By: Brittany Gramata
Prior to coming to the Dominican I believed that I was going to help build upon and develop ABA companies in countries with less opportunities than we experience in the United States. Upon our arrival I quickly realized that many of the therapists here knew much more than I expected. I soon realized they had so much to offer us and that we were not only here to help, but we had so much to learn. Some of the things I learned were the differences in ABA and cultural expectations, strategies to bring home, and different data collection methods, but most importantly I learned the importance of collaboration.
Coming from another culture we are not versed in what significant behaviors should be worked on in these other countries. We are not experts in all cultures. What is important to one person may not be to another. In studying for my boards I was bothered by the speak about collaboration, however so few companies actually collaborate. With that being said collaboration is everything! One of the facts that shocked me is that a developing country with only 4 BCBAs in the ENTIRE country would surpass a country which has 5,973 BCBAs in only 1 of our 50 states on collaboration! In touring the centers around the Dominican I learned how far we still have to go in providing a collaborative approach for our children and their families. A center where they have every service imaginable in one place and they collaborate! You mean that it is possible and there are centers who provide OT, PT, ABA, dentistry, early intervention, aquatic therapy, pediatrics, social services, psychologists, Art, theater, and dance? This has inspired me to increase my amount of collaboration and to work with my company to improve our collaboration as a whole. How much more effective could we be as practitioners if we all worked together towards one common goal? Team work is everything and this trip has only solidified that fact. There is strength in numbers and working together can solve any problem. So I’ll leave you with this quote “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller.