Update with new home in FL

Back in March of this year, my family and I moved to Florida. Our house was building since March. After living in a rental apartment for more than seven months, closing day was 2 days before Halloween. We officially moved into our new home on Friday, November 5th. Here is my family’s brand new house in Florida!

Picture from closing day of my family’s new house on Friday, October 29th!

It was not an easy journey as our new house was being built. I recall many times losing patience with moving into our new home because of living in a small sized apartment for so long. Despite the obstacles, my family and I got through with strength and perseverance! I am so grateful to live in our new house in Florida now. Cheers to more years of memories in the new home!

Did you move this year? Did you have a new home built this year? Was the journey easy for you or not? What are some of your tips to get through moving time? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS)

Not only response-to-intervention is used in schools, but so is school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS). So, what is school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS)?

Five ways to use positive behaviour support strategies in your classroom -  Monash Education

School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) is a proactive strategy used in schools to promote and increase appropriate expectations of behaviors for all students while establishing a safe learning environment. Students who are at risk for behavior problems can be identified for placement in the three tiers of the school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS) program: universal, targeted, and intensive.

  1. Tier 1 is universal. All students learn behavior expectations from the general education teacher.
  2. Tier 2 is targeted. Some students need more support with behavior expectations through instruction and intervention. A behavior education program can be implemented in this tier.
  3. Tier 3 is intensive. Students receive intensive intervention and instruction due to ongoing behavior concerns. A functional behavior assessment (FBA) can be implemented in this tier.

Students with IEPs and 504 plans can be placed in any of these tiers, just like for response-to-intervention (RTI) program.

Is school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS) being used in your school as an educator or in your child’s school as a parent? Do you think this helps students improve on expectations of their behaviors? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Halloween 2021

It looks like Halloween will be happening in person this year! We all know that Halloween is a fun holiday of dressing up in costumes and getting candy from going to peoples’ houses while trick or treating. Although, Halloween can be stressful sometimes for people with autism. How can you help a person with autism get through Halloween?

  1. Plan indoor and outdoor activities! If a person with autism is afraid of going out at night, be prepared with activities inside based on Halloween. For example, everyone can watch some Halloween movies or decorate pumpkins. Its more important to make the holiday fun for everyone.
  2. Be prepared with sensory toys and headphones. There can be loud noises and sounds from peoples’ houses, such as fog machines and moving decorations. Make sure to have these things on you when going trick or treating.
  3. Do not force to dress up in a costume. If costumes are not comfortable due to fabric or style of costume, then substitute with a regular shirt with Halloween colors. It is so important to not force an autistic person into wearing costumes for Halloween. Let them enjoy the holiday the way they want to.
  4. Use social stories to help prepare for the holiday. It is very important to explain to an autistic person about everything that goes on this holiday, so they are less anxious and stressed out.

Do you have any more tips to help a person with autism get through Halloween? What has worked for you?

I hope everyone has a fun Halloween this year!

Response-To-Intervention (RTI)

What is response-to-intervention (RTI)?

RTI Tier 2 Interventions:Elements of Effective Intervention Lessons - Study  Skills by SOAR Learning
RTI pyramid

Response-to-Intervention (RTI) is a multi-tiered model approach with interventions and services at different levels of intensity based on a student’s academic, behavior, and social challenges. There are three tiers in RTI.

  1. The first tier is the primary tier. In this tier, all students are involved, and the general education teacher provides effective instruction and classroom management.
  2. The second tier is the secondary tier. In this tier, students with some level of academic, behavior, and social difficulties are provided with specific services in small intervention groups. It is more teacher-centered instruction with more frequency and duration of instruction. It is important to know that students in the this tier can still learn the same curriculum as the primary tier students.
  3. The third tier is the tertiary tier. In this tier, students with academic, behavior, and social difficulties receive intensive interventions with continuous progress monitoring.  

No matter the tier level in the RTI program, all students can learn in general education settings while receiving support based on their individual needs.

Is response-to-intervention implemented in your school as an educator or in your child’s school as a parent? Do you think this intervention helps students improve their skills? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

What is picture exchange communication system (PECS)?

PECS Canada - Home | Facebook
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a functional communication system in which allows children with ASD to express in an alternative way through pictures. PECS are used as an intervention for children with ASD who either have no expressive language or have very limited expressive language. Personally, I had experiences with PECS very young. I recall from my parents that I used to point at pictures through a binder to communicate. Eventually, I would create sentences by placing pictures on top of my binder with velcro tape on it. PECS can be beneficial as an intervention for growing communication skills. 

Here is advice about using PECS for an individual with ASD:

  1. Implement pictures that are very common and functional to use in life for an individual with ASD.
  2. Always reinforce when an individual with ASD expresses through pictures. Reinforcement should be used together with PECS as an intervention.
  3. Arrange the environment for many opportunities of learning with PECS in structured and unstructured environments.

Now that we understand about PECS, here are pros and cons of teaching communication to individuals with ASD using PECS:

Less expensive approach to teach languageRequires a lot of attention from an individual with ASD to learn
No special training is needed because pictures are used with labeled wordsCommunication is limited to pictures with labeled words
Helps increase social communication and interactions in the environment
Pros and Cons of Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Would you use Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to teach an individual with ASD to communicate? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It is so important to ensure people with disabilities have access to jobs, so they make a living and succeed in life like everyone else in the world. Here are ways employers can hire more people with disabilities and ways to create more inclusive work environments:

  1. Provide job roles geared towards an individual’s strengths. When supervisors and managers provide jobs matching an individual’s strengths, an individual will make more of a contribution to your company.
  2. Think about what an individual can do instead of what they cannot do. Focus on the skills people with disabilities are able to perform in the workplace because people have a lot to bring to the table for a company.
  3. Keep in mind of accommodations and modifications. Everyone has the right to work for a company because of the skills they bring, so make sure to provide accommodations and modifications, based on an individual’s needs. For example, change the lighting in a work environment or creating a schedule that allows an employee with a disability to work during morning hours instead of evening hours. The goal is to keep employees working for a company as long as possible, so accommodate and modify when necessary.
  4. Provide access for all. As mentioned earlier, people with disabilities need to make a living like everyone else. Put the employee with a disability first because companies will make their work culture more diverse. By making the work culture more diverse, it helps companies stand out from others.

These tips can help employers make their work culture more diverse and help people with disabilities make a living and succeed in life. Personally, my career journey has full of ups and downs. I have filled out millions of job applications and have been in many job experiences. It all started at the age of 18, when I worked as a teacher assistant for a before and after care program for Marlboro School District, in which was the school district I attended as a student. Today, I’m 23, and I work multiple jobs while attending college online. I work full time as a paraprofessional for elementary school students with disabilities in a public school district in Florida, and I work with Full Spectrum ABA in various roles: autistic blogger and member of their virtual ABA high needs support team. I do need to give a big thanks to Full Spectrum ABA.

FSBA Logo 2021.png

Full Spectrum ABA hired me because they knew about my blog, and they knew my dream career is to work in the ABA field. I became their autistic blogger, and a member of their virtual ABA high needs support team. Not only that, we have been collaborating on my supervision while working towards certification. I am so excited to grow in the field of ABA with Full Spectrum ABA because I want to make an impact on lives of individuals with ASD. Full Spectrum ABA is an example of an company who has been hiring people with disabilities because they want people to succeed in life. Learn more of the autistic advocates like myself who were hired to work with Full Spectrum ABA:


Has your organization or company have been hiring people with disabilities? What would you do to make your workplace more inclusive? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Interview with Sara Bradford on SJ Childs Show and author of children books about Inclusion

What is inclusion?

