Dr. Mary Barbera, autism mom, BCBA-D, RN, best-selling author of The Verbal Behavior Approach, and online course creator discusses autism from several different angles for both parents as well as medical, educational, and behavioral professionals. Each week we discuss autism ideas to improve the lives of your children or clients and also cover how to help you be less stressed and live a happier life. Topics include the early signs of autism, the chances of autism recovery, the importance of autism treatment, especially the use of ABA and the Verbal Behavior Approach in toddlers through teens. In each episode, we discuss problem behaviors including reducing stimming and scripting as well as handling self-injurious behavior and aggression. Some shows also cover the medical aspects of autism including topics such as PANS/PANDAS as well as supplement and medication use for kids on the spectrum. There are financial implications and political aspects of autism that we talk about too. So, whether you're a parent or other relative of a child with autism, or an autism professional such as a behavior analyst, nurse, physician, speech pathologist, or teacher, you’re going to want to listen and subscribe! Learn more at www.marybarbera.com.
I have been good friends with Suzie and Kelly Carpenter for almost two decades, and I’m so excited to introduce you to them! Suzie is an author and coach, and Kelly is an aspiring photographer who was diagnosed with ‘high-functioning’ autism when she was four years old. This mother-daughter duo has had to overcome a lot of challenges, but they have a ton of fantastic stories to share as well as provide a unique perspective.
The Global Autism Project is a nonprofit organization that helps people in 15 countries provide better treatment for children with autism. My interviewee this episode is Molly Ola Pinney, the founder, and EO of the Global Autism Project, and today we discuss why the Global Autism Project was founded; how they help treat autism in other countries; and how the recent Coronavirus has affected their mission.
I’m kicking off autism awareness month with a quick course in autism history; specifically, the mothers to children with autism who went on to become professionals in the field. The autism world has made great strides since the 1940s, and we owe so much of it to the mothers who fought for their children.
It’s my pleasure to introduce you to the ABA Inside Track team: Dr. Jackie MacDonald, Dr. Robert Parry- Cruwys, and Dr. Diana Parry-Cruwys. We cover a lot of topics today, including positive parenting and avoiding coercion. We also discuss the rule of five-to-eight positive comments to every negative comment; a rule that should be applied to anyone’s everyday life.
In part two of my three-part ethics series, I interview Dr. Bridget Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a board-certified behavior analyst, a licensed psychologist, she is also the president of the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. In our interview, she shares her opinion on the ethics code and why it isn’t so black-and-white, as well as the challenges that young behavior analysts might face – and how to avoid them.
When you’re first introduced to the autism field, whether you’re a fresh-faced professional or a confused parent, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. There are so many different autism models to focus on – how are you supposed to know what to choose? My interviewee, Tracy Vail, is an expert on many different methodologies and will be able to lead you through the autism treatment maze.
I’m fortunate enough to have Dr. Amada Kelly (AKA: Behavior Babe) back on my podcast! As a BCBA and autism ethics expert, she still has much to share with you and readily addresses tough questions, such as: should a BCBA accept gifts from parents?
Teaching real-world skills to children with autism can be very difficult for parents, teachers and even trained behavioral analysts. I, for one, had to teach my son, Lucas, the same and different in 16 different trials. Dr. Janet Twyman is an expert in instructional strategies and shares how reinforcement shaping, critical discrimination, observing and testing helps with effectively teaching academics and real-world skills to kids with autism.
The interview I have for you today is unlike any of my previous interviews: my guest is Eileen. Not only does her son have severe autism and is nonverbal, but she herself has been diagnosed with high-functioning autism. Eileen openly shares her story with me and does not shy away from the truth.
Jim Christy is an award-winning playwright and filmmaker. He is also a husband and the father to a son with autism. Jim bravely shares his fall into the autism world; the diagnosis that changed his life; and the strain that it put on his marriage and his family.
I’ve been sitting on this announcement for a while, but now I can finally share it with you: I’m writing my second book! What’s the premise? When’s the release date? I’m giving you all of the details today!
Ethics sets a parameter of behavior that protects both a patient and a therapist, and Dr. Megan Miller talks with me about the ethical guidelines that she follows in this podcast. In addition, we talk about the alternatives to escape extinction, when you might need to use it and some of its limitations.
Echoic control is when you say a word or phrase, and your child repeats it back to you like an echo. This is the fastest way for your child to build their vocabulary, and thus convey their needs to you. This is also where I see parents and professionals get stuck the most, so today I’m going to share my five tips for building echoic control with you!
Dr. Ilene Schwartz is not only a professor of special education and a BCBA, but she is also an ethics expert. In the field of ABA, it can be difficult to weed through the differing opinions and build your own solid beliefs. That’s why I asked Dr. Schwartz all sorts of questions so that you can take from her knowledge and form your own code of ethics.
I’ve been asked a lot of questions about how to help conversational or almost conversational kids with ABA verbal behavior. In this episode, I discuss the 5 mistakes we make in helping high functioning kids with their language comprehension, the types of assessment you should look into and the ABA strategies you can apply to help your kids reach their full potential.
This is an interview that I’ve been excited about for a long time. I’ve mentioned Dr. Mark Sundberg many times on this podcast, crediting him as the creator of the VB-MAPP as well as a favorite mentor of mine. Now I’m lucky enough to sit down with Dr. Sundberg and be privy to his knowledge, and share it with you! By the time you’re done listening, I promise you’ll have learned something new.
With 2019 coming to a close, I want to sit down and review my top ten favorite episodes from over the last year. These episodes include the most viewed episode, as well as my personal favorites. Did your favorite episode make the cut? Find out now!
When your goal is to help your child live their happiest, most independent life, you can get stuck going over a few obstacles. What should be the first step you take to improving their quality of life? How should you handle autism regression? Today I’m covering five obstacles that I see parents and professionals get stuck on the most – and how you can conquer them!
Julie Hornok is an award-winning author, a nonprofit founder, and an autism parent. And on top of that, she is one of the most encouraging individuals I’ve interviewed on this podcast thus far. Julie is on a mission to inspire other mothers like her, who are battle-scarred and weary, and need to be reminded that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
No matter how long you’ve worked in the autism field, you never know everything. I can vouch for this, and so can today’s interviewee, Kristen Colyer. Kristen is the director of Maryland’s Pieces of Wonder center; she is a BCBA; and she is currently going to school to obtain her PhD. Now, she is going to share her knowledge with you, along with what she believes is the biggest problem that BCBAs are faced with.
If your child has autism, chances are they’re also a very picky eater; there might only be a few foods that they will even consider eating. Furthermore, I know that eating problems are usually connected to problem behaviors. It’s time to turn your child’s eating habits around, and I’m here to tell you how, with my seven tips for picky eaters.
As a parent coach and a father to a son with autism, Len Arcuri is a wealth of knowledge. He shares his abrupt fall into the autism world; how switching to a gluten casein free diet has literally saved his son’s life; why having a growth mindset is so important; and how you and your spouse can become a team and fight autism together.
In the previous episode, I explained what automatic negative reinforcement is, and why it is important. Now it’s time for Dr. Timothy Vollmer’s interview, which ties into that episode. Dr. Vollmer shares his thoughts on automatic negative reinforcement, how to approach it, and gives insight as to what might trigger it.
The four functions of behavior are what every behavior analyst looks for on a daily bases; however, I consider the last function to be the “forgotten function”. Today I’m going to explain all four functions, including the forgotten function, and how they are used to lower extreme problem behaviors.
Although I have talked about stimming and scripting in previous episodes, today I go in-depth on what that really means. Every person has self-stimmed or scripted at one point, but for children with autism, it can become harmful. That’s why I’m here to tell you how to combat it!
