Behavioral Healthcare

Using Picture Schedules: WHY and HOW

According to Linda Hogdgon (also known as the “Queen of Visuals”), 56% of communication is visual (gestures, body language, pictures), 37% vocal (tone, rate, intensity) and only 7% is verbal (actual words). Visual schedules then become an important tool to support communication in individuals with autism.

The Benefits of Collaboration in the Classroom

Teachers often experience a sense of isolation. Most often a routine is developed in which the teacher arrives at school, walks into a classroom, shuts the door, and for many and varied reasons does not emerge again until it is time to go home. In this scenario the only places for teacher interaction is in the hallway or parking lot as they come and go. There are many teachers who like it or even prefer it this way, but this limited interaction does not encourage teacher professional growth. To be a truly effective teacher one must learn from others in the profession. One proven way to accomplish this is through collaboration.

Teachers as Leaders

Leadership is a term that can mean many different things depending on the setting. In addition, there are many different leadership styles and no two individuals are the same. Each person has their own perspectives based on their individual cultures, educational backgrounds and personality traits. All of these things affects how the information that they are being given is processed and interpreted. An effective leader must have the ability to adapt their leadership style to the needs of the immediate person or situation.

6 Tips to Manage Holiday Stress

Although many of us look forward to spending time with family and friends, the holiday season can certainly be a stressful time as well. As routines and structures and everything predictable are interrupted, it is important to create some specific intentions for the season. Sometimes a simple visual reminder like a favorite quote may help you relax, enjoy the moment and put things in pe

Stress Busting Tips from One Human Service Provider to Another

Hey you. Yea, you! Are you stressed? Do you feel like no one understands your day to day struggles? Are you burnt out? Do you feel like you’re going to explode? Do you feel like you just can’t give anymore?
If you answered yes to any, if not all, of those questions, please be assured YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Direct care professionals who teach and treat individuals with complex behavioral, social, and emotional needs must be prepared to face stressors that test your boundaries every day.

Community Connection

What is community connection and why does it matter? The 2016 Orientation Manual for Direct Support Professionals and Supervisors: Supporting People in their Homes and Communities defines community connection as, “may include a person in social gatherings outside of the primary connection, others recognizing and appreciating their contributions, and forming friendships that extend beyond the reason they are gathered. When a person is not there they are missed and people ask about them.”

High Fidelity Wraparound, Transitions and Family Engagement

I recently joined a group of professionals for the first half of the High Fidelity Wraparound (HFW) training in Richmond, VA. While “wraparound” care is something often referred to when arranging discharge planning for clients and families, HFW is a specific, evidenced-based process of facilitating intensive care coordination. I left this training with a new appreciation for the role of the family in determining their goals and making decisions in the High Fidelity Wraparound process.

Innovation in Action

Miriam Webster Dictionary defines innovation as the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods. Typically when I think of innovation, the first things that come to mind are technological advances like the latest smart phones and self- driving cars. But in the fields of healthcare and education, innovation is often represented in new ideas and methods rather than tangible items.

Behavioral Health and Value-Based Contracting

Value-based care is emerging as a solution to address rising healthcare costs, clinical inefficiency, duplication of services and increased access to care. With a fee-for-service model, providers are paid based on the number of services they deliver (therapy sessions rendered). Payment has little to do with positive clinical outcomes. In contrast, reimbursement or payment in a value-based contracting model is based on indicators of value, such as client health outcomes, efficiency and quality. Value based contracting is about better care, better health and better costs.

Sensory Processing- What it is and What to Do About It

At Grafton we often hear about “sensory stuff”, or students who have “sensory issues”. But what does that really mean? Each one of us uses input we receive from our senses in order to make sense of and navigate the world around us. This simply means that we use our vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch, as well as our “invisible” senses that tell us where our body is in space, in order to interact with our world by walking, talking, listening, eating, and reading this article on your computer screen. These systems sometimes fall out of sync though, either due to environmental conditions, genetics, or challenges, such as ADHD or autism. Trouble with these systems can cause difficulty with how we relate and perceive the world around us and how we interact with it.