Thursday, April 5, 2018

Age Appropriate Chores

 AGE 2-3
Put toys in toy box, fill pet’s food dish, place dirty clothes in hamper, wipe up spills, put books and magazines in a pile.

AGE 4-5
Make the bed, empty wastebaskets, put toys and art supplies in storage containers, clear table, pull weeds, water flowers, unload utensils from dishwasher.

AGE 6-7
Sort laundry, sweep floors, set and clear table, help make and pack lunch, pull weeds and rake leaves, keep bedroom tidy.

AGE 8-9
Load dishwasher, put away groceries, vacuum, help make dinner, make own snacks, clear and wipe table after meals, put away laundry, dust tables and entertainment center with microfiber, take pet for a walk.
Unload dishwasher, fold and put laundry away, clean bathroom, clean inside windows, give pet a bath, cook simple meals with supervision, clip shopping list coupons, vacuum, clean kitchen, change bed sheets.

 AGE 10+
Unload dishwasher, fold and put laundry away, clean bathroom, clean inside windows, give pet a bath, cook simple meals with supervision, clip shopping list coupons, vacuum, clean kitchen, change bed sheets.

Taken from

Sesame Place Is Now the World’s First Autism-Certified Theme Park

"Exciting news for all fans of Elmo, Big Bird and the gang: Sesame Place is officially autism-certified."
"Working with the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, the Sesame Street–themed amusement park in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, is actually the first theme park ever to bear the “Certified Autism Center” qualification."
WOW, this is really exciting news for our community. 
Check out the link below to read the complete story.

And this is a link to the Theme Park...

Summer fun at Behavior Matters Eagle River

We are looking to enriching your child's summer.  Every summer we plan for activities to help our clients retain skills they learned during the school year while building more group activities and social skills.  We take walking field trips to practice safety and social skills within the community.  Our Eagle River community has so many great places to eat and play.  We have more plans for this summer.  Every week is a different theme.  It is really fun for the kids (and staff)!

We look forward to working with your child.

Summer Fun at Behavior Matters
Name of Child_______________________________    Age_______________

Social Group Sessions at the Eagle River Clinic
Ages 3-6
🗹 9am-12pm
🗹 12pm-3pm
🗹 9am-3pm
Ages 7-9
🗹 8:30am-11:30am

Ages 10+

🗹 12:30pm-4pm

My child will attend social groups on:
🗹 2 day (Tuesday & Thursday)
🗹 3 days (Monday, Wednesday, Friday)
🗹 5 day (Monday-Friday)

🗹 I would like services for My child in the community: _______________ (location)

🗹 I would like services for My child at home _____ days a week for _____ hour(s) session(s).

🗹 We have vacation(s) planned for _______________________________. (dates)

🗹 We are moving this summer.  If you would like a referral to another agency, please let us know.

*Schedules are First Come First Serve

**We may have to request additional units through your insurance company, please return no later than April 13.

***Due to schedule changes, your child may work with a different technician.  This is a great opportunity for generalization of skills.

****Every week is a different, fun theme.  We will also walk to parks and other local community locations.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Our Autism Story

A friend of mine shared their "autism" story, so I thought I would share ours. Our oldest had a pretty normal birth but spent a week in ICU due to high billy ruben levels. (no playing the what if game.. but i hate that his eyes were covered for a whole week for long periods of time). CJ loved to be in the sling I used. I carried him around in that until I was too pregnant with Nola to carry him. He also loved to sit quietly and look a books. (I think he may have be hyperlexic) He was such a quiet well-behaved guy. I was a "baby wise" mom and he took right to the schedule (now I think he needed that and it probably helped alot.) i remember my friend Angie use to tell me all the time what a good baby I had. He smiled alot and really did like to get his picture taken. As we moved along, his development was "normal". As a toddler he had some issues with biting but I thought it was probably just "toddler behavior". We had the darnest time toilet training him and I was sure he would not be in Kindergarten (he was by 4 ish). He went to ABEKA PK4 and his teacher talked about how smart he was, but that he was always moving. He had a hard time sitting to do work and writing, but he was fine at home. Out in public he was always a little hyper but it didn't phase me. CJ was born in late July but we decided to put him in K the fall he was 5. That was a bad decision and by Oct we had to pull him out of school. He was upset and having behavior issues. I took him home, put him back in PT PK and let him grow and mature for a year. 

