Several years from now I'll still remember how psychologists can employ tactics in operant conditioning to treat children with autism. The video that we watched about this really fascinated and uplifted me. I was surprised at how much it seemed to hit home considering I don't even know anyone with autism. I am a psychology major unknowing of which specific direction I'd like to take in the field, but this video inspired me to want to work with children as well as adults with autism.
I think it's amazing that people many years ago used to think this disorder doomed its victims to a life of isolation and uselessness to society, and yet today we know how to help these individuals lead fulfilling lives. It's incredibly inspirational. The advancements aren't technological; they stem from psychological findings purely related to human interactions. A psychologist can serve as a teacher who uses positive reinforcement gently to guide a child to certain desirable behaviors. In a relatively short amount of time, a child with autism can learn to sit on her chair when asked. She only needs patience when she does not obey and rewards when she begins to obey.
I think psychologists who use operant conditioning treat children with autism have one of the most rewarding jobs out there. I feel fortunate just to have been able to learn about this phenomenal progress and to be given a great motivation to try to be apart of and possibly even expand it.
This site provides some further information on such treatments: