So, for the application I had to write an entrance essay. I haven't written an essay like this in a long time. Most of my writings were research based or blogging so I hope I didn't screw it up.
Here is what I wrote...let me know what you think and be honest!
Imagine planning for a life, the future of your unborn child. Wondering whether he will be a fireman or an astronaut, maybe even President! You watch him grow and change and then questions enter your mind, your gut tells you something is wrong. The doctors run tests and evaluations come and go until you get an answer. You are in a fog when the diagnosis is said aloud, autism. Your world crumbles and you fall to your feet. As the dust settles, you gather yourself and make plans. This is not the end of the world, just a different one. Your main focus is on your child and making his life as wonderful as it can be. You want to give him every chance to thrive and succeed. You never give up.
I present this opening statement because this is who I am. I am a mother of six children, four of which have been diagnosed with autism. This statement is what circles in my mind every day and is pushing me to go back to school and achieve my Master’s Degree in Counseling with the concentration in Applied Behavioral Analysis. I want to provide that same change to countless families like mine.
I initially went to school for business as my Bachelor’s degree will confirm but then I realized that my life was not going to be the same and changed to psychology for my Master’s. The coursework was generic in content. It covered the various facets of human behavior but did not pull in one direction or the other. I truly felt like it was an advanced and extended version of the psychology classes I took in high school. Once I had the degree in hand there was not much that I thought I could do.
I would go home and watch the therapists work continuously and tirelessly with my children to help them reach their goals. From the basics of responding to their names when called out to being able to communicate their most basic wants and needs. What these therapists were doing was anything short of amazing. There was a reason in the structure and games and I wanted to know more about the process behind it. I participated and saw the changes for myself; my heart swelled with pride. This is what I wanted to do. I wanted to offer families the same hope and pride for their children that I feel with mine.
I currently live in an area where services for individuals with special needs is lacking. There is a demand but there are not enough qualified professionals to meet it. If given the opportunity to attend Nova Southeastern University and obtain my Master’s Degree in Counseling with the ABA concentration, I intend on sitting for the certification exam and become a BCBA to provide services to my community. I would like to establish working relationships with the local doctors and centers to raise awareness that the services are available and that the children and young adults in our area can get the help they deserve. I would even like to work closely with the school system that currently only has one BCBA for the entire county and find a way to help there.
I do admit that my writing is passionate, but to be in this field, passion is necessary. Every day BCBA’s are met with challenges and being passionate about making the difference their clients’ lives is essential. Without passion how could they make it through the hard days when a child does not want to work with them or a young adult has a set back? I have that passion, I have that drive, and I have that connection. I am a mother who has been through it and knows that it works. I want to be a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst and be a part of changing the lives of those who need it most.