Green Light's Behaviour Analyst Internship 2020 begins!

We are delighted to welcome three new team members to the company who join our six strong Positive Behaviour Support team.


Bangor University Graduates Darina Donnellan, Issac Nelson and Chloe Brindley are the first to join the programme, relocating with our support to Cornwall in the South West of England. Issac, Darina and Chloe have kindly provided a short Q&A below for colleagues and families to find out more about them.



Issac, Ioanna, Mollie & Chloe enjoying a welcome breakfast together this morning near Newquay 


Darina Donnellan

What is PBS?


Positive behaviour support (PBS) is ‘a person centred framework for providing long-term support to people with a learning disability, and/or autism, including those with mental health conditions, who have, or may be at risk of developing, behaviours that challenge. It is a blend of person centred values and behavioural science* and uses evidence to inform decision-making…. Behaviour that challenges usually happens for a reason and may be the person's only way of communicating an unmet need. PBS helps us understand the reason for the behaviour so we can better meet people's needs, enhance their quality of life and reduce the likelihood that the behaviour will happen.’


(British Institute of Learning Disabilities, The PBS Academy, The Challenging Behaviour Foundation, Health Education England & Skills for Care, April 2017)

*emphasis ours

 

Understanding Applied Behaviour Analysis as the behavioural science 'backbone' of Positive Behaviour Support described in this definition, Green Light developed a Behaviour Analyst Internship programme for ABA Masters graduates.


*A list of courses offering MSc ABA & video explaining 'what is/is not ABA' is at the bottom of this post.


A measurable plan to improve quality of life


Issac, Chloe and Darina will be assigned to teams where they can work in collaboration with experienced Registered Managers under the supervision of one of Green Light's two Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA).  Half their time will be working alongside and embedded as part of the team, the other half will be spent on tasks related to their role, under the guidance and direction of the BCBA.  The role will involve striking up relationships with individuals, families and team members, as well as using their academic or technical skills to understand strengths, needs, skills and abilities, and any behaviours concerning the person, or impeding their quality of life.


A measurable plan is then put in place to achieve agreed goals. Having behaviour analysts as part of the team culture allows them to model ethical, evidence-based approaches while coaching team members flexibly so these can be provided in a consistent way.


Issac, Chloe and Darina will need to complete 1500 hours of supervised practice before they can complete an exam to become a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. A strict professional and ethical code of conduct and requirement to complete continuing education applies to the profession. Still in its infancy, the majority of board certified behaviour analysts only qualified in the last 10 years.

Spencer, Ioanna & Mollie

Personally speaking, as someone who has worked closely with people with autism and often puzzling behaviour since leaving college, I know just how valuable this support will be. It's exactly the kind of support I would have wanted as a support worker or team leader, wanting to learn how to provide the best possible care and support to people.


I'm grateful to my team and Green Light's board of directors for seeing the value and backing this innovative programme. I'm sure Issac, Chloe and Darina will help us to continue to live up to our company mission to 'empower people to achieve a lifestyle they're proud of'.



Jo Pyrah 

Managing Director 




Chloe Brindley


Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?


A: I'm from Tamworth in Staffordshire and will be living in Newquay


Q: How did you hear about Green Light ?


A: I first heard about Green Light during my postgraduate degree through an advertisement posted by one of my lecturers.


Q: Why did you decide to work for Green Light ?


A: Whilst studying for my Masters Degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis, my eyes were opened to the ranges of populations that behavioural practice can be applied to. This then led me to actively explore all of the potential options I had and where my career could take me. I decided that I wanted to work for Green Light after doing some research into the services provided, the amazing achievements of staff members actively progressing their skill sets and experiences whilst working for Green Light. These positive perceptions of Green Light were solidified when I first met Ioanna and Jo over an informal Skype conversation, the positivity and enthusiasm I got from this single 15 minute call was enough for me to know that this would be the ideal positive work environment and support that I want to be a part of as a newly graduated student.


Q: What is your previous experience of autism or learning disabilities?


A: I have some previous experience with autism and learning disabilities both professionally and personally. As a football coach and a camp counsellor I worked with a range of children from various cultures, backgrounds and learning disabilities. Although at the time I did not have the understanding about behaviour that I do now, these experiences helped to shape my awareness of the needs of individuals and the need for an individualised approach. In my personal experience I have experience of autism through friends and family members, increasing my understanding of the impact this can have on immediate family members as well as the adjustments this creates for the life of the individual themselves and their experiences in life.


Q: Do you have any special skills/hobbies or interests?


A: Sport was a big part of my upbringing and so I have experience playing a number of team sports including: netball, football, volleyball and badminton. As a result of this I have an interest in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and like to keep my fitness and health to a high standard through diet and regular exercise. My love for sport led me to become a qualified football coach, a role I really enjoyed and hope to get back to one day. Equally I am also very interested in music, both listening, playing and writing music, I particularly enjoy playing the ukulele but have also played the violin and flute in the past.

