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Recap: Practical Behavior Supports Workshop

Whether you arrived with next-to-no prior experience (either classroom or real-world) or came armed with years of professional experience with the autism spectrum, Dr. Marrea Winnega’s October 18th workshop, Practical Behavior Supports, provided an environment full of not only opportunities to learn but also to collaborate.

The primary objectives of this workshop were to:

  1. Attain knowledge about which skills to teach to match the function(s) of the problem behavior
  2. Learn a variety of interventions that will impact behavior immediately
  3. Acquire skills to get students to be motivated to learn
  4. Brainstorm the outcome of using reprimands
  5. Learn an easy-to-use errorless teaching procedure

ABA is not a blanket program. It involves flexibility and attention to detail, on both large and small scales. One of the more important lessons really hammered home in discussing reinforcements and behaviors was how necessary it is to look at each child individually. What works for one may not work for another. In addition, sometimes what works for the same child one day is not effective the next day. It is your responsibility to react to that and adjust your approach efficiently.

A main aspect of this particular workshop that seemed such a success was the amount of discussion and give-and-take that happened so naturally throughout the day. One attendee particularly liked “people sharing their own challenges and brainstorming ideas.”

Along with those newer to the ABA approach, there were people in attendance who have dedicated their entire lives and careers to ABA, creating a rich and dynamic discussion. Everyone was sharing experiences they’ve had; everyone was asking for feedback regarding personal experiences. If your hand was up, your voice was heard.

Dr. Winnega has two halfday workshops coming up this Friday, November 8th. The morning session is Functional Behavior Assessment, and the afternoon session is ABA for Middle School and High School Students.

— Jessica McCulloch, AHSS Event Coordinator

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