By Danielle Ortiz, a member of the SkillCorps Czech Republic August 2017 team
Traveling a 3rd time with the Global Autism project I still go into each country nervous and not sure what to expect. I am eager to meet the center therapists and children, but each country is a new adventure. One I can’t wait to explore. This trip to Prague was no exception. This is a fairly new center so there are more unanswered questions going into it. As an Analyst, I like to prepare before sessions, gather all my material and prepare for barriers during a session. We had basic history before arriving but specific programs were still a blur. As you can imagine I was a mess going into our first day, but of course the minute I arrive at ABA Centrum I felt a sense of calm. The therapists are amazingly kind and welcoming. They had some amazing skills already and with some extra support we knew they would be able to run more effective sessions.
As am alumni I am always amazed at how eager the centers are to learn and grow. They often have a list of questions and want feedback on majority of their procedures. Our group was able to conduct a training on day 2 of this trip on basic behavior principles. We are blessed to have therapists who can translate and we are able to effectively communicate with them. It was amazing to see the change a few simple tweaks made the following day. Therapists confidence levels soared as they were able to effectively demonstrates skills such as follow through with task demands, setting up environments to promote more effective work, using antecedent manipulations to prevent problem behavior and the biggest task of them all, working through an extinction burst. These skills they learned are foundational and will enable them to help make their sessions more effective. This is why I love to travel with the Global Autism Project, they invest in the training to help their centers to allow them to soar to higher levels of excellence. This has only been the first few days, I am eager to see what the next week brings!