Thursday, 17 November 2011

ABA/IBI and ABLLS-R Assessments

You know it has been a busy month when you visit your own blog and realize it has been just about a month since your last post. Sigh. I am one of those people! I apologize, life got busy...really busy!
Needless to say, things have been getting hectic at MM and new staff is just the beginning.

We are excited to be taking on IBI clients funded by TPAS and are looking forward to meeting their strict requirements for delivery. Working with a registered psychologist, and under our fabulous BCBA , we are lucky to be learning, growing and programming a lot.

We have also been busy transitioning new kids into MM. With new clients comes more ABLLS assessments, which seem to be taking up a whole lot of my attention lately. ABLLS Assessments are the only part of my ABA world that makes me feel like a drill Sargent; it can be painful. You barely know the child, and you have to get through a whole kit of material.  If I were the child, I would not want to answer me either; I imagine if my kids had the ability, they would say ENOUGH ALREADY or WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME DO ALL THIS STUFF?! But, since the assessment is vital to the program I am constantly trying to find fun, hands on and almost-sneaky ways to test knowledge without putting pressure; might I add that it is so incredibly hard to stop myself from prompting some times. I am so used to most-to-least prompting, which really eliminates the whole frustrated child element; now I remember why we use that philosophy!

It seems like over the past month, I have really made a dive into the world of IBI. I love being able to create such comprehensive programs; the ABLLS-R allows me to ensure development across all domains in a really systematic way. The only time I get to target every single domain, every single day, is when the child is receiving somewhere between 20-40 hours per week (i.e. IBI). It's dreamy to create those programs.

Even though in the past, I was doing TONS of ABA Therapy (1:1, Dyads, Tryads, you name it), it has always been less than 20 hours per week per child  (way less, more in the area of 3-8 hours in general for most of my kids and with much more of a ...dare I say....almost-floor time approach (but all the while having my behavioral principles in my back pocket). Getting busy on the IBI side of things means room for more staff; we are always looking for additional professionals to join our team. There has been tons of inquiry lately, but I do stress that applicants ought to have a minimum of post-graduate training in a related field; if you know a dedicated professional that works with the exceptional population, and has formal training in ABA, Education, Psychology or Disability Studies give us a shout!

These days, I have both ABA and IBI going on in-centre daily; I get to see the results of  traditional IBI (20 or more hours), the results of ABA Therapy and Enriched Group Learning at MM, and the results of ABA Therapy and public school; it certainly is interesting to have first-hand experience analyzing the benefits and risks of each learning situation, for each child. Parents always want to know what path will produce the best outcome, of course it is always relative to the child, but that is not to say that having insight into the types of learners that thrive in various scenarios will not be valuable to us as professionals and you as parents.

On top of all of that, we are already somehow gearing into summer as we seek accreditation from various boards in Ontario and let's not forget Winter Break Camp, which is just around the corner.

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