Taking Steps Toward Unlocking your Child’s Independence

Expert Name: Karen Chung
Expert Title: Founder and CEO
Company Name:  Special Learning, Inc.
Company URL: www.special-learning.com
Short Bio: Karen is the CEO and Founder of Special Learning. She graduated from Kellog 

and was introduced to the ABA field and ancillary therapies over a decade ago. It became her life’s passion to share knowledge of these evidence-based therapies to the global community who either work or have a child/adult with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) or a related disorder. She has become one of the thought-leaders in this space and is achieving her goal through the works of Special Learning, Inc.

Taking Steps Toward Unlocking your Child’s Independence

As we celebrate Independence Day it is fitting that we spend some time reflecting on the meaning of independence for individuals with special needs. Any parent, educator or provider who works closely with children, adolescents or adults with Autism, Down syndrome or any other developmental disability knows that early invention is key to our children achieving the highest level of success and independence, leading, hopefully, to an abundant and fulfilling life.

However, in the midst of dealing with our day-to-day struggles of arranging for appropriate treatment and services, figuring out how to get funding to pay for the treatment, dealing with your child’s IEP and a thousand other duties that goes with being a parent of child with special needs, many parents often overlook one of their most important responsibilities – to plan for our child’s future.  As with anything else in life, timely and appropriate planning leads to a path that most closely resembles one’s goals. Almost everyone would agree that if, by some chance, your future even closely resembles your vision without any pre-planning on your part, you were very, very fortunate.

To ensure that your child’s future is as bright as it can be, regardless of how young your child is (actually, the younger the better),  parents need to start planning NOW rather than waiting until it’s too late to make a substantial  impact. Establishing long-term goals, not only for academic matters, but setting qualitative goals like, “I want my child to live an independent and fulfilling life,” is a good start.

Inevitably, once you have a specific goal in mind, it will guide your decision-making. The decisions that you make today, either consciously or unconsciously, will lead you one step closer to your objective of paving a brighter future for your child.

Thank you for taking Special Learning along on your journey. From our family to yours, have a happy and fun-filled Independence Day!

Karen Chung

Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Special Learning

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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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