Case Study: Amanda’s Journey to Recovery (A Clinician’s Report)

22 blog avatar Case Study: Amanda’s Journey to Recovery (A Clinician’s Report)
Expert Name: Rebekah Cook
Company Name:  Step By Step Academy
Company URL: www.stepbystepacademy.org
Short Bio: Rebekah has worked in this field for almost 7 years. Starting out working in 1:1 intensive intervention, 

she realized that she loved working with this population and wanted to make it a career. She held a position as a Program Manager where she managed a caseload of 16 consumers for 3 years. Recently she decided to work closer to home and moved to an outreach home and community practitioner position.

Rebekah graduated from Ohio State University in 2000 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. In 20010, she began working towards a masters degree in education, to gain her intervention specialist license. Once Rebekah completes her masters she would like to pursue a board certification in behavior analysis.

Case Study: Amanda’s Journey to Recovery (A Clinician’s Report)

I entered into this position rather new to working on a home team. Having worked in a centre environment for the past 7 years I didn’t know what to expect or how I was going to structure my sessions. I also had not worked with many children who were as young as this child and was looking forward to the challenge of modifying my teaching around someone her age. 

The first day always presents its own challenges when working with a new consumer. I found that the challenges were more centered on finding ways to pair with the consumer when the highest reward, the parents was available. I had not experienced this in the center as eventually the child would accept rewards from you as their parents were not available throughout the day. I found that I needed to pair longer each day and that using the parents to facilitate the pairing at the beginning worked very well. Although the pairing took longer, the consumer now will go with me to the table willingly and will play with me during downtime.

After around a month of pairing (developing rapport and connection with the child by having her make a positive association between you and something “good,” typically by giving the child a reinforcement as a freebee.develop rapport and connection with the child by having her make a positive association between you and something “good,” typically by giving the child a reinforcement as a freebee), communication and play skills we slowly moved the consumer up to her bedroom for programming. This was such a smooth transition and I found that when working with the consumer up in the room there were less distractions and less interruptions due to lack of movement elsewhere in the room. Since moving up to the bedroom I have seen huge strides in all programming.

This has been such a rewarding experience thus far. The consumer has learned to drink from a straw, take off their own pants and is gaining pre-language/communication skills that they did not have prior to intervention. I am excited to continue to work with her and help her reach her fullest potential. Teacher expectation of their students can have an advantageous or a negative effect on the progress of the child they are working with. The expectation one has for those they teach actually influences their performance. I keep this in the forefront of my mind when I work with each child, and expect each child to aim towards new heights and meet new goals. I know that this consumer can meet their goals and can learn what we set out to teach her.

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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

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