Pick of the Week: NEW! Question Challenge Card Game

The Question Challenge Card Game is an expressive and receptive language card game that targets social and reasoning skills in young learners. This game will target skills in staying calm through self-talk, predicting, questioning in conversation, determining perspective, inferencing, cognitive flexibility, intonation, body language, and more. As they play the game, students will practice skills necessary for effective communication and problem solving.

To play the game, one player turns over a Challenge Card and reads it out loud, stating which player will answer and how many questions he or she will answer. The player asked to answer then flips over a Question Card and answers the question on it. If the student answers appropriately, he or she spins the electronic spinner and receives the lighted number of tokens. The player with the most tokens at the end of the game wins!

This week, you can also save 15%* on your set of the Question Challenge Card Game by using our promo code QCGAME at check-out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Includes 300 color-coded Question Cards, 50 Challenge Cards, 225 Bingo Chips, and 1 Electronic Spinner.

Don’t forget to save 15%* this week on the Question Challenge Card Game by using promo code QCGAME when you check out online or over the phone with us!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on March 31st, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!

Volunteers Needed to Test Database of Colleges for Students for Autism

ASD-DR.com is launching a college-search resource to help families with autistic students. There are many online search sites with information about colleges, but few of them include information on the support services available at these institutions. This new resource allows parents and other caregivers of students with autism to search through a database of over 300 colleges across the U.S. with autism services.

They are looking for volunteers to help in developing this database by previewing the content and answering the following questions:

  1. What additional information would you like?
  2. What search options should be added?
  3. What information is not needed?

Be sure to sign up by March 30. The database will be available only for those who have a log-in and password, which Dawn Marcotte will provide on April 1, 2015. Those interested should sign up at www.asd-dr.com.

ASD-DR Volunteer Request

 

Guest Article: Tips on Encouraging Picky Eaters

This week, we’re thrilled to share some exclusive tips from Julia Singer Katz at the Kutest Kids Early Intervention Center on how to deal with picky eaters, from using colors and schedules to modeling good habits.

Don’t let picky eating ruin meal time or divide your family at the dinner table. Encouraging healthy eating habits with a stubborn child requires patience with a firm touch. Here at Kutest Kids Early Intervention Center, our therapists are all too familiar with this phenomenon and would like share some common tips. Begin by setting the stage for healthy choices, thereby helping your child overcome their picky habits with a few key strategies.

Start With a Schedule.  Hungry kids are often less picky than those that have been snacking on junk foods all day. Scheduling snack time – and sticking to it – ensures your kids are hungry when a healthy meal is served. Don’t just schedule snacks, though. Having breakfast, lunch and dinner at regular times further encourages kids to eat only when the food is available.

Skip the Junk.  A pantry or fridge full of unhealthy options further encourages picky eating. What kid is going to fill up on broccoli when they know there are ice cream and chips just a few steps away? If the only options are healthy options, a hungry child is more likely to choose those with few complaints. Keep the healthy snacks accessible – cut up carrot and veggie sticks and keep raw fruit washed and cubed for easy serving.

Add Some Healthy Elements.  Even the most adventurous eater may turn up their nose to a completely unfamiliar food. Instead of making a full change out of the gate, begin by introducing healthier elements to their favorite dishes. Try oven-baked chicken fingers with a whole-meal coating instead of processed and fried nuggets. Mix in some shredded zucchini with their macaroni and cheese. Add fruit to a no-sugar cereal. Small changes can win over a picky eater.

Eat the Colors.  Most kids respond well to games and challenges. Brightly colored foods, such as vegetables and fruits are healthier than most dull and bland-colored foods. Make a game out of eating as many colors in a day as possible! This may encourage an otherwise picky eater to eat more vegetables and to try new foods.

Loosen Up the Rules.  A strict clean-your-plate rule does more harm than good. In the end, it just encourages over-eating while also making the dinner table a place of stress and tears. Allow your kids to decide when they are full. If they want a snack later, it’s not an issue if you have a scheduled after-dinner snack time, and they only have access to healthy snacks.

Model Good Eating Habits.  Often, picky eating is a learned behavior. Only serve foods that you will eat, and don’t complain about any food within the child’s hearing. Have meals at the table, and never encourage mindless snacking while watching television.

Many kids naturally go through phases of picky eating. Keeping unhealthy food to a minimum and only serving it as an occasional treat will help your family weather these finicky moments.

WRITTEN BY JULIA SINGER KATZ, MSS, LSW

Julia Singer Katz MSS, LSW is the Supervisor of Clinical Program Development at the Kutest Kids Early Intervention Agency, an all-inclusive therapy center in Philadelphia. She’s very passionate about helping each child reach his or her fullest potential and making a difference in the community.

NEW Product Spotlight: Essential for Living – A Functional Skills Assessment & Curriculum

This week, we’re thrilled to introduce you to a new functional skills assessment and curriculum by Patrick McGreevy, PhD, BCBA-D, Troy Fry, BCBA, and Colleen Cornwall, EdD, BCBA-D. Essential for Living is a functional skills curriculum, assessment, and skill tracking instrument for students with moderate-to-severe disabilities. The program is based on concepts, principles, and empirically-validated procedures from Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and from B.F. Skinner’s ground-breaking analysis of verbal behavior.

This week, we’re offering FREE DOMESTIC GROUND SHIPPING* on your order of the Essential for Living: Professional Practitioner’s Handbook and its accompanying scoring manuals, the ARP (Assessment & Record of Progress Manual) and the EARP (Essential Assessment and Record of Progress Manual). Just mention or apply promo code EFLPROMO at check-out to redeem this offer! Be sure to select your Free UPS Ground shipping option before you check out.

The Essential for Living: Professional Practitioner’s Handbook is both an assessment and a curriculum. It can be used to determine the current performance level of each learner to conduct a curriculum-based assessment. This instrument is also used to develop appropriate IEP goals, and objectives for individual education or support plans and to track skill acquisition and problem behavior. Essential for Living permits teachers to record and track very small increments of learner progress, including the extent to which generalization has occurred. The program is composed of functional skills and behaviors which are essential for effective daily living and which result in an improved quality of life for children and adults. It is especially useful for learners with limited communication repertoires, minimal daily living skills, or severe problem behavior.

Users must purchase the Professional Practitioner’s Handbook in order to implement the Essential for Living program, and then have the option to use of one of the scoring manuals below.

The EARP (Essential Assessment and Record of Progress for the Essential Eight Skills and Problem Behavior) is a 26-page manual that focuses on the eight critical skills that all learners will need as adults, covering must-have indications of interest, requests, and related listener responses; following directions related to health and safety; daily living skills related to health and safety; and tolerating skills related to health and safety.

 

The ARP (The Assessment and Record of Progress Manual) is the complete assessment and record for thousands of skills that are part of everyday living, including the eight essential skills. Users wishing to complete a full assessment should purchase the ARP. The ARP allows instructors, speech-language pathologists, behavior analysts, care providers, and parents to record the performance of individual learners on assessments, and to then track their subsequent progress on any of the skills covered in Essential for Living, along with any problem behaviors that have been assessed and for which a program has begun.

The ARP covers the following Domains: Requests and Related Listener Responses; Listener Responses, Names, and Descriptions; Answers to Questions and Conversations; Daily Living and Related Skills; Functional and Academic Skills; Tolerating Skills and Eggshells; and Tool Skills and Component Skills.

Users should also note that Essential for Living is not a developmental instrument and it is neither age, nor grade-referenced. For that reason, it works well as a complementary tool for the VB-MAPP by Mark Sundberg which does contain developmental levels that are age-referenced. Click here for how to choose which instrument to use and how the VB-MAPP and Essential for Living can be used together.

Don’t forget to mention or apply our promo code EFLPROMO at check-out this week to receive FREE DOMESTIC GROUND SHIPPING* on your order of the entire (or any part of) Essential for Living curriculum and assessment!

*This offer applies only to Domestic Ground Shipping options. Please be sure to select Free UPS Ground shipping at check-out. Offer applies to only orders containing the Essential for Living: Professional Practitioner’s Handbook (DRB 143), the ARP Manual (DRB 144), and the EARP Manual (DRB 145). Promotion lasts through March 25th, 2015.

 

 

Posted in ABA

Pick of the Week: “On My Own” Activity Kits

Teach important daily living, vocational, and social skills that pave the way to independence and success to young learners with these brand new On My Own activity kits. Early learners can follow the visual cues and step-by-step directions to complete activities and art projects related to a variety of skills in daily life, such as cooking, setting the table, and creating art projects that develop gross and fine motor skills.

This week only, use our promo code ONMYOWN to take 15%* off either the On My Own: Year-Round Art Fun or the On My Own: Art, Cooking & Life Skills learning kits.

