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The Hosemann Family Autism Foundation recently awarded scholarships to 27 Mississippi teachers for a community college course equipping them with skills necessary to effectively instruct children with autism and other developmental disorders. This is the second time the Foundation has provided the scholarships to the introductory online Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) course at Holmes Community College.
ABA is a process involving the systematic application of interventions, such as positive reinforcement, based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors among individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and a range of other developmental disorders.
The ABA course, the first of its kind in the nation, just completed its seventh iteration in Fall 2019. Most of those receiving a scholarship are special education teachers, representing 13 counties and 16 school districts across the State. The Foundation awarded scholarships for the first time in Spring 2019 to 15 Mississippi teachers, and those teachers are now using techniques learned from the course in their classrooms.
The Foundation, a nonprofit established by Delbert and Lynn Hosemann and their extended family, was formed with the goal of assisting children diagnosed with ASD and their families in accessing educational, therapeutic, medical, and behavioral health-related resources.
“Our Foundation created this scholarship program for our teachers to better equip them with the knowledge and skills to help teach our students with intellectual disabilities, like autism, and other behavior issues,” stated Lynn Hosemann, President of the Foundation. “Additionally, we hope exposure to these ABA courses will drive increased interest in the field and produce more paraprofessionals, like registered behavior technicians (RBTs), and licensed professionals at every level who can provide services throughout the State.”
“Holmes is privileged to partner with the Hosemann Family Autism Foundation to award scholarships to Mississippi teachers that completed the ABA course,” stated Dr. Jim Haffey, President of Holmes Community College. “We plan to continue to offer the Applied Behavioral Analysis (PSY 2543) course in an 8 week online format twice a semester that allows more full-time teachers the opportunity to participate.”
A registered behavior technician (RBT) must receive 40 hours of training, a requirement which is fulfilled by this course. Additionally, individuals must complete a competency assessment and pass a national examination. RBTs are taught the basics of ABA therapy and function under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
Northwest Mississippi Community College, Pearl River Community College, William Carey University, and Mississippi College plan to offer similar ABA courses in Spring 2020.
For more information about the ABA course at Holmes Community College, visit http://www.holmescc.edu/news/2017/120717_RBT.aspx.