Challenging Children workshop provides assistance to EFMP caregivers

26 Jul 2011 | Cpl. Miranda Blackburn

During a Challenging Children workshop held at the Russell Marine and Family Services Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, parents, educators and social workers joined together to learn to effectively track behavior patterns, July 26.

Apple Boyce, a behavior consultant with Priorities Applied Behavior Analysis, focused on how to make data collection manageable for caregivers of autistic children.

Priorities ABA specializes in behavior consulting and therapy services and offers their services in North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia. Their goal is to provide a path of highly effective treatment for children with autism and their parents by following a scientifically-proven method to bring clear results.

The local company offers their services for free to service members with Exceptional Family Members.

Behavior consulting and therapy sessions are not free but are covered by Tricare under the ECHO program and Autism Demonstration Project for active duty families.

With a background that includes experience in direct ABA instruction, generalization and naturalization of skills, community involvement and school inclusion, Boyce has worked with children in a variety of settings including home-based programs, mental health centers, public school and private companies and shares as much of her firsthand knowledge with the service members during her behavior seminars.

Boyce focused on data collection and analysis, which she said is the heart of all behavior interventions.

Behavioral data focuses on skills and events that are observable and measurable and can help:
• Determine if an intervention is needed for a skill or behavior.
• Determine what the starting point is for the intervention.
• Help determine which intervention type is the most likely to be successful.
• Show whether the intervention is effective or not.
• Help pinpoint problems with the design or implementation of the intervention.
• Help ensure that perceived gains are “real”.

Attendants of the class were taught how to make data collection manageable, different dimensions of behavior, methods of data collections, and how to record each type of method.

Class members were also provided with graphs and other materials to record their findings.

“This has been the most effective class I’ve taken like this,” said Arien Bost, mother of two exceptional family members. “None of the other class I’ve taken have gone nearly as much into depth as this one. It has been extremely helpful.”

The Russell Marine and Family Services Center provides both day and evening Challenging Children workshops on a regular basis.

“If anyone has any topics that they would like to discuss or need assistance with, let me know and I will try to work it into the curriculum,” said Boyce.

Each session provides a time for questions regarding specific situations and advice on what to do to help.

Free child care is provided with advanced registration.

For more information, please call 451-4103.