In On My Own: Art, Cooking & Life Skills, each activity is shown completed and is followed by a checklist of materials along with the directions. Young learners will be able to complete the tasks independently as they develop important vocational and recreational skills.

In On My Own: Year-Round Art Fun, learners will get to complete various arts and crafts projects independently, pairing visual cues and text from 30 different activity cards, while gaining confidence.

Don’t forget to mention or apply our promo code ONMYOWN this week only to save 15%* on either or both of these learning kits when you check out online or over the phone with us!

Pick of the Week: Assessing Language and Learning with Pictures (ALL PICS)

Assessing Language and Learning with Pictures (ALL PICS) is an assessment tool designed to be used in conjunction Dr. Mark Sundberg’s Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP). ALL PICS was designed by behavior analysts who specialize in the application of Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior and have extensive experience in assessing verbal behavior with assessments such as the VB-MAPP.

This week only, take 15%* off ($90 savings!) your order of the ALL PICS assessment program by using our special promo code ALLPICS at check-out!

ALL PICS was designed to make administration of the VB-MAPP more accurate, efficient, and cost-effective for schools, clinics, agencies, and private practitioners. ALL PICS contains all of the 2-D pictures necessary to administer the VB-MAPP Milestones.

ALL PICS consists of 3 spiral bound books, with pre-arranged fields of high-resolution images that correspond with the VB-MAPP specifications. While conducting a verbal behavior assessment, the evaluator using ALL PICS can quickly record responses on the corresponding downloadable data sheets and then turn from one page of the book to the next. For visual tasks, a corresponding box of labeled flashcards is included, permitting the tester to quickly obtain all cards needed for each milestone without the need to search for cards.

The unique benefits of using ALL PICS during verbal behavior assessment include:

  • Includes 275 labeled, high-resolution flashcards for visual performance assessment that correspond to each page of the visual performance book, saving time and increasing efficiency
  • Corresponding, free data sheets that can be downloaded for each learner
  • The opportunity to test generalization with novel pictures, as opposed to familiar flashcards that the learner has seen many times
  • Team members with limited training in behavior analysis can play an active role in the assessment process, reading from the scripts on the data sheets
  • Comprehensive image list of over 1,200 common items that can be used to assess the number of tacts or listener responses in a learner’s repertoire

Don’t forget to use our promo code ALLPICS this week only to save 15%* on your purchase of this comprehensive verbal behavior assessment tool!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EDT on March 17th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!

“Night of Too Many Stars” Airs on Comedy Central, Mar. 8, 2015

This year’s “Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together for Autism Programs”, a big TV charity event for autism programs, hosted by Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, will air on Sunday, March 8, 2015. Be sure to tune in at 8:00pm ET/PT. Live phone banks manned by celebrities including Larry David, Martin Short, and Larry Willmore will also be available during the event. Funds raised by the live event will go directly to programs to help kids with autism and other developmental delays immediately.

Since 2006, “Night of Too Many Stars” has raised over $18 million to benefit autism programs around the nation. In 2012, “Night of Too Many Stars,” gave almost $4 million in grants to 50 programs in 20 states through the efforts of partner organization New York Collaborates for Autism.

We had the hilarious pleasure of attending the taping of the show last Saturday, February 28, 2015 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Members of the audience had the opportunity to interact with performers like John Oliver, Paul Rudd, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK on stage to raise funds and awareness for autism. We’re incredibly grateful to Julie at Different Roads, who gave us the opportunity to attend such a memorable and charitable event!

For more information about the event and submitting donations to New York Collaborates for Autism, you can visit www.cc.com/toomanystars.

Tip of the Week: Recognizing Fad Autism Treatments

Learning that your child has autism is incredibly overwhelming. You’re under intense stress to make the best decisions possible for your child, and to do so quickly. Add to the fact that autism is a popular topic in the news and social media, so tips and quick fixes frequently show up in headlines and news feeds. Autism is considered to be a fad treatment magnet, and while some of the fad treatments are ineffective, others are flat out dangerous. How is it possible to parse through all this to find reliable information? Here are a few tips to help you out:

