How can you tell the difference between good ABA therapy and bad ABA therapy? Tameika Meadows, BCBA of I Love ABA, joins me to break down what it is that makes up good ABA and how to know it when you see it.
Tameika shares that the foundational goal of determining an ABA provider is to look at the goal of intervention. What are the goals you are hoping for your child to achieve through therapy? ABA providers need to use language that puts the individual first. For parents, make sure your needs are being heard so that the specific barriers for your child can be met.
COVID aside, a big red flag is when an ABA provider does not allow parents to tour, view, and observe the facility or therapy. Assuming this isn’t the case, the next thing is to be clear on strategy, goals, and reinforcement. There should never be surprise moments if a parent looks in on therapy, every single thing worked on or used in therapy should be discussed and agreed upon between parents and providers. Every part of therapy should have caregiver involvement and caregiver consent.
Whether you’re at home or in a clinic for ABA, parents are the experts on their child. One of the reasons for this podcast, my book, and my courses is to arm parents with the knowledge to understand and encourage good ABA. There really is no one size fits all for your child and your needs, because everyone comes from different household dynamics. So if you’re not working in a center and you’re doing ABA therapy at home, stick with Tameika’s same key points: strategy, goals, and reinforcement.
It can be so hard to find a center or therapist trained in the approach you’re looking for, especially the Turn Autism Around or Verbal Behavior Approach. My suggestion would be to plug those keywords in with VB-MAPP and your local area into Google, and see what you come up with. Tameika stresses to do your research and take the time to find the right provider. It can seem daunting and overwhelming, but you can not get that time and effort back that you spent in a bad facility. I make it really clear in my book, no therapy is better than bad therapy.
Tameika is passionate about educating parents. The best ABA and parent teams are built on informed foundations. You can find out more about Tameika and her plethora of resources on her blog, I Love ABA.
Tameika Meadows on Turn Around Autism
Tameika Meadows, M.Ed., Board-Certified Behavior Analyst, resides in the Atlanta, Georgia area and has nearly two decades of experience providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) treatment to developmentally delayed children and adolescents, across home, school, and clinic treatment settings.
Tameika obtained her graduate degree in School Psychology from Georgia Southern University in 2008, and her career passions include Early Intervention, Functional Communication Training, Clinician Support/Staff Training, and Parent Coaching/Equipping Families.
Tameika is the creator/author of the blog & resource website: www.ILoveABA.com, which is accessed daily by thousands of people all over the world. Through her website Tameika provides simple and practical information, strategies, and tips, about behavior analysis and behavior change.
Tameika currently practices independently providing Telehealth consultation services, BCBA supervision, ABA Training, mentoring services, Family/Caregiver Workshops, and behavioral support services to schools and other organizations. Tameika has also authored multiple Applied Behavior Analysis books and manuals, such as: “101 Ways to do ABA”, an introductory resource guide for parents and therapists; “From A to Z: Teaching Skills to Children with Autism”, a resource guide for educators; “A Manual: Creating an Autism Intervention Program”, a resource guide for practice owners; and “The Practical ABA Practitioner”, an invaluable in-the-field resource for ABA practitioners.
For More Information: https://www.tameikameadowsconsulting.com/
- What to look for in an ABA therapist.
- How to find good ABA.
- What does bad ABA look like?
- ABA resources for parents.
- Is ABA bad?
- What to look for in an ABA therapist.
- How to find good ABA.
- ABA resources for parents.
- MaryBarbera.com/workshop (Sign up for a free workshop online for parents & professionals)
- Autism Detection: A Summary of Dr. Ami Klin’s Autism Work
- ABA Therapy: Four Myths & Truths
- In Home ABA Therapy vs. ABA School: Which is Better?
- Lessons about Turning Autism Around: An Interview with a Mom of 2 Young Boys with Autism – Autism Mom, ABA Help for Professionals and Parents
- Autism in Siblings Risks & Other Diagnoses: Interview with Autism Mom Jenna P.
- Autism Self Care Skills: Potty Training, Sleep, Dressing & More
- Autism and Potty Training | Toilet Training Tips for Kids with Autism
- Dr. Keith Williams: Tackling Selective Eating in Children with Autism – Autism Mom, ABA Help for Professionals and Parents
- Empowering Parents: Parent Led Therapy for Children with Autism
- Home Based ABA for Autism | Interview with Amy M.
- Getting an ABA Program Started – Autism Mom, ABA Help for Professionals and Parents
- I Love ABA!
- Heading off autism diagnoses early
Transcript for Podcast Episode: 146
Tameika Meadows from I Love ABA on Finding Good ABA Therapy
Hosted by: Dr. Mary Barbera
Guest: Tameika Meadows
Mary: You're listening to the Turn Autism Around podcast, episode number one hundred and forty six. Today, I had a great conversation with Tameika Meadows, who is a board certified behavior analyst who resides in Atlanta, Georgia. She has nearly two decades of experience providing ABA and schools, homes, clinics, and she is the creator,author of a blog called ILoveABA.com, which is accessed daily by thousands of people all over the world, including myself, and I started looking at that blog about a decade ago. So today we talk about good ABA versus bad ABA. How to spot really quality programs is home or school may be a better and a host of other issues, but that's the gist of it. It was a great conversation. Hope you love it as much as I did. Let's get to this special interview with Tameika Meadows.
Mary: 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: So Tameika, it is so great to meet you and have you on the show. Thank you so much for joining us today.
Tameika: Thank you. I'm happy to be here.
Mary: So this is my first interview where the interviewee is in a car and you don't have great internet connection in your house. So you actually went somewhere and you're in your car. You look great.
Tameika: Thank you.
Mary: So anyway, we like to start the same way, and I don't know the answer to this story at all, but describe your fall into the autism world.
How Tameika Joined the Autism World:
Tameika: Sure. Well, I had a bit of an accidental entry. Like some, I was a college student on campus. I saw a flier that I assumed was for babysitting, and so I responded. I went out. I met the mom and her child and got a very kind of quick synopsis of what they were doing this therapy autism, because at the time I did not know what that was. I did not know what ABA was. I never heard of it. And she showed me a few video clips of him during session. And I was just like, What is this? And how do I be a part of this? Because this is way more interesting than what I'm learning in class. And that was pretty much my thought going in, and I started working with that one family and then started seeing other families started getting recommendations. And then it reached a point where I had a specific consultant who was working with us say to me, You know, you really should look into this as like a career like, I think you'd like it. I think you'd take to it very well. And I was like, Wait, this is like a career. And she sent me to the BACB website, and that was it. I looked into the process for getting certified, went to grad school, and here we are. So I very much fell in.
Mary: Yeah. And that is a very common pattern for for parents. It's their child was diagnosed for professionals like yourself. It is a lot of times answering an ad in high school or college and getting hooked by working with one child.
Tameika: And just loving it and saying, I want to do this all the time. How do I make that happen? Yeah.
Mary: So I'm excited because your behavior analyst as I am and you have a blog called ILOVEABA.com, which is I've been following it for years. I don't...What year did you create that?
Tameika: Oh gosh, I want to say 2011, but don't hold me to that. But that sounds right.
Mary: Yeah. So it is pretty visited a lot. It has a lot of traffic to that ILOVEABA.com site. So today we're going to talk about good ABA, bad ABA.
Tameika: Yes. Yes.
Mary: Three questions that I get all the time. Why? Why do some people hate eBay? Is eBay abuse? Mean just the whole gamut that unfortunately, even if you are a listener out there and we think we have about 70 percent parents out there listening and about some professionals. But even if you're a parent with a child with a new diagnosis, unfortunately you've probably heard there is controversy around it.
Tameika: 100 percent. I mean, it would be hard not to. I would say to have never heard anything negative, I think would be kind of hard.
Mary: Right, right. So why is that Tameika? Why? Why is there controversy and people that think ABA is abuse?
Why is there negativity around ABA?
Tameika: I really think it's a very diverse group of people who tend to be against ABA tend to speak out very loudly online on Twitter, on Facebook or wherever. I do not think there is a kind of unified reason for it. I see a lot of different reasons. I see a lot of different perspectives. Sometimes these are people who receive services, and those services were awful. Those services had no respect of the dignity of the individual. Sometimes it's people who, for them, their autism is not disabling. It is not something they view as a disorder, so they don't understand why there's an entire industry built on giving therapy to young children. They don't get it. They think it's wrong. There's a lot of different reasons and viewpoints. You even have people in the field like myself who really want to see ABA step forward and grow and advance and get better. And you know, we want to see our ethics get better and we we want to see the way we do things change and evolve. So it's a diverse issue. It's a weighty issue. There's a lot of feelings involved. People are very emotionally invested. And I can't imagine as a parent trying to navigate all of that to make a decision for your child, it must be so confusing and scary of just OK. But what do we do? Because there's all these different voices, but they're all just as passionate. So what do we do? I can't imagine how hard that is, right?
Mary: Because ABA, applied behavior analysis, is still...was back when my son Lucas was diagnosed two decades ago was and still is the most evidence based treatment for children with autism.
Mary: These are now all 50 states are required to provide insurance coverage, you know? And then you get, well, if autism is a gift and it's not a disorder, why are we treating?
Tameika: Why are treating it? Why does it need treatment?
Mary: And so it is really hard for parents. I'm sure to wade through the controversy. I mean, they want to help their child and it when they get all that overload with yes, Lucas was diagnosed. It was 1999. There was no Facebook. There was barely. So I didn't know back then when I started ABA that there was any controversy. I had no idea. And even when I started in the online world, it wasn't as loud.
Tameika: Agreed. Yeah.
Mary: So now it's it's getting...
Tameika: It's very different. It's very different.
Mary: Louder. Yes. Really, what? What I'm trying to do and I think, you know, I don't know you well, but I know your work on I love ABA. And what we're trying to do is is help each child reach his or her full potential.
Mary: And whether that includes going on to still have moderate to severe autism and have, you know, problems communicating and how you know...That's fine, but we're going to work to see if we can help the child catch up in terms of language and self care.
Tameika: Improvement, yeah the quality of life.
Mary: And the earlier you start that the better. This is an article that came out just this week, which said that one study is showing that parent led therapy. As soon as you have a child with delays, parent led therapy is showing real improvements. And then I just heard somebody with on the severe autism group say, Oh, now we're back to blaming the mothers for not engaging the child.
Tameika: Now back to the 50s. Yeah, which is not. I think there's a lot of I don't want to say confusion, but misunderstanding. There's a lot of misunderstanding about what the intent and goal and purpose of intervention should be. I agree with anyone who is saying the focus should not be to remove autism. I agree. I agree with you. That should not be the focus. But everyone's autism is different. We can all agree with that. It is not a monolith. So one person's experience of autism does not mean you get to now speak for every single person's experience of autism. And so for other people who don't have a consistent means of communication, they don't have the ability to use a bathroom by themselves, which is like a human right to not need people in the bathroom with you. For people who are not having an experience like you, can you at least see that they could use some help. Some supports some resources their family probably could use, some help. Their teachers probably could use some help. That should be the goal of intervention is to come in and to say, OK, where do we need help? Where do we need more support? Where is this individual getting so frustrated and so angry because they don't have a way to let people know what they want and what they need not to come in and say, let's make you quote unquote normal. That should not be the goal. And I agree with anyone who says that. But unfortunately, I think that's where the conversation stops. And I would love to see the conversation continue so we can really start talking to each other about how do we make this better for everyone participating in this treatment instead of just kind of attacking it? Let's talk about, OK, what do we need to improve? What do we need to do different? How do we how do we listen to autistic voices like let's engage instead of like battling? I just feel like battling doesn't really help anybody.
