A Glimpse into the Star Program

Within the next few weeks, Grafton’s Berryville campus will open a new unit—The Sexual Trauma and Abuse Recovery (STAR) program. The Star program is a trauma-focused recovery program for children of sexual abuse, trauma exploitation and trafficking. The program will be led by Darryl Funk, LCSW, Clinical Administrator and Jacquelynn Hollman, Psy.D, CSOTP, KPMT, Clinical Psychologist. Both have a wealth of experience in child trauma and are certified sex offender treatment providers. In the following interview, I had an opportunity to hear more about the unique offerings of this program.

Page by Page

When educating a student with severe to moderate disabilities, the focus often shifts to the behavior of the student, rather than the teaching of basic academic skills, such as reading. Due to the severity or frequency of maladaptive behaviors, much time can be spent implementing programs and interventions aimed at decreasing the maladaptive behaviors to allow the student to be “ready to learn”.

Increasing Autonomy through Community Based Instruction

Community Based Instruction (CBI) is a strategic instructional plan that addresses the skills that are needed by our students in many different community settings. These settings are visited by our students with their families and friends and include work settings as well as recreational or leisure settings. CBI is specifically designed for students that require intensive instruction in order to generalize the skills they learn in the classroom to other more natural environments.

Generation Deaf

Generation Deaf are the cohort of people born after the Millennial (between 1990 to the early 2000s). Ok, so they are actually called Generation Z, but in the near future this will change to Generation Deaf. These are the teens and young adults you see out and about with MP3 players so loud you can actually hear the music they are playing.

Teacher not Caretaker

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Kristy Sullivan, Direct Support Professional (DSP) at Grafton’s Village 193 group home to discuss her role in helping clients meet their goals. Kristy has worked at Grafton for a year and was excited to share her perspectives on the importance of client engagement, teaching and skill acquisition in delivering sustainable outcomes.

Early Childhood Development and Tummy Time

About a month ago, I reprimanded a baby in my local community. Her mother said she wasn’t doing tummy time because she cried the whole time. My first instinct was to get on the ground, look at the 6 week old baby in her car seat, shake my finger at her and say in my best “teacher voice,” “You need to do tummy time! If you don’t you won’t grow big strong muscles you need to be successful later!” Luckily her mom responded with interest and questions about why I responded so strongly rather than picking up her child and running away. Why is tummy time so important?

Proactive Customer Service

Who are our customers? At Grafton we have the opportunity to serve a variety of customers for each child.
1. Client
2. Family
3. Referral Agencies

Empowering Our Clients

What does feeling empowered mean to you? To me it conjures up concepts like: self-advocacy, communication, knowledge, skill and ability. Self-advocacy is the key to empowerment; however individuals with disabilities oftentimes possess communication deficits that make advocating for oneself immensely challenging. They rely on family members, service providers and case managers to speak on their behalf to improve the quality of their lives. I have always asserted that communication is a core skill that must be taught and reinforced throughout one’s lifetime, especially for one with a disability.

How Self Care Impacts Service Delivery

In my career, I have worked at about 10 different agencies and collaborated with about twice that many. I have done this over a 24 year period of time. In all of my interactions at various levels of involvement, it has been clear to see those professionals who stand out in their ability to connect with others in such a way that those “others” want to do better in life.

The ABA Experience–Then and Now

There have been a lot of changes to the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program in Richmond since I started (this month 2 years ago). In the past several months we had several opportunities to grow our program by diversifying the types of services we provide. In December 2015 we developed a vision for Richmond ABA and it was:
To be recognized as a respected clinical resource of Grafton and the community that maintains a collaborative solution-focused approach to outcomes.