  1. Avoid products or organizations that promise a cure or rapid progress. All children respond to intervention at different rates. There is no known cure for autism, and there is no “quick fix” either.
  2. Avoid products or organizations that use scare tactics. Anyone who is trying to scare you into using their products or services does not have your best interest at heart. Instilling fear in parents can make it more difficult to make knowledgeable choices and increase the pressure already felt. Scare tactics are generally used to encourage you to make a snap decision, often at a high monetary cost.
  3. Avoid products or organizations that utilize subjective testimonials instead of data-driven science to measure progress. Testimonials may be compelling, but without scientific research it’s impossible to know what actually caused progress. Research should be completed that illustrates an intervention or treatment is directly linked to progress.
  4. Avoid products or organizations that advertise easy solutions which don’t require a professional’s help. Many of the behaviors presented with autism are incredibly challenging. Approaching those issues without the assistance of a trained professional can be detrimental or potentially dangerous for your child, especially when your child exhibits self-injurious behaviors.
  5. Avoid products or organizations that do not measure progress for the intervention being used. It should be very clear what the expected outcome of a product or treatment is, as well as how it will be measured. Relying on informal reports from either parents and/or teachers does not supply valid information about the effectiveness of the product or treatment.
  6. Be wary of treatments that require “faith” to work. If a treatment is not working, it is not because you didn’t believe in it, it’s because something in the treatment needs to be changed to meet the unique needs of your child.

So where can you find valid information? The Association for Science in Autism Treatment is a reliable source for up-to-date information about the many types of treatment available for individuals with autism. The website is packed with useful information, but you may find “Questions to Ask Marketers of Autism Interventions” especially helpful as you make decisions about your child’s treatment. You may also want to pick up Sabrina Freeman’s book, The Complete Guide to Autism Treatments: A Parent’s Handbook: Make Sure Your Child Gets What Works!

 

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals. Sam is currently pursuing her PhD in Applied Behavior Analysis at Endicott College.

Pick of the Week: NEW Workbook on Developing Receptive & Expressive Language Skills

Help young learners develop expressive and receptive language skills with this comprehensive workbook filled with 33 reproducible lessons! This week only, you can also take 15%* off your order of “Developing Receptive & Expressive Language Skills in Young Learners” by SLP Jean Gilliam DeGaetano. Just use our promo code JDGLANG during check-out online or over the phone with us.

Each lesson in this workbook is accompanied by an Instructor Worksheet page that covers 4 sections of questions involving answering “Yes” or “No,” responding verbally, or responding non-verbally by pointing to the correct answer. “Developing Receptive & Expressive Language Skills in Young Learners” is a great workbook that provides a variety of techniques, with adequate repetition within each to develop receptive and expressive language skills in both verbal and non-verbal children, mainstream ages 3–7.

Don’t forget to apply our promo code JDGLANG at check-out to save 15%* on your order of “Developing Receptive & Expressive Language Skills in Young Learners” this week!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EST on March 10th, 2015. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!

Upcoming New York Family Workshop & Support Group Events

Parent to Parent New York, Inc. will be hosting a free workshop and several family support groups throughout March that you won’t want to miss! Their free workshop “Special Education Mediation: A Collaborative Option for Resolving Disputes” aims to help parents and school districts become more effective partners, offering attendees an opportunity to look at conflict differently, learn about resources that enable people to communicate more effectively, and meet with representatives from organizations to assist parents and schools with communication issues.

Special Education Mediation: A Collaborative Option for Resolving Disputes
10:00am–12:00pm EST
Thursday, March 19th, 2015
Institute for Basic Research
Parent to Parent NY, Inc.
1050 Forest Hill Road
Staten Island, NY 10314

Those who wish to attend should RSVP by calling (718) 494-4872 or emailing SIPTP@aol.com.

They will also be hosting several support groups throughout the rest of the month. The Aspergers, Mothers, and Sibling Support Groups will also be held at the Institute for Basic Research. The Fathers Support Group will be held at the Page Plaza Diner in Tottenville, Staten Island. Please find the times and dates below for each support group:

Aspergers Support Group
10:00am–12:00pm EST
Wed, March 4th & March 18th, 2015

Mothers Support Group
10:00am–12:00pm EST
Wed, March 11th & March 25th, 2015

Fathers Support Group
6:30pm–9:00pm EST
Wed, March 11th, 2015

Siblings Support Group
6:30pm–8:00pm EST
Fri, March 6th & March 20th, 2015
RSVP is required, by calling (718) 494-4872.

For more information about these parent support groups, please call (718) 494-4872 or send an email to Parent to Parent New York at SIPTP@aol.com.