Evidence Based Best Practices

Meeting Behavioral Health Goals is Both Art and Science

*This article was originally published on the HuffingtonPost How do you define success? For individuals with intellectual disabilities, establishing goals and measuring success is complex. It requires a thoughtful balance;… Read More

The Yes Practice

N-o. Those two letters trigger an emotional response in all of us. Being told “no” changes the course of our thought processes. Some people respond by accepting rejection and moving on. Others will hear “no” as an opportunity for negotiation or reframing their request. Some take it personally, as a repudiation of their ideas, their desires, or even their worth, and can react by lashing out or retreating inward.

Ten Things Parents of a Child with Autism Wish Teachers Knew

1) I’m sorry.

I will be saying this to many of you many, many times over the next 10 years. I will say this to you probably weekly, if not more. And I really am. I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because I am the reason you have my child in your class. I fought for him to be mainstreamed because all of the doctors and specialists told me that being in the least restrictive environment among peer models would be best for my son’s development.

I’m sorry because I know that you aren’t trained for this.

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.

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.

Teacher Impact

I can still remember my mom staying up late to help my little brother with last minute homework assignments. I remember the anxiety and stress that surrounded my brother’s time in school and how hard my parents worked to help him. I remember my brother’s anger and resentment at my mom for pushing him so hard, even though he knew he needed her help. I remember my parents telling me, “Well, at least we didn’t have to worry about you doing well in school”.

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.

That Four Letter Word

Hello, my name is Jeremy, and yes. I like data. In fact, these days I’d go as far to say I’m a data geek. I wasn’t born as one. Neither was I nurtured as a child to embrace the use of numbers in daily life. In full disclosure, I admittedly disliked math class, regardless of how much I enjoyed my teachers. (Given my natural resistance to the whole process of math, I’d say they were among my most effective teachers as they could keep me in my seat even though I would rather have visited the dentist.)

Promoting Positive Mental Health–What Does it Take?

In recent years, we have begun to speak openly about the incidence and treatment of breast cancer, AIDS, and autism. Yet we remain reticent to talk openly about mental illness. The National Institute of Mental Health reports that one in four adults—approximately 57.7 million Americans—experience a mental health disorder in any given year.
The stigma associated with mental illness stems from lack of understanding or misperceptions. Starting a public dialogue, seeking policy support, and educating others can help overcome this stigma so that mental illness can be discussed in the same way as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, or any other illness. And not only do we need to have honest discussions about the effect of mental illness on individuals, but we need to talk about its impact on families as well.

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.