Study Time!

I have recently completed another subject at Florida Institute of Technology in my Graduate Certificate of ABA. So preparing for the final exam involved utilising my knowledge and understanding of ABA principles, to help.

The course involves a lot of video-lecture watching, and reading, so I use the Premack Principle, which is essentially a ‘first / then’.

I would set myself up with the ‘first (less preferred)’ task of watching hours of video lectures, and this would lead to the ‘then (highly preferred task)’ of something reinforcing (usually food, or playing with my puppy) ūüôā

I also went a little crazy at Officeworks, purchasing Post It notes of various sizes. I used these to jot down guided notes (of sorts), from the lectures, and from class meeting notes.

Post its

Post It Notes from Office Works in various colours, with study notes on them.

Another of my favourite stores, Kikki K, has a handy A5 study guide sheet, which breaks down the tasks that need to be done, with upcoming assignments, and even a little box, to write in your reinforcer!

All of this study did pay off, as I passed the course! One more to go, before I can sit for my first exam!

If you want to find out more about FIT’s ABA Course, follow the link.

Study Time!

Back to School!

back-to-school

Back to School! For some kids I know, its the first time at school, a change to a new school, or even a move to high school! So many changes, and¬†it’s the time of year people either love¬†or hate, depending on which side of the fence you sit on. And sometimes, you can feel both ways about it!

Going back to school for any child, can be a difficult time. It is a big change in routine, from usually unstructured, leisure-filled days, to highly structured routines of the classroom. In particular, the long summer break, over Christmas and New Years.

It can be particularly difficult for children with additional needs, as it is often a time of new teachers, aides, peers, classrooms, playgrounds, school bags, drink bottles, work expectation… the list could go on!

And while a lot of kids with additional needs thrive on the structure of the classroom, it can still take a while to settle back into the routine and pattern of the day.

So I’ve put together a few tips, mainly for parents, although it would be useful for educators to consider these things that parents might be dealing with. These tips are also relevant for any educational setting (pre-school, through to high school).

Be prepared!

We know there will most likely be an increase in challenging behaviour, sleep, diet, conversation Рwhen school starts up. Even if you have done this for the past 10 years and that amount of school holidays, it is still a struggle for some kids. Provide a bit of structure, using a visual schedule, or a weekly schedule overview, so the child knows what to prepare for.

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Visual Schedule for personal care.

Provide ‘down time’

First few weeks back will be a lot for your the child to adjust to. Make sure you give them time to ‘have a break’ and do the things they love to do. It’s still hot out, so going to the pool or splashing through the sprinkler in the backyard with very few demands, will give the child an opportunity to regroup after a long day at school.

rx-istock-179763623_water_lawn_hose-end_sprinkler_h-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-966-725
Run through the sprinkler!

Keep Consistency!

It might be good to keep consistency with therapists and professionals working with the child. The child will know the expectations from the therapist, and will help provide a bit more of that “routine” they’re used to. Plus,¬†they’re handy to have a chat to, if you need some suggestions to help the child with this transition back to school.

So just a few tips to help with that transition period of going back to school. Again, even though school holidays happen fairly frequently, and the child may have been at school for many years, it is still a big change and difference in their daily life, so try and communicate the changes as best as possible with the child.

Back to School!

2017 Goals

goals-2017

After setting goals for 2016, and having them keep me fairly accountable, I have come up with some more goals for 2017 – and learned a few things from last year’s goals, as well.

