Evidence Based Best Practices


Healthcare is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the country. One of the broadest and most comprehensive sets of Federal healthcare regulations in America today is broadly labeled as ‘HIPAA’. Every one of us knows about HIPAA by now. As healthcare consumers, we have all seen and signed those Notices of Privacy Practices forms wherever we receive healthcare services. As Grafton employees, we are subject to its provisions from the provider standpoint.

Cultural Sensitivity in Early Intervention Services

Grafton’s Infant and Toddler Connection (ITC) provide services to many families in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Roughly ten percent of those families speak another language besides English. About seven percent of those families in our region are Spanish speaking. These families come from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador, and Puerto Rico just to name a few. In my role as a bilingual Case Manager/Service Coordinator I am able to successfully communicate the role and purpose of our program so that families feel comfortable with the assessment and treatment process. For the majority of the families that I support, Spanish is their primary language, but for some it may be their second or even third language.

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.

Teaching Clients the Value of Mediation

Everyone experiences conflict on a daily basis. While conflict is often perceived as a challenge, it can also be a great opportunity for change, learning, and growth. Learning how to properly cope and deal with conflicts is an important life skill. Here at Grafton, we are committed to teaching our clients the skills necessary to resolve conflicts, and allowing them opportunities on a daily basis to practice and reinforce those skills.

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?

Anxiously Watching the Reform of the U.S. Education System

Now I’m anxious, and no, it is not due to the mere 70-something days of shopping until Christmas.

No, instead there is another December event that is sparking increased blood pressure. As announced Friday, October 2nd, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will step down from his post at the end of 2015. Duncan has served in this capacity since January 2009 in a position that was not without significant criticism. Many pundits flamed his Race to the Top, a $4.35 billion competitive grant program that set the stage for the Common Core State Standards. In the spirit of football season, President Obama punted the succession process, naming John King, Jr. the acting Secretary of Education- in so doing he avoided a nomination struggle with the Senate.

Ethics–Who Cares?

“But it’s cheaper to do it this way.”

“No one will ever know.”

“It doesn’t really hurt anyone.”

“It’s easier this way.”

“It takes less time.”

“What difference does it make?”

“Who Cares?”

There are times in all of our lives when we are faced with a situation in which we can do the right thing, or we can do that which is easier/faster/cheaper. So what do you do? And who really cares?

Strategies for Promoting Employee Development

The hard part is over! You have interviewed multiple candidates and spent endless hours getting your new employee acclimated to the team. Sitting across from you in your office is an eager, bright eyed individual ready to take on this new challenge. NOW WHAT?

This is where the first of many discussions about professional development occurs.

Instructional Assistants Convene, Learn and Enhance Learning Opportunities

Recently, Instructional Assistants from Grafton’s Richmond Region participated in a 3-day, intensive training. Professionalism in Autism Resource and Achievement Project (also known as PARA Pro) is offered through the Virginia Commonwealth University’s Autism Center for Excellence (ACE) http://www.vcuautismcenter.org.

What’s new in Early Intervention?

Early Intervention needs and services grow as rapidly as the children served. Early Intervention is experiencing exciting growth in services for children who demonstrate the red flags for autism. As there has been an increase in drug epidemics in local communities and an increase in referrals of infants exposed to substance abuse, there is a prominent focus on infant mental health.