A Guarantee

There are a lot of things in life that are not guaranteed. I will make you these guarantees: 

  1. If you fully participate in your child’s learning program, they will do better.
  2. If you change the way you react to your child’s behavior, they will change the way they act.

How can I make these guarantees? It’s easy, the clients that I have seen have the most success are those with parents that implemented these two principles. The parents didn’t make us “shelf-help.” You know, that book you buy that just sits on the shelf. ABA wasn’t a particular time; it was all the time. They were willing to push their child to succeed. They were willing to and did provide us with the materials, the reinforcers, and their own time to ensure this happened. 

Much like your child’s teacher, love parents that want their child to be successful and are willing to make it happen. So, what can you do to help your child be successful?

  1. Take a more active role. 
    • Learn the treatment plan. If you don’t know what your child is working on, that’s a problem. You should be able to implement the plan when we are not present. You should also be able to tell if your child is working on a new task or a maintenance task by the level of reinforcement presented.
    • Do the Family Consultation. This isn’t a time for us to go over how your child is doing in their learning programs. This is a time for learning on your part, but with goals set to benefit your child. 
    • Schedule Team Meetings. This is when all members of your child’s team come together to discuss progress. We talk about what is working best for your child and we make changes based on this information. You are the Chair of this meeting and your BCBA is your assistant. 
  2. Learn about applied behavior analysis (ABA). I cannot say this enough… “ABA is a lifestyle change.” It impacts the way you see and do everything. Once you learn about the principles in the science of ABA and how to successfully implement them, you will see the world in a different way. 
  3. Get those materials. It can be difficult at best, but mostly impossible to teach anything without materials. That’s why we list the materials needed in your treatment plan. Think of it like this… You want me to teach your child how to fold clothes, but don’t provide me with the clothing. How much progress towards that goal do you think your child is going to make?
  4. Provide reinforcers. People learn through reinforcement, not punishment. Reinforcers are something we are able to provide to improve the chances of a behavior (we want to see) happening again. If you are not sure about an item being a reinforcer, speak to your BCBA. 
  5. Give your child your time. Many people feel that they don’t have enough hours in the day. Trust me, I get that. To your child, your time is the most important thing. You can do this in several ways. Start with seeing #1 above, then move on to things like spending time with your child by playing games or other things they enjoy.

I know parents who cried when their services were finished. Their children progressed to a point where direct ABA services were no longer need by a professional. This is the goal for all of our clients. How did they do it? By implementing the list above. You don’t need to implement all of these today. Start with one of these today and next month, add on something new. 

Remember: Change doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process. Your child’s growth towards independence is what you would like to see. So, help it happen.

What to do with all these applicants?

As mentioned in a previous blog post, we received over 80 resumes in for a handful of positions in DC, MD, and VA (at the time the blog was posted it was 70).We thought long and hard about what to do with the additional resumes. Many of the people who applied were more than qualified and were very eager to start. They had a variety of background experiences and we really didn’t want this pool of potential staff members to just disappear as many parents have often told me that they can’t find potential staff members for their program. So what were we to do?

Firstly, we created a new blog site to post new job announcements for the people who had sent in their resumes. This provided us with a central location to have potential staff members look for positions without us needing to constantly email all of them and potentially having our emails marked as spam. Current staff members will continue to be notified via our staff newsletter about open positions.

Secondly, we created a Potential Behavioral Technicians page on the Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC homepage. The address to the new page is https://bdshelps.com/Pages/BehTechs.aspx. On Thursday, August 16, 2012 the Human Resources Department sent an email requesting an information update from all persons who previously applied for a position. As these updates are received from the applicants, they will update the information that is posted on the page. Parents, if you are interested in having a potential applicant join your team you may feel free to contact the Human Resources Department at HR@BDSHelps.com or 240-355-0834.

As a reminder, all staff members must complete our 4 basic training classes before beginning with a client. Additionally, with each new client there is training specific to their individualized program. All Behavioral Technicians also received ongoing training and supervision.

If you have any questions about this correspondence, please feel free to contact our offices at Info@BDSHelps.com or give us a call at 240-355-0834.

Sincerely,

Barbara Erby

President

Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC

www.BDSHelps.com

I Have Some Questions for You…

My clients are important to me. Each one of them is like my own child. As I sat at my desk one day working on a program for one of my children, I realized something very important… If I provide a service that my clients don’t need, then they won’t use it and if my clients need a service that I don’t provide, then they won’t call me. So, I am asking everyone that I know to complete a very short survey to help improve the services that we offer.

 

Thank you in advanced for your assistance,

Barbara Erby

Education & Behavioral Consultant

Website: https://bdshelps.com

Survey: http://ow.ly/a8wrG

 

Grades

The school year is now in full swing. So… Do you know what your student’s grades look like? Don’t wait until report cards are sent home. Take some time now to review your child’s grades. Determine if they are in need of any extra assistance and get it for them.

By addressing any lacking skills sets early, you enable your child to catch up and stay current with their glass and their school work. You also save your child (and yourself) lots of frustration Additionally, there is the potential to improve your child’s self-esteem when they are able to answer questions in class and complete their work on their own.

 
Let’s keep moving towards the best school year ever!
Barbara Erby, MS

Education & Behavioral Consultant

Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC

 

Barbara Erby is an Education & Behavioral Consultant with Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC. Barbara received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Bowie State University in 1999 and a Master of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Educational Psychology and an emphasis in Developmental Psychology from Capella University in 2004. Ms. Erby has worked with a variety of students in the school, home, and community environments as a Direct Care Worker, Family Trainer, and an Education & Behavioral Consultant.

… And you are here because?

Nothing contributes so much to tranquillize the mind as a steady purpose – a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye.
~Mary Shelley

Successful businesses utilize business plans. Schools have curriculum and Individualized Education Plans to guide them. So, what does a home and community based team use? We have Treatment Plans.

Each of these plans guide the team using them towards success by providing a clear and focused mission statements, goals, and objectives. They should all have some type of accountability and measurable outcomes while providing a purpose for the actions that we engage in on a daily basis.

We are going to start today by working on YOUR mission within your child’s learning program (or life). Wait… You thought that I was going to talk about the Treatment Plans? Not today – that’s a topic for a later date and time. Today, I want to know who is it that YOU want to be to your child. What purpose do you want to serve in their home program or in their life? By knowing about this, you can have a better impact on their Treatment Plan. Think of all of the positive things that you want to be for your child. These don’t have to be attributes that you have at the moment, but can also be things that you would like to develop later.

 

Barbara Erby, MS

Education & Behavioral Consultant

Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC

 

Barbara Erby is an Education & Behavioral Consultant with Breakthrough Developmental Services, LLC. Barbara received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Bowie State University in 1999 and a Master of Science in Psychology with a specialization in Educational Psychology and an emphasis in Developmental Psychology from Capella University in 2004. Ms. Erby has worked with a variety of students in the school, home, and community environments as a Direct Care Worker, Family Trainer, and an Education & Behavioral Consultant.