New Website for the Blog!

We’ve moved all our posts over to our website -> http://www.greatstartbehaviour.com.au so visit us over their, and subscribe to our mailing list, to receive our latest blog updates!

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New Website for the Blog!

Goal Update – December 2017

goals-2017

Well, it is the end of the year (already!) Let’s see how I went with my goals.

  1. Obtain my BCaBA.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have obtained my certification to call myself a BCaBA.
    Done! I’ve loved being able to say *finally* that I am a BCaBA
  2. Maintain Client Case Load
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 15 clients.
    Definitely keeping on board with my “no-more-than-fifteen” clients in 2018!
  3. Have 75 newsletter subscribers.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 75 people subscribed to my monthly newsletters.
    At the end of 2017, I have 94 people subscribed to my monthly newsletter, providing updates on what GSBS has been up to, as well as other relevant information.
  4. Have 750 “likes” on Facebook.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have 750 ‘likes’ on Facebook.
    At the end of the year, I am at 751 ‘likes’ on Facebook, reaching quite a few people with interesting and relevant posts.
  5. Have at least 1 poster/presentation at a conference.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have had either a presentation, or a poster, at at least one conference.
    I unfortunately was unable to present any research at a conference this year, but am working towards 1-2 for 2018.
  6. Attend at least 2 conferences – 1 ABA, and 1 non-ABA.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have attended at least two conferences – 1 ABA specific, and 1 not ABA specific (Autism, Special Ed etc).
    I recently attended the ABAA Annual Conference in Sydney, which was great! Planning out my 2018 conferences, and looking for a non-ABA one to attend.
  7. Participate in 4 journal clubs.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have participated in at least 4 online journal clubs, by responding to at least 3 questions about each article.
    I think we kind of lost our momentum by the end of the year. We did manage to read and discuss 3 articles! Hopefully we can get back on track, in 2018.
  8. Create fact sheets about common ABA terms/strategies for families, educators etc
    By the end of December 2017, I will have created at least 6 fact sheets about common ABA terms/strategies for use by families, therapists, educators etc.
    Due to some changes in programs, I have managed to create six resource sheets on a range of different topics! They may need to be revised, and re-formatted, but they are done!

What a crazy/great year it has been. So much has happened, and it has been a huge year for learning, and applying new skills. 2018 is already shaping up to be pretty busy, but I will continue to set myself some goals, and check in frequently, to help keep me accountable 🙂

Goal Update – December 2017

ABA in Australia: Diverse and Relevant… The Second Annual ABAA Conference

The 2nd Annual Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia conference happened, the first weekend in November. It was a time to come together, meet old and new colleagues and friends, and most importantly, spend an entire weekend talking about ABA with like-minded people! There is just something about being in a room, with people who love ABA as much as you do 🙂

We had two jam-packed full days, with Dr. Dana Reinecke kicking off Day 1, discussing working with older clients, in particularly, utilising technology to increase independence (a current special interest of mine). Lots of great take-aways, including her mention of Dr. Peter Gerhardt and ‘planning for the next five years’ – which ever life stage you are in.

Dana

Dr. Dana Reinecke discussing utilising technology with students.

We then heard from a range of different presenters, covering topics such as the Association for Science in Autism Treatment’s presence in the media, creative ways to assess PICA (eating non-food substances), and supervision.

PICA

Dr. Tessa Taylor sharing some great information to help with assessing functions of PICA.

We wrapped up the day with a lively speech from Dr. John McEachin and teaching receptive language skills. We also we privileged to hear about Jay Birnbrauer, by his friend and colleague, Dr. Alan Ralph, who shared with us Jay ‘Birnie’ Birnbrauer’s contribution to behaviour analysis, in Australia.

It was a long, but really interesting day, topped off by fantastic discussions with ABA colleagues, long into the night.

Day 2 was off to an extremely interesting and renewed start. We heard from Dr. Johnathan Tarbox, on the Benefits of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Applied Behaviour Analysis, which just blew everyone out of the water. We all seemed to take away something from this session.

Tarbox

Dr. Johnathan Tarbox, sharing his amazing presentation of ACT and ABA.

The day continued with a very interesting presentation, from Dr. Erin Leif, sharing Dr. Greg Henley’s Interview Informed Functional Analyses in Clinic and Home Settings. We heard about teaching social skills to students with autism, as well as some more on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy for Behaviour Therapists, and wrapped up the final day of the conference with a panel discussion on advocating for services through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

There was so much to take in, and I personally feel like I learned so much. Now, its just about finding the time to synthesise the information, and apply things where needed. I also figured out about 10 different things I wanted to look further into!