We tried a private school the next year in a K,1,2 multi age class. ANOTHER bad idea. the school insisted I put him on ADHD meds. That was a hard decision and one I still regret. He needs them now but he didn't then. It seemed like every week we were at the doctors either increasing or changing the meds. My little guy didn't act like himself, sometimes put his head in his backback and would trhash around. It was hard for me. So once again I pulled him out of school (actually the school requested it but told me Nola could stay!) 

The next year we went back to our public school. I met with them in the spring and was able to meet CJ's teacher for the next year, Tin. Jett was born late April and by the fall of CJ's second 1st grade year, I put Jett in half day daycare, so that I could get a PhD in CJ. 

I went to Sensory workshops, ADHD conferences, read countless books, worked with therapist (for me and him), got him in OT and PT. The year earlier I started to question if it was Asperger's but everyone told me "No Way", he made eye contact, he wants friends!! so we keep going down the ADHD road. That school year was a good turning point. I told Tin that I didn't care if he "learned" anything that year, I just wanted him to love school. I went up to school and brushed him 3 x's a day, and started all the therapies (except ABA, I didn't even know what that was). We met an amazing Nueropsych there Dr Audrey Don and she did one on one therapy with CJ. I still have her notes. I learned so much from her. 

We then moved to GA and CJ started 2nd grade. Another horrible year. My guy would all but fall out of the car everyday when arriving at school, he had what seemed to be no executive functioning skills. He lost everything and his teacher (although) sweet was not equipped to help him. I felt like I lived in the move Groundhogs day" b/c everyday we would have the same conversations on the way to school. Somedays I wanted to scream. No one would even consider a IEP b/c he was just too smart!! We had meeting after meeting. The school psych even told me that if I would concentrate on my other children and stop perseverating on CJ, he would be fine!! (Yes folks there was about 10 other people int he room including a state parent advocate I brought). But b/c I would not give up, he agreed to sent out the GADS (Gillian's Asperger's Diagnostic Scale). A probable score is 100. His teacher's scores were 125 and ours were around 120. So off we went to have more psych testing done. The results came back that he was on the spectrum. Funny but I am probably the only person that was relieved to hear it. I knew my guy was different but everyone had us going in different directions. 

Next I had to fight for a IEP, b/c he was "so smart". (Being smart does not mean you don't have deficiencies!!) within the first semester of his 3rd grade year, I once again pulled him so that he could go to a school closer to my where I worked. THANK GOODNESS. it was a good fit. but at the end of that school year we moved to TX. 

My TX story is too long to tell but the best part of all of the TX Randolph ISD drama was that CJ began getting ABA with a amazing BCBA. Ashley (and several others Anissa) helped us in so many ways. (and got me stated on a new career path). 

Over the years we have had amazing ST, OT , PT and BCBA's. I am so thankful for everyone that helped (including grandparents). He is now 17 and it is still hard but he has come so far and that is easy to forget when you are in the middle of it. It really does take many hands to make light work. Thank you to everyone that encourages and prays for us. Through it all we have been so richly blessed!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Pre-Screen Form prior to ABA Assessment

This is a form I use as a guide before I assess the child.  I usually call the parent and discuss these point.  Or if time is a limiting factor, I will send it to the parent and ask them to fill it out.  I hope you can use it to drive your assessments.  This is not comprehensive, it is a screening tool to better prepare you for the initial assessment. 

Pre-Assessment Screening Form  

Medical History:

Current Medical Concerns:   

Other Therapies: ◻ PT   ◻ OT  ◻ Speech Language  ◻ Other________

Strengths: List and describe skills and behaviors that appropriate and functional for the client.
Note perceived function of behavior ◻ Attention ◻ Escape ◻ Access to Tangible ◻ Automatic Reinforcement

Interfering Behaviors: List and describe priority problem behaviors.

Reinforcers: Activities, objects, people, foods, situations, games that are preferred.