  1. Obtain my BCaBA.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have obtained my certification to call myself a BCaBA.
    I am registered for my next subject at FIT (and am currently very excited to start, we’ll see how long that lasts!), and am all good for supervision hours. Hopefully sitting the exam in August!
  2. Maintain Client Case Load
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 15 clients.
    I currently have a maximum of 15 clients, and will want to ensure I still have 15 clients throughout the year.
  3. Have 100 newsletter subscribers.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have at least 100 people subscribed to my monthly newsletters.
    I send out monthly newsletters, that just have a little bit of information about what we’ve been up to each month. Hopefully a few more people will want to find out.
  4. Have 750 “likes” on Facebook.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have 750 ‘likes’ on Facebook.
    Again, using Facebook to share information that is hopefully relevant to a few people, and having a few more “likers” will allow me to reach more people.
  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’m aiming for just one presentation/poster because two is a lot of work, and if I am studying, it’s going to be a little harder!
  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 want to attend a few conferences, and want to spread them out so they aren’t just all ABA ones (as much as I love them!)
  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’ve started a little journal club with a few colleagues of mine, where we read one journal article every 3 months, with an ABA theme, and have discussion questions we can chat about.
  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 something I’ve wanted to do for a while with my families, so all the information is on one place. Hopefully leading to an app as well!
  9. Complete my first aid and CPR.
    By the end of December 2017, I will have completed my first aid course, and be CPR certified.
    I need to renew this, so figured I should add it to my goals because I have to do it anyway!

So there we go. I think these are a little less ambitious than last year’s but that is what I have learned to do! Also, given that I will be studying for 3/4 of the year as well… it’s probably safer to keep smaller, more manageable goals.

I’ll check in every 3 months, to see how things are going!

 

 

 

2017 Goals

End of the Year!

jpg-goals-2016

Review of my 2016 goals – How did I go? ūüėģ

Well, to be honest I think what would have been completed, would have already been covered in previous posts, not much will have changed in the last 3 months, but we’ll have a look anyway!

Original goals can be found here.

Goals for 2016

1. Obtain my Behaviour qualification.

By the end of June 2016, I will have completed two more subjects through Florida Institute of Institute.

By the end of June 2016, I will have completed my 50 supervised hours of experience.

By the end of August 2016, I will have sat the required exam, and eagerly be awaiting my results!

Sadly, this did not happen in 2016. However, I have registered for my next subject to begin in Jan 2017, and watch this space for my goals for 2017 ūüėÄ

2. Become a registered provider under NDIS services.

By the end of December 2016, Great Start Behaviour Services will be registered through the NDIS to provide at least one service support.

Done! I am still currently registered for 3 areas, waiting on 3 more. Will hopefully be able to do that over the Dec/Jan period.

3. Attend and participate in at least two ABA conferences.

By the end of December 2016, I will have attended two different ABA based conferences, and participated either by: presenting a poster, presenting a paper, or asking a question, at each conference.

Done! I attended ABAI in Chicago, in May, and presented a poster, and then the first ever AABA conference in Melbourne, in September, and presented some of my parent training work!

4. Continue on with my supervision through my BCBA Supervisor.

By the end of December 2016, I will have completed the required 75 hours of supervision for my behaviour qualification, as well as the 1500 hours required field work experience.

Done! I definitely have my 1500¬†hours for my BCBA! Just don’t have the BCBA yet! Will be continuing on with my supervisor in 2017.

5. Continue to read at least two journal articles a month, in the field of ABA, but not specifically Autism related.

By the end of December 2016, I will read at least two journal articles a month, and comment about each article on Twitter.

By February 2016, I will subscribe to JABA, to find relevant articles.

I did not meet this first goal. I think I was a bit too ambitious with a) reading 2 articles a month ūüėõ and b) commenting about it. I did start a journal club with some colleagues though, and we have successfully completed read and discussed two articles, with another one schedule for the first quarter of 2017! I’ll need to rejig this for 2017. I did subscribe to JABA, and will do again in 2017.

6. Continue to disseminate information about ABA, to non-behaviour people.

By the end of December 2016, I will have presented at least two workshops for people interested in learning about behaviour.

By the end of December 2016, I will have shared at least 12 posts about ABA on GSBS Facebook page.

By the end of December 2016, I will have used the hashtag #EverydayABA, at least twelve times, to promote and inform how behaviour occurs in our daily lives.

Unfortunately the workshops were unable to happen. I did however do a separate behaviour/positive teaching workshop, twice this year, but not exactly what I meant by that first goal ūüėÄ (still an excellent workshop though!)

