1 The Spectrum The Spectrum is a monthly electronic publication of the Autism Support Center. This newsletter is published to inform parents and professionals of resource information, upcoming events, and other autism-related topics. ASC is funded primarily by the Mass. Dept. of Developmental INFORMED. EMPOWERED. CONNECTED. Services. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the funding source. ASC does not endorse any product, service or theory referred to in this newsletter. Articles, resources and announcements are included for information only. Anyone wishing to contribute information for this newsletter should send it to or to our mailing address Parent contributions are encouraged. Announcements are included as space is available. The Autism Support Center is celebrating 23 years of supporting and empowering families in northeastern Massachusetts. VOLUME 23 ISSUE 9 MARCH 2015 The Autism Support Center The Spectrum PLEASE CONTACT ASC AT OR VISIT FOR MORE INFORMATION. 6 SOUTHSIDE ROAD, DANVERS MA Contact us: SUSAN GILROY CO-DIRECTOR GLORIA RICARDI CASTILLO CO-DIRECTOR SCOTT BUCHANAN COORDINATOR/BROKER WHITNEY RYAN POSADA COORDINATOR/BROKER ALLIE KEOUGH COORDINATOR/BROKER Newburyport Transition Workshop March 12 See inside for details. Everyday ABA BY KENDRA KELLEY, BCBA NORTHEAST ARC BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES If you have any experience with an ABA therapist, you know it s a field with a lot of terminology: reinforcement schedules, prompt hierarchies, extinction bursts, contingencies, and a list of abbreviations (DRO, DRL, NCR, Sd etc.). While the terms encourage precision, they can be hard to wrap your head around, even for behaviorists! (Just ask any soon-to-be BCBA who is studying for the exam.) It s helpful to remember these are strategies everyone uses, whether he or she knows the term or not. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunties, teachers, coaches, mentors, and anyone who has achieved a personal goal, employ behavior principles to great effect! In an effort to ground some of these terms in examples, here are a few everyday instances and definitions of behavior terms, with the hope that you'll see the applied behavior analyst in yourself: Prompts: Anything added to the environment to help a person perform a desired behavior. Prompts can be physical, visual, verbal, or gestural, just to name a few forms. Examples you may have used are numerous and include: tap on the shoulder or a nudge under the table before someone makes an unwelcome comment (physical prompt), leaving a Post-It note reminder in the middle of the computer screen (visual prompt), a last call to use the bathroom before a trip (verbal prompt), or that certain facial expression that mean I know what you have been up to its better to fess up now without saying a word (gestural prompt). Differential Reinforcement: The act of reinforcing a preferred behavior over a nonpreferred behavior. The goal is to have the preferred behavior occur more often and the non-preferred behavior fade away. A simple example of this is responding to a child's forceful demands by prompting him to ask nicely and waiting for a sweeter tone and kinder words before responding to the request. He learns that a demanding tone won't get him as far as a gentle request. In doing this a behavior is shaped, gradually changed with successive approximations, reinforcing smaller goal behaviors that built toward a bigger goal. Anyone who has trained for a Couch to 5K has used this strategy. Step 1: reinforce putting sneakers on over sitting on the couch. Step 2: Reinforce (Continued on page 3)
