Freddie Scibelli is a BCBA from Boston, Massachusetts and currently in India with SkillCorps.
At first glance, India appeared very mysterious and intriguing. We arrived late night after a very long 14 hour plane ride. After a quick trip to a local hotel in Delhi we began our journey to Chandigarh. The next morning, traffic was scattered and aggressive. The Delhi sun looked apocalyptic and hazy as smog filled the air. The difference in environment gave me a feeling of intimidation and left me wondering what exactly I had gotten myself into. After a 5 hour ride, we arrived at our hotel in Chandigarh. A car met the 6 member team just after breakfast and brought us to our destination…Sorem. Almost immediately after walking through the school doors, all feelings of angst and jitters quickly faded. Muscle memory kicked in when we started our staff/student greetings.
We walked in at a time where staff and students were collaborating on presentations for the 25th anniversary of Sorem. What struck me almost immediately was a strong level of social awareness and independence between students. The staff to student ratio was much lower than I was accustomed to but students seemed to stick together and help each other out when needed. When touring the classrooms ,visual schedules, independent work stations and success stories about how these systems were working, were a great indicator that the principles of ABA and their application to human behavior were very real and quantifiable. This experience has strengthened my belief that with the proper research, supervision, and training, progress can be demonstrated anywhere.