Research that Benefits Children and Families—Uplifting Stories

     Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a popular intervention approach for individuals with disabilities, especially young children with autism. This would be my research project. I have observed this therapy first hand and and have seen numerous success stories. Funded is limited, but necessary to reach children on the spectrum.

Here is a wonderful success story using ABA Therapy:

Entering Kindergarten:

Let’s Hear It for Research that Benefits Children and Families!!!!!

Recently a follow-up story was done on a little boy who was as part of an ABA therapy team), and other therapists have been working with for two and a half years. They started when he was three. When we first met him he has a home program of 20-25 hours of ABA a week. He had no expressive or receptive use of language and minor behavioral problems (largely because he didn’t know what was expected of him). He would swipe things off tables, cry and scream sometimes. He also had transition issues when we moved from working at a table, to working on the floor. There were also no age appropriate play skills.

We worked with him on a one-to-one ratio using highly motivated reinforcement helped decrease his frustration levels. We would use food or hand toys to help motivate him to learn. We also used errorless teaching methods to help make him more successful. (The more success they have the less frustrated they are with the therapy).

Within a month he started following simple directions and making sounds. Within six months he was able to label pictures using expressive language. He had a vocabulary of probably twenty words, had developed some age appropriate fine motor skills including puzzles, beads, shapes, orders, etc.

Within nine months he started using a few two word phrases, like “Help me,” or “Open this.” He was able to show a little pretend play skills. He could identify his body parts receptively, and follow two step directions. He was expanding on his pretend play and he was able to transition more appropriately between tasks.

By a year and a half he was able to use three-word phrases, he was potty trained. He was able to play more appropriately with his brother, and his transition issues and behavioral problems were minimal.

So here’s the exciting part. It’s been two and a half years since we have seen them. This child was able to hold a typical conversation with me! He is now going into kindergarten with a shadow ( another person by his side) and won’t need one in first grade. He was awesome. We are very proud of him and his family for keeping the therapy going. Policy makers, “ if you can hear me , the researcher and programs need MONEY!!!”




Quality Programs For All Children

Your article brought tears to my eyes as well as joy. Here is a portion of a story from a mother with an autistic child:
We have crazy big fears. All parents do, add to them: Will my child be able to cross a street alone? Will my child be able to live independently? If not, then what? (I can’t go there yet) The list is actually too hard for me to even continue, but you get it, right?

As strong as we can be, we break down, we feel alone and we are scared. Many of us don’t have a strong support system and we like to be hugged! This is not easy and always being on guard is hard. Our brain hurts from juggling all we do!

Many of us have other kids that also require our parenting. Our special needs kids usually consume our time leaving much guilt and feelings of inadequacy in letting our other kids down.

We know we are on a journey and our path is not paved nor does it have a clear direction. We live it every second of every day thinking and wondering. We try new therapies, read books and do crazy things. Anything that may help our child have a better quality of life. Wouldn’t you? Relate it to a loved one that may have cancer, you would go to the highest mountain for a vial that may cure if someone told you it worked!

I have found my voice and it is to share, help and advocate for all families that do it a little differently.

To all of you that may think about crossing this Autism Mom- Think Twice: I am not giving up or going away!

Read more: http://www.autismsupportnetwork.com/news/autism-special-kids-special-needs-3478924#ixzz3aMl1iDn4


As I begin this weeks blog I think about my step-daughter’s biological mom, who after being in the military for a few years found out that she had a learning disability from a childhood disease she had. The one thing she could not understand was why her mother did not get her any help or why her mother would not tell her about her disability. Many people would say that her mother was in the wrong, but I wanted her to look at things from her mother’s point of view. There were a few things that I wanted her to understand, such things as time period, culture, and education. My step-daughter’s mother was born in the early 1980s when there was not as much knowledge about children with special needs and learning disabilities. Many people, from lack of knowledge, felt as though children with learning disabilities were being lazy or they were…

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My Personal Research Journey

Special Needs Students

I chose Special Needs Students as one of my personal passions and focus in Early Childhood Education because of the oversight of special needs students. If the students are gifted, they are sometimes left alone to tackle educational and everyday personal challenges in the classroom. If they are academically challenged, they are often pushed aside. Special Needs students need a “voice.” This is where I come into play.

I feel the mission of Early Childhood Education is to provide an exceptional educational, health-conscious, low cost environment that will promote, and address students from all ethnic and educational backgrounds. I want my focus to be placed on developmentally appropriate activities that will address all learning styles.

My passion grew with intensity as I watched a movie years ago called, “The Marva Collins Story.” Although, this story focused on African American students who had been rejected by other schools and labeled disruptive and “unteachable.” Dr. Collins had seen too many children pass through an ineffective school system in which they were given teachers with inadequate educational backgrounds and very little empathy for children with diverse backgrounds (Collins, 2009). This story can and should be applied to all ethnicities.  I am encouraging my colleagues to read and examine the following book, Marva Collins’ Way: “ Returning To Excellence In Education,” She is an awesome educator.

If schools are to meet the challenge of educating increased numbers of children with diverse needs, teachers must embrace instruction and curricula that engage and encourage all students. Research about including children from multicultural backgrounds, children from homes in which English is not the primary language, and children with disabilities indicates the importance of several interrelated educational strategies: heterogeneous student grouping; developmentally appropriate practice; an inclusive curriculum that emphasizes children’s strengths yet accommodates their needs; high expectations for all students; appropriate physical environment and materials; collaboration and instructional teaming with other teachers and professionals; support from administrators, families, and the community; and ongoing professional development (Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).

The research chart gave insight as a reminder in correct citing of an article, which is always essential in giving credit to authors in format. The research chart was useful in showing how to provide a direct and complete quote of the way the authors state the purpose of the study, which was informative for me and colleagues. Learning to paraphrase and summarize a quality research article is tedious and you do not want to take away credible research by the author. The research chart enlightened me and kept me abreast in the correct format and its importance. I will use it through out this course and future classes (Lepuschitz, J.K. (2011). A practical guide to reading research articles. Laureate Education In).



Lepuschitz, J.K. (2011). A practical guide to reading research articles. Laureate Education Inc., Baltimore, MD.

A joint position statement of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) and theNationalAssociation for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/files/naeyc/file/positions/DEC_NAEYC_EC_updatedKS.pdf Copyright by the National Association for the Education of Young Children


New Class and Prayers!!

Hello to  everyone,

I am excited about the research class. I am also asking for your prayers. I am in another state caring for my grand baby and taking this class. We have already had many new challenges. As most of you know, I am an advocate for early childhood education.  Too much work to complain. We will make a difference in our student’s lives. Good luck!