Following the previous episode, today I am very excited to interview autism attorney, Gary Mayerson. Gary founded the first law firm in the nation focused on the representation of individuals with autism. After nearly 20 years he has served on some of the most important autism-based cases, and is also the board chairman to the nonprofit organization, Job Paths.
I’ve worked in the autism field for over two decades; that means I’ve been involved in my fair share of legal disputes. I’ve walked away from each situation with new experiences, and from that experience, I've put together five lessons that are sure to help you the next time you find yourself fighting for your child.
Dr. Joanne Gerenser is an SLP who has worked in her field for 38 years. She has watched the autism community grow and change, and with the divide between SLPs and BCBAs worse than ever before, she’s advocating for collaboration. Join us as we discusses where the divide begins, and what we can do to bring it together.
As an autism mother, Megan’s fall into the autism world is relatable and you can find pieces of yourself in her story. Her son was diagnosed with autism when he was three years-old, and she has learned to be his advocate. But as someone who had no idea what autism or ABA was, she had a lot of learning to do. Megan’s initial confusion prompted her to start her own podcast called Adventures in Autism!
Deidra Darst is not only an autism mother, she’s a licensed SLP and published author as well. She is also extremely passionate about ABA and making a difference in the autism community. In this interview, she describes her fall into the autism world; what changed her opinion on ABA; and what she thinks professionals need to do to be most effective.
In this episode, we hear from Ryan O’Donnell about his efforts to communicate about the Behavioral Science field using podcasts and videos. The content he produces is varied; some being directed to parents and other caregivers and some directed to BCBAs. He also gives presentations about autism all over the world, so he’s very knowledgeable about the field and where it’s headed.
There are numerous ways for grandparents of autistic children to be involved in teaching and skill development. Today’s interview is with a very dedicated grandmother who found Mary’s online courses and community at almost the exact time she first heard the word autism applied to her grandson. This grandmother has made great progress with the 30-month-old boy using Mary’s techniques, and plans to continue her autism education.
If your child has autism, then they’re likely prescribed certain medications. But which medications are best for your child, and which ones do more harm than good? Every person responds differently to medicine, so choosing the best one for your child may seem overwhelming. But after decades in the field I’ve developed strategies to keep your medication organized, and warning signs to look for when testing a new medication.
Dr. Coplan is the developmental pediatrician that diagnosed Lucas with mild to severe autism. Now retired, he has decades of experience and wisdom to share with you. Not only does he talk about his fall into the autism world, he also speaks about topics such as waiting lists, denial, and self-care. His mindset is refreshingly compassionate, and will remind you to take your journey day-by-day.
Every parent knows the struggle of toilet training, and that struggle can double if your child has autism. That’s why I share my advice on how to toilet train your child, whether they are three years old or twenty years old, and whether they have autism or not. And if your child isn’t ready to start toileting yet, that’s fine too; I have advice on how to introduce them to the idea so that when the time comes, it makes your job a lot easier!
The more research there is on autism, the better. That’s why I’m so excited to introduce my listeners to Dr. Melanie Pellechia: a full time autism researcher. After working in the autism field for nearly two decades she knows exactly what she’s talking about, and she’s a wealth of information; some of the stats she shares even catch me by surprise!
When your child first displays signs of autism, they are often ignored or completely missed. Sometimes they can be confused as ADHD or a speech delay. Early intervention is key, and so I’m going to go over three steps to help identify and hopefully combat your child’s autism and the next steps you should take.
Lorri Unumb is a professor, lawyer, advocate, and mother of three. When her first born son was diagnosed with severe autism, she was shocked that her insurance didn’t cover ABA therapy. She became an advocate for families who couldn’t afford ABA therapy, and fought for two years to get state funding from South Carolina. Now she travels the country fighting for other states to have that same privilege, and she’s stopped by to share her information with you.
It’s hard enough to get any child to sleep through the night, but a child with autism is much more likely to be diagnosed with a sleeping disorder. For years I gave up trying to sleep and accepted that there was nothing I could do about it—until a fellow behavior analyst gave me some advice that changed everything for my family. Now I want to tell you how you can regain all those lost hours and transform your family’s sleep schedule.
Every parent wants their child to succeed and, for kids with autism especially, being able to speak coherently is a huge benchmark of success. That’s why I interviewed speech and language therapist, Mags Kirk. Mags has been a speech therapist since 2003, and thanks to her Talk Tools certification, she’s more than qualified to share her knowledge with you and point you and your child in the right direction for success in speech.
Dr. Michael Murray is a respected child and adolescent psychiatrist and the Medical Director for the Autism and Developmental Disorders Clinic for Penn State Health. Dr. Murray is sharing great info in this episode that was a game changer for my own family. We're discussing medicine that can be a benefit to your own child, but we're also covering in depth a genetic test, the metabolic pharmacological test, that eliminates a lot of trial and error with other medications. Listen and learn!
Theresa McKeon spent 30 years as a national gymnastics coach and was determined to find a way to speed up skill acquisition for her young gymnasts while decreasing stress and fear in the learning environment. Theresa’s search for behaviorally sound techniques, clean instructions and proper timing of feedback and reinforcement led to the development of the TAGteach methodology. Theresa explains how she eventually
became involved in the autism world, as well as the logic behind her methods.
For a lot of parents and professionals, talking in complete sentences is a major goal for their children and clients. But despite our good intentions, there are a lot of mishaps along the way. I’m going to share the seven biggest mistakes you’re likely to make when teaching a child with autism to speak in complete sentences. Listen and learn so you can avoid making these same mistakes.
I am interviewing Leanne Page, a certified BCBA, self-published author, and mother of two children. Leanne delves into her background as a special education teacher, her career as a BCBA, but she also shares why ABA methods are not only for children and adults with autism but can be beneficial in any type of family dynamic.
I have the pleasure of interviewing Jenna, my good friend and former client. Jenna is a fellow autism mom and her fall into our world is relatable. From the day of her son's diagnosis before his 2nd birthday to her self-care tips and routine, you’ll surely find pieces of yourself throughout Jenna’s story.
Going to the dentist, using eye drops, or taking a bath might seem like mundane procedures for a typically developing person, but for those diagnosed with autism, these simple tasks can be traumatic and seem quite complex. I'm sharing a few practical steps for desensitizing your children or clients to these sorts of procedures, in order to make these situations go more smoothly for your loved one. Listen to gain valuable info on how to assess, practice, and improve some of these tasks for your loved one.
I’m proud to welcome my friend and colleague, Steve Ward, to the podcast. Steve has over two decades of experience in the autism field and currently works as a behavior analyst. In addition to being an accomplished author, Steve also co-owns his own consulting business, Whole Child Consulting. He has worked with teams and schools around the world, and he’s here to share his experiences with you!
Sasha Long wears a lot of hats in the autism world: she is a full-time consultant, writer, and behavior analyst, plus the host of The Autism Helper podcast. She also manages to find the time to travel internationally as a speaker and consultant. She has already had an extremely interesting career path and now she’s ready to share her experiences with you, to help your child lead their happiest, most independent lives!
Children and adults with severe autism have different needs than those with mild autism, as autism mom and advocate Amy Lutz knows very well. Amy is one of the founders of the National Council on Severe Autism, president of the EASI Foundation and an accomplished writer. Amy is also mom to an adult son with severe autism and is well qualified to educate both parents and professionals on how to better help those with severe autism.
I am a loud voice for children with autism to ensure they receive their best chance to succeed. Over the last two decades, I’ve learned how to be the advocate that the autism community needs, and I’ve condensed my knowledge into five action steps. This info will ensure that YOU are the best advocate for your children and clients.