Mary: No, it doesn't. And I talk in my new book Turn Autism Around about Dr. Ami Klins research and his work. And I went to see him a few times and I actually did a solo show on the work of Ami Klin, and I was at a lecture, I think, in 2019 with him. And I asked the question, I'm like, Do you think you can prevent autism? And he said now based on his work, he does not believe you can prevent autism. But he said based on his research, he is really certain that you can prevent and reverse speech delays and disorders, behavioral disorders and intellectual disability that will often come with severe disease if it's not treated early enough and intensively enough. And and so that's really the goal. I mean, my son Lucas is twenty five. He has moderate severe autism and intelectual disability, speech disorder and behavioral disorder. And I did very intensive ABA reporting at the age of three and a quarter had I started it earlier at twenty one months when my husband first mentioned it, would his life be different? I do believe it would. Nobody has a crystal ball to look at right.
Tameika: None of us. Yeah, none of us know
Mary: That's not ruining my life.
Tameika: And right, right.
Mary: It's not, you know, it's not a problem. But when people say ABA is abuse, right? I'm sorry, but I do not agree. I'm not even sorry. I don't agree. And you have a website that's I love ABA Gqom. So obviously you don't agree either. But there is good ABA and bad ABA.
Tameika: 100 percent.
Mary: How do parents and professionals? This is also a problem for therapists newbies.
Tameika: Yes, it is.
Mary: You know, they get trapped in these jobs that are doing quote unquote bad ABA. That probably we think is bad ABA. So what's the difference? How? How can you tell?
The Difference Between Good ABA and Bad ABA:
Tameika: I think for any...let's start with parents. So, so for any parent or caregiver, if you are trying to determine a quality place for your child to receive services, you really have to start by looking at what's the goal of intervention. I really feel like that's like the foundational first step, because if you are speaking with a company or a provider and they're talking about, you know, we're going to fix this, we're going to correct blank, we're going to make your child more. We're going to, you know, remove stigma like words like that. All of those words are getting at normalizing all of those words, which again, should not be the goal. The goal should not be. We're going to magically make it as if you were born differently. The goal should be we're going to give you as many supports as you need so that you can contact the things you need to contact in life. You can let people know when you want food, you can. You can go out and use a bathroom, you can attend school, you know, because in certain parts of the world with an autism diagnosis, you can even go to school. So, so we really have to kind of look at what this means for that individual and how it's kind of making barriers to being able to do different things in their life. And then we address each barrier one by one. That should be the goal. We're going to help your child do blank. We're going to make it easier for your child to do blank. That should be the kind of language that is being said by a provider, by a company. And I can definitely say I know of companies and providers in my area where that is not the language that parents are hearing and that should be a red flag. It should be very, very concerning when you are contacting a provider saying we need help and that provider is instead telling you, here's what we're going to do. And they're not listening to you and they're not taking your input and they're just saying, Oh, yeah, yeah, we know what to do. We know autistic kids. Here's the protocol. Here's the strategy. No, that is not how that should work. Absolutely not.
Mary: OK, so so language is one thing when you're talking, when you're interviewing companies and people can talk the talk, but not do the right thing either. So if you are observing a classroom with COVID, some times you can't even observe. But as you say, the world is opened up and you can observe the classroom or speak to the teacher. What kinds of things would you recommend looking for? I know I actually have a couple of things we're going to link in the show notes I have a myths and truths about ABA podcast, and I also have a is school versus home ABA..
Tameika: Which ones better?
Mary: That sort of thing. So I have those two resources. We'll link them in the show notes. But but so you are going to evaluate we can talk about the differences between clinic and home and school, but say you are going into a clinic or a school to interview to look around. What kind of things would you look to see that it would indicate better therapy?
Tameika: Well, there are some settings that don't even allow parents to do that. So I feel like we need to start there. You can't even go in and take a look. That's a problem.
Mary: Well, and now I know some people are blaming it on COVID.
Tameika: Oh, I mean, prior to COVID.
Mary: Right, right. But prior to COVID
Tameika: It is their policy that you can't go in...
Mary: It would violate other kids rights to their privacy.
Tameika: Oh, they'll come up with all kinds of reasons. But it's just how can you evaluate something if you never see it? It's kind of where my mind goes.
Mary: And it would really be heartbreaking to send my child on a special needs bus...
Tameika: Can you imagine that you've never been in the doors? I just, yeah. So that should be a big waving red flag. But let's assume it's a place that let you come in. So you should be looking for the strategies, the goals and the reinforcement that you already agreed to as part of your child's treatment. It should not be a surprise when you go to observe and you say, Huh, I don't remember that we said we were going to work on eye contact or I think I already told you, I don't want you using edible reinforcers. There shouldn't be little surprise moments like that because every part of the intervention should have that caregiver involvement and caregiver consent. So if you don't know what your child is working on at the center, in the classroom, at the facility, they're using strategies or techniques that you feel uncomfortable with if you didn't agree to. You don't feel like they are right for your child and you said that and they're using them anyway. These are all red flags. If you are not dealing with a quality setting, a quality provider, if you are having issues talking to the person who is designing the treatment, whether that's the BCBA, the program supervisor, but you're not being heard. Your considerations are not being taken. If you say, I don't want you using this strategy with my child. They're using it anyway. That's a problem. These are things that that parents absolutely can see and recognize. Even if they're saying something different with your own eyes, you can see that it's not the case. You can see that it's not happening and that you're not being heard.
Mary: And I think a lot of parents, when they're just trying to evaluate a saying they don't know what they're supposed to do, so they they really want to trust the professionals to just do the right thing. And I mean, that's OK. As long as my ideas about like going in to see a placement, I don't care if you're talking about a regular daycare for a typical toddler or whether you're talking about special needs classroom or, you know, whatever you're evaluating. My first thing is I want to see positivity. I want to see happy children. I don't want to see, you know, I mean, kids can tantrum and stuff, but you know..
Tameika: And they will if thats their communication system.
Mary: During the tour, you know, that kids on the floor or, you know, screaming or you have not even kids unhappy, you have negativity among its staff provider. You know, stop that. I'm going to put the jump rope away. If you don't share, I told you five times. Get in line. Stand with your, you know, negative negative, negative negative. I don't want my child in a negative environment, so that's number one for me. And then I also want like in my online courses and my book, I want the parent to be the captain of the ship.
Tameika: T hey should be.
Mary: Don't start there. But after they, you know, we've had a number of instances. Kelsey from podcast three, we can link in the show notes. Yes, she knew she needed ABA. She had a friend who was a BCBA. She's driving her child two and a half year old an hour away. A BCBA is working on colors when he's banging his head on hard surfaces 100 times a day, eloping from the clinic down the street and doesn't have the ability to request things. Yeah. Yes. My online course, she's like, Hello. I don't think you should be working on colors, right? Right. We said, You know what? We don't need your input. And if he comes back, he's going to need to wear a helmet to protect his head. It's like, why should a two and a half year old be banging his head? Right, right. She left and kind of got kicked out all at the same time. Oh, and worked with him at home on her own with just my mom. And this isn't like, I don't know where this place is. And I'm not saying that, BCBA. I mean, we would both agree that that was an example of a bad idea. I am not saying that person is bad. It's just the training and the lack of, you know, if, if, if that were me, whatever I was doing, even if I thought it was the best therapy I could provide as a seasoned behavior analyst. And if somebody came in and said, I've just been watching these other videos and I'm more comfortable with this can we talk about it. I'd be like the child was doing well.
Tameika: Right, right.
Mary: I'm doing this at home with him and he's talking and he's requesting. Can we talk about it? I mean, that should just be, you know, automatic. If somebody says they're doing somthing that's working lets open our mind it doesnt have to ABA.