2 Save the Date!! April 10th Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. SAVE THE DATE TouchChat Full Day Training April 10, 2015 I In this training we will be taking a closer look at the Touch Chat Communication App on the ipad. The morning session will include a comprehensive overview of the vocabulary options available in Touch Chat followed by button editing and vocabulary customization. The afternoon session will include exploration of core language, basic ideas for implementation, lesson planning and open time for questions and answers. Parents $ Professionals $ 50 ASHA CEU s will be available and certificates of attendance will be given to everyone. Lunch will be included For information, call Gloria or SUPPORT GROUPS Acton ASC Sponsored; Target Group: Mandarin-speaking parents. Acton Memorial Library, 486 Main St (Rt. 27) Acton; bimonthly meetings TBA; Parent facilitator: Wen Li Contact ASC or for info. Danvers ASC sponsored; Target Group: Grandparents 6 Southside Road, Danvers; 3rd Monday, 10-11:30 am Contact facilitator Susan Gilroy or Danvers AANE/ASC sponsored; Adults with Asperger s Pizza and Game Night 6 Southside Road, Danvers, 1st Thursday, 6-8 pm $12 for pizza, salad, dessert, beverage. Prior registration required. Facilitator: Gail Kastorf Danvers AANE/ASC sponsored; Target Group: Parents of adults with Asperger s 6 Southside Rd, Danvers; 2nd Thursdays, 6:30 to 8pm Facilitator: Gail Kastorf Fee: $90 for 6 sessions, $45 for 2nd parent of same adult Danvers ASC sponsored; Target Group: Parents of children under 5 6 Southside Road, Danvers; 3rd Thursday, 5:30-7pm Contact: Gloria Ricardi Castillo at Danvers ASC/AANE sponsored; Target Group: Adults (18+) with Asperger s syndrome 6 Southside Road, Danvers; 3RD Thursdays, 6:45 to 8:00pm Contact facilitator Gail Kastorf at or Lawrence ASC sponsored; Target Group: Spanish-speaking parents of children with disabilities Community Action Program, 112 East Haverhill St., Lawrence; 2nd Friday, 9:30-11:30am Contact facilitator Gloria Castillo or Lynn Family Resource Center sponsored; Target group: Spanish-speaking parents of children with disabilities Operation Bootstrap, 20 Wheeler St., Lynn; 4th Friday, 10 am Contact: Aymee Lucifora Newburyport ASC sponsored; Target Group: Parents of children with ASD Newburyport 5 Cents Savings Bank, State St, Newburyport; 2nd Thurs., 7 p.m. Parent facilitator: Nancy Lucier Contact: Susan Gilroy at or Reading ASC sponsored; Target: parents of children with ASD Reading Senior Center, 49 Pleasant St, Reading; Date: TBA Parent facilitator: Kim Gargano RSVPl or call
3 Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. Amazing crocheted stim toy From Mathematical Model to Stim Toy and Beyond: Amazing Adventures with the Hyperbolic Plane Four years ago, while offering a "Fiber Arts for Engineers" meet-up for college students, Sarah Kuhn discovered the book Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes. Fascinated by the improbable intersection of advanced math and humble crochet, Kuhn set out on her own adventure, full of unexpected connections, surprising discoveries, beautiful objects, and lots of relaxation. Preliminary research results and lots of anecdotal evidence suggest that holding or making crocheted hyperbolic planes can reduce anxiety -- including math anxiety -- and improve attention. Dr. Kuhn will make a presentation highlighting her discoveries, including images and physical examples, followed by an optional workshop for those who would like to try creating their own crocheted hyperbolic plane. Sarah Kuhn is a professor in the psychology department at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She studies interdisciplinary and "STEM" education (science, technology, engineering, and math) and is currently at work on a book tentatively titled Thinking With Things: Remaking Learning in College and Beyond. Her hyperbolic crochet website is at She can be reached at Sarah Kuhn will present a workshop on Sunday, March 29, at 4 pm at AANE, 51 Water Street, Suite 206, Watertown. Call for registration. SUPPORT GROUP FOR PARENTS OF ADULTS IN DANVERS Everyday ABA (Continued from page 1) walking briskly around the block over a detour to the ice cream stand. Step 3: Reinforce a jog over a causal stroll. Step 4: Reinforce making