We always love hearing from members of our online course and community who have found success in our programs. Marie L. is the mother of two children diagnosed with autism. I am so thankful for her willingness to share her story and even videos with our community, which impact a lot of lives.
Finding Therapy During Covid
Marie’s son was only mid-way through Kindergarten when the COVID-19 shutdown occurred. Like many moms, she sought out resources to support and help her child. Marie was familiar with The Verbal Behavior Approach before this at her doctor’s advice to help her son potty train in preparation for Kindergarten. As a parent, you are your child’s lifelong teacher and advocate. School and therapists will come and go, and Marie’s story proves just how important it is to be a Gung Ho Parent. Not only has Marie’s hard work helped her son but it has greatly helped her older daughter who was diagnosed with autism at age 9, as she was able to develop specific programming for her needs based on my approach.
Homeschooling and Autism
After the COVID-19 shutdown, Marie’s son attended an ABA clinic full-time instead of traditional school, but in October of 2021, when she felt he was ready to resume school the system failed him. There was a lack of communication and no transition plan to help acclimate him and prevent aggressive behaviors. Marie chose to homeschool her son and keep putting to work her knowledge from our online course and community. It’s important to remember there are legal obligations for transition plans and assistance for special needs students. If you don’t have the option to homeschool your child there are options and you may need an advocate.
Making Gains with Our Online Course and Community
With over 300 words, an abundance of new self-care skills, new tolerance for outings, and other small gains, Marie is helping her son become safe, independent, and happy. Many times we focus on speech and other verbal operants, but it is just as important if not more to focus on skills needed for daily life like brushing teeth, helping around the house, and going to church, the doctors, and the barber.
I have many courses available to suit your family’s needs that can make a difference, including our new School Age course and the Train the Trainer course. Be sure to check them out and see how you can get joined up, we’d love to have you as part of our course and community!
Marie L. on the Turn Autism Around Podcast
Marie L. is the mom of two children (ages 9 and 11) who are both diagnosed with autism. She has been a member of the Turn Autism Around courses and community since the spring of 2020 when the pandemic thrust her into the world of homeschooling. Marie is thrilled to share her success in becoming the best teacher and advocate for her kids. She lives in New York.
- Success story from an online course and community member.
- How the online courses can help make gains when no therapy is available.
- Use my approach to help with potty training and other life skills.
- Applying my courses to teach school age children.
- Understanding and advocating for your child’s rights at school.
- Homeschooling your child with autism.
- How to Advocate For Your Child with Autism in an IEP Meeting with Amanda DeLuca and Kirby Morgan
- Revisiting My Autism Journey: From Overwhelmed Parent to Autism Leader and Advocate – Vikram Panchal Interviews Dr. Mary Barbera
- Autism Data Collection Method: Calendars
- Using Behavior Science to Support Children with Learning Challenges with Dr. Kim Berens
- Dr. Rick Kubina: Fluency and Precision Teaching
- Precision Teaching and Autism | Interview with Amy E. and Kelsey G.
- Workshops – Dr. Mary Barbera
Marie L. – Turn Autism Around Podcast Transcript
Transcript for Podcast Episode: 222
Homeschooling Autism : How Marie Found Success Teaching Her Son Using the Turn Autism Around Approach
Hosted by: Mary Barbera
Guest: Maire L.