Ashley Rose is owner and director of Mission Cognition, a social skill development center in New Jersey; she's also a teacher and creator of curriculum and an expert on working with children in social groups. Ashley describes her fall into the world of autism, and explains why she feels so passionately about her career and especially the subject of socializing children.
Social skills are vital to function in this society and I’m covering the three biggest mistakes that most parents and professionals make when teaching their children or clients social skills. We can’t just expect children with autism to develop social skills as they age, or if we continue to throw them in typical situations. We must teach those necessary social skills in the most effective way possible in order for our children to live their happiest and safest lives.
Fellow behavior analyst and author Matt Cicoria comes from a diverse background that includes a work-study job in a pigeon lab and work at Auburn University with mine-detecting dogs. These experiences gave him a unique understanding of the mind; now he's sharing that insight, along with skills acquired from working as a school consultant. Matt goes over some great info about self-care and ACT: acceptance and commitment therapy.
I’ve been a part of the autism community for two decades. I’ve worked with some of the best, and now I have an approach that I believe is better than any other approach out there. Learn the ten reasons why I believe my approach is different and better.
My friend and former BCBA mentor, Dr. Richard Kubina shares his journey into the world of autism, the young autistic boy that set him on the path of becoming a behavior analyst, and explains why precision teaching is so valuable in our line of work.
Our ultimate goal is for our children to lead their safest lives, and that means we have to do our part to protect them. All children have the unique ability to land themselves in unsafe situations, but you can help protect your child wherever you go, whether that be at home, in school, or out in the community.
Self-care is an important yet oftentimes overlooked subject for families and professionals in the autism world. If you are not in an okay place, then you are not in a position to help anyone. My friend, Dr. Becca Tagg, is sharing how she got started in the autism field, as well as tips for avoiding burnout and how to live your happiest life.
I cannot stress the importance of helping your child develop conversation skills enough. Your child needs to be able to ask and answer questions, and to request help. In this episode I go over my strategies and tips for teaching a child conversational skills.
There are very few dual SLP’s and BCBA’s in the world, and I have the pleasure of knowing and interviewing one of them, Rosemarie Griffin. Rose shares her story about how she fell in love with being a speech therapist, and how that led to working with children with severe autism.
It’s very important that your child or client is able to use their verbal language skills as much as possible. Dr. Mary Barbera shares simple techniques to encourage these skills, along with practical advice and over two decades of Behavior Analyst wisdom.
Early detection and treatment of autism is key in aiding your child/student’s growth and recovery. Dr. Mary Barbera interviews Dr. Megan Miller, who depicts her journey into the world of autism, and offers valuable insight when traditional methods may fail.
I did a survey of parents and professionals and asked what their challenges were in the autism world. 300 people filled out the survey and within a week, the number one challenge was problem behaviors. I am sharing my four top steps to reducing any problem behavior.
There are key differences between the Lovaas ABA approach and a verbal behavior approach when dealing with treatment of autism. I share my journey to discovering how these two approaches don’t have to be mutually exclusive. This blended method has helped my own son tremendously and I’m on a mission to get this info out to other parents and professionals.
Early detection and treatment of autism is key in aiding your child/student’s growth and recovery. Dr. Mary Barbera explains the difference between high functioning autism verses low functioning autism, and why that’s not always a fair and accurate way to label children on the spectrum.
Dr. Mary Barbera interviews Kelsey General and invites her to share her journey of becoming a single mother and raising two young sons with severe autism. From fighting to get her sons the diagnosis and care they needed, to becoming a professional in the field of autism behavior… she’s learned how to advocate for herself and her children.
Early detection and treatment of autism is key in aiding your child/student’s growth and recovery. Dr. Mary Barbera is sharing advice based on experience for leaving the land of denial and getting on board with treatment as soon as possible.
In this episode, Mary talks about her “fall” into the autism world 2 decades ago and her own transformation from overwhelmed parent to autism advocate, professional, and change-maker. Subscribe to the show for lots more to come!