When Keira Moore arrived at The New England Center for Children ® (NECC®), she did not know what to expect. Still an undergraduate student at Hamilton College, she came to NECC with no background in the autism field, but eager to learn.
“My first day of my internship at NECC I was really nervous because I had never even met a child with autism before, and I had no idea what to expect,” she says looking back. “But by the end of that day, I knew that that was exactly what I wanted to do with my life and that NECC was where I wanted to start my career after I graduated.”
In the years since, Moore has taken an impactful path in the applied behavior analysis (ABA) field. On this path, which began with that internship and has spanned teaching at NECC, spending time as a researcher, and starting her own consulting firm, she has helped hundreds of children with autism, all while constantly finding new ways to stay involved in the field.
After graduating from Hamilton in 2006 with a psychology/education degree, she returned to NECC and jumped at the opportunity to pursue a graduate degree. Over the next eight years, Moore worked as a teacher and researcher at NECC and earned a master’s degree at Northeastern University. After leaving NECC, she helped start a homebased program in Natick, Massachusetts, consulted with other agencies, and finished her doctorate in 2015 through Western New England University. At this point, armed with multiple graduate degrees and expertise in the ABA field, Moore was at a crossroads.
“[In 2016], I took what was supposed to be a short leave of absence from my job at the time to have a summer off to sort of decompress after an eight-year journey of grad school and working full time, “Moore says. “During my time off, I was working in Boston as a flying trapeze instructor…and I decided that I didn’t want to go back to my job. I wanted to pursue teaching trapeze and performing full time so I packed my bags and I left Boston. I have spent these last four years traveling all over the world doing flying trapeze and it has been really amazing.”
While discovering this passion has provided a new career, it has not removed Moore entirely from the ABA and autism education world. Instead, she stayed involved in the field, eventually starting Moore Behavioral Consulting. With her new company, Moore works remotely with children with autism, as well as typically developing children, to assess and treat sleep problems: one of her areas of expertise. In addition to her consulting work, she also teaches in the Regis College master’s program, helping educate and mentor the next generation of behavior analysts. Through it all, Moore finds her time at NECC to have been formative and important to her career.
“I genuinely feel like I owe a lot of my success as a behavior analyst to what I learned while I was at NECC and in my graduate programs. Everywhere I’ve worked or taught since being at NECC, all over the world, people know about NECC and the great research and the great work that goes on there.”