Tools and Frameworks Used
Applied Behaviour Analysis and Skills Based Treatment
Behaviour Analysis is the science of human behaviour. It operates from the premise that behaviour is influenced by one's environment and learning history of situations that precede and follow a behaviour. It is a framework for creating a better quality of life for individuals through positive behaviour change. Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) refers to the application of the scientific principles of human behaviour. It is more than just one way to teach a skill.
Intervention/instruction is based on an assessment process to better understand the individual, their values and goals and the behavior/goal of concern. The goal of treatment is to increase socially-significant behaviours that are positive and adaptive, while making challenging behaviours less effective or necessary for the individual. Ultimately, behaviour change will take into account the individual's preferences, strengths and goals to help them create a values-driven life.
Treatment strategies are designed to build on the strengths and needs of the client and their environment/context. Supports are based on creating positive behaviour change that is applicable across settings and lasting over time. A behaviour analytic approach always will involve an assessment process resulting in treatment that directly address why a behaviour is occurring and matches the context of the client. I believe in empowering clients, families and caregivers by teaching the principles of behaviour along with the specific strategies needed to crates lasting behaviour change for the client. A behaviour analytic approach is very-much a collaborative and problem-solving process.
I take a trauma-assumed approach to treatment, choosing strategies and tools that account for the client's potential experiences of trauma, whether confirmed or not. A trauma-assumed approach assesses for trauma and creates a safe treatment environment that allows and individual to build skills and achieve a better quality of life. I believe the behavior analysis is not the only tool to be used to achieve positive behaviour change. I believe listening and learning from neurodivergent people themselves, as well as research from other behavioural health fields is the best way to support clients in a holistic manner.
For severe challenging behaviour that puts an individual at risk of harm to themselves or others, I am trained to use a Practical Functional Assessment and Skill-Based Treatment process. This is an intensive process designed to promote safety, dignity, be televiseable and be effective without the use of coercion and physical management. For more information, you can read this information sheet that is adapted from Jo Westley.
Using similar techniques with a parent-training model, I am also trained to deliver the Balance Program to parents of young children with emerging but non-dangerous challenging behaviour. The goal of this program is to achieve balance in the family dynamic between parent and child.
Acceptance and Commitment Training
Acceptance and Commitment Training (ACT) is a framework for building a value-oriented life. It is based on principals from Behaviour Analysis and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. ACT includes mindfulness practices and experiential activities to support an individual in clarifying their values and orienting their behaviour toward them. As the name suggests, ACT works towards an acceptance of challenges that are part of the human experience rather than avoiding them altogether. This is to live in service of one's values and thereby living a life of vitality, despite the discomforts of life that come our way. Being psychologically flexible is a life skill for success in weathering the storms that come our way throughout life. Applicable to adults and children alike, I weave ACT-based strategies into treatment both for the individual but also caregivers and families.