it to the finish line (preferably with that ice cream sundae!). Intermittent Reinforcement: When a preferred behavior is sometimes, but not always, reinforced. It is in contrast to continuous reinforcement, which occurs every time a person completes a preferred behavior. While a new skill may be rewarded every time, most skills eventually move to intermittent reinforcement. Studies show that a schedule of intermittent reinforcement is more effective to sustain a behavior than constant reinforcement (if you know someone who checks his or her smart phone every two minutes for a message or update, that behavior is a product of intermittent reinforcement). The Premack Principle: This is commonly known as First/Then, or the Grandma Rule. For example, first you eat your vegetables and then you get dessert. By making a preferred activity contingent on doing something non-preferred, the non-preferred activity can be accomplished. (Although most grandmas I know prefer non-contingent reinforcement, delivering a free supply of cookies and sweets with no strings attached). These are just a few examples of a handful of principles and there are many more. If it is a principle used by your behaviorist, there should be an example of the practice you can pull from everyday life. Behaviorists writing a behavior plan may often find the plans to be a scientific description of a classic parenting strategy. At these times, they probably owe their mom, dad, coach, and/or grandma a thank -you call (skill maintenance). Behavioral Health Services is located at 6 Southside Road, Danvers This group will focus on issues of particular relevance to parents of adults (of any age) with Asperger Syndrome or a similar profile. The group will be moderated by Gail Kastorf. Gail has been part of AANE for many years, supporting both parents and adults with AS to understand how Asperger Syndrome may affect their work and life and sharing strategies to increase success in transition. Gail currently runs AANE's support groups for parents of adults and adults with AS on the North Shore. All meetings will be held at Northeast Arc. We will meet monthly for 6 months (March through August) on the second Thursday of each month from 6:30-8:00 p.m. beginning March 12 th. The cost is $90 per person ($45 for a second parent in the same family) for all six meetings. You must register for the entire series. The group is limited to 12 participants. Participants must be current members of AANE. If you are not sure of your membership status or if you wish to renew your membership, contact Karen at ext 10. If you have questions, contact Michelle Alkon at ext. 25 or at or Gail at Gail M. Kastorf, M.Ed., Grant Writer, North Shore Activities Facilitator (cell) Save the date!! March 25th, 6 to 8 pm 6 Southside Road, Danvers Q & A With Northeast Arc s Behavior Analysts This will be your opportunity to have your most pressing behavioral issues addressed by our very talented BCBAs. Details to come!
4 Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. ABA TODOS LOS DIAS SAVE THE DATE! BY KENDRA KELLEY, BCBA NORTHEAST ARC BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES! Health Connector Open Enrollment INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE AUTISM INSURANCE RESOURCE CENTER Si usted tiene alguna experiencia con un terapeuta de ABA, usted sabe que es un campo con mucha terminología: programas de reforzamiento, jerarquías inmediatas, estallidos de extinción, contingencias, y una lista de abreviaturas (DRO, DRL, NCR, Sd etc.) Si bien los términos pueden ser muy difíciles de entender, incluso para los terapeutas! ( si no lo crees, pregúntale a cualquier BCBA que está estudiando para el examen.) Es útil recordar que estas son estrategias que todo el mundo utiliza. Madres, padres, abuelos, tías, maestros, entrenadores, mentores, y cualquier persona que ha logrado una meta personal con el niño o niña al emplear estos principios con un buen resultado! En un