It is really great to be able to be a part of a community such as this. I never thought, when I first started this career, over ten years ago, that we would be in a position where we have annual Australian ABA conferences. The field is only growing, and with new opportunities to become a BCBA (through Monash University), the Victorian Department of Education hiring 3 state-wide BCBAs, as well as the Victorian Government providing scholarships for teachers to complete postgraduate study in ABA, we can only continue to expand, from here.

And finally, something that made me smile – applying the principles of ABA, to increase recycling behaviour 😀

Reduce.jpg

A Behaviour Plan to help everyone increase their recycling behaviour, after the conference!


To find out more about the Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia, visit their webpage, http://www.auaba.com.au.

ABA in Australia: Diverse and Relevant… The Second Annual ABAA Conference

Goal Update – September 2017

goals-2017

Can you believe we are at the end of September already! It will be Christmas before we know it! This month, I am checking in with my goals, to see where I am up to.

  1. Obtain my BCaBA.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have obtained my certification to call myself a BCaBA.
    So after some last minute messing around with applications, and dates, I was able to sit at the end of August, and I received my results the other week! I am very happy to say, that after a very long journey, I have obtained my BCaBA! It is very exciting to finally have this certification. Now, to work towards the BCBA! (I’ve already registered for the next class, starting in a week!)
  2. Maintain Client Case Load
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 15 clients.
    Due to some personal changes, and managing my current client case load, I am currently providing services for 10 clients. This is a good amount of day-to-day clients for the time I have, so I am happy with this. I may change the wording of the goal to “no more than 15 day-to-day clients” for my 2018 goal.
  3. Have 75 newsletter subscribers.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 75 people subscribed to my monthly newsletters.
    I have surpassed my goal, and currently have 82 subscribers to my monthly newsletter, with information about what GSBS has been up to, blog posts, and general ABA/Autism/Disability information.
  4. Have 750 “likes” on Facebook.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have 750 ‘likes’ on Facebook.
    Currently reaching 641 people, so getting there!
  5. Have at least 1 poster/presentation at a conference.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have had either a presentation, or a poster, at at least one conference.
    This most likely won’t happen this year 😦 but that’s ok, it’s been a very busy year regardless! I will be attending the ABAA Conference in Sydney, in November, and am currently working with my supervisor to look at presenting some research in 2018, both here, and at the ABAI Conference in San Diego, in May.
  6. Attend at least 2 conferences – 1 ABA, and 1 non-ABA.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have attended at least two conferences – 1 ABA specific, and 1 not ABA specific (Autism, Special Ed etc).
    Registered for the ABAA Conference, and unless I find something local, that is only 1 day, and doesn’t cost the earth, it will most likely be just that one. (Australian conferences are so expensive!)
  7. Participate in 4 journal clubs.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have participated in at least 4 online journal clubs, by responding to at least 3 questions about each article.
    While updating this blog post, it prompted me to get started on my third quarter journal club, so 3/4 so far!
  8. Create fact sheets about common ABA terms/strategies for families, educators etc
    By the end of December 2017, I will have created at least 6 face sheets about common ABA terms/strategies for use by families, therapists, educators etc.
    This is a great goal, but I still haven’t created anything yet! I don’t think I’ll get 6 done (well, 6 good ones done) by the end of the year, but hopefully I can get 1 or 2 done.
Goal Update – September 2017

Know Your Rights! (As a consumer)

 

Know your rights

Working as a behaviour analyst with people with autism and intellectual disabilities, we need to ensure we are putting the needs of the client and their welfare, first and foremost.

Working in a person-centred way involves many different things, but one thing that is essential for someone who chooses to engage a service, either on their own, or with the support of their family and friends, needs to understand what their rights are, as a consumer, and how they can ensure they get their needs met.

Specifically, with the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in action, around Australia, there has been a lot of information provider to both participants and providers about beginning services. It is essential that both participants of services, as well as service providers, are aware of what this information means, for them. Below are a few things that I believe are essential for anyone who is working within the NDIS framework, to be familiar with.

Service Agreements

A service agreement sets out what service will be provided, who for, how long for, how much it will cost, and what the outcomes will be, how you can suspend the service and exit. It is usually provided during initial sessions, and most service providers will have a template they use. As a consumer, and a participant of the NDIS, you are able to make changes where you feel it is needed. Likewise, the provider does not necessarily have to agree to those changes, but you can discuss what you both need, and hopefully come to an agreement that suits both of you.

The NDIS has provided a template for service providers, or participants, if they are self-managing, to use, which is a good starting point.

If you begin a service and you haven’t signed a service agreement, you may find it difficult to know what to expect from the service provider. It is good practice as a service provider to provide this information, up front.

