Thursday, September 29, 2011

New Updates in Our Los Angeles Office

We are pleased to announce some wonderful staffing updates within Behavior Frontiers!

First, Kelly Kratzer has been promoted to Clinical Director of our Los Angeles office. She will be working with our behavior supervisors and case managers to oversee the behavior intervention programs for all of the clients based out of our Los Angeles office.

Also, Christine Russ has been promoted to Scheduling Coordinator. She will continue to schedule cases on the Westside, as well as working with our schedulers to oversee the schedules for all of the clients based out of our Los Angeles office.

Furthermore, please welcome a new addition to our staff, Hilda Franco, who has been hired as another scheduler! She will transition into the role of scheduling clients located in the South Bay Area of our Los Angeles office.

We are excited to have these individuals supporting the Behavior Frontiers team in new ways and we look forward to the improvements that will come with their input and knowledge.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Back To School Tips for Children with Autism

  1. Go shopping! Involve your child in back to school shopping as much as possible. While it is important that the parent maintain control of the price ranges and items purchased, allowing your child to have a reasonable amount of say (e.g., choosing the Power Rangers pencil box instead of the Sponge Bob one) in any school supplies and clothes can help to make him/her more excited to use the new things and in turn more excited about the upcoming school year. You can maximize the effectiveness of this strategy by having your child wait until school starts to wear new school clothes or use the new school supplies. That is, of course, unless your child typically needs time to grow accustomed to new things, in which case you can use the days prior to school starting to have “practice” school days where you can expose your child to his/her new things.
  2. Write a personalized social story. Write a story preparing your child for the upcoming school year. Take into consideration what things will remain the same – these things will be comforting to children for whom change creates anxiety. Also, be sure to explain any changes that will come with the beginning of the school year – if your child is changing schools, teacher, aides (or anything that you feel may be troubling to your child), take this opportunity to prepare him/her. See if you can get pictures of the new things that will be in your child’s environment and do your best to describe them in language that your child will understand. If you aren’t able to get actual pictures, try to find pictures on the internet or use clip art. Read the story to your child daily as the first day of school draws near. Not sure how to start? Use this template as a start, but be sure to personalize it to your child’s situation and needs. [PAGE 1 & PAGE 2]
  3. Count down! Get a calendar for your child and highlight the first day of school. When there is a week or two before school is to begin, show your child the calendar as you mark off the current day and explain how many days remain before the first day of school. Use this time to address any fears about the upcoming school year and get a feel for your child’s comfort level with going back to school. This is also a great time to read your social story! On at least one of these days, it may be a good idea to take your child to the school and just play on the playground, if that’s possible, especially if your child will be attending a new school. Remind your child how much fun he/she will soon get to have every day!