Q: When not working what are you most likely to be doing?


A: Spending time with my family and loved ones, ideally in person but when this is not possible, over the phone. But I can also quite often be found outdoors with my camera, photography is a big hobby of mine and something that I really enjoy doing, in all settings and all weathers.


Q: What do you have on your bucket list?


A: My bucket list consists mainly of places I would like to travel. I love going on adventures and exploring, so my bucket list consists of a number of places that i would love to visit if i get the opportunity to, including The US, Australia and various parts of Europe.


Q: Who is your hero or heroine & why?


A: I've had a number of heroes and heroines over the years that have changed dependent on the stage of my life. But the ones that have always remained consistent are my parents, although this is 2 people I've always viewed them as a team. They have supported me throughout all stages of my life through everything that I have wanted to do, I've shaped my behaviour around what they have taught me, to be confident, respectful and to not be afraid to have big goals in life. I am inspired by them in terms of all that they have conquered throughout their lives and the team work and consistency that they have shown in bringing up myself and my brother. And I hope that I can inspire others in my life the way that they have inspired me.


Q: What three words sum up your personality?


A: Compassionate, Hard-Working and Organised

Darina Donnellan

Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?

A: I'm originally from Galway in Ireland and I am currently living near Newquay.

Q: How did you hear about Green Light ?

A: I heard about  Green Light off a friend during my Master's in ABA.

Q: Why did you decide to work for Green Light ?

A: I decided to work for Green Light because of their strong focus on person centered care. The type of support they provide is amazing and was something I really wanted to be a part of.

Q: What is your previous experience of autism or learning disabilities?

A: Since my Master's I have worked on both home and school ABA programmes as an ABA Tutor.

Q: Do you have any special skills/hobbies or interests?

A: I really enjoy reading, baking and kayaking.

Q: When not working what are you most likely to be doing?

A: I am most likely to be baking (and subsequently eating) something delicious!

Q: What do you have on your bucket list?

A: The first thing on my bucket list is to become a BCBA. After that I would love to return to education and complete a PhD.

Q: Who is your hero or heroine & why?

A: I would have to say my first ever supervisor. She was so passionate about about the field of behaviour analysis and instilled that passion in me. She provided me with amazing support and feedback to allow for continuing professional development. She was always on hand to answer any questions I had which built up my confidence and shaped me into the practitioner I am today. I aspire to one day to provide the same levels of support and guidance to any one that I may supervise as I progress in my career.

Q: What three words sum up your personality?

A: Enthusiastic, motivated, practical


Issac Nelson

Q: Where are you from and where do you live now?

I was born and brought up in South India and currently in Bangor North wales doing my Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis.

Q: How did you hear about Green Light ?

A: From my professors Facebook page

Q: Why did you decide to work for Green Light ?

  1. The Vision and mission of the company are similar to my personal views.
  2. The type of support offered by Green Light was entirely different and attractive from what I have seen or worked with.
  3. I wanted to work in an organization that makes major contributions to the field. 
  4. As a beginner, I want to explore more and gain much knowledge in the field I work - from a 60 min interview, I learned almost 13 new things from Green Light. 
  5. Spending almost 2.5 hours for the first time in Green Light, I told myself that people in Green Light are approachable and reliable. 

Q: What is your previous experience of autism or learning disabilities?

A: After pursuing my Bachelors I started my career as an assistant psychologist working with special schools. Even though I had to work with other areas of psychology, the majority of my time spent was with children with autism, learning disabilities and down syndrome.

Q: Do you have any special skills/hobbies or interests?

A: I’m passionate about music and instruments.  A percussionist and traveller.

Q: When not working what are you most likely to be doing?

A: Percussion instruments are my favourite companions. Cooking and traveling can be added to these.

Q: What do you have on your bucket list?

A: 1) Creating a percussion instrument which can be played regardless of any disabilities and a patent for it. 2) A PhD in Behaviour Analysis.  3) travelling around the world.

Q: Who is your hero or heroine & why?

To be honest, this kept changing from childhood.  It was my dad for doing things that I cannot do and giving me support to do things that I like.  In school it was my class teacher for making me understand the value of life. In college it was my professor who was my mentor and guide, etc. Now I realise the world is a stage and people are hero's and heroine's and anyone from whom I can learn and gives positive energy will be my hero. I’m not too religious but by reading about the personal life of Jesus influenced me throughout my lifetime.

Q: What three words sum up your personality?

A: I’m cheerful, hardworking and reliable.




Prof Karola Dillenburger of
Queen's University Belfast
on what is & is not Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) https://youtu.be/GO4L-2On5E0

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