The Faceboook posts and #EverydayABA tag were achieved!

7. Attend and participate in online ABA chats.

By the end of December 2016, I will have attended at least two online chats, and made at last 5 comments on Twitter.

You’d think this would be easy, as I could do it from anywhere, but I’m terrible at time differences. However that is no longer an excuse either, as the good twitter people have found ways to keep people engaged in chats! Will need to revise my goal for 2017, to make it more achievable.

8. Volunteer my time to at least two different organisations (not necessarily ABA/behaviour).

By the end of December 2016, I will have volunteered with two different organisations, including at least 10 hours a month, towards these organisations.

By the end of January 2016, I will volunteer with at least one organisation. (A Global Voice for Autism).

By the end of June 2016, I will have volunteered with at least two organisations. (As above, and The Pyjama Foundation or The Association for Science in Autism Treatment).

As with a few other goals, I think I was overly ambitious! I currently am still volunteering with AGVFA, however I haven’t done much recently! Definitely want to continue on in some capacity in 2017.

9. Provide services to more clients in Sydney/Central Coast.

By the end of December 2016, I will have provided services through GSBS, to at least five new clients.

I currently have 15 clients, and have had to put a hold on accepting new clients, until around March 2017.

10. Meet new behaviour analyst people!

By the end of December 2016, I will have met and discussed behaviour analytical discussions, with at least 3 behaviour analysts, around the worldūüėČ

I definitely did meet plenty of new Behaviour people at the AABA conference! I even met up with one in Adelaide for dinner when I was there!
All up, a really great year! Lots of unexpected changes, and so many new things happening, with many more exciting things to come. 
Thanks for sticking by me, and supporting me ūüôā
End of the Year!

3/4 of the year done – how am I doing?

September is finishing up, and that takes us to 3/4 of the year gone! Time for another goals update! Original Goals Post can be found here. The goals are on this page in the blue colour

Goals for 2016

1. Obtain my Behaviour qualification.

By the end of June 2016, I will have completed two more subjects through Florida Institute of Institute.

By the end of June 2016, I will have completed my 50 supervised hours of experience.

By the end of August 2016, I will have sat the required exam, and eagerly be awaiting my results!

Unfortunately, I have been unsuccessful in reaching this goal. A few different things have cropped up throughout the year, and this will not be happening in 2016. However, lots of changes happening in 2017, which will hopefully open up the possibility to continue.

The good news is, a sub-goal of this (50 hours supervision) has been completed!

2. Become a registered provider under NDIS services.

By the end of December 2016, Great Start Behaviour Services will be registered through the NDIS to provide at least one service support.

Done! (Well, it was completed last time I checked in), but I now am working with a few NDIS clients.

3. Attend and participate in at least two ABA conferences.

By the end of December 2016, I will have attended two different ABA based conferences, and participated either by: presenting a poster, presenting a paper, or asking a question, at each conference.

Done! I attended ABAI in Chicago in May, and presented a poster, and just this past weekend, attended AABA in Melbourne, and presented information about our parent training section of our programs.

While this is a wonderful goal to have, I think, I will need to limit it in future years. It takes a lot of extra time to plan, prepare, and evaluate research, and can be a bit overwhelming, but I’m glad I did it!

4. Continue on with my supervision through my BCBA Supervisor.

By the end of December 2016, I will have completed the required 75 hours of supervision for my behaviour qualification, as well as the 1500 hours required field work experience.

On track, not sure if I will have the 75 hours completed, but still plugging away!

5. Continue to read at least two journal articles a month, in the field of ABA, but not specifically Autism related.

By the end of December 2016, I will read at least two journal articles a month, and comment about each article on Twitter.

By February 2016, I will subscribe to JABA, to find relevant articles.

I have subscribed to JABA, and actually read a few articles from there, but have not commented on twitter. I did however, start an online journal club, with a reasonably interested start!

6. Continue to disseminate information about ABA, to non-behaviour people.

By the end of December 2016, I will have presented at least two workshops for people interested in learning about behaviour.