Mary: You're listening to the Turn Autism Around podcast episode number 222. I'm your host, Dr. Mary Barbera, and I love when we have podcasts with round numbers like 222. Anyway, today on the show we have a success story from Marie L., who has two school aged children, both diagnosed with autism. And Marie has made a lot of progress on her own, both during COVID and after COVID. And she just really talks a lot about how she has been working with the school to try to get him back in school and some of the progress that he's made. So it's a great session. The two things we started, which we talk a little bit in this podcast about, is, one, we have a brand new course for parents of school age kids. It's the Turn Autism Around course for school age kids before this, which it just came out very recently before this. Parents of kids over the age of six were kind of lumped in with professionals, and I think it was a little bit too overwhelming. Now it is a step by step course that really gives you the need to know how to get your child who is either not talking or talking in short phrases but not conversational. How to get that child to progress up with language, to reduce problem behaviors, to improve picky eating, sleeping, potty training, and so much more. So you can check that out in the show notes here at MaryBarbera.com/222 to see how you might get joined up for our parent course. We also started a training trainer course for professionals. We have started with cohort one so that is in session now for the next couple of months. So if you're a professional or very advanced parent, you're going to want to look for when we start cohort two for our Train the trainer program too. So we are making changes to support people like Marie and possibly you out there. So I wanted to mention both those new offerings right now. So let's get to this really great interview with Marie L.
Intro: Welcome to the Turn Autism Around podcast. For both parents and professionals in the autism world who want to turn things around, be less stressed and lead happier lives. And now your host, Autism mom, behavior analyst and bestselling author, Dr. Mary Barbera.
Mary: All right, Marie, thank you so much for joining us today.
Marie: Thank you for letting me be here. Yeah.
Marie L. A Member of the Turn Autism Around Course and Community
Mary: So you've been in our online course and community for a while now. And I see some of your posts and you are one of those parents who have given us permission to talk about your kids. You've even shared videos and you've shared your son's assessment, which we're using for our brand new course for parents of school age kids. So first of all, I want to thank you for allowing us to use your story and use your videos to help other families. I really appreciate that.
Marie: Thank you so much for creating your courses and everything. Yeah.
Mary: Yeah. Well, so let's talk about we're going to talk about both your kids, Sean, who's eight and your daughter who's 11. Your 11 year old just recently got the diagnosis. But mostly we're going to talk about Sean and your journey to finding help through our online course and community. But let's start with my usual question. Describe your fall into the autism world.
Marie: Oh, goodness. Sean was three and we took him to the doctors. He wasn't talking. He liked to clear tables. So if there was like, you know, anything on the table, it would be automatically just cleared right away. And I took a physical and the doctor goes, I'm pretty sure he has autism. And at that point, I just didn't know what to do. I didn't know where to go or anything. We did end up getting him into a preschool that was for autistic children. And then as time went on, I couldn't get him potty trained. And that's where, you know, by five years old. You're going into kindergarten. What are you going to do if you can't get potty trained? They didn't want him in public schools with a diaper on. So I called up Sean's developmental doctor. And, you know, I'm kind of at this point almost begging because I'm like, I don't know what to do. And I was really upset. And she goes, Just go out by Dr. Mary Barbera's book, and I'm watching my daughter play in the playground. I can remember this. I'm writing everything down at the moment, and she's like, Go buy that book and just use it. And there's a section in there about how to teach your son how to go potty. So the next day I went out, I bought it, and then I just started using it and he got potty trained and he went into kindergarten. This was before the pandemic hit that March. So he went to York in September, but he was fully potty trained. So that was huge.
Mary: You just use my first book, The Verbal Behavior Approach.
Mary: Wow. So your doctor recommended the book. There is a whole chapter in both of my books in the Verbal Behavior Approach book. There's a potty chapter and then in the Turn Autism Around book. There is also a potty chapter. So that helped him. And how was his language when he went to kindergarten?
Marie: He was on PAX because that's what he was trained on before. He really didn't have much language at all. He wasn't even saying daddy at that moment. Very, very little. In kindergarten when the pandemic hit, that's when I started really getting nervous, because if he's not around a professional or he's not around therapy, it's just going to get into regression. That's what my fear was, my husband and I, and that's when I found your courses.
Mary: Okay, So that was the spring of 2020. And he had just the spring of his kindergarten year.
Mary: Is when you found it. And that's when actually a lot of people found my online course because everybody, every child in the United States, both regular general education and special education and preschool and daycare.
Mary: They were sent home and that's just a lot. And even before that, you know, I started my first online course March 21st of 2015. So it's eight years ago, almost to the day when this one, this podcast comes out. And eight years ago I started the online course. And you know, some of the parents along the years who haven't taken my online course have said, you know, I just want to be a parent. I don't want to leave it to the professionals they didn't know and they still don't know that there's so much parents can do and should do. But I think the COVID-19 pandemic really did kind of wake everybody up to the fact that, you know what, the professionals are going to come and go. And when they closed schools, you know, you're it, you're the teacher, you're the advocate. You're the only one who. Has the power to really change things. And. And luckily, I also had my book proposal in and a contract to write my book in January of 2020. So I started writing and some of my case studies, including Michelle C, who's in Chapter eight, nine and 13, and she now works for me as a coach. And, you know, she made all kinds of progress during the COVID shutdown. So Sean was six ish at the time?
Marie: He was six because it would be his birthday on April 2nd. So. Yes. Yeah.
Mary: So what kind of gains did you make with the online course?
Success and Gains From The Online Courses
Marie: Well, I started first with the toddler courses and it took a little while and they used to have the zoom up. So we would do the zoom and I had it. It was almost like I was trying to swim and learned my footing. And I kept saying, okay, we need more reinforcements, we need more. And as I got my footing, Sean was like really getting used to all of a sudden sitting at the table and he would like to come over and like I, I noticed that even if it's small, it's not small, it's a win. So he would come and he would sit at the table willingly. He would bring wherever I had at the time the therapy tools, just like you said, and he would bring that over and we would do different things. And that was all, you know. And the language started coming to the point where his teacher would zoom again. So like we had to see because teachers and stuff they were reading, I think it was a book. I don't know what it was, but as they were counting the numbers, Sean went eight. She was oh my God. He just said that, you know, been kind working. Yeah, but she just was huge, like, so impressed and so excited. And that was just in 2020. So, I mean, that happened. But again, I was still getting my footing.
Mary: Yeah. Yeah. So you completed the toddler course and then did you move to the Verbal Behavior Bundle?
Marie: Oh, I moved to everything. I completed everything. And I did it a couple of times because I got to refresh. I've got a lot. I juggle a lot. So I like to make sure that I'm doing the right thing. And there's nobody else usually for me to ask except like on your Facebook group, I might post a question, which is I love, I do like that Facebook group. If I'm feeling lost, I could pose the question because, you know.
Mary: And that's why I created the courses, because I used to travel internationally and speak on stages and, you know, for an hour. And then, you know, people would have all these ideas and then on Monday or Tuesday they'd try it and they're like, Oh my goodness, my kid is throwing potato heads. Mary's videos didn't show a kid throwing a potato had more flopping on the ground. Now what do I do? But there was no way to ask like, hey, watch this? I'm trying, but he's running the other way. What am I doing wrong? And it's not like you're doing anything wrong. It's just that these procedures work. It's just a matter of you might have to adapt. Something you might need, you know, different reinforcers and different situations. And that's really where our coaches and our Facebook advisors and our community manager can help. So Sean did end up going back to school after that?
Marie: He's made a couple of attempts going back to school. He ended up going back. It was like 2021. He ended up going back with it's been a couple of years, I guess, but he did end up going back and we ended up pulling; well, it was kind of a mutual agreement because he ended up in an ABA clinic first in like from April to October of that year. He was at the ABA clinic from like 9 to 3. And there were other children in this clinic, it was an ABA. I thought it was good. I trusted the BCBA and then when the time came for him to transition from there to school, she left out the part that he would get upset sometimes and pull kids' hair. I didn't know about that, school they didn't know that. The only one who knew that was the BCBA. I mean, he never did that with his sister. So I'm just kind of like, where is this coming from? And he got back to school and this was in October and he pulled the kid's hair twice and then he went down like, you know, almost bIte. And at that point the CSE called. And my husband, we don't want anyone hurt. We're good. We're going to home school and I'll take care of them and we'll go from there. I got in touch with the BCBA and I asked her, did this ever happen there? And she said, Yeah, it did. And at that point, I was more like, Why didn't you let us know? Because I feel like if the teachers had a heads up that, hey, you know, if I had a heads up, maybe we could. Maybe things could have been different. More information I feel like is better than less information, especially when you're dealing with a child with autism.
