Photo source: ww.giphy.com, www.turning-point.org




“Well, the parents on this case are a bit….high maintenance
“You definitely need thick skin to work with this mother”
“You have experience dealing with…very involved parents right?”

If you're an ABA professional, then you probably know what I mean by the phrase “That Parent”. You have been warned about those kinds of families in hushed tones, or directly felt their wrath somewhere in your career experience.

Who loves honesty? Yup, me too. So let’s honestly describe what is meant by the hushed and frantic whispers about THAT parent. 

The parents are/A parent is:

  •  Difficult to please and/or very picky
  •  Quick to complain, criticize, belittle, or insult 
  • SUPER vocal, opinionated, and in-your-face assertive
  •  Overly involved in the therapy process
  •  Frequently talks over you, or talks for so long you forget the point you were going to make
  •  Demanding (if you don’t respond to their email fast enough they start texting you)
  •  Slow with praise or compliments
  •  If there is a chain of command, they never follow it. Any small grievance gets immediately reported to the top of the company 
  •  Habitually speaks in an agitated or annoyed tone of voice (always seems upset)

Is this description ringing any bells?  

Over the years, I’ve had multiple experiences dealing with THAT parent. Some experiences were very brief, usually because the parents abruptly stopped services. Other experiences seemed to stretch out like stars against the night sky, and every day with them felt like 1,000 years.

Back in the day I used to approach these types of parents with a queasy stomach, sweaty palms, and a lovely tension headache whenever I was in their presence. They made me nervous, made me stammer over my words, or worse, left me angrily rehearsing unspoken conversations in my head of what I should have said, or how I should have responded. And of course, nothing like THAT parent to make you feel wholly incompetent and like a disgrace to your field.

Fast forward to today as I have a few things I didn’t have back then: perspective, increased maturity, and a munchkin of my own. As a munchkin wrangler, do I now understand what it’s like to be a 24-7 advocate for a child with Autism? No. Do I know what it’s like to navigate IEP’s, special education laws, inclusion classrooms, and the like? No. Have I nearly gone into bankruptcy trying to get my little one all the therapies she needs that insurance *coincidentally* won’t cover? Nope. BUT, I can only imagine what going through all of that might do to my awesome, bubbly personality. ;-)

And now we have reached my point: There is nothing wrong with being THAT parent. Not only is there nothing wrong with it, we ALL have the potential to be That parent when it comes to our children.

Even the most sweet, gentle, Happy Happy-Joy Joy parents that I work with have stories to tell me about that “one time” they acted like THAT parent. They ashamedly, or with clearly false bravado, tell me about the time they yelled at their child’s teacher, said the F word in an IEP meeting, or made the ABA therapist cry. 

For the most part, THAT parent doesn’t enjoy behaving the way they sometimes behave. They are not out to get you, and do not actually despise you. They are not intentionally trying to make your job harder, trying to get you fired, or trying to make you look bad. Actually it’s the opposite: they are more concerned about their child than about you.
 If fighting for what their child needs means you get yanked off a case, or receive regular 2 a.m. emails from them, or you have to spend 4 hours rewriting the behavior plan they didn’t like, then so be it. 

When dealing with THAT parent, it’s helpful to take a step back and switch out THAT for This:

  • This parent did not ask to be in the position they are in
  •  This parent may lack a strong support system that also gives them honest feedback on their behavior 
  •  This parent may be having marriage problems
  •  This parent may be dealing with emotional or mental health issues
  •  This parent may still be carrying guilt about previous experiences where they did NOT speak up
  • This parent may feel resentful that you can help their child in ways that they can’t
  • This parent may not have slept in days because they stay up nights worrying about their child’s future


My advice for navigating the choppy waters around THAT parent is to choose empathy over offense, to tackle problems/conflict head on and respectfully, and to know when to back off. By “back off”, I mean know when to say “Well then I can’t help you”. 

