While I have worked hands-on with learners of all ages and abilities, I am currently a behavior consultant/teacher for early childhood and school-aged children on the autism spectrum. Some of my kiddos are working to gain rudimentary focus and scanning skills in order to proceed to higher level learning. These students work on letter and number identification, rote counting, patterning, following simple directions, and practicing adapted daily living skills. Some of my kiddos have higher level of functioning and are closer to grade level, so my experience with them runs the gamut from reading decoding to fluency and comprehension, arithmetic to problem solving, basic life and physical sciences, and participating in the community. For my higher level learners, we spend a lot of time on social skills training. My work borrows heavily from that of Michelle Garcia Winner's Social Thinking curricula.
Because I am a behavior therapist, my style is hands-on for one-on-one or small groups using errorless learning techniques, prompts, prompt fading, scaffolding, peer mediated learning, video modeling, role play, and any evidence-based techniques that prove useful for learners struggling with social communication disorders. Oftentimes, this includes extensive use of visuals, including visual schedules, activity schedules, powerpoint lessons, videos, etc.. This also often includes creating activities that support kinesthetic learners who learn optimally through manipulation of materials. I am also trained and experienced in working with adults who required vocational training and job coaching.
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2012 - Master of Science in Psychology, University of Central Missouri (emphasis on Behavioral Science and Special Education) 2010 - Bachelor of Science in Psychology, University of Central Missouri (emphasis on Special Education) 2006 - Bachelor of Science in Management-Human Resources (emphasis on training and personnel management)
I am a mother of two and full-time stepmother of three children. My children have guided my own education when my older son was diagnosed with high-functioning autism and my younger stepson was diagnosed with childhood PTSD and ADHD (at nearly the same time). In an attempt to help them find paths to their full potential, my research led me to a career working with students struggling with similar issues. This gives me an incredible amount of insight into my student's learning processes and allows me to help them from the perspective of a mother who wants nothing more than for her children to succeed. I am also the sister of a woman with multiple developmental disabilities. Being a part of her family support team as a child gave me a firm foundation in applied behavior analytic techniques (that I didn't realize I had until I was an adult!) and even more insight into the live of a person with special needs. While she recently passed, I have and will always live my life to serve those most in need because of the inspiration she gave me.