Mary: Yeah. One of the one of the biggest things I find and I you know, I've been in the autism world as a parent and then as a professional for 24 years now.And you know, if Lucas would go somewhere or even Spencer would go to daycare or preschool or whatever, like, there needs to be communication every day, not just a smiley face or frowny face.
Mary: Not just here, you know, he ate half a sandwich. Like, well, especially for me because I'm a behavior analyst. But even for you, because you learned. You had to learn during COVID.
Traditional School, Homeschool, and Transitions
Mary: You have been empowered to learn to become your child's best teacher and advocate and. You know, if he was aggressive at school, if I were in that school as a busybody, I would for sure want to know, is this happening at home? Is it happening with siblings, cousins, play dates? Is it happening in the community? Right. Needs to be not just communication, but collaboration. And, you know, a lot of schools, public schools particularly, are very hands off with school, with home stuff and community staff. But that's a big part of it, especially when you're talking about a school age child. There needs to be some follow through and some collaboration. Otherwise, it really isn't going to be as successful as it could be. The other big thing legally, because I've also done several shows with advocates and attorneys and IEP coaches and we can link some of those in the show notes. This is podcast 222, so that's always when we got a nice round number. Go get the show notes at MaryBarbera.com/222. But legally one of the biggest things that should be highlighted and should be really a sure thing at least in the United States is the transition from one setting to another from an ABA clinic to a public school setting or from a birth to three program to a 3 to 5 program?
Mary: Both agencies or organizations are required to have a transition plan with present ed levels and problem behaviors, etc., etc., etc.. And so that was a fail. That transition and the lack of communication about severe problem behaviors of hurting children and being aggressive was legally not right. And it really did. You know, it's not right on any level, but you know that transitioning and communication and collaboration with home births and school are part of the hallmarks of the Individuals with Disabilities Act. So, you know. So you tried. You decided to homeschool. Now, do you get any homebound services or any speech services, OT, anything from the school?
Marie: Now, I just had the therapist email me. So, like, speech will email me. Seany is seeing a personal trainer as I put on Facebook. And he's doing really well with that. So that kind of takes care of PT. But you have to pay for that. That comes because we're in New York State, so Sean gets Medicaid, but also at Medicaid, he gets self direct. So under his bundle for self direct, he can have a gym membership. The gentleman that does it, he only works with special needs children and adults. That's all he does. And he's I mean, he is really good with Sean. And so we're lucky. And in that case, he does enjoy it.
Mary: That's great. That's great. So just so you know, I've done some other interviews with parents and just for the listeners out there is that if you know, if the school is not able to provide a free, appropriate public education, then they need to find something that is comparable and suitable and appropriate. And so, you know, we don't want to get too much into the legalities and we're not trying to throw anybody under the bus. You know, professionals out there are trying their very best. And you and your husband had to make family decisions based on what you knew you could handle. You knew, you know, whatever your work schedule was, you know, not working or, you know, that you could handle this. But not everybody out in the world could even do it, you know?
Marie: And I mean, they wouldn't know. I understand the knowledge and.
Mary: You know, just know. I think I told Zulekha she was on a two part episode a couple of months ago, but I told her, you know, she asked me, should I stop school? And I'm like, I mean, I can't tell you to stop school or not, but I wouldn't be sending a child anywhere where they weren't safe, They weren't learning, they weren't making progress. They were screaming to go in like, I'm not going to send my child there. Obviously, it's not. Something's wrong.
Mary: But I wouldn't just. Home school either. But you know that the system failed him because at least in the United States, you know.
