A psychology professor at Mary Baldwin University (MBU) is headed to Ecuador this summer to bring much-needed services to children with autism. Louise Freeman, who is in her 20th year at MBU, will be traveling through the Global Autism Project, a nonprofit organization that trains staff to work with autistic children at centers around the world. The trip is Freeman’s latest endeavor in a career spent researching physiological psychology and neuroscience, teaching learning and behavior courses at the university, and more recently, working as a board certified behavior analyst.
A board certified behavior analyst develops individualized plans for behavior change using positive reinforcement. This method is often used by those working with autistic individuals to help teach self-care skills, verbal skills, and social skills. Around 2011, MBU alumni began reporting back that the certification was in high demand in the field. As a result, the Psychology Department partnered with the College of Education to offer the credential at Mary Baldwin.