Complaints Process

While this is obviously not the most positive thing to discuss, it is important to know how to make a complaint (and likewise, know how to provide compliments for a job well done!) This should be included in the service agreement, and should provide multiple pathways to have your concerns heard. If you don’t feel comfortable speaking directly to your provider, there are other avenues you can pursue.

Ombudsman

If you need to take your complaint further, you can contact the Commonwealth Ombudsman – http://www.ombudsman.gov.au/. The NDIS is a federal scheme, so you need to contact the Ombudsman responsible for national government agencies.

You can submit information online, and they will be in touch to let you know the next steps. The Ombudsman service is a fair, impartial service, that will help you resolve your concern.

Disability Services Standards

Intertwined with all of this information, are the Disability Service Standards.

“The National Standards for Disability Services (National Standards) will help to promote and drive a nationally consistent approach to improving the quality of services. They focus on rights and outcomes for people with disability. The National Standards were first produced in 1993.”

Australian Government – Department of Social Services

The six standards are:

  1. Rights
  2. Participation and Inclusion
  3. Individual Outcomes
  4. Feedback and Complaints
  5. Service Access
  6. Service Management

More information can be found here.

These six standards need to be considered by any service provider, wishing to provide a service, and as a participant, you should be able to expect a service that ensures those six standards are met.

It is a lot of information to consider, from both a participant, family member or carer, as well as a service provider, but is essential that this information is considered when providing services to vulnerable populations.

Know Your Rights! (As a consumer)

Everyday ABA

Everday ABA

Since I discovered this wonderful thing known as ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis), I have learned so much of what it can do. I was first introduced to it as a therapy for autism, and I had no idea that it was actually a generic science, with much wider applications. It wasn’t until I started my Masters in Special Education, that I understood it better. Moving forward a few more years, and after completing coursework through Florida Institute of Technology’s BCaBA Course Sequence, I have a much better understanding, of how I can apply the principles in my everyday life (see my previous post on sustainability).

I love finding Everyday ABA examples, as it helps me make more sense of the technical terminology. Whether it be when I’m watching TV, or waiting for a plane at the airport, I am always trying to find ways to see the science of ABA in action.

There are a lot of different ways that many people around the world are looking to bring ABA to the wider community.

Why We Do What We Do is a podcast looking at making psychology (and ABA) accessible, to people who aren’t majoring in Psychology!

The Behavioural Insights Team – based in Sydney, run behavioural trials on health systems, tax revenue, and returning to work.

It is great to see some different applications of ABA, particularly in Australia. It provides a lot more options for future BCBAs to participate in!

Everyday ABA

Goal Update – June 2017

goals-2017

Halfway through the year… how are things looking? Time to check in and see how /i am doing!

  1. Obtain my BCaBA.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have obtained my certification to call myself a BCaBA.
    I’ve just finished the last subject. Despite some very recent changes from the Board, I have applied for the August testing period, and am waiting to hear back about being able to test! Either way, almost there. I’m also really enjoying the courses, and finding so many new ways to enhance my current programs and plans.
  2. Maintain Client Case Load
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 15 clients.
    Still holding strong at 15 clients, an still looking to reduce the load further, with some clients exiting, some moving away, or transitioning to different services.
  3. Have 75 newsletter subscribers.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 75 people subscribed to my monthly newsletters.
    Still at 66 subscribers!
  4. Have 750 “likes” on Facebook.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have 750 ‘likes’ on Facebook.
    Currently reaching 635 people, so getting there!
  5. Have at least 1 poster/presentation at a conference.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have had either a presentation, or a poster, at at least one conference.
    Information about ABAA has come out, so I will be having a think about what I want to put together. I have a few things that are extensions of previous research that I should probably put together. Trying to find time, while planning to study, is a bit tricky! (But I think putting a research project together will be a great way TO study, so… :D)
  6. Attend at least 2 conferences – 1 ABA, and 1 non-ABA.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have attended at least two conferences – 1 ABA specific, and 1 not ABA specific (Autism, Special Ed etc).
    Not sure if I will get there! With the additional study, I may not be able to make it to another conference this year. I will most definitely be able to go to at least 1 ABA specific conference. I’ll have to have a look for something.
  7. Participate in 4 journal clubs.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have participated in at least 4 online journal clubs, by responding to at least 3 questions about each article.
    2 down, 2 to go!
  8. Create fact sheets about common ABA terms/strategies for families, educators etc
    By the end of December 2017, I will have created at least 6 face sheets about common ABA terms/strategies for use by families, therapists, educators etc.
    Haven’t done anything formal. I’ve definitely created individualised ones, but am working on what are the main ideas/pieces of information, that would be handy for people to know, about any clients/students of theirs, who are receiving ABA services.
Goal Update – June 2017