From School Teacher to BCBA
Read why Ashley Fox made the career switch!
Ashley Fox was a Pre School and Kindergarten teacher for 13 years. During those years, she saw the value of ABA by observing in-class ABA therapists and the benefits it provided to her students. She always appreciated the science that supports ABA.
After realizing she wanted to focus her career on mental health, those moments of observing ABA therapists in her classroom stuck with her. She decided to return to school to become a BCBA. While making a career change after many years was certainly daunting, after meeting with the staff at Key Connections, she knew she was making the right move.
We sat down with her to discuss her career change.
What made you want to switch from being a teacher to a BCBA?
Several things contributed to my decision but becoming a BCBA meant that I’d be able to work directly with children and their families to make a difference. I’ve always used ABA methodology in my classroom by observing BCBAs and ABAs. I wanted to be properly trained.
Also, I wanted to work alongside a team of likeminded individuals that think and advocate for individuals with autism and that believe in the same scientific method as I do. I love that ABA is backed by science. Overall, it aligns with my core values.
Why do you enjoy working with clients who are diagnosed with Autism?
I understand these kids and have always wanted to support them. ABA has come under a lot of scrutiny, and I want to prove that ABA is a great form or treatment to cope in a world that wasn’t designed for individuals with autism.
Do you see yourself having more opportunities as a BCBA than a teacher?
Yes. I always felt trapped in one path with limited options. I loved the people I worked with and my students but didn’t feel there was much room for advancement. As a BCBA, there are many more opportunities.
Why did you choose to come to Key Connections to pursue this career change?
The personalities of the management team during the interview – they were all really welcoming. I felt safe making a career change with them.
I also appreciate the flexible work schedule and the fact that the BCBAs work to match me (and all BTs) with clients that best align with my skillset. They are also supporting me getting my BCBA, which was important to me.
As the interview came to an end, we chatted a bit more and asked her if she had any advice for someone who may be in a similar situation. Here’s what she said, “You’re never too old to make a career change. I needed some sort of support system. You’re not alone. You will experience lots of emotions, they’re all valid, and you may question yourself. You know in your heart what you’re supposed to do. You can do it too.”