ABLE to save month

Did you know it is #ABLEtosavemonth?

#ABLEtosavemonth recognizes the need to help people with disabilities save and invest money. By opening ABLE accounts, people with disabilities can save and invest money for their future. ABLE accounts are a game changer for the disability community! Want to know how?

  1. ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged savings accounts, which means income earned by individuals with disabilities are NOT taxed.
  2. ABLE accounts can help individuals with disabilities take care of a wide variety of expenses: employment training and support, health care expenses, housing assistance, college education, car purchases, assistive technology, personal support services, other expenses which help improve health, independence, and/or quality of life.
  3. People with disabilities can save and invest up to $16,000 per year into their ABLE savings account.
  4. ABLE saving accounts can hold onto an individual’s money ranging from $235,000 to $550,000. It varies from state to state for total ABLE account savings.

How cool is that!? ABLE accounts have already made a difference for so many lives of individuals with disabilities. Now it’s time to continue spreading the word!

Disability self-advocates, would you open up your own ABLE account? Parents, would you open an ABLE account for your child with disability? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

OBM and PM in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

What is organization behavior management (OBM) and performance management (PM)? How do they relate to the applied behavior analysis (ABA) field?

Organization Behavior Management (OBM) uses applied behavior analysis (ABA) in workplaces. It uses behavior interventions and strategies to change peoples’ behaviors in workplaces, such as businesses, governments, and etc. Wilder et. al. (2009) shares that OBM is focused on using practical strategies to improve performance of individuals, groups, and companies. For instance, an OBM within an ABA company can motivate BCBAs, BCaBAs, and RBTs by setting their performance goals and then allow them access to rewards and incentives once goals are achieved, such as positive feedback. Many factors are considered to impact performance from individuals and companies, such as work environment, rules and regulations, behaviors of higher ups (ex: supervisor), hierarchy of management, and etc. OBM uses behavior principles, like antecedent and consequence interventions (ex: positive reinforcement), to motivate and improve employees and companies’ performances. This leads to another specialty area, known as performance management (PM).

Performance management (PM) is a specialty area within OBM that implements effective strategies proven through use of data to maximize performance in workplaces and organizations. It applies behavior principles in order to manage performance of employees, groups, and companies. Daniels (2016) explains that since PM is based on precise data approaches, solutions to issues can be repeated in the same or similar settings/environments while extended to new settings/environments with the same results. PM helps supervisors, managers, and etc, know how to impact and influence behavior changes. For example, a behavior analyst provides supervision to their BCaBAs and RBTs by observing their performances as required and giving specific feedback on strengths and improvements in areas needed. PM helps higher ups in companies and organizations become effective leaders because they know strategies to manage behaviors of their employees. Performance management (PM) is a specialty area within OBM that can increase employee engagement, which leads to better financial and health outcomes for everyone from a productive work environment/setting.

Based on the ideas of OBM and PM, common business practices with behavior analytic approaches should be implemented in workplaces instead. It gives insight into employee’s behaviors and performances in the workplace. Daniels (2016) describes that behavior analytic approaches can help companies and businesses understand aspects that can motivate employees, increase their performance, and help them establish a strong and trustworthy relationship with their employees. Workplaces, such as businesses and companies, that create culture cohesiveness, demonstrates inclusion and diversity of employees, has passionate leaders, and etc are developed from behavior analytic approaches. Antecedent interventions like behavior analysts training new RBTs and consequence interventions, such as specific positive feedback, impact new RBT’s motivation to grow in the ABA field. Behavior analytic approaches used in workplaces help businesses and companies keep valuable employees for many years, increase work environment production, and create positive financial and health outcomes for everyone.

Stakeholders and organizations got to learn about OBM and PM. OBM is a kind of discipline within ABA for using behavior principles to achieve business goals. PM is for using effective behavior strategies from proven data to maximize employees’ performances. Behavior analytic approaches provide insight about employees and their performances in workplaces. Behavior analytic approaches should be used in workplaces to help motivate employees, impact productivity, and increase profitability for all. OBM and PM with their behavior principles and approaches provide positive outcomes for workplaces.

Based on this, do you think its important for workplaces to learn behavior principles, so it helps companies and organizations make themselves good and have valuable employees for years? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

References:

Daniels, A. (2016). Bringing out the best in people: How to apply the astonishing power of positive reinforcement (3rd Edition). McGraw-Hill Education.

