Foxboro, MA (April 2, 2023) – On Autism Awareness Day, KDC celebrates Rachel Moniz, BCBA for ABA Autism Services, and her diligent work in the field.
Moniz discovered her passion to work in ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) when she attended Simmons University to study neuropsychology. After graduating, she completed her Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification and began working for KDC’s ABA Autism Services in 2019.
Moniz recalls working with a non-vocal verbal child during her second year as a BCBA, “He had never spoken a word in his life, ever. And after just two weeks of receiving full-time services, I got a call from his mom one night telling me he said ‘Mama’ to her right before bed. She was bawling her eyes out, and I started crying. I’m not the reason he chose to verbally communicate, but my job was to provide the tools he needed to help get there.”
“KDC holds the same values as me, and I’m always looking to improve the work we do for the benefit of families.” Moniz is also a member of the Do Better Collective, a professional development initiative for Behavior Analysts. The collective is a community of like-minded, forward-thinking professionals, all dedicated and passionate about improving, progressing, and, of course, doing better in the field of ABA Therapy (source).
“There are a lot of people in the community that see autism spectrum disorder as something that should be fixed because they don’t think individuals on the spectrum fit the ‘norm’. As BCBA’s, we don’t go into a home with the goal of changing someone; our goal is to teach based on our understanding of the functions of behavior,” Moniz explains. “It can be challenging at times to inform the broader community about the diagnosis, let alone fight the misconceptions about how ABA therapy works.”
KDC’s ABA Autism Services uses a scientific approach that provides teaching strategies to increase the future frequency of desired behavior while decreasing undesirable behavior. Data-informed interventions are used to teach new skills and decrease behavior that is disruptive or can negatively impact learning. These strategies are monitored regularly and shaped into supports that best serve the person and family by promoting functional skills.
“Every family I work with becomes a part of the KDC family; we’re one big community,” says Moniz. “When I work with the kiddos we have to do hard things, but we always get to have fun. I want everyone to be smiling. And even when we’re not, we get back to smiling.”
About Kennedy-Donovan Center
Kennedy-Donovan Center is a 501(c)(3) non-profit human service agency providing a wide range of direct and supportive services to children, adults and families with developmental delays, disabilities and other challenges throughout Massachusetts. KDC currently serves 7,500 individuals living in 150 communities.
Contact: Crystal Park email@example.com 508-772-1201 Kennedy-Donovan Center One Commercial Street Foxboro, MA 02035