February 23, 2015 3:00 pm Published by Madelyn Wolfin, LMSW
Raising a child on the autism spectrum is a journey best understood by other parents. Parents are often faced with unique challenges as well as incredible triumphs as their children grow. QSAC provides a safe place to share these experiences within various facilities.
The QSAC preschool in Douglaston and the day school in Whitestone offer monthly parent support groups providing a forum to share their feelings, thoughts, and experiences. Parents are able to discuss frustrations and compare parenting techniques without judgment. The support group is also a great place to learn about services, support systems, recreation, and activities for their children.
As the facilitator of the QSAC parent support groups in Queens, I have had the privilege to meet parents with undying strength and compassion. The participants support their children and each other creating an invaluable network for one another. These parents are active participants in their children’s education and growth providing the foundation for their children to reach their full potential.
If you are a parent of a child on the autism spectrum, I invite you to join our network and share the joy. Parents do not need to attend all sessions to become a member. Feel free to drop in when you can; we are always pleased to welcome new members. If you would like to join one of the Queens parent support groups contact Madelyn Wolfin, LMSW at (718) 728-8476 x 1519 or Mwolfin@qsac.com. A complete listing of QSAC parent support groups is available on QSAC.com.
Douglaston Parent Support Group 2014
Douglaston Evening Support Group and ABA Training 2014
Whitestone Parent Support Group 2014
November 21, 2014 7:32 pm Published by Joseph Amodeo
QSAC (Quality Services for the Autism Community), a 38-year old New York City-based nonprofit serving children and adults with autism, has released its first book for iPad for supporting parents of children with autism. Bridging the Gap: A Curriculum for Supporting your Young Learner with Autism (http://bit.ly/qsacbook), is currently available as a Multi-Touch Book on the iBooks Store. The book is free on the iBooks Store. Bridging the Gap provides parents with a resource for supporting their preschooler/toddler with autism. Gina Feliciano, Ph.D., BCBA-D, SAS, Director of QSAC’s Preschool, and Melissa Peltz, M.S.Ed, authored the book.
In addition to background information regarding autism, parents of preschoolers and toddlers will find interactive features including helpful videos and featured iOS apps that will help them support their children in improving skills in key domains including: Communication, socialization, academic skills among others. Parents can also test their knowledge regarding autism at the end of each chapter with a brief interactive quiz. The book will also be of interest to educators, behavior analysts, pediatricians, and others who work with and support children with autism.
Dr. Feliciano and Ms. Peltz carefully vetted the inclusion of a number of apps, some are free and others require a purchase through the App Store, which will help parents to provide their children with engaging and educational tools. Featured apps include Toby PlayPad, Proloquo2Go, Autism Apps, ABA Flash Cards, Behavior Tracker Pro, and many others. Each app is featured alongside supporting material that has been written by Dr. Feliciano and Ms. Peltz regarding which skill areas the app supports.
“This new Multi-Touch Book is a testament to QSAC’s commitment to the families we serve and to the greater community. Dr. Feliciano, Ms. Peltz, and the creative team behind the book, have created an engaging resource that we’re confident parents, teachers, and others who work with children with autism will find to be helpful. Whether confronting a recent autism diagnosis or seeking a resource for helping their child build critical skills,Bridging the Gap will be a valuable tool for parents,” said Gary Maffei, M.P.A., QSAC’s executive director.
The Multi-Touch Book can be downloaded on the iBooks Store by visiting http://bit.ly/qsacbook.
About the Authors
Gina Feliciano is the Director of the Preschool at QSAC and has been in the position since 2012. Gina is responsible for the overall operation of the preschool. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (Doctoral level) as well as a certified New York State Special Education Teacher and School Administrator. Gina received her Doctorate (Ph.D.) from Columbia University in Special Education and Behavior Disorders in 2006. Her previous professional experience includes being appointed as Director of Clinical Services, Director of ABA Services, and years training staff and education professionals as a Behavioral Consultant. Gina has held academic positions as an adjunct professor at Hunter College, Pace University, and Queens College teaching courses on behavior management, classroom management and education psychology.
Melissa Peltz has been working with children since 2007. She earned her bachelor’s degree at Queens College in Elementary Education and Sociology and her master’s degree at Queens College in Early Childhood Special Education specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Since 2011, she has taught a diverse group of children, including those with disabilities in various public, private, and special educational environments. She is also a member of a team that was instrumental in reforming a school supporting children with autism in Beijing, China and is currently in the process of publishing a book on evidence-based practices to be used at the school.
January 13, 2014 8:00 pm Published by Gina Feliciano, PH.D, BCBA-D., SAS
What?! It’s 2014 already?
Although much of our school year is still left, the first five months went so quickly. What better time than January to reflect on what we have done and where we want to go. Setting measurable, attainable goals is essential for any behavior analytic program. For our graduating students this takes on greater urgency. In the Turning 5 year of preschool each benchmark set is our last chance to prepare our students for greater independence and potential opportunities in a less restrictive environment when they leave us. In September, we set two goals for our graduating students: being toilet trained and effective communication. Our definition of effective communication is having a mand repertoire, i.e. telling someone in their environment what his/her needs are. At our first assessment opportunity in September, of our 44 graduating students, 47% of our students were toilet trained, but that means 53% were not. Our student performance in functional communication was better: 72% of our students were able to communicate their most basic needs. Our criterion for success for both of these goals is 100%. We are confident we are going to get there.
How can we be so sure? Because we teach and measure. In our first five months of school we have presented 499,440 instructional opportunities. Our students have mastered 5,951 goals/objectives and our students frequency of mands (requests) have increased from 1,576 week to an all time high of 10,000. That is a six-fold increase. With this amount of success, productivity, and accountability in our first five months we know what we need to do to help our students meet these two goals. By using the tenets of 3CROD (close, continual, contact with relevant outcome data; Bushell & Baer, 1994) we assess the need for learning objectives, teach to those objectives, collect data, analyze data, and adjust our teaching style based on student performance. By adhering to these practices we can apply strategies, tactics and technologies to increase our students’ probability of meeting these important goals. Seven months of our school year are left, we have a lot of work to do! Watch here for our next update.