Part of being an ethical professional is being able to assess when you are not adding value to someone’s situation. If the working relationship has become more about misunderstandings and heated conversations, then how is that helping the individual receiving services? It really has nothing to do with someone being THAT parent: if what you bring to the table is not seen as valuable to the parents/family, then get out of the way for someone else who could potentially be a better fit.




Photo source: http://cogop.org, http://www.babasouk.ca

So excited to introduce a new resource, this one is targeted specifically to parents pursuing ABA therapy for their child.

I regularly talk with people who are seeking ABA therapists, have questions about what ABA therapy entails, or have been waiting and waiting for therapy services to begin and are curious if they should be doing something while waiting (the answer to that is always yes).

Since I am so incredibly brilliant, it only took a few hundred times of this happening before it occurred to me that perhaps creating a parent resource aimed at answering the most common questions would be helpful? Yes. I think it will be quite helpful.

If you are a parent currently in some stage of pursuing ABA therapy, this resource will help you:
  • Finally get a straight and simple answer about what ABA therapy is
  • Learn what to do about problem behavior, right now
  • Learn how to help your child catch up developmentally, right now
  • Identify (and avoid) the low quality or unethical therapy providers out there
  • Increase your understanding of ABA & "ABA speak", in preparation for working with a team of ABA professionals

However, this resource won't just help parents. For my fellow ABA professionals, this resource can help you:
  • Design/implement a parent training or parent resource to give to families currently on your waiting list
  • Identify the top questions or concerns most parents have when initiating ABA therapy
  • Clearly and plainly teach parents about Behavior Management, and Skill Acquisition

Click here to visit my Shop and purchase this new resource!

Photo source: www.peacefulplaygrounds.com, www.speechbuddy.com

 Here is a scenario I encounter on a regular basis with the clients I serve:
After receiving a diagnosis of ASD the parents receive a list of recommendations about what to do next. Things like speech therapy, occupational therapy, special needs school settings, and early intervention/ABA therapy are almost always on that list.

Invariably, there is a small problem. Due to the intensive nature of ABA therapy (especially if its provided in an early intervention context) the parent soon realizes they have to make a choice. Should the child be enrolled in a local preschool? Or should the child receive several hours of therapy per day? Which one is “best”?

I see so many parents facing this dilemma, without the needed information to make a decision. Obviously no matter what they choose there will be pros and cons, but I like to help people make informed decisions as much as possible. So if you were my client, what follows is what I would typically say :-)

  1. Is it really Either/Or? – I have worked with families who were able to enroll their child into a part time preschool setting, which allowed for plenty of time each week for therapy. I have also seen many scenarios where the preschool/daycare allowed the therapists to enter the classroom, to fully maximize therapy hours. So before moving straight to making a choice, find out if a compromise is possible.
  2. Pros of preschool/daycare option- The main benefit of placing a child with a developmental delay in a setting with their peers, is socio-emotional development. The child is learning to socialize with peers, seeing how typically developing children play/talk/behave, and learning to receive instruction from adults other than mom and dad. For many of my clients, the daycare/preschool setting is also their first experience with following a schedule/having routine in their day. However, the biggest issue I see is the appropriateness of the preschool setting. If the setting is not conducive to catching the child up developmentally, then it’s pretty similar to just sticking a plant in a room full of toddlers.
  3. Pros of intensive therapy option- The main benefit of pursuing intensive therapy  (intensive usually means 20 hours per week or more) is overall development and skill acquisition. Pursuing a rigorous therapy schedule means that the core deficits the child is exhibiting will be clinically evaluated and treated, as well as reducing or replacing problem behaviors that impede learning. Also, part of intensive therapy is parent training, which is priceless for most families. Having a team of professionals help you learn how to better engage, teach, or correct the behavior of your child can be life- changing. However, working with a therapist 1:1 cannot compare with the social opportunities provided in a classroom. While social opportunities can be embedded into treatment, often it’s not as varied or frequent as what the child would get at school. Add to that, many of my clients just feel very strongly that they want their child to have the same option of a school experience as any other child.