Inclusion is focusing on needs of every individual and ensuring rights are in place for people to achieve their fullest potential in life. No matter who people are and where they come from, they are respected and accepted in the world. Now allow me to share the next guest of my guest interview series:

Sara Bradford is a wife to a husband with Aspergers and a mother of 3 children on the autism spectrum. Her family experiences with autism have shed a light of inclusion in the world. As a result, Sara created a show known as “SJ Childs”. Also, Sara is an author of 7 children’s books that provide a message about inclusion, accepting differences, and loving people as themselves. Her children books include characters of children with disabilities based on people in her life, which makes her books so real and raw. Check out the interview I did with Sara:

Check out Sara Bradford’s “SJ Childs show” and her published children’s books here: https://sjchilds.org/

Interview with Paul Silver on self-advocacy and college

Did you know self-advocacy is important in life, including in college?

Self-advocacy is a foundation towards success in life. In a college setting, self-advocacy allows students to advocate for their own education needs. For example, a student goes to the disability services in their first year of college to get accommodations and modifications they need to do well in college. Throughout the rest of their college years, they work together with their professors to provide their accommodations and modifications, in order to be successful. Self-advocacy allows people to take charge of their own lives and maximize their strengths, while creating positive changes. Now let me introduce you to a guest I interviewed for my guest interview series:

Paul Silver is an autistic self-advocate who is about to graduate from college! It is a huge milestone for anyone on the autism spectrum to earn a degree from college. Paul and I discussed the importance of self-advocacy and skills needed to succeed in life, including college. We shared strategies and tips from our own college experiences to help students on the autism spectrum get through college. Check out the guest interview I did with Paul:

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)

What is a Behavior Intervention Plan? - Nicole Schlechter Advocacy

What is a behavior intervention plan (BIP)?

A behavior intervention plan (BIP) is a written plan for addressing individual needs of students. There are nine components of a behavior intervention plan (BIP). Shepherd and Linn (2014) share the nine components within a behavior intervention plan (BIP): a target behavior definition, attempted interventions, summary of FBA, a behavioral hypothesis, first alternative behavior, intervention strategies for first alternative behavior, second alternative behavior, intervention strategies for second alternative behavior, and evaluation of effectiveness of plan. In the first component, an operational definition of a target behavior is included which tells the target behavior is measurable, observable, and repeatable. In the second component of a BIP, any ineffective interventions are noted. In the third component, an FBA summary is included, along with data collection of the behavior. In the fourth component of an BIP, the behavioral hypothesis represents the function of behavior identified. In the rest of the components, some alternative behaviors and some intervention strategies are created and implemented. The final component of a BIP is continuous evaluation of a behavior intervention plan through many kinds of observations and assessments. A behavior intervention plan (BIP) can change overtime based on individual needs. 

One of the components of a behavior intervention plan (BIP) involves interventions. Positive and negative reinforcement can maintain a student’s behavior. Negative reinforcement is removing or getting rid of something to increase positive target behaviors. Extinction is about eliminating undesired or unwanted behaviors. An interfering behavior in the classroom that can be maintained through negative reinforcement and extinction. For example, Jimmy throws a tantrum when he doesn’t want to eat his food during snack time. The paraprofessional working with Jimmy lets him continue to throw a tantrum while having him eat his food during snack time. The tantrums will increase at first, and then decrease overtime because his actions will no longer provide the desired outcome he wants. This scenario demonstrates negative reinforcement with extinction. On the other hand, positive reinforcement is reinforcing positive target behaviors to occur more likely in the future. Differential reinforcement is reinforcing a specific class of behavior while withholding reinforcement of undesired behaviors. For instance, if the target behavior for Jimmy is to learn to point to the color blue when instructed, he is only reinforced when pointing to the color blue. For any other response, reinforcement is not provided. This scenario demonstrates positive reinforcement with differential reinforcement. Different behavior interventions, from reinforcement to extinction and differential reinforcement, are used to teach new alternative behaviors as part of a behavior intervention plan (BIP). 

Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs) are helpful for promoting positive behaviors, but there are barriers to the development and application of BIPs in the classroom. Schools are still following traditional rules and consequences as part of their behavior management in classrooms. For example, schools still use punishment methods as part of their classroom behavior management. A solution to this is providing more training to teach teachers and administrators about many kinds of behavior interventions to use in classroom management while keeping in mind the individual needs of students. Although, lack of training is a barrier as well, especially for teachers who teach in general education classroom settings. The main solution for all of these barriers is for schools to dedicate professional development times throughout the school year to train teachers and administrators, provide them support, and let them practice creating and implementing BIPs. Making behavior management in the classroom is key to helping students be successful in their education.

Cultural influences can impact approaches to behavior modifications. Educators and professionals have to make sure to understand a student’s cultural background within the behavior intervention plan (BIP). For example, some cultures do not believe eye contact is important. Therefore, educators and professionals would have to make sure to learn from a student’s family prior to providing behavior intervention and data collection, involve the family in behavior intervention and data collection, and adapt procedures based on family interactions. Culturally responsive strategies of behavior modifications and culturally sensitive data collection is key for implementing effective behavior intervention plans (BIPs). 

Did you know that an behavior intervention plan (BIP) is used in school classrooms and in therapy sessions? Share your thoughts in the comments section!


Shepherd, T. L., & Linn, D. (2014). Behavior and Classroom Management in the Multicultural Classroom : Proactive, Active, and Reactive Strategies. SAGE Publications, Inc.

Environment and visual supports for Autistics

Asperger Syndrome and Autism: Strategies for Success

Modifications can be made to create a positive and supportive environment for people with ASD. Environmental and visual supports are modifications used in any school, home, and community setting, in order to help autistics grow and develop.

Environmental supports organize and structure physical spaces in homes, schools, and communities. Some environmental supports used for Autistics include visual boundary settings, labels, and visual schedules. Environmental support strategies can help children with ASD respond and adapt to daily activities in the environment. In a school setting, a visual schedule in the classroom allows students with ASD to learn a classroom routine full of activities they will be participating in for the entire school day. This helps children with ASD understand expectations in the environment and helps them with transitions from one activity to another. Autism society (n.d.) shares that in a home setting, using colored-tape boundaries lets the child with ASD know not to enter into a dangerous area in the environment. This allows the person with ASD to discriminate between off-limit areas and safe areas in the environment. In a community setting, a student with autism puts a puzzle game with a written-label on it away by placing it on the shelf based on the matching written-label while in the waiting area of their pediatrician’s office. Through written-labels, they help an individual with ASD learn more about their environment. Environmental supports help increase an individual’s independence and encourages communication. All in all, environmental supports are effective to help people with ASD in any setting. Another kind of modification in the environment that helps autistics are visual supports.

Visual supports help autistics process information in any setting and encourages communication. Some visual supports for people with ASD include first-then visuals, timers, social narratives, and visual communication cards. Visual supports teaches the child with ASD expectations in any setting, and procedures are consistent across people involved with the child. In a school setting, a one-to-one teacher aide can show a student with ASD a first-then visual that consists of two pictures: the first picture is an activity or main task, and the second picture is a reinforcer. The one-to-one teacher aide uses first-then visuals while explaining to the student with ASD new activities or events, so they understand the activity or task, while learning a consequence or reward follows after completing the activity or task. In a home setting, a parent can use a timer to let their child with ASD know it’s time to move onto a new activity after playing with their toys. In a community setting, if an individual with ASD who is non-verbal needs to use the restroom, they can give the visual restroom card to the person they are with, so the person knows they need to use the restroom. Visual supports increase skills across curriculum areas, from social interactions to communication. Just like environmental supports, visual supports are effective to help autistics in any setting.

In conclusion, any setting can be modified for people with ASD by using environment and visual supports. Modifications made can ensure the safety of autistics by discriminating between safe and unsafe areas in the environment. These two kinds of supports help reduce problematic behaviors, and they help increase social interactions. They encourage communication and promote student independence. Any kind of modification made in a positive and supportive environment helps people with ASD grow and develop in life.


Autism Society. (n.d.). Safety in the home. Retrieved from http://www.autism-society.org/living-with-autism/how-the-autism-society-can-help/safe-and-sound/safety-in-the-home/

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