Applied Behavior Analyst Practicum Program

Full Partner Agencies: Barbara Olson Center of Hope, Clearbrook, Easter Seals Metropolitan Chicago, Elim Christian Services, Little Friends Inc, Misericordia Heart of Mercy, PACTT Learning Center, and UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago.

For individuals with developmental disabilities, processing a conversation, understanding a request or demand, communicating basic needs or wants, coping with day to day responsibilities, managing emotions or simply functioning with sensory impairments can result in an array of behavior challenges. It takes a multi-disciplined and experienced team of individuals to determine the function of the behavior and develop appropriate interventions and services to manage the behavior challenges that occur within this population.

As a result of the State budget crisis, many organizations have had to make choices regarding what type of services they offer. Unless the individual lives in a CILA (Community Integrated Living Arrangement) or a home based setting, funding for intense behavioral services or support is not reimbursed. The effectiveness of state sponsored review mechanisms and resulting supports is drastically reduced by delayed and inadequate levels of support. These systemic deficits have resulted in a focus on crisis management, placement in restrictive State Operated Development Centers, and diminishing investment in community services that could prevent dramatically improve the every day lives of persons with developmental disabilities.

The Applied Behavior Analyst (ABA) Practicum Program is an economical solution to expand access to critical behavior support services to increase the quality of life and reduce behavioral crisis. The program also provides a mode of professional development that is engaging new professionals in the field of developmental disabilities. University students enrolled in Applied Behavior Analysis Graduate programs must complete 1000-1500 hours within a setting that provides behavioral services, allowing them to practice and enhance skills related to applied behavior analysis. By utilizing services provided by ABA students, participating Intersect for Ability agencies can expand their behavioral supports to clients in need with the overall impact of improving their quality of life.

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