When Sean Casey came to Iowa in 2010, there were only 14 board certified behavior analysts in the entire state.
As a consultant in challenging behaviors for the Iowa Department of Education, Casey knew the value of having more educators and health care providers trained to de-escalate challenging situations and to find ways to help children avoid the need for seclusion and restraint.
Over the past seven years, Casey has worked with many others to create training programs to expand the number of analysts to more than 100 in Iowa.
That total, however, still amounts to less than one-half of 1 percent of the estimated 22,500 children with challenging behaviors in the state.
A newly announced program at Drake University is expected to increase the number of behavior analysts significantly over the next few years.
Starting this fall, Drake is offering a new graduate-level program in applied behavior analysis. The program will include courses toward a master’s degree and professional certificate.
“Now having a BCBA program that’s located in the middle of the state, we have the ability to train many more people,” Casey said. “Moreover, we have the ability to train them to do things right from the get go — as opposed to working to untrain them of the bad habits they already have developed.”
Sue Mattison, Drake’s provost, is touting the new program as a way to “help…
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