Therapist Helps Houstonians With Autism, Other Disabilities

Candice Floyd went to the University of Houston, where she majored in psychology and minored in anthropology. Later, she enrolled at Sam Houston State University in the Master of Education program concentrating on low-incidence disabilities and autism.

(Photo Courtesy of Candice Floyd)

(Photo Courtesy of Candice Floyd)

What influenced you to choose your major?

“I figured out that I wanted to study the field of child psychology. I was fascinated by learning – ‘How do we acquire knowledge?’ At the U of H, I took a majority of classes that focused on human development, cognition, memory and social psychology. As a senior, I took a course in behavior modification with Dr. Gerald Harris. I was so intrigued by the question of ‘How do you modify someone’s behavior?’ It was in this course that I was first introduced to applied behavior analysis (ABA). It all made an incredible amount of sense and I could see how what I thought was random human behavior is really guided by principles steeped in decades of scientific research. It was also in this course where I learned about another research project that gave me the opportunity to learn about autism and how it disrupts the learning processes that I had studied for so many years. At Sam Houston State University, I was able to study the most current research and methods from remarkable professors, including Dr. Amanda Bosch.”

What sort of experience do you have?

“I had the opportunity a couple of years ago to start a private clinical program with a friend and colleague of mine, Frank Carle. We began Learning Continuum, an applied behavior analysis-based treatment program with a lifespan approach for individuals with autism and related disorders. As a special needs parent myself, the quality of services that we provide to individuals with disabilities and those that care for them is not only part of our charter, but part of my personal belief as well. We also work with individuals that exhibit dangerous behaviors such as aggression, self-injury and/or serious property destruction. The assessments and interventions that we have learned over the years allow us to help our clients replace those behaviors with meaningful communication.”

How has your education helped you in your work?

“Without the research I have studied over the years, I would not be able to effectively conduct these assessments nor implement the interventions with fidelity. I have been able to interact with a great number of students and families over the years, which has taught me everything that I could not learn from a book. The most important thing is to never stop learning. I know it sounds cliché, but take it from someone who has studied learning and behaviour for over 20 years, we truly never stop learning.”

Richard Carranza is a reporter from the Houston, Texas area and published his first work in 1990. His education includes a bachelor of arts in chemistry from Cornell College, master of science in chemical engineering from Texas A&M University, and a masters of business administration from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. In addition to writing, Richard is involved in the design of petroleum refineries, petrochemical plants, oil/gas facilities and ethanol plants. He also carries out writing assignments for publications like Chemical Processing Magazine, Maritime Executive Magazine and Chemical Online.

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