We are excited to announce the opening of our new office space and Spectrum Academy! We will have an open house on Wednesday, August 7th from 10am-6 pm. We would love for you to stop by, see Spectrum’s new home, and share some sweet treats!
Handle with Care provides teaching strategies for those working with the behaviorally challenged population. The goal of Handle with Care is to ensure a safe and nurturing environment.
By teaching and implementing preventative actions that decrease the need for physical restraints, Handle with Care equips parents, ABA professionals, school teachers and many other professionals proper restraining techniques for the event that a restraint is absolutely necessary for the safety of a client or student.
Handle with Care believes that if staff work in fear and do not feel personally safe, then there can be no emotional safety whatsoever as fear will be the controlling emotion.
Similarly, if the client cannot trust the staff to keep them unharmed and treat them fairly, they will not trust the staff or therapists to teach and provide the therapy they need.
Handle With Care is committed to the emotional and physical safety of behaviorally challenged individuals whose behavior may become harmful to themselves or others and the staff and organizations that support them.
At Spectrum Autism Services, Faith Martino, one of our Clinical Assistants, and Abby Hawkins, our Office Manager, are trained to teach the employees of our company proper prevention, de-escalation techniques, and also proper restraining techniques.
A Handle with Care course is provided annually at Spectrum Autism Services to re-certify staff as well as certify newly joined staff. We believe that handling our kiddos with respect, despite the difficult emotional behaviors they sometimes exude, is not only morally fair, but paramount to teaching them the successful behavioral therapy they deserve.
Schools and facilities that use Handle With Care see on average a 30-40% reduction in injuries and incidents.
Handle with Care training addresses problematic behavior early in the cycle, thus reducing the number of incidents, injuries, holding times and assaults on staff, teachers, clients, private parties and students.
The following reviews convey the positive impact of implementing Handle with Care (HWC) protocol in professional environments:
For more information about Handle with Care, visit their website at http://www.handlewithcare.com
This month’s Employee Spotlight highlights one of Spectrum’s amazing Clinical Assistants, Verna Birch!
Verna has always had a strong passion to help others and maximize the individual potential of her clients. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of California, Irvine. She has experience working in the medical and human services fields. She has worked as a Registered Behavior Technician since 2015.
She began her career providing one-on-one direct services to children on the spectrum in home, community and clinic settings in San Diego, California. Her family relocated to Virginia in 2017, where she continues her work as an RBT with Spectrum Autism Services. She is a military spouse and has vast experience working with and serving the military community.
She cherishes each of her clients and their families and constantly seeks to make a meaningful, positive difference in their lives. Currently Verna is pursuing her Masters degree in Special Education with an emphasis in Applied Behavior Analysis.
We are grateful for Verna each day for her continual effort and impact on her clients! Thank you for all that you do!
Pairing is an ongoing process during which behavior technicians familiarize themselves with your child and discover what he or she enjoys. Just as you or I would not want to follow instructions from a stranger, your child is not likely to respond to demands placed by a technician without a positive relationship first being established.
The First Month of ABA Therapy
Behavior technicians will be collecting baseline data for problem behaviors, language, skills, and most importantly– pairing!
The Pairing Process
The process of pairing is important because it allows the technician to become associated with fun activities and highlight preferred items. In this way, your child will be motivated to build a relationship with the technician. This relationship will be the foundation for building “instructional control.” Instructional control simply means that when the technician instructs your child to do something, he or she will do it. Pairing also helps the technician learn about your child’s preferences and gives the worker an idea of what may motivate your child when work tasks begin.
It Looks Like Playing– Is this Useful?
Playing with your child is exactly what pairing should look like! Technicians should be engaging with your child and letting him or her direct the play entirely for the first few sessions. This helps teach your child that the technician is fun and allows the presence of the technician to become reinforcing. Building the relationship between your child and the technician as a fun person (with fun stuff!) before the technician will be able to successfully place demands.
How You Can Tell That Pairing is Working
Pairing is working when your child looks forward to his or her technician coming to your home. While the technician is there, the child enjoys and seeks out engagement with him or her. When they have to leave, the child may become disappointed or ask when he or she will return.
One of the goals of pairing is that your child engages in more “coming toward” behaviors with the technician, rather than “running away” behaviors.
Does Pairing End After the First Month of Therapy?
Nope, pairing is a continual process! Behavior technicians will continue to pair with your child at the beginning of session and during breaks. Continued pairing helps maintain the relationship your child has with his or her technician and strengthen the instructional control the technician has established.
We hope you find this information on ABA therapy and pairing insightful. Feel free to comment with any additional questions!
In relation to our previous post about why more Cybersecurity centers should hire people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, we wanted to inform you of some great kids resources in our local Virginia area.
In Fairfax, Virginia, Ninja Warriors is an up and coming resource for the community! Upon opening, Code Ninjas Camps will offer an immersive environment for kids to explore and develop new skills to become potential digital gurus as well as have fun with friends. They will soon offer after-school programs as well as summer camps! For more info click here.
Generation Code’s mission is to transform kids into digital leaders, and they serve individuals through Lab and summer camps. They also serve schools and communities using innovative curriculum and professional development.
Their programs include Mobile App Development (11+), Ozo Robotics, Scratch animation and Game design, Intro to Java Script, and more!
For more information on after-school courses and summer programs visit https://www.generationcode.com/products/2018
(Featured photo from: https://www.generationcode.com/pages/about)
Not Near You?
If neither of these is near you, it could still be a great resource to consider looking into. Considering the need in the IT and Cybersecurity profession, this could be a great activity for your child to attempt.
The Tech world has the potential to be a great professional endeavor for someone with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We hope you find these ideas helpful.