Clearly, this isn’t a decision to make lightly. 
With different clients, I give different recommendations about which option would be “best”. There is no way to make a blanket statement about what all young children with Autism need the most, as far as treatment.


Making this decision should involve the child’s treatment team, include observation of the classroom the child would be placed in, as well as careful review of the yearly learning objectives for that classroom. 
By the end of the year, what skills will the child have gained? How will skills be taught? Does the classroom teacher have experience/training on ASD or behavior management? What is the school policy on addressing challenging behavior? These are just a few examples of the kind of questions the preschool/daycare should be able to answer.


*Free Resource: This simple handout can be very helpful to evaluate your local preschool options and decide if they can offer the support your child needs. Unfortunately, you may find that your local options are severely lacking or inadequate. In that case, intensive therapy may need to be pursued. Placing a developmentally delayed child in a school setting that cannot appropriately support them could waste precious time, or possibly worsen/create challenging behaviors.



Photo source: www.pinterest.com, http://blog.kevineikenberry.com

*Recommended Post: 3 Step Prompting

This post is really about 2 issues, but I almost always see them done at the same time: stating instructions over and over, and delivering utterly non-concise instructions.

There is almost a quizzical cause and effect thing going on, where the more times the parent delivers the instruction to the child the more and more unclear the instruction becomes. I’ll give you an example:
(parent is trying to get child to touch a flashcard)-->“Okay Nicholas, touch the frog…..Come on, touch the frog….Hey—are you looking? Nicholas……Nicholas?....Nicholas!.....Nicholas, touch the frog…..Look, the green FROG right here……Just touch it…..” etc., etc.

I promise I am not exaggerating, I saw an exchange very similar to this just this week. These 2 issues that I will really boil down to 1 issue (stating non-concise instructions over and over), are extremely non- helpful whether your child has Autism or not.
An individual with communication delays (receptive or expressive) is not likely to respond well when instructions come at them too quickly, in a jumble of other words, or without any prompting to help them understand what they are supposed to do. Children with communication delays or impairments can struggle to comprehend language spoken to them, understand abstract words/terms, make inferences, read facial expressions, and respond appropriately to spoken language.

Since most of my client base consists of children with pervasive communication deficits, one of the first things I work on teaching parents is how to deliver a concise instruction. This seems like something that should be common knowledge, right? I disagree. I think most of what ABA professionals do is not common knowledge to the average parent, so it’s important to take the time to explain these concepts and strategies that we love to implement.

There are a few common objections that I almost always hear from a parent when we start working on this issue:
Objection #1- “But what if s/he didn’t hear me the first time?”
Objection #2-“But I KNOW s/he can do this, so I just keep asking”
Objection #3- “S/he doesn’t respond unless I yell/get “firm”.

My lovely rebuttals to these objections:
Rebuttal #1- Many of the families I work with tell me during our first meeting that they actually had their child’s hearing evaluated, because it truly seemed that the child had hearing loss. Definitely, make sure your child’s hearing is working normally. But lots of my clients can ignore people so well that it seems like something must be wrong with their ears (their ears are fine).
Rebuttal #2- How do I know what you know? By what you show me. If you show me inconsistent behavior, then I cannot say with certainty what you know. In the absence of consistency, I have to treat the behavior like an unlearned skill.
Rebuttal #3- I usually respond to this by reminding the parent that I don’t have to yell, get aggressive, or anything else like that to get their child to comply (and if I did, they should fire me immediately!). Do you think the child’s teacher has to yell? What about their nanny? What about their speech therapist? I hope not, because that’s a lot of yelling :-)  What this objection is actually saying, is that the child has been conditioned over time to know that mom/dad are not serious, and do not mean business unless they get angry and threatening. The goal is for the child to know you mean business wayyy before that point.


Now that you thoroughly understand how NOT to give instructions, let’s jump into what I mean by Show & Not Tell.