By the end of December 2016, I will have shared at least 12 posts about ABA on GSBS Facebook page.

By the end of December 2016, I will have used the hashtag #EverydayABA, at least twelve times, to promote and inform how behaviour occurs in our daily lives.

As stated in a previous blog, I will not be able to present any workshops this year, but I am currently at 11 posts with the hashtag #EverydayABA.

7. Attend and participate in online ABA chats.

By the end of December 2016, I will have attended at least two online chats, and made at last 5 comments on Twitter.

As I am writing this, I realised #ABAChat is happening on twitter now! But it is a slow response chat, where we can contribute over time! So I will need to get onto that.

8. Volunteer my time to at least two different organisations (not necessarily ABA/behaviour).

By the end of December 2016, I will have volunteered with two different organisations, including at least 10 hours a month, towards these organisations.

By the end of January 2016, I will volunteer with at least one organisation. (A Global Voice for Autism).

By the end of June 2016, I will have volunteered with at least two organisations. (As above, and The Pyjama Foundation or The Association for Science in Autism Treatment).

As mentioned in a previous post, I overestimated myself here, and will only be able to volunteer at one additional organisation at this stage, and have done so, with A Global Voice for Autism.

9. Provide services to more clients in Sydney/Central Coast.

By the end of December 2016, I will have provided services through GSBS, to at least five new clients.

Definitely met this goal! I currently am working with 11 families across Sydney and Newcastle. (9 new ones!)

10. Meet new behaviour analyst people!

By the end of December 2016, I will have met and discussed behaviour analytical discussions, with at least 3 behaviour analysts, around the world¬†ūüėČ

I am not sure exactly how to measure this (probably needs to be written as a behavioural objective, with much more detail!) but I have definitely had discussions with at least 2 specific people who are interested in understanding more about ABA. Plus, the numerous discussions with colleagues about the science of ABA, and dissemination.


So there we go, not too bad for 3/4 of the way through the year. I don’t think I will meet some of the additional goals, but it is good food for thought for 2017 goals!¬†

3/4 of the year done – how am I doing?

Mid Year Review :D

I realised it is half way through the year already! In some ways, it has gone so quickly, in other ways, I can’t believe it is already July. I know I sound redundant saying that, and everyone always says that, but it really does feel strange!

I am up to my “mid year review” of how I am going with my goals, kind of like what I do with programs with clients! So, lets see how I am going…

The post with goals I developed at the beginning of the year, can be found here –¬†just for reference ūüôā

1. Obtain my Behaviour qualification.

I have yet to make a move on my first goal ūüė¶ Many different circumstances have prevented me from being able to start the next course for my coursework. I am hoping to be able to do this for the last quarter of 2016, if not, then 2017 will have to be the case!

2. Become a registered provider under NDIS services.

I am registered! Great Start Behaviour Services is registered to provide services in three domains:
– Behaviour Support
– Therapeutic Supports
– Assist Integration to Educational Settings

3. Attend and participate in at least two ABA conferences.

I am halfway there! I attended ABAI in Chicago at the end of May, and learned a lot. I am attending the inaugural Association for Behaviour Analysis Australia Conference in Melbourne, in September. I also am tossing up whether or not to go to the NZABA Conference in Auckland at the end of August. I think the presentations will be quite interesting, and it will be nice to see some organised, proactive ABA supporters, from within the Pacific.

4. Continue on with my supervision through my BCBA Supervisor.

Still continuing on! In fact, I had supervision this morning, and am currently at 51/75 hours!

5. Continue to read at least two journal articles a month, in the field of ABA, but not specifically Autism related.

I don’t have specific data on this, and I honestly don’t think I have done this. I definitely do not have the comments on Twitter to back up my reading of these! I will need to identify 2 articles for the month of July.

6. Continue to disseminate information about ABA, to non-behaviour people.

According to my goals, I have used the #EverydayABA hashtag on twitter at least 12 times, to share information about ABA.

