6 SLP Activities to Practice at Home

Each May, Better Hearing & Speech Month (BHSM) provides an opportunity to raise awareness about communication disorders and role of ASHA (American Speech and Hearing Association) members in providing life-altering treatment.
For 2016, ASHA’s theme is “Communication Takes Care.” A survey completed by ASHA in 2015 of 1000 parents of children 0-8, found that 68% of two-year olds use tablets, 44% of 6 year olds would rather play on a technology device than read a book, and 50% or parents of 8 year olds rely on technology to prevent behavior problems. WHAT? WHY? WOW!!!

Why I Write Life Stories

Life stories are written scripts that use words and/or pictures to assist individuals who have cognitive and developmental challenges navigate the abstract facets of the human condition in ways that are visual and validate their feelings.

The Power of a Relationship

“Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care”. Theodore Roosevelt

Why should I watch my 13 year old son play and win his favorite video game? Why should I sit at a tiny table as my 3 year old daughter makes me lunch from her play kitchen? Why should I go on a 22 mile bike ride with my husband? The answer is because relationships are like bank accounts. Positive interactions are like deposits and negative ones are like withdrawals; the goal is to keep the account well above a zero balance with an abundance of wealth.

On the Beat

For years, drumming has been valued as a tool of personal and community well-being and recently, drumming is gaining in popularity as an intervention for reaching children with autism. As some researchers contend that drumming helps individuals access their right brain (the part which controls emotions, intuition, artistry and relaxation), it is believed that the structure and repetition of drumming appeals to individuals with autism while providing a creative outlet of expression. Additionally, drumming also provides a functional activity that supports language skills such as categorization, sequencing, taking turns, listening, following directions and in turn problem solving.

Why is Ukeru Important?

There are many different crisis intervention systems that exist to aid staff working in the behavioral and mental health field in managing crisis situations. Most agencies select a system whose philosophy matches the philosophy of the organization.

It’s About Time

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time”. Steve Jobs

As a BCBA in Adult Services, I have provided a service called “Therapeutic Consultation” which is training, teaching, and modeling behavioral interventions for care providers to implement. I was here, there and everywhere but not anywhere for too long.

I began to wish that I could clone myself so I could spend more time with clients AND their staff. Also, my treatment plans began sounding redundant to me: “increased engagement, increased structure, verbal praise, shaping, extinction/differential reinforcement, etc”. This made me wonder if an overall systemic approach might just work.

Reducing Holiday Stress for Children with Autism

As the holiday season approaches, I can’t help but wonder what this means for the children with autism served at Grafton. Take a moment and think about what we like most about the holidays; the beautiful lights, holiday music playing in every store, special schedules at school or work, a break from the normal routine, shiny new presents and surprises under the tree, the excitement and anticipation for the big day ahead, and socializing and entertaining others.

Now let’s think about these moments from the perspective of a child with autism.

The Line on the White Board

Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Sounds pretty impressive and important, doesn’t it? We have a profound reputation for looking at everything in black and white. A behavior happens because of this….we added this reinforcement and the behavior did this….the behavior is maintained by the function of access to attention, tangible, to escape, or automatic….this problem behavior decreased while this replacement behavior increased…I do not even want to talk about diagnoses because it is just circular reasoning. Yes, I can help your child decrease his/her maladaptive behaviors, and yes, we can work on toilet training, increasing expressive and receptive communication, and independence with daily living activities. I can even teach your child to play soccer, basketball, or how to fish – if that is what you want. But before we do all that, I need to get to know you and your child and ask you a series of sometimes obnoxious and very personal questions about why your child does what he/she does.

Creative Strategies to Support Clients in a Crisis Cycle

Grafton’s Richmond facility has made significant progress towards becoming an environment fully free of physical restraint. Grafton’s company- wide philosophy of focusing on comfort versus control includes the idea of treating all individuals with dignity, respect, and unconditional positive regard. This means supporting them in learning about their own behavior and triggers, and utilizing creative, calming strategies to resolve difficult situations.

So how does a provider go about supporting individuals during a crisis cycle?

Five Training Best Practices in Supporting Individuals with Autism and Intellectual Disabilities

Many people desire to work with individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities. As we know, many organizations have lists of attributes, skills and knowledge needed for someone to be successful in the field. So, what are the best practices in training staff so that they have the skills and knowledge necessary to be successful teachers for individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities?