids and found an interest in psychology throughout my high school years. I thought it was a great experience to be able to work within the field that I was studying and I discovered my passion for Speech Pathology during this time. I’m very excited to be able to merge my speech and ABA skills together in the future.
4. What is your role?
I am currently a supervisor where I plan programs and run team meetings and run therapy session too. I also coordinate L4L’s Certification Training Program, where I run practical and theoretical evaluations and theory seminars for staff.
5. What skills are most important of a supervisor?
Active listening, which involves hearing, taking into consideration what is being said and then voicing what we believe is the best way to go forward.
Communication skills across a broad range of people from different backgrounds and ages. We have to be clear with our explanations as well as be adaptable to changing the way we reason and explain concepts in order for parents, therapists and children to understand.
6. What do you find most challenging about being a supervisor?
For myself, I’ve found balancing what I’d like to do with programs whilst taking into account what parents would like as well as where the child is developmentally to be challenging. I felt this way as I have never had to think about factors other than programming before becoming a supervisor. However, as I gain more experience and knowledge of different strategies I will improve on this skill.
7. What do you find most rewarding?
When a strategy or a program that has been implemented accurately and consistently, with results that have been generalised to parents. It’s always so rewarding to hear a parent say that their child has demonstrated a skill for the first time outside of therapy. It also shows that a team effort has been made by the child, parents and the therapy team collaboratively.
8. What is it like in the typical day of a supervisor?
For me, there is no typical day. Each day is so very different from the next. Some days I’ll be in the office, or I’ll be running training sessions or therapy. It makes each day feel so different and breaks any monotony that would be there if I was doing the same type of work each day.
9. What is your best experience so far?
One of my best experiences so far has been seeing clients months and years after they’ve finished therapy with us. Therapy opens up a whole new world of communication, connection and engagement and when I hear or see that our clients are enjoying school or participating in extra-curricular activities, I have so much gratitude for them.
10. What have you learnt from being a supervisor?
This experience has given me insight into skill development. For example, knowledge of the base skills that are required for speech or following instructions. I’ve learnt that it’s important to keep reading, keep talking to colleagues, parents and pioneers of the industry to give the children that we’re supervising the best opportunities possible.
11. Is there anything you can continue to learn?
There is a lot of information that I can continue learn to help me grow into the best clinician I can be. I will continue to gain knowledge from my colleagues, our clients, research and my university experiences.
I am very keen to continue learning about assistive communication devices throughout my speech pathology course as well as the different therapy techniques utilised by other speech pathologists. I’m particularly keen to learn how to use the PROMPT technique used to help with speech.