In planning for 2019, I decided I wanted to write a blog so that I could provide resources for families. Often, the same questions are brought up from parent to parent, and we have really eager families who want learn as much as they can about their child’s programming. The parents we work with are so committed to their children, and truly subscribe to Precision ABA’s company value of commitment to learning. I have so many families who ask what they can read up on, how they can learn more, and how they can help their kids. The problem is, there isn’t much out there.
In ABA, we have a wealth of resources geared towards professionals—we are, as a science, completely rooted in the literature. We have lots of articles, webinars, conferences, all geared towards professional development, for the professional. But, we have far fewer resources for the committed parents we serve. And the ABA literature is written in jargon—far from plain English! And completely inaccessible to parents and other members of the community at large.
My hang up, though, in writing the blog and as a Precision Teacher, is that I like to have a full scope written before I dive into anything: I want to know the steps I’m going to take and what my end goal is. I want everything to be linear and cumulative, and as efficient as possible. As Precision Teachers and Curriculum Designers, we are always working with the end in mind, and sketch out all the steps we need to take to meet our goals. With the blog, though, I don’t know what the “end” is! My goal is to get information out to families and other professionals, a process that is very non-linear.
And here we are. February 15th. 6 weeks into the New Year, and I have yet to put pen to paper (virtually, anyway). But today is a special day. It’s Precision ABA’s birthday. We are officially 4 years old. And today more than any other day, I am reminded that the best laid plans can turn out in a variety of ways. The families we serve, and hopefully even those this blog may touch outside of our small community, just want something. I know that you’re not expecting perfection or a perfectly laid plan. Just something to help you understand just a little more. So today, I am going to just do.
In reflecting on our last 4 years, I’ve come up with a few lessons that I’ve learned through the process, that I think are representative of life:
The best laid plans can turn out in a variety of ways. There are times throughout my life, and I’m sure yours, that I have mapped out a destination and a path to achieve it, and very rarely has that path been followed exactly. Life throws curve balls, obstacles pop up, and things turn in ways that you didn’t see coming. We see this in life and in day-to-day operations with Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs). I can write a beautiful, efficient, function-based plan, that isolates all confounding variables (the things that could get in the way of the plan), is easy to implement, and will produce the best outcomes. And sometimes, it works perfectly. And others, it just doesn’t. This doesn’t mean that anything is wrong, this just means that life happens. As humans, we respond to our environment, and our environment isn’t always so kind to us. But also as humans, we are flexible and adaptive. So the next time a plan isn’t working, know that sometimes it just takes a little adaptability, and sometimes, we just need a change!
Celebration is a critical part of life. In our office, we have a Celebration Wall. On this, we celebrate or express gratitude for accomplishments in our team’s lives. Each learner has a chart that tracks their goals met and progress to each of their goals. We celebrate successes on a daily basis with each of our learners. By taking the time to celebrate success, we’re happier, the kids are happier, and it makes us so much more resilient in the face of struggle. It’s so easy to get stuck in what’s not going right, that sometimes we forget how far we’ve come. Take time to realize all the progress, big and small, that you, your family, and your child, have achieved!
People are so good! The community we’ve built at Precision ABA, the staff, the clients, and the families, are so driven and committed to make the world a better place. For some, that is a broad-scale goal: we want to change the lives of those we serve and beyond. For others, it sits very close to home, and we want to make the world a better place for our child. The common thread is that we want to make the world a little bit better. And that is so good!
Today, on our 4th birthday, I am committing to support you through the use of this blog. This year is going to be a big one for the Precision ABA family, and we’re excited that you are here for the ride with us. If there are specific topics that you’d like to hear more about, please send us an email through the contact form and let me know!