Archive for the ‘ADHD / ADD’ Category

Improve Reading Behavior cartoon

August 17, 2013

A good rationale for today’s tech world.

 

reading

 

 

Casey Anthony Trial Verdict and Possible National Caylee’s Law

July 10, 2011

Yes, I did watch the Casey Anthony case. My thoughts ? In observing and analyzing what was presented as evidence during this murder trial, in my opinion there was not enough evidence to convict on murder one / death penalty. Though I do believe there was enough evidence to convict on manslaughter and child abuse. The Florida prosecution only had circumstantial evidence, the defense made up stories and accused others to throw off the jurors, Casey obviously lied and partied alot, Cindy Anthony lied on the stand, the jurors must have encountered difficulties understanding the case etc etc

I just do not get it – a juror claimed that they were ‘sick to their stomachs’ as they acquitted Casey Anthony because the who, what, when and how was not proven beyond a reasonable doubt ?? More appropriately would have been, can these jurors actually say Casey Anthony was innocent without even a shadow of doubt at all ???

I say this- then who , what, when, how did the targeted persons by the defense commit this murder? Was the drowning proved? Did one of Casey’s imaginary nanny and/or friends really do it ? Of course not.

Many say that the CSI television show effect impacted this innocent verdict- I agree. People need to understand that when you have a body decomposing for several months while out in the elements of nature, it is very hard to prove the cause of death. FYI jurors, CSI shows are MAKE BELIEVE – real life, everyday cases in America are not that clear cut The prosecution worked with what they had. However, they should have simplified their approach more to take into consideration that perhaps these jurors could not tolerate and understand the lengthy explanations ( shorter attention spans? Jurors could not understand the forensics?)

Actions can speak the truth

Proven actions

– 31 days – no reports of Caylee missing by her mother Casey Anthony
– 31 days of lying to her mother about all the fun activities engaged with Caylee and the imaginary Nanny named Zany
– the numerous photos of Casey partying, smiling and dancing – no sadness, no remorse?
– Casey gets a tatoo while her daughter is missing/dead – ” It’s a beautiful life”
– Casey’s password for Facebook and Myspace accounts- timer55 – the exact amount of days from the day Caylee supposedly died till the day of Caylee’s birthday
– Casey lying to the police numerous times- sent police to places that she said she worked at but did not

Casey was not too concerned about her daughter’s where abouts and safety now was she?

I agree with the prosecution’s theory, Casey wanted to silence her daughter since developmentally – Caylee’s verbal language would be getting stronger. Then Caylee could use her words to tell the truth. Casey did not want to sacrifice and be a mother- she wanted to party.

Further proof

– The blanket, the child’s clothes, the specific designer laundry bag – all evidence was linked to the Anthony home
– the computer searches for chloroform – though not sure if it was once or 84 times
– The duct tape was matched from the home
– Why would Casey request a shovel from her neighbor?
– I think the prosecution should have heavily explained about the police dogs who indicated a dead body had been in the trunk of Casey’s car – police dogs are HIGHLY trained and have a much better sense of smell than humans

My Issues with Defense

I disagreed with the defense- the prosecution is allowed to define the picture of Casey- it shows her character, it helps to substantiate motive

– It truly bothers me that the defense implied that if someone has been sexually abused as a child then they can become disturbed and be like Casey to explain away the partying and lying for 31 days
– Casey was a good Mom because the videos and photos taken shows it, there was no history of abuse ?- well you do not need to have a history of abuse to predict a behavior of murder
– Casey lied so that she could do her own searching for Caylee- huh???????? she was too busy partying and lying to her parents and friends she was hanging out with
– Casey has imaginary friends – thus implying she is unstable ? – but that does not give her the right to kill her child.
Other stuff
Is the Anthony family dysfunctional – probably YES – whether sexual abuse occurred between the father, Casey and the brother Lee was not proven – just eluded

Did Casey’s parents, George and Cindy Anthony tell the truth all the time during this murder trial ? NO

I can go on and on …. In my own opinion – Casey is guilty based on circumstantial evidence, she did it.

