Clara Merten

“My internship impacted me a lot. It helped reaffirm my belief in what adults with autism are capable of, while shaping my therapeutic approach for future clients.”

 

It’s typical for college students to switch majors multiple times throughout their college careers. Clara Merten is one student who considered several paths before ultimately choosing to pursue a major in Psychology, and minor in Autism Studies.

 

“When I first applied to UVU, I had never considered my current field of study, actually beginning as an Exercise Science major” said Clara. “Although, I studied and loved singing opera growing up, so I switched to vocal performance soon after.”

 

However, when Merten started working at Kids on The Move (KOTM), an autism center in Orem, Utah. She fell in love with her clients, and finally understood she wanted to pursue a career in behavioral analytics. After understanding the requirements needed to become a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA), Merten switched her major one last time, declaring her degree in Psychology and Autism Studies.

 

“My goal is to become a BCBA,” she said. “The work that I do in applied behavior analysis was first introduced by B.F. Skinner, and today, it is known as ABA Therapy— I truly enjoy understanding the intricacies of human behavior.”

 

Clara recently finished her internship at ScenicView Academy, a school specialized for teaching independent living, to adults with developmental disabilities. During her time at ScenicView, Clara assisted and helped put together Autcon, a conference facilitated by and for adults on the autism spectrum.

 

“My internship impacted me a lot. It helped reaffirm my belief in what adults with autism are capable of, while shaping my therapeutic approach for future clients,”

 

Clara’s advice to others seeking to work with individuals on the spectrum: “Be humble. Every face of autism looks uniquely different. Have an open mind with interventions, and always focus on a collaborative approach.”