Applied Behavior Analysis is the study of behavior in applied settings. What that means is that Behavior Analysts look for the causes of behavior within the natural environment. We then use that knowledge to change the environment to support appropriate behaviors and decrease disruptive behaviors. For children with autism, this involves identifying reinforcers and breaking complex skills down to simpler steps. For disruptive behaviors, appropriate alternative behaviors are taught that still meet the needs of the learner.
I have been working with children with autism spectrum disorders, including social communication disorder, and other developmental delays since 2003. My goal is to help children learn in their natural environment. All programs are individualized to meet each child's specific needs and build upon their strengths and interests. I use evidence-based techniques and use data to guide my programming decisions. My programs are all-inclusive. I work with parents to determine the skills that are most important to participate in the family environment. I can work on communication skills, academic goals, social skills, appropriate play, and daily living skills, as well as reducing problem behaviors.
With Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), one can target any behavior for change. In regards to children with autism, I fundamentally target the areas of communication, socialization, and behavior because those are the areas involved in the diagnosis. Those domains are broad, however, and I target any specific skills and behaviors that are relevant to the child with autism and the family. I teach communication skills, including vocal speech, signs, and picture exchange systems. I can teach academic and pre-academic skills to help children succeed in school. I target daily living skills, self-help skills, independent leisure activities, play skills, toileting, and meal time routines, including addressing some feeding issues. I address social skills with family members, siblings, peers, and in community settings. I also work to reduce disruptive behaviors that interfere with the learner's quality of life.
I earned my Masters degree in Applied Behavior Science at the University of Kansas in August 2007 and completed my Doctorate in Behavioral Psychology in May 2010. My interests focus on early intensive intervention for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and structuring classrooms for student success. I have participated in federally funded grants implementing School-wide Positive Behavior Supports in public schools and training parents of children with Autism using online and video-conferencing technologies.
I began working with children with autism in 2003. I have coordinated both center-based and in-home programs. My philosophy is that if a child isn't making progress, I haven't found the best way to teach that child yet. Therefore, I must change my behavior to help the child learn. My other goal is to make learning fun so that children want to learn.
I am the president of Good Behavior Beginnings, LLC, a company designed to provide ABA services to the community. Please contact me if you are interested in services.