Wilder, D. A., Austin, J., & Casella, S. (2009). Applying behavior analysis in organizations: Organizational behavior management. Psychological Services, 6(3), 202–211.

The A-B-Cs in ABA

In Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), did you know the ABCs is implemented?

I am not talking about the letters of alphabet. In this case, I am talking about the antecedents (events, situations, settings), behaviors (response), and consequences (ex: reinforcement or punishment). Here is a picture that goes more in detail about the ABCs used in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA):

The ABCs in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

The ABCs allows behavior analysts and therapists to understand how behaviors and responses are happening. The event/situation can be causing the behavior or response to occur. The consequence impacts the occurrence of behaviors or responses in the future by increasing or decreasing them. The ABCs are used as a data collection tool during direct observations of clients/students to learn the purpose of behaviors/responses.

I will provide a real life scenario using the ABCs in ABA. Tommy is playing a game with his older brother, Ben. While the boys are playing the game, Tommy screams. Their mother takes the game away. The antecedent (situation/event) is game time. The behavior is screaming. The consequence is negative punishment in this case, but reinforcement can be used as a consequence in general. The ABCs are not only used in ABA, but are applied in everyday situations. Our own behaviors and responses result from settings/situations/events and are impacted from consequences.

Are you surprised now to learn the ABCs is more than just letters of the alphabet? What do you think the ABCs in ABA can be helpful for? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Approaches for increasing communication and social skills

In Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), did you know behavior analysts use many approaches to increase people’s communication and social skills?

Here are some interventions and procedures used in ABA to increase people’s communication and social skills:

  1. Verbal operant approaches:
Verbal behaviors

2. Functional Communication Training (FCT): a differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) approach in which teaches people ways to communicate that serve the same function as the interfering behavior/skill/response.

3. Discrete Trail Training (DTT): a systematic approach to teach a new skill/behavior/response in small repeated steps.

4. Imitation and modeling: a live demonstration of the behavior/response/skill in which an individual learns to imitate a new behavior/response/skill.

Do you anymore interventions or procedures to help increase communication or social skills? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Interview with Merrick Egber as an Autistic board for Florida ASPE and ELS for Autism

When is it important to teach self advocacy skills to autistic people?

Its not about the age of the person with autism to teach self advocacy skills. It is more important to teach them these skills when autisitc people many skills mastered or improved on, such as communication and social skills. All of these skills go hand in hand. I can tell you from this guest in the guest interview podcast series for “The World of Autism”:

Merrick Egber

Merrick Egber is an autistic adult who learned to self advocate for himself. Today, he has many roles with Els for Autism, an autism organization and school on the east coast of Florida for autistic students. He works for them as an administrative assistant, represents on their autistic self advocate advisory board, and co-hosts a podcast to share his experiences on the autism spectrum. Not only he is with Els for Autism, but he is also on the board for Florida ASPE, an organization advocating for employment for people with disabilities. He truly does a lot to advocate for employment for people with disabilities. Check out the interview I did with Merrick here:

Learn more about Merrick with Els for Autism in the link attached: https://www.elsforautism.org/get-to-know-us/our-board/

Interview with Sam Mitchell as an autistic podcaster and entrepreneur

How many of you have heard of podcasts talking about autism?

Podcasts about autism have been growing more than ever before. Podcasts are being created and hosted by parents of autistic children, therapists who work with autistic people, teachers, and autistic self advocates. It is truly amazing! Now get ready for a new guest in my guest interview podcast series on, “The World of Autism”:

Sam Mitchell

Sam Mitchell is a young autistic adult who created his own podcast and cooperation: Autism Rocks and Rolls. The mission of his podcast is to educate about autism from his experiences growing up on the autism spectrum. Sam does invite guests on his podcast to let people know they need to advocate for people who are on the autism spectrum. Check out the interview I did with Sam here:

Check out Sam’s podcast here: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/autism-rocks-and-rolls-sam-mitchell-Eg759SekWvU/

What podcasts should people should listen to about autism? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Inclusive companies for Autistic people

Did you know autistic people still struggle with employment, from being unemployed to working below minimum wage?