A little trick I like to teach to parents is that when they give an instruction, start a mental countdown clock. Example: “Tameika, go brush your teeth (1….2….3)”. Once the clock in your head has counted to 3, this means it’s time to move from Telling to Showing. Does that sound radical, impatient, or worse? How long do you think teachers give your child to respond? Or a friend on the playground? You don’t want to unrealistically teach your child that its ok to respond to a question the 4th or 5th time the person asks it.

Let me back up just a bit, and repeat the original instruction: “Tameika, go brush your teeth”. This is a concise instruction. It tells the child what to do using simple and clear words. Now that a full concise instruction has been given, there is no need to repeat it. That’s right, once you have given the concise instruction you want to only use less language. Why? You want to make it clear to the child that you do not have to repeat yourself, you know they heard you, and that ignoring instructions does not gain more of your attention. I know parents don’t intend to do this, but amping up your reaction after your child starts ignoring you is actually giving them WAY more attention for ignoring you, than for listening to you.

The next (and shorter) instruction should be combined with some type of prompt. Remember, inconsistently correct behavior is still inconsistent behavior. Show the child what they need to do, and don’t assume they already know.
You may have noticed something else about the Show & Not Tell: it’s faster. Have you ever used a timer or stopwatch to see how much of your day you spend telling your child to do something over and over? Well, I have. I do it at work all the time :-)  Most parents don’t realize how much time is wasted when each instruction is given 5 or 6 times before the child responds. Buckets and buckets of time. Do you have buckets and buckets of time to waste? I doubt it.

Want a handy -dandy example of all of this in motion? Here you go:

“Tameika, clean up these blocks”
Clear, simple language. Use the fewest words necessary for the child to understand. Gain their attention before you give the instruction. Once you say the instruction, start your mental clock.
(Approach the child and use some level of prompting to SHOW them what to do) “Clean up”
Remain cool and calm. Use less words than you did the first time. Move in quickly to provide assistance/a prompt. Assistance does not equal completely allowing the child to get out of following the instruction.
(Move quickly through the prompting to get the task completed. Make a brief and neutral statement at the end) “You cleaned up/This is cleaning up/All done with blocks”
Continue to remain cool and calm. Avoid lectures or reprimands about how the child does not listen. Use short, simple words. IF the child had complied right away they would have received praise and/or reinforcement, so at this point provide neither.


*Resources:

Kennedy Krieger Institute article about teaching ASD children

Photo source: www.saveonphone.com, www.sunflower.k12.ms.us 

When parents make that initial phone call or send that initial email to inquire about starting ABA therapy, there tend to be a few questions that are asked right out of the gate. I spend a lot of time talking to mothers and fathers who want to know how to start services, and I have developed a quick little mini-summary of general information they need to know. Let's call it my "ABA in a nutshell" speech.

For parents, wouldn't it be helpful if you had a resource to review beforehand that could answer many of your burning questions?
For professionals, wouldn't it be helpful if you had a resource to share with new referrals, or to prepare you for the common questions parents ask?


Well then check it out!

Free Download:
Parent FAQ- Common Questions when Initiating ABA Therapy



Photo source: www.quotesgram.com, www.toptenz.net

Yes, I admit it: I am a huge meanie who spends lots of time forcing small people to communicate. Yup, guilty.

When I am starting a new early intervention case, something I like to do is give my staff an “Early Learner Protocol”. Over the years I realized there are  so many important skills to teach and not enough hours in the day, so I wanted my staff to have a tangible understanding of the focus of intervention for the little ones. To summarize: reducing problem behavior and increasing imitation skills, play/socialization skills, and LANGUAGE are usually the main things we are intensively targeting with young clients.
I try to get staff and parents to understand that everything involved with working with early learners is all about Pushing. If you can grasp the concept of pushing, then you will do just fine as an ABA therapist for any young child.

Pushing could look like, “He manded for a sip of juice, lets try having him mand for a bite of cookie”, “She labeled 2 toys in the bath last night, lets push for 3 tonight”, “He waited 10 seconds before I opened up the pretzels, now I’ll push for 12 seconds”. See, push.


I remember the mother of the first client I ever worked with telling me that her son was perfectly content to allow me to do everything for him, if that is what I chose to do. I didn’t really believe her at the time, and thought to myself she was just too hard on him (she was just being a meanie). So what if he needed help putting his shoes on…every day. My job was to help him, right? Then there was the day I observed him with another ABA therapist and it went a bit like this:
Therapist- “Put your shoes on”
 Child- (promptly put his shoes on)

Imagine my shock :-)  After the shock faded then I just felt like a chump. I had been putting this child’s shoes on for weeks, and the entire time he was fully capable of doing it himself. Lesson learned!

To parents and new ABA staff, I know it feels like helping but it can actually be harmful if you neglect to push the child to learn new skills, dress themselves, talk, display manners, etc. It’s kind of like saying “Since this child has special needs, I’ll just lower my expectations”. You would never say that out of your mouth, right? Well then don’t say it with your actions.

When it comes to teaching/expanding on language, motivation is KEY. What motivates you and I to communicate with others may not at all be motivating for your child/client with Autism. Or let me put it like this, have you ever considered why the child should communicate? What do they get out of it? If they don’t communicate, is anything different? Does communicating make their life better somehow?

Here are some practical ways you can start to push more, to increase language, build independence, and teach skills. Many of these are things I do on a weekly basis across my clients.

  • When the child wants something (a toy, to watch a TV show, etc.) place a demand on getting it. Connect some form of communication to accessing the most preferred items, instead of giving them away for free.
  • Embed language trials into daily activities, such as eating breakfast, walking to the park, or getting dressed. As your child is getting dressed say , “Pick up the SHIRT/Give me your SHOES/Pull your shorts UP”. Repetition and prompting are how you get the child to respond to your language. I embed language into almost everything I do with an early learner.
  • Mimic and imitate the child’s sounds. This is also a great way to get spontaneous eye contact (my clients usually stare at me like I’m crazy), and this can become a fun social interaction. Sit or lay down near the child and make the same sounds they are making, including pitch, intonations, etc.
  • Look and sound like someone worth talking to. With my early learners, I smile big and keep animation in my facial expressions. Everything is a bit exaggerated. Talk a bit louder than usual, and lay the praise on super thick. If interacting with you is fun and exciting, the child will approach you more which just gives you more opportunities to push.
  • Don’t give up too fast on manding trials. This is a mistake I see all the time. The child wants something, so you withhold it and try to get a mand. Then the child cries, walks off, or stares blankly at you. This is totally normal, and doesn’t mean the child is confused. It could mean they don’t want to mand, or they just don’t want the item anymore. What it definitely should not mean, is you give up on the manding trial and just give them the item. If problem behaviors occur, just silently withhold the item. If the child leaves or walks off, let them. If they really want the item they will come back. When they do, just restart the manding trial.
  • Sing songs to the child, or with the child. Music can work wonders for teaching or expanding on language. I’ve had many clients who would sing or hum far-r-r before they ever said words. Don’t just play music though, remember this is about pushing. Sit down with the child and sing songs that have movements, such as Itsy Bitsy Spider. Remember to be fun and animated, with lots of praise. Or, dance/hop around while singing together and then stop and look intently at the child. They might keep singing (we call this “fill ins”), or tug/pull at you as a way to request more singing. I also like to do songs that include suspense or surprise, such as “….we all fall (pause and freeze dramatically) DOWN! (lightly pull child to the floor and tickle them)”. After you do this a few times, the child may start requesting more of this game such as tugging or pulling at you to do it again. That is when you add a demand, such as the child saying or signing “more”.
  • Receptive language is language too! “Receptive” just means an action is required and not a vocal response. I rarely see parents think to work on receptive language with their children, but it’s a very important part of language development. Get some flashcards or pictures and have the child match them as you label the item (“Tree”), or line up cards and then point to each one and label it. Lots of my clients like to line things up, so pushing would mean embedding language into that activity. If the child likes to sit and look at cards or photos (many of my clients do) then sit with them and say the names of the items on the cards. A way to expand this further, would be to require the child imitate your label before they pull out another card. This means if you say “car” they also have to say “car” before you let them pull out another picture.

*Recommended Post: Teaching Communication to Non-Verbal Children
Its that time again, blog readers. :-)



I'm off to enjoy my holiday break, which will include lots of pie and lounging around watching A Christmas Story. I won't be posting until well after the new year, so in advance:

Have a BLESSED and wonderful Christmas, enjoy your New Years celebration, and Happy 2017!!

Photo source: www.demeterclarc.com, www.psychologytoday.com


*Suggested Reading: Count & Mand, Community Outings

Despite the title of this post, this information is not entirely limited to grocery store settings. Yes, almost every single client I have ever had needed help with being appropriate at the grocery store, and yes, most parents have dealt with a child flinging themselves down to the floor inside of a Wal Mart. But I hope this information will also be helpful to you if your child has outbursts at Denny's, or the car wash, or inside of malls, etc.

Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of easy to find info online about grocery store meltdowns/ tantrums (go ahead and do a quick search to see ... I'll wait). I say "unfortunately" because much of this information has 2 main flaws:
  • Geared towards toddlers, with the underlying assumption that only very small children act out inside grocery stores
  • NO explanation of the need to determine the function of the behavior
As you really, really should know by now (unless you are new here, which if you are....Hi) all behavior serves a function. To start throwing strategies at a behavior when you have no idea why the child is doing it, is to potentially toss gasoline onto a flame. Its just not smart, and is best avoided.

Before I go into what parents CAN do about grocery store tantrums, I want to get things to avoid out of the way first. Its actually a pretty short list. Ready?

  • DON"T think you are the only one dealing with this. You're not. Autism or not, toddler age child or not, nonverbal child or not, this is an issue most of those other people at the grocery store can relate to. Its important to keep this in mind because when the behaviors kick off and people start to stare, whisper, or even make rude comments, it will feel like you are the only parent in the world with this problem. That feeling is not the truth.
  • DON'T avoid that particular grocery store, DON'T abruptly leave the grocery store (see exceptions below), and definitely DON'T never enter a grocery store again and start buying all your food online. :-) I'm kidding, but also kind of serious. I do know of families who haven't gone to a particular community setting in 6 years...and their child is 7. See the connection there?? Avoiding the location where the behavior happened will not teach your child how to make better choices next time. That will only stick a band aid on the problem.
Now let's jump into what you're really here for, what to do about tantrums/outbursts inside the grocery store.

Handling those Grocery Store Nightmares 

  1. Have a PLAN. Do you just decide to run to Publix, grab your wallet, and put your child in the car? Silly rabbit! That is likely going to be a fail. Before leaving the house you need to work with your child to make a plan for the trip. How you do this will depend on your child's age, and their ability to communicate/understand your communication. This could include making a quick visual, writing out a grocery list, bringing tangible reinforcers with you, getting an extra adult in case you need assistance physically, etc. You need to clearly outline and explain to your child where you are going, what you expect of their behavior, what their job will be (see tip #2), and what they can earn for meeting your expectations. I suggest taking the plan with you to refer to inside the grocery store as needed (use it as a prompt).
  2. Give the child a J-o-b. Do you plop your child inside the shopping cart and expect them to be still and quiet while you shop for 45 minutes? Silly rabbit again! That likely won't last 5 minutes. Instead of making your child observe you shop, get them involved. Also, you want to create reasons to reinforce their behavior. Let your child get items off the shelf, push the cart, hold the coupons, etc. Again, this will vary depending on your child's age and their ability to find or locate things. With my clients I often embed skills into grocery shopping, such as labeling items ("What's this?"), colors/counting ("I need the yellow box of rice/I need 3 apples"), or answering questions ("Which kind of coffee does Daddy like?"). Heavily praise your child for participating, and connect following instructions to contacting reinforcement. 
  3. Choose wisely when to go. By "go", I don't mean when to leave the store. I mean when to go grocery shopping. Its wise to consider how many people will be at the store, as well as which store to visit. If the grocery store across town is usually pretty deserted, its worth it to travel out of your way to go there. As you and your child learn how to better handle the behavior outbursts, gradually start visiting bigger or more crowded stores. I like to ease clients into community outings by going during dead times like right when the store opens, or in the middle of the week. Avoid weekends or evenings. 
  4. It's all about the F word. FUNCTION. This is the "why" of your child's problem behavior. Do they always tantrum when you won't buy them a cookie? Do they scream everytime you tell them they can't sit in the cart? Do they consistently kick off their shoes in the middle of the aisle? Does waiting in the checkout line more than 10 seconds always lead to tears? Each of those scenarios give valuable clues about what is motivating your child to have an outburst. I find that when parents really start to look for these clues, they quickly realize they have been there all along. As in "Wait a minute.....last week he cried until I put him in the shopping cart too. Do you think that's what this is about?". Once you have determined the motivation that precedes problem behavior, then all you need to do is some tweaking. That can look about 1,000 different ways, so here are a handful of examples:
 -If the motivation is getting a highly preferred item (like M&M's), it would be appropriate to only give the M&M's for calmly walking through the store. If calm walking does not happen, it would be appropriate to get NO M&M's, and promptly leave the store.
-If the motivation is relieving boredom, it would be appropriate to give the child a task or job and have them participate in the grocery shopping experience.
-If the motivation is the child always kicks off a tantrum when you go grocery shopping around 11:30am, maybe this is too close to their lunchtime (and now they are surrounded by food). Try feeding them right before grocery shopping, or letting them have a snack in the car on the way to the grocery store.



*Quick Tip: Here is a free download of a simple visual I used with a former client, who was learning how to participate at the grocery store.
For him, he had big issues staying with mom (he would wander off) and he also expected to get some candy anytime he walked into a grocery store. So to tweak that, what we did was teach him to use a grocery list to shop. This gave him something to do instead of wandering off from mom, and it also earned him lots of praise plus a big reward at the end. We also taught him to ASK for things he wanted instead of just grabbing them, which his asking only received a response if he had completed his grocery list. In other words, no participation = no candy.



Photo source: www.climbthesearch.com, www.metv.com, www.marketplace.secondlife.com, www.forum.isatrance.com

I get lots of questions and emails from people curious about the field of ABA, and how to become an ABA provider.

Like, a lot of questions.

A lot, LOT, of questions.


After probably question #999,999, it finally dawned on me that maybe a handy dandy resource would be helpful for people. So with this post I present that handout to you!
Oh stop, no applause is necessary.




Okay, if you insist.






Below you will find a massive list of links that will lead you to specific posts that should answer your burning questions about entering the field of ABA. At the very bottom of this post, you can download a FREE (we like that word around here)  handout that goes into great detail about how to enter this field and kick off a rewarding career.

I tried to be as thorough as possible, but of course, I can't possibly answer questions about every possible scenario. So if you live in Alaska and want to know how to open the first Verbal- Behavior  -intervention -clinic- for -left -handed -girls- with- Autism- who- wear -glasses ... yeah I can't help you.

Everyone else, please peruse the information below. I hope its helpful!

**Remember, sharing is caring so if you know someone who could use this information feel free to pass it along.

LINKS:

Why being an ABA provider is so amazing
This is what a great ABA therapist looks like
This is what a horrible ABA therapist looks like
ABA provider dress code
Why I love my job 
Selecting a quality ABA employer
Getting ready for your first few interviews for ABA jobs Part I and II
Common ABA work settings
So you want to be a Superhero?
That lo-o-o-ng road to the BCBA
Finding work post BCBA certification
What to expect after being hired for an ABA position
You should be checking this website out on a regular basis: Behavior Analyst Certification Board


Free handout: Why ABA Wants YOU!
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