Intensive ABA Services
by Mary Kutch
By Senior Supervisor, Pennsylvania
I hope everyone has found a fresh and encouraging start to the new year! As the new decade begins, I find myself thinking back ten years to when I met my first student diagnosed with autism. This meeting marked the beginning of my journey to learning treatment methods within the field of applied behavior analysis. As I reflect on the faces of those with whom I have worked, I remember them with grateful appreciation. They have done so much for me - most, without even realizing the impact they were having. I would not be where I am today without the help and guidance I have received through the years from professionals, families, and especially, the children with whom I have had the fortune to work, grow beside, and get to know. When I first started in this field, I didn't know very much about autism or its treatment methods. There weren't as many resources as we are lucky enough to have today. The first family with whom I ever worked set me on the path of what is now my career and my passion. Seeing their son light up every time I gave him a silly reward, I knew from that time on that this was what I wanted to do; I realized that what I was doing was making a difference for this family. It makes me very proud to now have the opportunity to be working for the Lovaas Institute where we have resources like Meeting Point to help families and other professionals learn and become more informed.
With the hard work and dedication we all put forth each and every day, we can lose sight of the bigger picture. That is why this year I am aiming to take time out every day, to enjoy both the major and minor successes of each child and family. Whether it is seeing a child's joy at my silly reinforcement, experiencing a "light bulb" moment when my student finally understands something, or witnessing a child ask a friend to play a game, these are all little miracles that make what we do so rewarding! As we head into spring, I wish you all a wonderful 2010. I can't wait to see what the next decade has in store for us.
The names of all children in this newsletter have been changed in respect for family confidentiality.
Aladdin's Magic Carpet! Put the child on a towel or blanket and pull them across the floor.
Jump! Sing, "Jump" by Van Halen and jump when the song tells you to.
I'm Shocked! Fall completely over with surprise and shock that the child answered the question correctly.
Car Ride! Line your chairs up next to each other and go for a car ride. Put seat belts on. Check left and right for traffic, beep the horn, etc.
Monster Palm! Draw a monster on your palm. Use the other hand to hold the wrist of monster palm so it can't get you. However, we all know a monster palm is stronger. Elicit the child's help to get rid of monster palm.