What really concerns me is – this verdict by jurors who are our peers just basically reinforced that it is ‘okay’ to not report your child missing for 31 days, to dispose the child’s body to decompose for a long time and make up lies.

Unfortunately, a beautiful child is dead and her mother is freed to make millions?? Something is very wrong with this.

Hopefully something good can come out of this ?????

A few states have already drafted legislation to make it a felony for a parent and /or guardian to not report their child missing immediately. http://abcnews.go.com/US/casey-anthony-trial-aftermath-caylee-law-drafted-states/story?id=14020260

“(Newser) – Casey Anthony’s not guilty verdict sparked Facebook outrage, a couple of Nancy Grace rants, and now a fast-growing petition for a new law. “Caylee’s Law,” thought up by Oklahoma mom of two Michelle Crowder, would require parents and guardians to report a child’s disappearance to police immediately. Caylee Anthony was last seen June 16, but was not reported missing for a full month.

Crowder, who started a Change.org petition as well as a Facebook page asking Congress to create the law, says she was “sickened” when Casey Anthony was convicted only of lying to the police, and was not “charged with child neglect or endangerment, or even obstruction of justice.” Her Change.org petition is the fastest-growing campaign in the site’s history, with nearly 2,000 people signing it each hour, the Washington Post reports. ” retrieved from http://www.newser.com/story/122834/casey-anthony-not-guilty-verdict-inspires-petition-for-caylees-law.html

http://www.change.org/petitions/create-caylees-law

So do the right thing !

Sign this petition, call your State Congress representatives and State Governor !!!  Tell your family and friends. Lets get this law passed in ALL states to protect ALL children.

Rest in peaceCaylee
 

 

Hey Kids, Time to Go Back to School

August 25, 2010

I just love this commercial! The Advertisement company who did this for STAPLES was smart! 

So here it is for parents!  I am sure that you can relate.

It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Time to Go Back to School

I have been working with many families lately and the current recurring theme has been … The parents can’t wait for school to start. I even mentioned this commercial to some and sang a few bars of it. The parents smiled, remembered this commercial and agreed strongly.

So I just had to share this commercial as one of my favorites that was right on target and has been timeless.

The Lady Gaga Effect?

June 22, 2010

I just have to comment about this growing effect that I have noticed in conjunction with the most recent Lady Gaga incidents.

Lady Gaga goes to a Mets game , gets mad because there are photographers there ( uummm understandable it is a Mets game thus the paparazzi would be present ), gets pissed off, makes a scene, strips down to her undies and displays her middle finger.

Next,  her behavior continues on as she causes a commotion at a Yankees game. If you ask me as a Behavior Analyst, Lady Gaga has alot of attention seeking behaviors.

However, she wrote a song about the paparazzi. I guess Lady Gaga does not want the paparazzi to love her any more???

I grew up while Madonna was developing though I did not like her at all.  A real female rock singer who is much more talented in my opinion is Pat Benatar. Though Lady Gaga at times is mimicking Madonna’s foot steps. They both resorted to extremes in videos, at concert performances and now in public.

Ever since Lady Gaga has come to the music scene I have noticed other female singers  changing their behavior and pushing more towards the extreme as well – Christine Aguilera, Pink, Katy Perry etc. Aren’t they skilled singers? All of a sudden they are performing at music award shows flying in the air, performing at concerts and on videos wearing practically no clothes and resorting to very high sexual content. It is almost as if they are all competing for who can be the most daring.

Music is made for the sensory mode of hearing. What happened to sticking to the artistry of creating and performing music to enjoy rather than it being shocking escapades?

What is this all teaching our younger generations? Personally and professionally, I don’t think it is good.

I remember when MTV first came on cable tv. I had to go over to a friends house to watch and it was really cool. The music videos of the late 80’s compared to today’s content have really gotten blatant.

It was interesting to note that others are wondering what is up with Lady Gaga too. Such as ;

“This woman is a jerk. I ( dislike ) her,” Jerry Seinfeld said on WFAN radio Monday night, although he conceded she is talented. “I don’t know why she’s doing this stuff. I don’t know what these young people think or how they promote their careers. I’m not one of these all-publicity-is-good people. People talk about you need exposure — you could die of exposure.”

Seinfeld told WFAN host Steve Somers he’s had enough of Lady Gaga, but that he wishes her the best — though he was quick to tack on, “You take one ‘A’ off of that and you’ve got ‘gag.'”  “You give people the finger and you get upgraded? Is that the world we’re living in now?”
http://www.popeater.com/2010/06/22/lady-gaga-jerry-seinfeld-feud/

I really think this is sad that Lady Gaga, who by the way I think is MORE musically talented than Madonna, has to resort to such dramatic lengths. She IS musically talented and creative, she is a former Julliard student.

Many are interested in her music alone, not her drama. I wish Lady Gaga would realize this.

To prove my point, I have been watching America’s Got Talent and loved this particular performance by Alice Tan Ridley.

Now did Alice have to resort to drama?  NO

Alice just simply showcased her classy, singing talent!  Notice how the crowd and judges reacted to her singing in a very positive manner. Now she is a good role model for all generations – young and old.

Alice, you got my VOTE 100 %. Hope you win and your dreams come true. Thank you for sharing your talents with everyone.

ABA and National Healthcare Reform

March 29, 2010

H.R. 3590, the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” was part of the Health Reform bill put into law on March 23, 2010.

New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez being a Member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, was very instrumental in developing the amendment for the provision requiring insurance plans to provide behavioral health treatments. Therefore in the future, health insurance plans created by the bill will be required to cover behavioral health treatments as a standard benefit. Since applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a behavioral health treatment for individuals with autism and other disabilities, it will be covered under the Health Reform Bill.

Overall, this is a very big step and deserved recognition for our field of Applied Behavior Analysis. ABA can help so many.

It is not surprising that NJ Senator Menendez pushed this through since February 2010 in our own state of NJ, all state level regulated Health insurance plans are mandated to cover behavior analysis related services up to the age of 21.

However, I have major concerns about this Health Reform bill.

– the Medicaid system is already over burdened
– this bill focused on quantity with no real quality assurances
– the funding for National Healthcare could be quite economically taxing, especially to the middle class
– allowables and benefit amounts have not been determined

This health reform bill that is 2700 pages long has many issues and unanswered questions.

Thus I am appreciative that Behavior Analysis is gaining more valuable recognition though it is my hope that ABA will be funded appropriately to provide quality care to those in need.

JABA – Journal Of Appled Behavior Analysis

October 18, 2009

For all of the ABA students that I supervise as they work towards their BCBA and the BCaBAs, I make it mandatory that they purchase a subscription to JABA. In fact, I strongly believe that all Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA) should have JABA in their personal libraries.

Though is JABA for everyone ???

JABA

One may think that the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis is only just about Autism research studies. Actually if you really think that then you are wrong.

Recently, I was at a lecture being presented by a psychologist on behavior interventions and I brought some reading materials with me. In between the breaks, I was actually reading up on the latest published issue by JABA for Fall 2009. A person sitting next to me noticed that I was perusing this journal and asked what it was. So I just said to them- take it and read it for yourself.

The subjects focused on in this particular issue varied broadly

 – Gambling           – typical developing children interventions

– customer service           – flight training

– preventing back injuries training      –  basketball success shots

– job skills              – teaching foreign language vocabulary

– placement of consumer products         – etc  etc ……

I smiled as I observed the intrigued person scanning my current copy of JABA. They commented to me that they thought ABA was just about Autism and that this type of journal would be boring. I said NOPE, ABA is applicable to Autism and numerous other things, even including assessing the group behavior of this audience for this lecture.

They were quite interested in the Journal and discussed our field of Appled Behavior Analysis further with me – so I made the sales pitch and gave them info on how to order JABA.

So here I am making a sales pitch to all readers of this blog.

JABA rec

Main Info page
http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/index.html

Subscription info page
http://seab.envmed.rochester.edu/jaba/subscriptions.html

Personally, I really think that the JABA editors and contributors made a very smart decision a few years back to include a wider variety of ABA related studies. Overall, that decision has made this journal more interesting and useful which could  and probably already has expanded its audience of readers.

Good Deeds Teach Good Behaviors

July 29, 2009

phoebePhobe letter

Last June Phoebe did a good deed, she raised $3,736 that expanded to over $33,000 to feed poor families in San Francisco.

After seeing a man begging for food while her parents’ car drove her to preschool, this 5 year old girl was inspired to help feed the needy. She decided to do a community service project and mandated it for all the students in her school.

She originally came up with a $1,000 goal. Her teacher Kathleen Albert thought that was great but cautioned it was too ambitious. Phoebe remained determined anyway to help those in need.

Her project spurred on other agencies to do matching donations for her good cause.

End result from one good deed initiated by Phoebe?

$33,624 worth of food — or 17,971 meals — for the city’s hungry.

Her teacher, Kathleen Albert said, “I think it is very important to teach children to give back to the community. I see so many adults who walk around and have no idea of that. It doesn’t matter your wealth, you can still give back. It teaches kids that small donations can add up to big donations.”

Source: http://www.gnn.com/article/preschooler-feeds-nearly-18000-with-cans/592963?icid=main|htmlws-main|dl5|link4|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gnn.com%2Farticle%2Fpreschooler-feeds-nearly-18000-with-cans%2F592963

I say, IMPRESSIVE and may God Bless this child for her good deeds. Phoebe is a very good kid.

Good deeds help others, it also helps the one who does the good deed. By doing good deeds, it positively shapes one’s character. Good deeds shape future behaviors.

So think about it parents-

What good deeds has your child done lately????

Note: Food banks are in greater need of food and cash donations. Those needing food have risen due to the poor economy. Please do a good deed today and donate to your local food bank or food pantry.

You can also check out www.feedingamerica.org

Good News: NJ Passes Law for Health Insurance to Pay for ABA

June 27, 2009

New Jersey Becomes the 14th State to Pass Autism Insurance Reform

NEW YORK, NY (June 25, 2009) — Autism Speaks today joined New Jersey families and other autism advocacy organizations in applauding the state’s legislature for passing the autism insurance reform bill, S. 1651/A. 2238, which requires insurance companies to provide coverage of evidence-based, medically necessary autism therapies ( and other developmental disabilities) . The bill now heads to Governor Jon Corzine’s desk for signature into law.

The New Jersey bill requires insurers to cover up to $36,000 annually for a child with autism that is 21 years of age or younger. Coverage includes Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, which is recognized as an effective, evidence-based treatment for children with autism.

In many states, insurers explicitly exclude coverage of these therapies from policies, which places a significant financial burden on families seeking to provide their children with necessary services. Thirteen other states – Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas – have passed similar autism insurance reform bills. Nearly thirty states had bills introduced in their legislatures this year.

“With the passage of this legislation, New Jersey joins the ranks of states that have recognized the unfair and unreasonable burden being imposed on families of children with autism,” said Elizabeth Emken, Autism Speaks vice president of government relations. “Autism insurance reform has gained significant national momentum.”

Source: www.autismvotes.org

A2238 – Requires health benefits coverage for certain therapies for the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities. *
Passed both Houses
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bills/BillView.asp?BillNumber=A2238

My thoughts on this ?
I think it is GREAT news for children and their families with disabilities.

