I am the Bearded Behaviorist. My name is Brian Middleton. My objective with my writing, podcasts, videos and other multimedia efforts is to disseminate the science of behaviorism (or rather Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA) in a way that is easy to understand and access for everyone. My target audience is parents, teachers, individuals who want to improve themselves and the world around them and more. I also wish to make learning ABA easier and less expensive. As a science, it has greatly improved my life and the lives of those I love and care for.
A little more about me. I am autistic. I prefer the term autist over "individual with autism". While autism comes with its challenges, I have discovered that embracing my neruotype is liberating and also essential to my own mental and physical well-being. While autism comes with the previously mentioned challenges, it also comes with aptitudes. When referring to a person who is talented in music, one does not call that person a "person with musical ability". No, that person is a musician. Likewise, I prefer the term autist because it is a part of who and what I am. One of my goals is to advocate for fellow autists so that others can see that while we certainly have challenges, that we also have something to offer. That we are not some strange mutation but rather a integral part of humanity!
I study behavior analysis. It is a passion. I study the human brain. I am always learning. I will never stop trying to learn. I love understanding my fellow man. When I was younger and confused by humanity I would say things like, "I hate people", or "people are stupid". It wasn't until I began to understand that people behave the way they do for a reason that I truly began to see and understand. My journey started with a failing marriage and the desperation of trying to figure out how to save it. That led me to read an amazing book, Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me). That was the beginning of my journey into understanding other people and myself. Since then I have grown so much, but I still am incredible grateful to the authors of that book for providing me with the starting point. And while my marriage did not survive, I am grateful to my ex-wife for being the reason I started this journey. I would not wish the pain of a failing relationship on anyone, but I am grateful for the opportunity for growth it gave me. Since then I have learned a lot and have remarried. But the journey is never over, and I would not have it any other way. So here is to learning. Here is to growing. Here is to being a better person tomorrow than I am right now. Thank you for joining me on this journey.