esfuerzo para asegurarnos de que los términos sean entendidos y reconocidos, aquí hay algunos ejemplos cotidianos y definiciones, esperando que ustedes (los padres) se vean asimismos como analistas de conducta. Motivación: Es cualquier cosa que se añade al medio ambiente para ayudar a una persona lograr un comportamiento deseado. Estos pueden ser físicos, visuales, verbales o gestuales. Todos hemos utilizado una u otra vez, este tipo de estimulaciones, por ejemplo: tocar el hombro o gentilmente tocar la pierna debajo de la mesa, antes de que alguien haga un comentario inoportuno (eso se llama símbolo físico), dejando una nota de aviso en el medio de la pantalla del computador (símbolo visual), una "última llamada" para usar el baño antes de un viaje (símbolo de ayuda visual), o que cierta expresión facial cuando miras a alguien y solo con tu cara y ojos le dices: "Yo sé lo que has estado haciendo sin decir una palabra (símbolo del gestual). Refuerzo diferencial: El acto de reforzar un comportamiento preferido en un comportamiento no deseado. El objetivo es que el comportamiento preferido ocurra más a menudo, y el comportamiento no deseado desaparezca. Un simple ejemplo de esto sería no responder a las demandas de un niño hasta que el pida de una manera apropiada y en un tono más dulce y con palabras amables antes de acceder a las solicitudes de este. Así él o ella, aprenderán que, con su tono exigente no van a llegar tan lejos como con una solicitud gentil. Al hacer esto en esta forma, el comportamiento cambiara gradualmente con aproximaciones sucesivas, reformamos las conductas con metas más pequeñas, que gradualmente llegará a alcanzar la meta deseada! Para dar un ejemplo, esta es una estrategia que es usada por personas que quieren correr y nunca lo han hecho, esto se llama Desde un Sofá a correr 5K (kilómetros) primer Paso 1: Refuerzo, ponerse las zapatillas sentado en el sofá. Paso 2: Refuerzo, caminar rápidamente alrededor de la manzana luego tomar un desvió hacia el puesto de helados. Paso 3: Reforzar correr durante una caminata casual. Paso 4: Refuerzo llegar a la línea de meta (de preferencia con que el helado en la mano BY KENDRA KELLEY, BCBA NORTHEAST BY KENDRA ARC KELLEY, BEHAVIORAL BCBA HEALTH SERVICES NORTHEAST ARC BEHAVIORAL HEALTH SERVICES Refuerzo intermitente: Cuando un comportamiento preferido es a veces, pero no siempre, reforzado. Es en contraste con un refuerzo continuo, que se produce cada vez que una persona logra un comportamiento preferido. Mientras que una nueva habilidad puede ser recompensado cada vez que, la mayoría de las veces se transformara en un refuerzo intermitente. Los estudios demuestran que un programa de reforzamiento intermitente es más eficaz para mantener un comportamiento de refuerzo constante (si usted conoce a alguien que revisa su teléfono inteligente cada dos minutos para un mensaje o para actualizarse, esa conducta es producto de un refuerzo intermitente). El Principio de Premack: ". Regla de la abuela" Que comúnmente se conoce como "Primero / Luego", primero se come sus verduras y luego te dan postre. Al hacer un contingente actividad preferida en hacer algo no preferido, la actividad no preferida se puede lograr. (Aunque la mayoría de las abuelas que conozco prefieren refuerzo no contingente, la entrega de un suministro gratuito de galletas y dulces sin ningún compromiso). Estos son sólo algunos ejemplos de un puñado de principios/filosofías, existen muchos más. Si este es un principio usado por su terapeuta, debería ser un ejemplo de la práctica, que se puede usar todos los días. Cuando los analistas conductuales escriben un plan de comportamiento, usualmente ellos descubren que estos son a menudo una descripción científica de las estrategias de crianza clásica. En esos momentos probablemente deberían darles una llamada de agradecimiento a su madre, padre, entrenador y/o a su abuela. (Mantenimiento de habilidades) Traducido al Español por Gloria Ricardi Castillo.
