The need for social skills training is extraordinary. Yet, the research on “what works” is sparse. Over the past five years, Verbal Behavior Institute (VBI), working with our sister New York agency Developmental Delay Rehabilitation Services, Inc. developed a specialized training that can be taught to teachers, paras, clinicians and parents – in less than a day. Making use of Dr. Brian Iwata’s work in the field of Functional Analysis, we created an evidence-based tool, to target specific skills, identify function and then “teach” generalization across settings, people and events. This session reviews the recent legal decisions around the issue. Using current district examples, we review proactive strategies to address this need in a fiscally responsible manner.
Creating a Receiving District is a free video course designed for school districts interested in creating a new revenue stream by providing services for special needs children. The course focuses on the components that are necessary in developing programs for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities in such a way that supports the child individually and talks about individual programming for all the children and behavioral supports within the school district as well as incorporating generalization of skills and parent involvement and parent training and other curriculum support and technology to support the learning of children with developmental disabilities.
The upcoming “Autism Insurance Coverage Workshop” will explore what it means to your school district. Apparently, few school districts are prepared to deal with the looming tsunami of litigation behind the Autism Insurance Acts. As parents of children with ASD and other covered disabilities engage their insurance providers to obtain in home services; data is being created by trained specialists such as BCBA/BCaBAs. The challenge is courts both at the local (state) and Federal level hold consistently that a program with data is the standard to meet in determining whether FAPE and LRE are met. This session introduces strategies administrators can use proactively to align with existing practices, and prevent costly lawsuits. Click here to register http://verbalbehaviorinstitute.com/workshops/
There is a child and family we served recently. The child was born with some significant challenges. The mom and dad were tortured by the nagging question of what more they could do. They did all that they could think of, and then some. Verbal Behavior Institute (VBI) was called in by the family, through friends – as we have a solid reputation for quality (even our detractors admit we do what we do well. They just wish we would do it elsewhere so there was no standard for comparison.). After a couple of weeks, the family informed us they wanted to retain a lawyer to assist them in suing their district to obtain truly individualized services for their son. We did not comment on their decision. We do not comment on what parents want to do; other than to speak about what we, as educators can do to help the child. We agreed we would write a course of treatment and education for their purposes, consistent with the work we were and planned to do, irrespective of the planned litigation.
After more than a few discussions with the family over the course of months it became readily apparent to me as the BCBA and administrator on the case, the stress of litigation was going to be added stress on this family who already had much on their plate. After internal discussions at VBI among staff, we made a decision to try to help the family and their district to resolve this matter; without the added stress court, depositions, discovery and all of the nuances that suck the time and energy out of the people. [Read more…] about Helping a family deal with litigation stress
VBI has created three revenue generating programs for public schools based on a simple formula. If you build it, they will come – and/or the court will order the students to come. This session addresses what the requirements are for a true “ABA” program for children with spectrum disorders and other disabilities. We show district administrators how to create, in a step-by-step, fiscally responsible manner – a program to serve their own children (preventing the need for expensive out of district placements and keeping tuition funds at home) and how to expand that program to attract students from other public school districts on a tuition basis to create added revenue.
The past 12 months were exciting; to say the least. In two cases, Verbal Behavior Institute and its principal, were specifically referenced in settlements and adjudication, as the “solution” to very complex legal cases that were exhausting the time and energy of both families and districts.
In one case, a prominent attorney, who’s firm often represents the advocacy organization Autism Speaks, presented the program of instruction we developed (through our affiliate Developmental Delay Rehabilitation Services, Inc. and Lisa Delaney BCBA) and the court actually wrote in their opinion that the program was not only demonstrated as effective – but noted us to be providing an outstanding service, at well below the market rates for programs of similar quality and services. (the local news picked up on same and added that to their story – copy of article can be reviewed by checking www.ddrsny.com)
In a separate, and similar determination – the Superintendent of a district in southern central NJ, negotiated a favorable settlement for all parties, after scrutinizing the case and quality of education via external, independent evaluator’s opinions. In that case, the decision was to spare the district and the family, the expense and stress of lengthy litigation – and rather to agree to continue to provide the child in question with the services that were (remain) in place.
For more than eight years, Verbal Behavior Institute and its key staff (Vivian Attanasio, BCaBA, Whitney Pubylski, BCaBA, Kathy Huber, Colleen Aherns, BCBA, and Terry Blackwell, BCBA) developed a solid reputation for assisting those parties interested in the child, and their education – in coming to agreement on services that are both effective and efficient. Our focus is simple; but not easy. If “best practices” are developed – and integrated in a meaningful and measurable way – to generalize into the child’s home community, then everyone wins without the cost of litigation. Call us at (732) 254-0300, and we will be pleased to provide references, both professional and personal on request.
We offer training and workshops for parents, teachers, therapists and others throughout New Jersey, New York City and the Hudson Valley area. Many of our courses are free.