Marie: Oh, yeah.
Mary: They are required. So. .
Marie: Yes they are.
Mary: You are still homeschooling, but you do plan to get Sean back into school. When do you think?
Marie: Well, right now. He had his evaluation. So normally, like every three years, you have to have an evaluation if you're special needs. So I had requested it since I was doing everything. I was doing therapy with the therapist and said, Can we just do a new evaluation before we have a CSE meeting to get him back into school? And the CSE yes. So he completed all of his evaluations and we have the date of March 24th for the CSE. So we're going to talk about getting him back into school. And both and Sean's doctors both wrote letters to cover us as well, saying it's best if you get him back into school slowly, meaning he might go back in an hour or two and then mommy comes and picks him up just because they say that you don't want to drop him at the deep end of the pool and expect him to swim. Now, he's been home schooled and he can make it. And that's the thing you're course you in your course taught me is that over a year ago, we went to church and oh my gosh it was up the choir loft and running and screaming. And it's like, we're going to get reinforcement. We're going to work on this every Sunday. We're going to do it. And his reinforcement was a train station. Seany loves trains, and every single Sunday, that's what we would do. And now we go to church and he doesn't even need the reinforcement. So it's just again, for it seems to some people too small, but it is such a huge win how much he's changed and grown.
Mary: Yeah. Yeah. So those are good examples. You know, starting out with just an hour or two or half a day then or with mass, maybe he likes, you know, the end of the mass or just the song part or can't tolerate the homily. So during that part, he gets to go into the lobby and walk around before he has problem behaviors, you know, and slowly shaping so that he can go with his family and sit through a mass, even if he has to have headphones on and not be paying attention. Like some kids can't do that. But they can wear headphones and they can do their iPad and they can sit in the pew and the family can go to church. So. Right. There's just different things. And I think that's where, you know, our course in community really teaches parents like, you know, like it doesn't have to be all or nothing. So I really appreciate your doctors really seeing that, you know. Yeah. In shaping we need some transition planning. That's where the transition planning comes into play. And does the school have a BCBA or could they contract with the BCBA who could start coming to your house? Who could be part of that transition planning?
Marie: They do, but we'd be on a wait list with the organization that's like the BCBA for the school. So it's like a nonprofit organization. And then you would have to be on a waitlist. It wouldn't just be, unfortunately, at the CSE meeting, because if they deem that he needs a BCBA at school, then it would be they the BCBA would be contracted for like a certain number of hours at school. And like he would I wouldn't be able to see her or him. No.
Marie: Yeah, I know.
Mary: But we do it because right now you're home schooling him in lieu of an appropriate education. So you could even say as part of the transition. That BCBA, I can come home for 8 hours a week and then she can go with him for the hour or two that he's going to push in and then she can come back home. I mean, just because they haven't done it that way doesn't mean it wouldn't be a thing.
Marie: That's a great idea.
Mary: Think out of the box. You might need an advocate to make it happen. But yeah, and we want to be as agreeable as possible. We don't want to get into a legal situation if, if at all possible, because it just wastes time and money. But at this point, you know, it sounds like you're working with the system and they're working with you. But, you know, just because normally it doesn't work like that, normally people don't homeschool their special education child for a year either. So, you know, he probably will need more of a better transition.
Marie: Mm hmm.
The Value Of A Trained Parent
Mary: So we often say no therapy is better than bad therapy. Do you agree with that or have you seen that in your life?
Marie: No therapy is better than bad therapy. I'm just thinking.
Mary: The thing is, is that you now know what to do, so he's always going to get some kind of therapy. Yeah. It's your good parenting because you know about reinforcement and that sort of thing. So. So if it's a bad situation, it is better to just stop the bad situation and learn how you can make it.