It shall be an interesting process to see how all of this shall be implemented and monitored.

I did my part and contacted my NJ legislative representatives as a BCBA to pass this bill. Though I am concerned about those who are adults with disabilities, they also need behavior analysis supports too.

It is exciting that the families will have many therapeutic avenues that can accessed. Especially since many parents with children who have disabilities need training and coaching. Yes, parents can implement ABA programs and behavior interventions at home  and in the community as long as they have an experienced  Board Certified Behavior Analyst ( BCBA) that is a very good one working with them.

Highly Structured ABA Versus Natural Environment Teaching ABA

May 31, 2009

As a Behavior Analyst, I observe and work in various settings. Recently I came acrossed comments on another Autism related blog that proclaimed Applied Behavior Analysis just makes kids into robots due to its overly high structured protocols and interventions!

Whenever I read these types of comments, I think to myself- ABA is not just about highly structured interventions with massive discrete trials that rewards with M&Ms.

Yes, I have to be honest, I do come across some ABA programs that are too highly structured that lack fading procedures and Natural Environment Teaching. Yes, I do come across behavioral psychologists who joke about the ABA usage of primary reinforcers like M&Ms.

However, my response is usually this- A truly experienced Behavior Analyst will know what is necessary for each individual, group, situation or setting and will apply ABA principles accordingly.

I recently did a school observation of a child with Autism who is mainstreamed with typical developing children. It has been very nice to witness how this child has grown over the past few years being in regular school with some added therapeutic supports.

Does Natural Environment Teaching occur in the regular school system? Absolutely! This child has benefited from it. Though being the Behavior Analyst consultant, I did have to add some more structure and intervention. I advised on how to balance the teaching environment.

Thus, I have seen both sides, settings that were mainly Natural Environment Teaching that needed more sstructure and discrete trial additions to overly structured programs that needed to become more flexible and natural.

Is there an easy answer to all of this? NO.

It all DEPENDS upon many factors that have to be assessed and evaluated.

Do You Want to Become a Behavior Analyst?

May 5, 2009

Since I have started this blog, I’ve gotten numerous email and phone inquiries regarding career advisement in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Though I must point out, as I always say, each person is unique, so is also a personal career choice.

People have many career questions about ABA such as;

– how much work is involved in becoming a Behavior Analyst?
– should I become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst?
– what ABA graduate programs should I apply to?
– what job options would I have?
– what can I do with my current work background?
– could I set up my own business or should I work for an organization/agency?

– do I have to only work with the Autism population to become a BCBA?
– how can I get work experience with the required BCBA supervision?
etc etc…

I will provide some basics here:

With a BCBA certification you could do a lot of good work and help people. Our field is in need of very good, competent Behavior Analysts. Though there is an ongoing debate now with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board as to go the licensure route or continue the certification model.  In my professional opinion, I still think the BCBA is the right thing to do if you utilize Applied Behavior Analysis in your working career.

By becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, it will make you more credible, you will belong to an expanding intellectual group, it will make you more marketable and if you wish you can try to make your own positive impact upon our field.
 
As for the ABA graduate courses, they are a lot of work, so be prepared and structure lots of time to complete them. And yes, you have to study in order to pass the Board’s exam. 
 
So come on over to the BCBA side.
 
I will occassionally keep addressing various issues of ABA, including some basic questions about our field here at my blog, so check back for future blog entries. However, for the more specific questions for individuals needing career counseling in Applied Behavior Analysis, I will have to charge for my time.

Those interested in gaining more specific knowledge about ABA and becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst may email an inquiry at bxconsult@aol.com with the subject line ‘career’ to set up an appointment for a 15 minute or 30 minute career advisement session via phone. An informational email will then be sent regarding how to set up an appointment and fees.

Appointments can be set up quickly with credit card payment options through Paypal.

For free information about becoming a Behavior Analyst  please visit and review this site – www.bacb.com

Thank you.