Thursday, February 18, 2016

FWS Student Highlights: Naomi Hailemeskel

Since the beginning of the school year, I have had the pleasure to work with Dr. Christine Barthold on The Functional Behavior Assessment project. This research project aims at identifying and addressing the different barriers and problem behaviors that individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities face during employment in the community.

On a weekly basis, I am responsible for a few different tasks. I observe the interviews with the participants and collect treatment integrity data. I also am in charge of organizing, uploading, and inputting all the data collected from the interviews into SPSS and blackboard. Recently, I have also started setting up the app that will be used for the data collection portion during the observations. For this upcoming semester we will begin the actual data collection with direct observations of the Mason LIFE students at their different internships and places of employment.

This opportunity has allowed me to learn so much more about special education and applied behavior analysis therapy. This week I learned more about ABC (antecedent- behavior- consequence) observation, which is a tool, used to further collect information about the events occurring within the environment of the participants.

As a psychology and integrative studies major, the knowledge I am gaining from this position is extremely beneficial. My long-term goal is to become an Occupational Therapist and this research has helped me gain valuable experiences like working directly with students with I/DD and introducing me to ABA therapy that directly complements my future career plans. I look forward to upcoming semester and continuing on this project!