Marie: Yeah, I guess if I was to tell myself, you know, looking back before I found your courses, before I did all this, and like, if Sean was having a meltdown and I didn't know how to act. To me, that would be like, Oh, I'm not doing this right. Whereas now, after I learned it, I can. Oh, this. You know, I'll give you a great example. Like one night he emptied all of his drawers in his room, his dresser drawers, and he just emptied everything. And this was a couple of years ago. And I walked in there and I just took a breath. I was like, okay. And I'm like, Buddy, what do you want? Mickey, Mickey and Mickey. And he won his Mickey PJ's and he was looking all over for his Mickey Pjs. So rather than get upset, I was thrilled that he told me what he wanted. And then I said, okay, but let's clean everything up. And he cleaned everything up, put it away and cleaned up all his doors. But that's what he was looking for. So it just taught me how to be a better parent. It taught me how to do things. And if I feel like I didn't learn that, then yeah, it would have been different, if that makes any sense. Yeah.
Mary: Yeah. So in the past, Sean will be nine at the time of this broadcast. Just. Just turned nine.
Mary: So in the past three years, what kind of gains did Sean make?
Verbal, Self Care, And Other Gains With The Online Course
Marie: He's up to 300 words. He can. He goes to the haircut hairstylist every two weeks. He can sit there without me holding him or anything. He sits with his balloons now and his little bluey, and he has his haircut. Very cute. He's going to a personal trainer. He's out more. He helps me with groceries. He helps it even just doing chores. Like if he gets his shirt dirty, he'll take a shirt off, he'll change his shirt, and then he puts that shirt into the wash, which is again like huge. So there's a lot of, again, little things. But when I started your courses again, it's like I told my husband, we're focusing on self-care and he brushes his teeth at night. He makes sure he's a completely independent potty, making sure he can completely dress himself and stuff. And, you know, we focus a lot on the mands, and the tacts and echoics. But I was really kind of honing in on this past year, making sure we're kind of doing that, because I want him to be happy.
Mary: And a lot of times parenting professionals, I think they focus. I did it myself, focusing too much on language and not enough on self-care and life skills.
Mary: Those are super important, especially as your child gets to be seven, eight, nine, 12, 15. You know, I mean, language is great. And the fact that he can request or manding for, you know, or tact 300 things and probably more than that, we are starting to answer questions, starting to, you know, be involved but like going to the grocery store, going to church, going to a restaurant, going on a plane. Those are all huge goals that make more of a difference in the child's safety, independence and happiness and the families. Yeah. Then, you know, four word sentences, which really doesn't do much for safety, independence or happiness.
Marie: Yeah. And one other example I could think of is, you know, the oxygen.
Mary: You know, 02 stat machine for the..
Marie: He was petrified of that. So we had one that was oh my God, it was I think it looks like a shark. And he had, you know, and it's like, okay, okay, we're going to work on it. So I made sure the reinforcement was extremely high every day. It was like working and working. And then he went to his doctors and the nurses would argue, Is this the same kid? Like, Yeah, it's fine, but he is so good. And he I mean, just for him, that was huge because that was the one thing he couldn't stand at the doctors. But he's just been. It's amazing how much he's grown and at his developmental doctors he goes, I'm all good. I'm good. So let's you know he's all good.
Mary: And how about aggression? Are you seeing any of that?
Marie: We're not seeing much aggression at all. No. If he ends up with a migraine, we might see a little aggression. But no, we're not seeing any aggression. And yeah, migraines are migraines.
Mary: Yeah and medical problems are a big part of why some kids like Lucas had aggression and self-injurious behavior and he SIB for pain or startle, mostly pain. So it's really important that we as parents really try to figure out any pain and try to figure out what med might help things.
Marie: All right.
Mary: I don't know if you've ever listened to the podcast with Dr. Michael Murray, who's Lucas's psychiatrist.
Mary: We can link that in the show notes here. But. And I'm not prescribing any meds for your son.
Mary: But You know, Inderal, which is a cardiac med, which is really the medication that saved Lucas's life, pretty much that is to lower his sensory, you know, just calm him down, keep him in a constant state of calm so he doesn't have that startle fight or flight response. But that medication, that cardiac med is also used for reducing tension like violin players that have to play for hours. Marie: Oh, okay.
Mary: I'm just wondering, I think it might even be used maybe for migraines. But, you know, don't just think of medication as being like antipsychotics or antidepressants or ADHD kind of meds because you know and things progress over the years. So I would I would seriously if he's having migraines whether he's you know whether he would be typically developing or autistic, I would I would go full tilt, especially if that's causing any problems. And the other thing is make sure you have a paper calendar where you're keeping track of his migraines, his problem behaviors, his supplements or medications. I mean, I have a calendar video blog I've recommended numerous times. It's in my newest book, too, about the calendar system. We can link them to show notes. So let's give it a little bit to your daughter, who your daughter's 11. And so she was recently diagnosed. So how did that come to be? And then we'll talk about how you helped her with some of those strategies.
Making Gains With Older Children With Autism
Marie: Sure. She got diagnosed when she was nine. And of course, we had the whole pandemic thing. And prior to the pandemic, she was in a 15,1:1, which was like a normal classroom with just a teacher and an aide. But when the kids were going back to school and it was going to be it was going to be difficult. We got a call from the principal saying that they didn't think that she could handle science and history and that she was falling behind.
Mary: Then you didn't have an IEP or diagnosis of anything at that point.
Marie: She had an IEP because she is behind in speech. She can talk. She's very she can talk your ear off right now. But she still does, she is behind speech. So she does have an IEP and she did have OT/PT before. Okay. Which she has since graduated from. But she was the principal who had called us and was like, I think she needs to go into this other class. And this other classroom has 12 kids, one teacher, three aides, plus another eight. So 12 one, three, one. And I was like, but at the moment I'm like, why was she doing so well? Why What's going on? So we took her to our developmental doctor. We had her do some you know, she checked her out and everything, and then the psychologist checked her out and said she's right on the line for autism. I said, okay, you know that for me, it's fine by me. It just means you're different. And I mean, she was, she doesn't know, like, I don't want to say she doesn't think she knows, like, a bad thing. Like, some people would say that it's bad or whatever. We always tell her. We tell both our kids, You're awesome, you're special. It's all good. So we were planning on going on a trip this past year in November, which we did. But over the summer I was working with her and with Sean, and I was like, Mom, don't do what you do with Sean. I don't need a potato head. I don't need those potato heads. I know where everything is because she sees me do and she sees me with the that everything with what you do is something like, okay, So I made her get a binder and we got a pink binder and she decorated out of it and then we, I laminated sheets and I made sure we got everything kind of like together. And I'm like, This is going to be your book. Not Seany's It's yours. And every day we would go through it and she would use it like I had Velcro on it. So we would be doing like, I can't think of it at the top of my head, like, if you get it wrong. I would go. I would tell her exactly what she knows. Like, where's your eyes, for example? Obviously she knows it. And then we would go back to transfer tracks. The tip of my tongue. But we would go on. And that's how she really picked up words. And then she started picking up different things. So we would keep doing that. And like I had a teacher. Some words are naughty and we had to go through that as well and just kind of teach her some words because you go to public school, you hear stuff and it's not her fault, but we just have to like to teach you. And when she went back to school in September, the teacher called me and she said she couldn't believe it because normally the kids regress from June to September. And she just couldn't believe the progress that Noelle made over the summer in math And in reading it. I just made up my own sheets and I made that binder and I tried to make it fun. She loves Disney princesses, so I made it as fun as I could for her. I kept the rewards, like as high as I could. Now, you know, she sees me doing it with her brothers.
