- “I have been a professional in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis for over 15 years of developing and implementing programs across a wide variety of children, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities. During this time, I achieved a B.A. in Abnormal Psychology, M.A. in Psychology with an Applied Behavior Analysis emphasis briefly followed by the attainment of my Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) certification.
Many years ago I worked with an incredibly bright teenager with autism. He consistently came home having completed complex money skill worksheets with 90-100% accuracy and reports from the teacher saying that in the classroom, he excelled at communicating his needs and engaging in problem-solving with adults. This was very positive and led me to believe he wouldn’t require my services for long in the home as he already seemed to have a solid foundation of basic repertoires. As I began to find out more about him, I soon learned; when given money and directed to purchase fast food, he walked up to the counter, put the bill down and pointed at the meal he desired (this was a highly verbal teenager) and did not wait to receive change; When asked to locate items in a grocery store, he walked into the isle nearest to the entrance and stood to examine the items on the shelf directly in front of him, regardless of it being the correct aisle, he did not move from this spot until prompted by an adult; When asked by people in the community if he needed help, his response was the same 100% of the time regardless of the situation and if he did need help. “I’m fine”; When asked “who are your best friends?”, he named his teachers, sister, and parents.
From this experience, I came to realize countless youth with developmental disabilities who exhibit a strong enough repertoire of basic academic skills (reading, writing, math) that have the potential to someday live independently, have a job and even go to college. So, how and who will offer a service to “bridge the gap” to adulthood and provide them with the key that unlocks all of the “unspoken” and hidden curricula we all face in everyday life? How do you create a service that takes core skills and generalizes them across the infinite amount of different situations and contexts faced in life? As a child enters adolescence, who focuses on what is socially important and truly benefits the child outside of the classroom as they are developing into young adults? How does a service create an atmosphere where youth with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to integrate and create friendships with others regardless of disability?
In response to these questions, Life Applied was founded. At Life Applied the number one goal is to ensure a fun learning/social environment that youth are proud to be a part of and always feel safe. All programming is guaranteed to be socially appropriate and derived from the dreams, fears, and goals of the children. Additionally, as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, I personally guarantee all teaching methodologies are derived from ‘Best Practice’ principles as evidenced by years of research and validated curricula. At Life Applied, we help youth achieve a quality of life that we all deserve regardless of disability.”
Barbara B. Pemberton, M.A., BCB, President and Founder