Meet Shayla Forgione of Duluth, GA!
Today we would like to introduce you to Shayla Forgione, Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Clinical Director of our Duluth, Georgia location, which opened in September 2020. We are thrilled to be providing services to this suburb of Atlanta and look forward to serving more communities in the future!
Shayla is from a small town in Michigan called Metamora. She attended Central Michigan University, where she graduated in December 2013 with a communication sciences and disorders degree. In 2016, a friend introduced her to the world of applied behavior analysis (ABA). She began as a behavior technician in 2016 at a local clinic and fell in love with the job. Shortly after, she began a graduate program at Wayne State University to further her passion for the field. She graduated with a master’s in educational psychology in December 2017 and earned her certificate to become a BCBA a year later in 2018. In her personal life, Shayla loves to go on hikes and hang out with her dog. She also enjoys reading books, listening to podcasts, and hanging out with her family and friends.
Q: What made you want to go into the field of behavior analysis?
A: Making a career choice can be a big decision for most people, however, I knew as soon as I started college that I wanted to go into a career that I would be helping others in some way. After taking a class on autism, during my junior year of undergrad, I immediately found my passion and knew that I wanted to work with individuals on the spectrum. Shortly after graduating, I learned about the field of applied behavior analysis and have never looked back. Helping families and watching individuals acquire new skills is something I am so grateful to be a part of.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being a BCBA?
A: Being a BCBA is not just a job, but something I am genuinely passionate about. My favorite thing about the field is educating people on autism and teaching families about strategies and techniques, specific to applied behavior analysis, that they can use in their daily lives to improve everyone in the family’s overall quality of life.
Q: What has been your favorite moment or memory in your career so far?
A: My favorite memory is watching one of my client’s mother see her child wave hello for the first time. There were many happy tears shared, but it’s moments like those that make our job the best!
Q: Who or what has been the biggest influence on your career?
A: My biggest influence in my career is the families we serve. Seeing the hopelessness on some of our families faces at the onset of therapy and working with them day in and day out to make positive changes to a family’s life—this influences me to keep doing my best.
Q: Do you use behavior analysis in your personal life? How so and does it work?
A: I utilize the principles of behavior analysis in my personal life, daily. I have taught myself to set goals, determine if I have met a specific goal and differentially reinforce myself depending on the type of goal I have or have not achieved. This has helped me with staying on a schedule with working out, eating healthier, and completing daily tasks and routines throughout my day.
Q: If you weren’t a BCBA, what career would you pick?
A: If I wasn’t a BCBA I would love to go into the field of counseling to help others overcome their personal life issues.
Q: What is your spirit animal?
A: My spirit animal would have to be an eagle. I love a great view and as an eagle I would be able to soar through all the states to check out the best views.
Q: What’s something that made you smile recently?
A: I recently took my dog to the dog park and watching him and about 10 other dogs play and run together makes me so happy. 🙂
Q: If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: I love me some pasta and would not be mad if it was something I had to eat for the rest of my life!