5 Future Planning Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. Future Planning: It s Possible and Necessary Future planning is important for all families. Yet, thinking about the future can be challenging and emotional. Last year, The Arc launched the Center for Future Planning to encourage and support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families as they plan for the future. Having a plan is important especially after the parent or caregiver can no longer provide support. With an estimated 600, ,000 families in the United States where an adult with I/DD is living with aging family members and there is no plan for the individual s future, the need for this resource was clear. The Arc s Center for Future Planning launches its new website! Visit the site today for the tools you need to begin planning for the future: futureplanning.thearc.org FEDERATION FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CONFERENCE TASH NEW ENGLAND Inclusive School and Community Engagement Across the Lifespan: An Ethical Imperative Date: May 12, 2015 Marlborough, MA Co-Hosted By: TASH New England Cost: $140; scholarships available This regional conference will elevate your commitment to inclusive practices! We will review the evidence: why is it imperative for people with significant disabilities to be included? What happens to communities as a result? What are the evidence-based practices that support people with significant disabilities and support needs to succeed in typical community settings throughout their lives? Topics will feature philosophy and values that guide practice; successful family and community engagement strategies; and the role of all stakeholders. Speakers are prepared to address content relevant to each stakeholder group in every session. Who will want to Attend? State agency leaders and senior staff Education, DD Council, Disability Rights, etc. Vocational rehabilitation counselors; Educators, Education Leaders, Resource Professionals. Parents and Family Members. Self advocates For more information, contact Lydia Brown, Co-President RECRUITING FOR LEND PROGRAM Recruiting for UMMS/Shriver LEND Graduate Program, Fellows are needed for this academic year ( ) of the graduate program Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND) It is conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School's Shriver Center in Charlestown. It is a 9-month leadership program in the field of developmental disabilities. It prepares professionals, persons with disabilities, and family members to influence policy and clinical practice on behalf of children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. A $12,000 stipend is available for qualified applicants. It pays the entire cost of the certificate program. Alternatively, the stipend can be applied toward a master s degree in public administration (MPA) from Suffolk University, which significantly reduces the tuition. If anyone is interested, please reply to this post, or send an message to
6 Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. Boston Conservatory Theater ASK THE ADVOCATE BY NANCY LUCIER NORTHEAST ARC ADVOCACY DEPARTMENT Question: The Pajama Game" Autism-Friendly Performance: March 7, 2015, The Boston Conservatory Theater. Special performance for families and friends of those who have been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other sensitivity issues. Theater environment and production will be altered to provide a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgement-free space. To purchase tickets, use code PJAFP14 or contact the Audience Services Manager at (617) For more information visit autism I decided to school choice my daughter to another school district; can she receive transportation by the school if she is on an IEP? Answer: If her IEP Team decides that transportation services are required as a result of her disability, transportation must be provided at the expense of the sending district. For more information or to set up an appointment, contact the Advocacy Intake Coordinator at Great News! On March 12th and 26th Nancy will be providing 1:1 IEP Clinics in Gloucester! This is a wonderful opportunity to get some expert advice about the health of your child s IEP. See the flyer in this newsletter for full details. WHAT S HAPPENING IN TRANSITION KATHY KELLY, DIRECTOR OF TRANSITION SERVICES ipad Academy Four Tuesdays beginning March 10; 6-7:30 PM Fee: $100 Does your 14 to 18 year old own an ipad, iphone, and/or other Apple devices? If so, are they being utilized the way you hoped? If not, join us at ipad Academy for 4 weeks of exploration and instruction for both students and parents. There will be two sessions for students, one for parents and the final session for both. This program will be taught by EdTech Solutions of Reading. For more information, contact Kathy Kelly at Let s Talk About Sexuality! Young Men s Group March 2015; Friday Evenings (3/13, 3/20, 3/27) Fee: $50 Where: Northeast Arc, 6 Southside Road, Danvers An opportunity for young men to openly discuss sexuality and relationships and learn about sexual health. This three session class is open to high school age young men (16-22). Call Kathy Kelly ( ) to see if the upcoming group is suitable for your son. Space is limited so please RSVP soon. *(Thanks to support from DDS, this program is being offered free to individuals receiving services through the North Shore area Office) Facilitated by Ruth Price, MPH, M.Ed., CHES Ruth is a public health professional and health consultant who is currently working in the North Shore area. She specializes in working with youth and their parents addressing sensitive topics such sex, drugs, relationships, communication, self-esteem and body image. WEIGHT LOSS RESEARCH Health U. is a weight loss research study for overweight teens and young adults ages who have an intellectual disability. Eligible participants will take part in a program that includes weekly to biweekly group and individual sessions focusing on losing weight through healthy eating and increasing physical activity in ways that are fun and achievable. Parents receive training on supportive behavioral techniques to encourage their son/daughter to meet nutrition and physical activity goals. Sessions are 90 minutes, highly interactive, and led by nutritionists and lifestyle coaches. Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to: Being a healthy person ages with an intellectual disability. Meeting criteria for overweight or obesity. Medical clearance from a primary health care provider. Having at least one parent/guardian who is willing to participate in the study. Health U. is a free and voluntary research study funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH) through the Shriver Center at UMass Medical School. Do you think Health U. is right for you? Please call Judith Ellen, Research Coordinator at or to find out more information. Qualified participants may be eligible for compensation.
7 Northeast Arc is the fourth largest Arc in the coun- Sensory friendly movies at AMC theatres Join AMC Theatres and the Autism Society special showings of the following movies. Movies will be shown at 10 a.m. local time in participating theatres nationwide. All shows are at 10:00 am local time. Dates and films are subject to change. Saturday, March 28, HOME Saturday, April 18, UNDERDOGS Saturday, May 30, TOMORROWLAND Saturday, June 27, INSIDE OUT Saturday, July 18, MINIONS Local theatres: AMC Burlington, 20 South Ave, Burlington AMC Braintree, 12 Grandview Road, Braintree AMC Framingham 15, 22 Flutie Pass, Framingham, Mass AMC Tyngsboro 12, 440 Middlesex Road Tyngsboro, Mass AMC Loews Methuen 20, 90 Pleasant Valley St. Methuen, Mass AMC Theatres (AMC) and the Autism Society have teamed up to bring families affected by autism and other disabilities a special opportunity to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment on a monthly basis with the "Sensory Friendly Films" program. PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR LOCAL THEATER TO CONFIRM DATE, TIME & PRICES. This is NOT an ASC program! MUSIC THERAPY FOR ALL AGES TWO NEW REC PROGRAMS RECREATION DEPARTMENT SPORTS & GAMES! The Northeast Arc has partnered with Danvers Indoor Sports Facility to offer a new sports and games class! This new and exciting class will cover a wide variety of different sports and games each week. Games will be held on turf fields and basketball courts. Be sure to wear sneakers and comfortable clothes! WHERE? Danvers Indoor Sports Andover St. Danvers MA WHEN? Thursays from 3:30-4:30pm PRICE? $ for an 8 week session AGE? 13+ years ADULT YOGA! The Northeast Arc has partnered with Treetop Yoga Studio from Gloucester to offer an adaptive adult yoga class on Tuesday evenings! This class will be offered for any individual ages 22 and up. Be sure to wear comfortable clothing and bring something to drink! Instructed by Treetop Studio Manager, Kayla Lemieux! WHERE? 6 Southside Rd. Danvers MA WHEN? Tuesday nights from 6:00-7:00pm PRICE? $ for an 8 week session AGE? 22+ years To sign up for programs, please contact or call (978)
8 Save the date!! Autism is the fastest growing serious developmental disability in the United States. Autism Awareness Day at The State House April 2, 2015 More details to come! Library Additions BY STEPHANIE GAMMONS, NORTHEAST ARC THE HOLLAND PROJECT OFFERS NEW PROGRAMS FOR SPRING The mission of the Holland Project is to bring the healing benefits of animals and nature to individuals with disabilities through creative programs. The vision of The Holland Project is to offer creative opportunities for special needs teens and young adults that utilize nature, art and agriculture and the special bond with animals. The Holland Project offers programs at their farm in Merrimac where all feel welcome, accepted and participate in meaningful work. We are committed to offer programs and seminars that extend out to families, caregivers and the community. To find out more about The Holland Project contact Eileen Mitchell, Phone:
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