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Highlands Center for Autism employee receives certification

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PRESTONSBURG – Highlands Center for Autism is once again making a name for itself as one of its own, Ashley Ratliff recently received a national certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Ashley joins an elite rank of only 120 other certified Behavior Analysts in the state.


Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), as well as Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCABAs), are nationally certified practitioners who use the science of learning and behavior to make improvements in socially significant behaviors. Often BCBAs work with individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), obesity, addictions, but also can be found working with individuals who do not hold a diagnostic label, for example, they can be found in areas such as Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) which may address issues such as increasing employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity. At Highlands Center for Autism, BCBAs use their expertise to design and supervise treatment plans in order to effectively treat behaviors that interfere with functioning and put into place skills to help children succeed. This work allows these children access to the only such treatment proven effective in improving their quality of life.


To achieve this rank, Ratliff first received her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology at Morehead State University. In addition, she completed an academic component which included a supplemental fifteen credit hours of behavior analytic coursework at the University of North Texas and a clinical component that included over 1,500 hours of clinical work under the supervision of Dr. Shelli Deskins, Ph.D., BCBA-D. Following completion of these components, Ms. Ratliff successfully sat for and passed the national exam.


Dr. Shelli Deskins, Program Director at the Highlands Center for Autism, said of the good news, “We are so proud of Ashley’s accomplishments. She has worked hard to achieve this certification and is also the first staff member at the Center to have done so. Ashley’s achievements continue to show how important the field of behavior analysis is to improving the quality of life for children with ASD and their families.”


Highlands Center for Autism is the first center based program in the state of Kentucky exclusively using the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a clinical setting. This research based intervention allows children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to have the best chance for an improved quality of life.


For more information on the Highlands Center for Autism, visit HighlandsAutism.org or call (606) 889-6115.

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