Credit: Spectrum-Autism Research News

Personally, I work with an inclusive ABA company that hires autistic people to work in various roles for the company. As you may know, I am their main blogger. Also, I am a team member of the high needs support ABA virtual team and working on certification to be a therapist with the company. My experiences with them for almost a year in June has been incredible! The amount of support I’ve gotten on my journey in the ABA field is so grateful! If you are autistic and want to pursue work in the field of ABA or even showcase your skills (ex: marketing, video editing, and etc), join this ABA company: Full Spectrum ABA!

There are so many more inclusive companies and organizations out in the world today hiring autistics. Here is a list of some companies that hire autistic people:

1. Google – Google Cloud’s Autism Career Program

2. Walgreens – Autism careers program

3. Microsoft – Microsoft Neurodiversity Hiring Program

4. AMC- FOCUS program

5. Home Depot- Ken’s Krew program

6. Equally Fit- Ambassdors program

It is still a work in progress when it comes to companies hiring autistics and people with disabilities, but the change is already incredible. We must continue striving for more companies to be inclusive when hiring potential employees with autism and disabilities.

Do you anymore companies who are inclusive? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

High school to college transition

It is graduation time already!?

Throwback to my high school graduation class of 2016

Many schools already had their graduation commencements back in May or during this month. As for me, I graduated from my high school 6 years ago and now I will be graduating with my bachelor’s degree in October of this year. I recall my transition from high school to college went smoothly.

In my last year of high school, my child study team case manager expressed to me that I can attend Brookdale Community College by taken at least two years of Spanish. It was good that I took Spanish classes in high school because it helped me towards attending college. Also, I learned that I did not need to take the ACT/SAT because it was not required for this college. Afterwards, my parents and I went through the application process for Brookdale Community College during my last year of high school. I was so happy to know I got accepted to Brookdale!

Towards the end of winter and early spring, I recall taking a couple of exams, so my courses could be placed for me as soon as I began attending Brookdale. These exams were college placement exams, which assessed my math and reading skills. The results I learned were that I needed to take one perquisite course for reading and a couple of perquisite courses for math before taking courses in my associate’s degree program. This was because I did not do so well on the college placement exams. This made me feel glad I did not have to take the SAT/ACT, haha!

During open house in the spring of my senior year, my parents and I went on a tour at Brookdale. I was so grateful one of my good friends from high school gave the tour. Her name is Ashley A, and she was already attending Brookdale before I did. My parents and I asked questions about Brookdale in general while on the tour. Ashley did a great job answering my parents’ questions about the college. The tour she provided helped me feel better that I would navigate around the college. Parents, make sure to request a tour of the college for your child because it helps them out to navigate around the college.

Furthermore, my parents and I scheduled an appointment for the disability services. I expressed to the case manager of the disability services at Brookdale about my accommodations and modifications I needed to do well in college. I learned from the meeting that the disability services was different in college than during my K-12 education years. It was preparing me to self-advocate more for myself as soon as I attended Brookdale.

How would you support people with disabilities for them to have a smooth transition from high school to college? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Prompting

Prompting is a teaching procedure that comes before the behavior/skill/response occurs. It is used to support a person as they learn a new skill/behavior/response. There are different prompting systems used to teach people new behaviors/skills/responses:

Credits: The Autism Helper

Least to Most prompting: a person providing no assistance at first and then moves to a more instructive prompt if an individual is not able to perform the skill on their own.

Most to Least prompting: a person providing hands on assistance to learn the skill and then uses a less instructive approach as an individual is able to the perform the skill more on their own.

When a individual needs a lot of help learning a new skill/behavior/response, use the first prompting system. When an individual is able to perform a new skill/behavior/response already, use least to most prompting. The ultimate goal is that prompting should be faded out as soon as an individual can perform the skill/behavior/response more on their own.

When have you used prompting? Share your experiences in the comments section?

Interview with Michael Gilberg as an autistic special education lawyer

Did you know students with disabilities have rights to gain appropriate education?

Students with disabilities, like autistic students have rights to appropriate education based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act. My latest special guest can tell you about these acts and the importance of disability rights.

Michael Gilberg

Micheal Gilberg is an autistic adult who advocates for students with disabilities’ rights in the education system as a special education lawyer. He shares about the importance of getting appropriate education for students with disabilities that meet individual needs and for their own success in life. Check out the interview I did with Michael here:

To learn more about Michael, check out his website here: https://www.michaelgilbergesq.com/

Do you have any questions for Michael? Share your questions in the comments section!

%d bloggers like this: