March 2015 Newsletter

BCBA: Why does it matter?

By Christine Accardo 


BCBA. It always surprises me that there are so many varied emotions associated with these 4 letters. For those of us who get to write them after our name, that emotion is pride in being affiliated with a field that matters greatly to us. For others there is sometime defensiveness or denial. I hear so often "I am not a BCBA but I know all of the things to be one" or "I have been doing this for 20 years, I just don't have the letters." Parents with children on the autism spectrum often ask about the letters. But there is a lot of confusion there as well.


Why do these letters matter so much? What makes them so important? Why should parents care if their provider is a BCBA?


Let's start with the basics. BCBA stands for Board Certified Behavior Analyst. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, (BACB), is the governing board that grants the BCBA designation. It describes BCBA's as "independent practitioners who also may work as employees or independent contractors for an organization. The BCBA conducts descriptive and systematic behavioral assessments, including functional analyses, and provides behavior analytic interpretations of the results." (BACB, 2014). So what does this mean? And as parents why should you care?


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April 18
Honestly Autism Day  
April 23
Breakfast & Books
Thinking in Pictures: My Life with Autism
By: Temple Grandin

Location: The Shafer Center
Time: 9am

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee
By: Wendy Mogel, Ph.D
Location: The Shafer Center 
Time: 9am

At the end of the day, a Bridge Client was excited about his point sheet so he ran over to me and said "You're gonna wanna see this! It's gonna make your pants want to fall right off!!" Then he flipped his clipboard around to show me he earned all of his points for the day!

A Bridge Building kiddo was helping his mom and brothers clean up toys. He looked at me and said: "Are you gonna help...GIRLFRIEND?!"
It was a students birthday today. He got to walk around the school and hand out his Doritos with a friend. He began making airplane noises down the hallway and said, "It's the Dorito Delivery Service!"


Shafer Stars 

Cute as a button, Fotini began ABA services in May 2014. The focus of Fotini's ABA program was "learning to learn." She has grown tremendously this year in sitting and attending to tasks and learning basic concepts such as matching, imitation, and object identification. She has also grown socially and has begun to initiate saying, "hi" and expressing her needs through PECs and verbal approximations. Way to go Fotini, we can't wait to see where you go next!

Shafer Staff Heroes

"I love what I do because everyday presents something new and exciting.  Every moment whether good or challenging is worth seeing our kids grow." 



Shafer Spotlight of the Month

A new year brings new endeavors; this too holds true for the Dream 2 classroom. Exasperated by the cold and frequent indoor recess, the Dream 2 classroom team decided to introduce yoga, an initiative that addresses National Standards for Health and Fitness Education and is supported by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and The National Association of the Education for Young Children (NAEYC) ("Why Yoga and Kids Go Together", 2014).
Cheered on and supported by the Occupational Therapy team, Dream 2 students begin doing yoga on Monday mornings, and Friday afternoons. What a great way to begin and end the week! The yoga poses are projected on the big screen in the library throughout the session, making it easy for staff and students to follow along. All students are encouraged to "do their best" and modify poses as needed. Thus far, the students have shown cooperation, perseverance, a good attitude, pride, and excitement. Our kiddos and staff are side by side participating in this wonderful new opportunity.

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