I will most likely be unable to run separate workshops in 2016, providing information about ABA, but will definitely move that goal over to 2017! In fact, I applied for a grant to provide parent / carer workshops, on basic principles of ABA and understanding functions of behaviour, for South West Sydney.

7. Attend and participate in online ABA chats.

I haven’t done any of these! In fact, I don’t think I’ve seen any chats for awhile. I need to look into when the next one will happen on twitter, or if people want to have another one!

8. Volunteer my time to at least two different organisations (not necessarily ABA/behaviour).

I am still volunteering with A Global Voice for Autism, and I think that will have to be it this year. I would love to do the externship with the Association for Science Treatment in Autism, but I think I will need to wait until I’ve finished my BCBA!

9. Provide services to more clients in Sydney/Central Coast.

I have met this goal! I currently am providing services to 7 clients (8 by the end of next week!), and I started with 2 at the beginning of this year! (Granted one of them is not technically “brand new” – I have worked with the family previously, but still!)

10. Meet new behaviour analyst people!

I actually met a very lovely lady, who is very new to ABA, and is also a Mum, who is very enthusiastic, just this week! It’s always great to meet like-minded, ABA supporters!

Not too bad. I’m tracking through a few goals, and even have 2 goals met! And it’s only halfway through the year – seems like there is still plenty of time! Although I’m sure I won’t be saying that, come October!

Mid Year Review :D

Checking in!

I can’t believe it is already April! 3 months in to 2016, and where are we?

Well, somewhere I thought I’d be, but also didn’t think I’d be. As of this week, I am dedicating 100% of my working time to GSBS! A bit of a daunting task, but an exciting one, and the timing could not have been better.

I thought I’d start with checking in with my goals. I had a reminder come up on my phone (visual prompts :D) so I figured I’d better do this today.

goals review

So I’m a few days late with posting this, but things have been so busy! This is in relation to the goals I developed¬†at the beginning of the year.

1. Obtain my Behaviour qualification.

I am registering for the next subject at FIT next week, so I’m moving towards it!

2. Become a registered provider under NDIS services.

I have one more piece to add to more registration before I send it off, and we will see how we go. I aim to do this by the end of April. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll be registered, but I’ll be on my way.

3. Attend and participate in at least two ABA conferences.

I’m headed to the ABAI Conference in Chicago in May, and am planning to go to the AABA conference in Melbourne in September!

4. Continue on with my supervision through my BCBA Supervisor.

I’m currently a little more than halfway (42 hours of out 75 hours)!

5. Continue to read at least two journal articles a month, in the field of ABA, but not specifically Autism related.

I haven’t really been up to date with this. I have been reading the articles, but not commenting on them.

I did subscribe to JABA though, and am starting a journal club, so I will aim to comment on one this month, on Twitter/Facebook.

6. Continue to disseminate information about ABA, to non-behaviour people.

While I haven’t done any workshops specifically related to this. I have managed to explain the idea that ABA is much more than teaching children with autism, in intensive home programs, at two of the workshops I have done this year.

7. Attend and participate in online ABA chats.

I haven’t participated in an online ABA chats. There is a journal club with Hawaii Association for Behavior Analysis, but I think it is on at a bad time for me with the time difference!

8. Volunteer my time to at least two different organisations (not necessarily ABA/behaviour).

I may have to revisit this goal, as I am finding myself very busy. I have been volunteering with A Global Voice for Autism since October 2015, and am continuing to do so.

I want to do the Association for Science in Autism Treatment Externship Program, but I don’t think I have time for it this year.

9. Provide services to more clients in Sydney/Central Coast.

Well this one is almost done! I am providing services to 4 new clients. I am pretty sure I will be adding 1 more shortly!

10. Meet new behaviour analyst people!

Not yet, but hopefully when I am in Chicago, I will be able to meet up with a few people!

So, I think I’m doing pretty well. I have a bit more time now to ensure I am able to do all the things I want to do, and spend time doing these things.

Having the specific goals makes it much easier to track my progress! I should really be graphing my progress as well ūüėõ

 

Checking in!