I hope you have had a fantastic summer holiday reader! Before the summer holidays began I went to an amazing conference that I want to tell you about.
The South East Association for Behaviour Analysis (SEABA) formed in 2012 and is a non-profit organisation. They meet four times a year to discuss and share information about Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). There began offering an annual conference last year, which allows professionals and parents to come together and learn from one another and share information about ABA. This year the conference was held for two days in June in Tunbridge Wells. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend for one day, but it definitely did not disappoint!
The first speak was Tony Balaaz who spoke about ABA professionals working alongside other professionals, including Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs), Occupational Therapists (OTs), Teachers, etc.. Tony Balaaz is a parent of a child who received ABA therapy and now works as a Behaviour Analyst and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst. It was great to hear him discuss such an important topic.
The second speaker David Miland. David works in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) and discussed the importance of teaching skills for children and adults to access community and included some real life examples. This is important for many of our clients so this was a very useful talk.
After that we heard from Rosie Crathern and Susan Tirella from Forest Bridge School. Their talk discussed incorporating language and ABA targets into a daily routine. Some parents find it difficult to support ABA therapy in the evenings and weekends, but Rosie discussed about how easily targets can be embedded in a shopping trip or other weekend events. These ideas were really helpful!
After a short break, Serina Tomlinson discussed the use of telehealth in delivering ABA training. Telehealth involves an ABA consultant connecting with a client via a video connection and giving feedback as they conduct a session or practise certain skills. This method has helped in very rural areas, in particular in America, when travelling to some clients can be long and difficult. This has shown great success in supporting consultants to support their clients deliver effective ABA therapy. It was interesting to hear about this development.
Tracy Mapp presented a case study after this. This case study was very interesting as it discussed supporting a young girl developing maths. The programme involved an audio recording that helps pupils learn to be fluent and accurate of multiplication. The girl reported that she felt confident following the programme. It was great to hear such positive results from this programme.
The last speaker before lunch was Sian Kelly, who is an Occupational Therapist. Sian works with children who are receiving ABA therapy and discussed how the team work together to achieve amazing results. It was great to hear how well the team collaborate to help support a child develop stronger motor control and balance.
After lunch, Sarah-Jane Scott, a teacher, discussed about developing curriculum targets that support her child’s needs and incorporate their ABA targets. She showed many of the wonderful activities her children get to do, including water sports and climbing. It was fantastic to see how much these children enjoy these activities and how much they learn during them!
Nick Barratt from Dimensions supports many clients with learning disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorder. He also serves on the UK Society for Behaviour Analysis (UK-SBA) board. Nick works with many other professionals delivering ABA services. Nick gave an interesting talk about developing ABA interventions and challenging behaviour.
The last talk of the day was from Amy Miland. Amy discussed a case study of a boy she had been working with. The boy’s parent, Laetitia Castle, joined her to share with us all the wonderful skills they have taught. It was great to hear such a positive story and also the parents perspective of ABA programme and her child’s progress.
As you can see there is a large variety of information available at this conference, including research, practical work and case studies! It was also a great opportunity to network with professionals from many backgrounds, and parents too! There were also stalls with further information at the back, where I picked up information about PECS, Blooming Tree, Step by Step School and Autism Partnership.
Thanks to SEABA for organising such a wonderful and informative event! I will definitely be returning next year for the 2018 conference, and hope to attend both days!
The next event I will be attending is in Edinburgh on September 25th and is being hosted by Keys For Learning. The talk is by Bobby Newman and Daniel Mruzek, so if you want to attend this event too, check out the website and register online.