Mary: Well a couple of things I'm thinking about her, and we don't really talk about her much. But in our bonus video vault as part of the course, there's a fluency bonus video that you check out. I've also done a bunch of podcast interviews, one with Kim Berens, Rick Kubina, Kelsey and Amy Evans. You'll want to listen to those. We'll put those in the show notes as well, because kids like you're describing your daughter really need a lot of prerequisite training, fluency based instruction. Okay. And instead of laminating sheets, I would use page protectors because you can put worksheets inside and then you can take out the worksheet and put different worksheets because they need a lot of different things. And then finally, there's really inexpensive reading materials like Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons. Is a $15 book, and if she is reading below like a second grade level, like instead of teaching her just sight words, I would teach her phonics. There's programs called Heads Sprout and something else after. I think they're all based on fluency based procedures, but I would caution against just piecing things together and really get some curriculums. There's a direct instruction curriculum to teach math, direct instruction to teach language and reading. So in our Verbal Behavior Bundle in the intermediate courses, reading, math, language for learning language, for thinking, those sorts of things. You can also get the school, you know, have an IEP meeting for your daughter and have the school buy them, buy these curriculum, teach her with these curriculum because the more you can catch her up the better you will do. Yeah. So that's kind of my thoughts on that. But great job putting these, you know, errorless teaching, error correction procedures, having independent workbooks and not letting kids regress all summer no matter if they have autism or not. You really have taken this information and become, you know, the gung ho parent that we'd love to see. So congratulations. I think you're doing an amazing job.
Marie: Well, thank you. Thank you.
Mary: Yeah. So before I let you go, part of our podcast goals are not to just help the kids, but help the parents and professionals. So do you have any self-care tips or stress management tools that you use to live a happier life with less stress?
Marie: I try to let it go if it's not because with two special needs kids, things will come in and if I get upset over every little thing, I'm going to end up melting down before the weeks. And it's just not going to. I'm not good to anybody, you know? So it's like when a problem comes in, kind of just like with, you know, we assess it, you know, okay, where does this problem fall? Is this like a really big issue that we have to worry about or can we just take a breather and let it go for now and not worry about it? If it's something with the school, we're one thing we're working more with, you know, trying to do it with honey rather than vinegar, so to speak, because my husband and I are fierce advocates for the kids. But it's just sometimes you learn that. You learn that it's better sometimes to be sweeter, even though it's harder at times. I also take time to just meditate and I also take time to work out and give myself some peace. What I can let go I put in God's hands and because I can't do everything I need some help.
Mary: Especially when you're homeschooling, yes.
Marie: I definitely need some help.
Mary: Definitely need that self-care time, that's for sure. Well, I think like I said, I think you're doing a great job. I think our courses and community, we're also taking some of your feedback and people like you, we are now having a Turn Autism Around for school age because the toddler preschooler course is so effective. Step by step guidance. But in the past, up until like a couple of weeks ago, we didn't have a really clear path for kids over six. But now we do. So we have either the Turn Autism Around, Toddler or Turn Autism Around school age. And I'm really excited because we just started our first cohort of Train the Trainers. So like people at your school, you know, that could be part of his IEP that somebody take the Verbal Behavior Bundle and take the train the trainer course eventually so that it doesn't have to be parents and just a few professionals around the world really trying to really trying to get this method out to the world in the child friendly way. So I'm excited that we're going to have some more options. We're going to build capacity to get child friendly ABA out to the world so that we can have kids like Sean and Noelle making the best gains. So thank you so much, Marie, for joining us, for sharing your stories, for allowing us to use videos. It really does make a difference in a lot of our lives. So thank you again.
Marie: Well, thank you.
Mary: If you're a parent or an autism professional and enjoy listening to this podcast, you have to come check out my online course and community where we take all of this material and we apply it. You'll learn life changing strategies to get your child or clients to reach their fullest potential. Join me for a free online workshop at MaryBarbera.com/workshop where you can learn how to avoid common mistakes. You can see videos of me working with kids with and without autism, and you can learn more about joining my online course and community at a very special discount. Once again go to MaryBarbera.com/workshop for all the details. I hope to see you there.
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