Communication Skills: Primary method of communication:
◻ Picture Communication ◻Sign Language ◻ACC ◻ Verbal ◻Gestures 

Barriers to Communication:
◻Impaired Articulation ◻Impaired Mand ◻Impaired Tact ◻Echoic ◻ Scrolling ◻ Impaired Echoic ◻ Impaired Intraverbal◻Prompt Dependent ◻Weak Speaker Skills ◻Weak Listener Skills ◻Weak Interpretation of Non-Verbal Communication 

Variables that may contribute to aversive behaviors & impede learning:
◻ Auditory Noise ◻ Visual Distractions ◻ Environment ◻ Time ◻ Crowds ◻ Proximity to others ◻ Transitions ◻ Limited MO’s ◻ Failure to Generalize ◻ Negative Behaviors 
◻ Lack of Instructional Control ◻ Impaired Motor Imitation ◻ Sensory Defensive   
◻ Impaired Visual Perceptual Skills ◻ Impaired Social Skills ◻ Prompt Dependent 
◻ Impaired Scanning ◻ Impaired Attending      ◻ Reinforcement Dependent ◻ Self Stimulation ◻ Obsessive-Compulsive Behaviors ◻ Hyperactive Behaviors 

Adaptive Living Concerns: ◻ Toileting ◻ Eating ◻ Dressing ◻ Indep. Play ◻ Social Play ◻ Group Skills ◻ Fine Motor ◻ Gross Motor ◻ Household Routines ◻ Bathing ◻ Tooth brushing ◻ Hair ◻ Cleaning ◻ Cooking ◻ Leisure Time

References: VB-MAPP M. Sundberg, Conducting School-Based Functional Behavioral Assessment M. Steege & T.S. Watson

Fun Poem....Twas the Night Before Social Groups

T’was the night before social groups, the first of June
All the ABA therapist were stirring, whistling a happy tune
The curriculum was ready, all activities prepared
In hopes that all the children soon would be there.

On the 2nd, the children awoke all fresh from their sleep
With visions of games and toys and friendships to keep
Behavior Matters’ staff a work with a smile
Ready to go the extra mile.

​When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
The therapists sprang to the ​window to see what’s the matter.
Out of the window, they saw in a flash
A gaggle of children approaching the clinic in a dash.

While the sun did shine for 20 hours straight
Giving hopes of a summer’s activity that just can’t wait.
As the children arrived we heard the names they would call
Hi Chad, Hey Dale, they ran through them all
Then into the clinic with children in tow, 
I heard someone exclaim, “It’s fun time, let’s go!”
Written by J & R Edge

Why center based ABA?

What Center Based ABA?

Lately I have heard the question, "Why are you moving out of the homes and into a clinic?"  We have moved to a clinic-based model with home and community supports for many reasons.  

Materials. When you take a tour of the clinic you will see that for most skills/ goals we have at least 3 different games, cards or books that will be used to probe the skill.

Natural Environment Training. The environment is more like a child’s natural environment.  All of the therapy rooms allow for more than one child working at a time.  Through this, we work on attending skills and instructional control.  

Controlled Environment- Toys and reinforces are placed out of reach or hidden so that children have to request items and will not have free access.  This helps us to continually assess their manding (requesting) skills.  The key communication skill!  We are also able to better access the function of a behavior because we are able to control the environment.  We have smaller spaces if a clients needs to work in a quiet, more sterile space.

Therapist training and supervision.  A BCBA or BCaBA is always at the clinic.  At any given time a supervisor can train the therapist on a technique or work with a child.

Generalization. With a variety of therapist and clients working together, skills can be probed to test for generalization with different people and situations.  For this same reason, we will have some sessions in the home and or community.

Group Work.  Clients are able to work on projects together.  Allowing one therapist to lead and one therapist to take data.

Social Skills.  Clients are able to play and work with peers.  Allowing us to work on social goals and every session.  

We love working with you and your child.  We are striving to provide the highest quality of therapy.  A combination of the principles, techniques, and instructional methods of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) will be used to teach children communication skills, academic skills, social skills, imitation skills, self help skills, play skills, and any skills necessary to decrease undesirable behaviors in a small group format. In addition to learning the skills above, this format also provides each child with opportunities to practice skills that will be necessary for him/her to be successful in a school setting.