Spotlight on our ABA Team!

July 11, 2017

At Crossroads we’re all about teamwork.

Teamwork. It inspires every plan, every area, every strategy and spurs our students to achieve the seemingly impossible. But it’s not just teamwork in a “ra-ra” manner that does the trick. It is the underlying principles and theories, discovered and proven through scientific inquiry and method that are put into practice and upheld by all members of each and every team that really make it click.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the field where we “get our team on” here at Crossroads. It’s the place where psychology and education meet and make a foundation for teaching that works best for students with autism and other special needs. It also is the methodology of choice for many neurotypical children who show great gains with both academic and interpersonal skills because of the use of positive reinforcement, structure, and individualized teaching that is in place here.

There’s been lots of buzz lately in the media about ABA and how it’s the only way to go for kids on the spectrum. They talk about how incredible it is to hear a non-verbal child speak their first word, or see a previously aggressive child ask for a break instead of biting, or any of the other incredible gains made by using ABA techniques. The buzz in the media is spot on! To see the progress and gains makes your heart full, and we see it here every day. We’re always encouraged when someone on television or in the paper says something about ABA and its great benefits for someone. At the same time, we at Crossroads are here thinking, “Yup, that’s why we ONLY use ABA. That’s why we make the progress we do here.”

 

So this month’s SPOTLIGHT is on our team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), and behavior technicians. This is the team that together brings ABA techniques and research to our bigger team at Crossroads. These individuals are in the classrooms, therapy rooms, hallways, and community areas. They are in the community, the students’ homes, and at the table to work out what is best for individual students when it comes to behaviors that help or hinder the learning of each.

Meet our ABA crew!

Crossroads as you might remember is a center-based program, and provides home services to children with autism through our ABA Clinic.

Currently in the school arm of Crossroads Center for Children, 2 BCBAs, Megan and Tonia, each work with a different caseload of students. Each clinician has a number of students in her charge, and classrooms to coordinate and plan with.

Much of the time you’ll find Megan and Tonia with their students, helping the child to learn critical self-management skills, or providing positive reinforcement to the child. At other times you will find them providing coaching to other educators here, helping the staff member through a difficult situation and ensuring the staff member is able to follow the plans consistently. At even other times, you’ll find them in the classrooms before or after school, meeting to reflect and strategize for the benefit of the students in consideration.

You might remember the article about a young boy named Ethan that was published on this site back in February? If you missed it, you can read it now (3 minutes) http://crossroadcenter.org/ethan-and-his-super-powers/ .

In the clinic arm of Crossroads, we currently have 14 individuals who provide services to clients. The clinic specializes in providing ABA therapy to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. 3 Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and a number of behavior technicians as well as a few Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) provide services to clients. Under the 2014 New York State Autism Mandate, many insurance companies now have a benefit for ABA coverage for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Coverage varies and the BCBA will determine coverage, copays, and policy specifics for each family. Services are provided outside and separate from any other special education programming (e.g., IEP services or Early Intervention).  If you are interested in obtaining services, please contact Carolyn Sniezyk, Clinical Director, at mailto:CarolynS@Crossroadcenter.org.

Recently, the team that makes up the Clinic had a meeting. Since these folks are out in the community it is nearly impossible to get them all together, however the majority of the team was here. Each of these clinicians work out in the community with children, addressing goals for behavior, communication and social skills. They travel far and wide to address the needs right in the students’ own homes and communities. While we still missed 2 Clinic therapists, most are seen in our featured image, and below in a more fun pose!

Several of these team members also work as TA’s during the day in various classrooms here at the Center, while others specifically serve the Clinic. When asked how to describe ABA for our readers, these were the shout-outs – Team-work, Consistency, Evidence-based, Individualized, Fun!

Learn more about our classrooms http://crossroadcenter.org/our-classes/ and our clinic http://crossroadcenter.org/aba-therapy/ .

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