My curiosity for autism came about when I taught martial arts. I remember the frustration I felt when a student politely raised his hand and said “Ms. Christina, I’m tired. No, no, no!” and promptly lay down in the middle of the group while we were practicing roundhouse kicks. As marital arts is known for its discipline, I punished the student with endurance drills, and when the student refused, I sat him out of class that day. Minutes later his mom politely explained that the boy had autism and asked me if I could allow him to rejoin! Needless to say, I felt awful. Fortunately, I was able to modify my instructions for the student so he could participate with the group. Soon after that session, I found a part-time nanny position for a child with autism that essentially introduced me to ABA, and then ultimately became a board certified behavior analyst.
I’m not going to lie. ABA was very overwhelming for me. The language and concepts are so precise that it probably took me a couple of years of doing direct therapy, supervision, workshops and lots of online searches on ABA before it “clicked” and I was able to see the “big picture” (probably a glimmer, but it was an AHA! moment). I was able to connect how these programs contributed to client’s short term and long term growth.
Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to experience both in home and clinical therapy, as well as offering consultative services through the Medicaid waiver program. Through these, I’ve had the privilege to meet some great people, and, even more rewarding, offer families who are dealing with the daily struggle, a helping hand. It’s been an incredibly rewarding experience, but I know there’s so much more I can do to help.
That’s why I started Paradigm Behavior. I understand the need for parents to be able to naturally integrate concepts of ABA into their lifestyle without necessarily becoming ABA therapists. My goal is to create a comfortable space for parents and siblings to utilize resources that are not overwhelming while still maintaining their roles. Our goal is to help families with special needs find balance in their daily lives through ABA, and to help them live life to the fullest without breaking the bank.
On the website you’ll find everything you need, including:
Guides for helping parents implement ABA concepts in the home. These modules are meant to be a supplement to ABA therapy, not a replacement. I highly recommend consulting with a BCBA (board certified behavior analyst) to get your child assessed. They will be able to determine intensity and frequency, and establish an individual program for your child. Be sure to ask about parent training and how you can generalize your child’s acquired skills as a family.
Free guides for play! Natural environment training (NET) was my weakest area as a new therapist. As I began working with children, I realized I didn’t know how to play with toys even though I considered this the most important part of therapy. In the Playroom, you’ll find common toys you see in your home or at your local retailer, ideas/scripts to promote language and imaginative play, and a community where you can post ideas and pictures, as well.