By: Errin Alexander
Imagine, you and your family designed your dream home; you purchase the land, you build the home, and you decorate it exactly how you want. Feels good right? You feel accomplished. But then imagine a group of strangers coming into your home and without consulting you about the changes, they begin to redecorate your home the way they feel is best for you. Not the best feeling in the world, right? Now imagine, a group of your friends visit your home, make suggestions, discuss options with you, and you all redecorate your home together. That’s a much better feeling, don’t you think? Well, over the last few weeks, I learned that the GAP are those friends that come over, collaborate with you, and help you redecorate your dream home.
In ABA, when starting to work with a new client, it is very important to build a positive rapport before initiating demands. This is called pairing. When pairing is overlooked or underdone and demand is placed too early in the therapeutic process, unwanted behaviors often arise or demands can fall to the waist side. The same can happen when starting a new partnership or developing new professional relationships. The GAP has mastered this process!
A group of 8 of us walked into a new school, in a new country, to work with a new set of professionals. Pairing was absolutely necessary! But no worries because GAP already started that process. We walked into SOREM where the teachers and support staff we waiting for us to arrive, to collaborate with them, and to become a part of their school family. Pairing was still important as individuals, but because the GAP had paired so well with the school throughout the years, the process for us happened much more quickly, allowing us to get to work sooner than later. Partnerships work when pairing is established early and maintained consistently. The long-term partnership that has developed between SOREM and GAP is amazing.