Tameika: It's the input of that caregiver who is the person who knows that individual child the best. It's not me, right? It's that caregiver. So if you are dealing with someone who won't even listen to what you're saying about your own child, that's a problem. That's a problem. Yeah, I don't care what kind of credential they have. That's a problem.
Does the setting of ABA matter? Home versus Clinic:
Mary: Right. So I think, you know, it also gives ABA continues to give ABA a bad name. Yeah. So what are your thoughts on home versus clinic ABA setting, especially for a newly diagnosed toddler?
Tameika: I very much think that it is individualized. I don't think that there is one that is automatically better than the other because it depends on what that individual child is working on, what their needs are. It depends on the commitments ability of the family because when you're talking about center base, most of them, it's going to be intensive. So your child's going to be there all day, every day. How exactly are you going to learn what they're doing? If you are at work all day and the child is at the center all day, you're not. And so essentially they're going to a place and learning skills and gaining all these abilities and then they're coming home. And what I hear over and over again is always tried x y z center. But nothing changed at home. Everything at home was the same. The reason why that happens is there has to be intentional generalization from one environment to the other. And most of your kind of everyday working families, they don't have the availability to do that. And so in that case, I would say you probably need to start off with home based so you can at least learn this and learn what it is and learn how to do it at home. And then you can send them to a facility where now, OK, now I know what you're doing during the day because I've been taught how to do these strategies myself. So it's very, very individualized. And I don't like to see families kind of shuttled into one or the other automatically. I don't think. That's a good thing, because there's pros and cons to both. And you kind of have to decide like, what are your priorities? What's most important to you? And I can't make that decision for you. That's a family decision.
Mary: Yeah. Yeah, and and I think the other problem and we have people from all over the world who are listening, who you know, have lack of access to anything like to anything even to a BCBA in the clinic. Yeah, that's the problem. Like Kelsey, you know, driving an hour away. And insurance is paying. And then you're like, it took me X amount of time to get in line to get to the front of the line. And then sometimes clinics have the attitude or even home programs. I mean, I've seen this happen at home too. It's not, you know, just at clinics where it's like, Hey, if you're going to be a problem, mom...
Tameika: We have a waiting list of 200 families. We don't have to deal with this.
Mary: So you can just take your little ball and go home and take your... Yeah, I used to joke, but like Lucas was cute enough, they just didn't want me at all. You can imagine me involved as the parent. It's like, What are you doing?
Tameika: Try and explain it and then show me the data of what you're doing.
Mary: But you know, there's this lack of access. And yes, that's one of the reasons the main reason why I am pursuing, you know why I wrote my new book, why I'm pursuing really teaching the parents. Because like they're the experts. They're all safe. They have the long term in mind and whatever you learn, you know, proper behavior analyst or from the materials that are on Tameika's blog or on my website and courses, you know, whatever you learn, you can then reapply. Like, I remember a person who was featured in one of the podcasts, and Cody was a former client who gave me video permission and everything. And I remember her like, I was still consulting with the family and she was like, Yeah, this went downhill. And I was like, almost going to call you. And then I was like, No, Mary would say, You have a problem demands, are to high, reinforcements to low. So here is some reinforcement and turned it around myself.
Tameika: That's how that should look, that's perfect.
Mary: Yeah. Yeah. So I think that's something we can agree on. So whether you're doing it at home or in a clinic or school, we're going to look, Tameika's advice. Look for the right language, look for Yes, we are. We are going to work with you, the mom or dad or family or caregiver. We are going to coordinate with you even if it is a clinic all day. And you know, there's also families with multiple kids and moms and dads, and it's like, we can't just make the rule like home is best, you know, assuming everybody has 2.5 kids and lives in the sub right?
Tameika: Right. That's just is not the case, not the case.
How to Find Clinics That Align with Your Desired Approach?
Mary: So one of the things I get questions all the time like, how can I find a clinic that uses the verbal behavior approach was my first book or lately, where can I find a clinic or provider that knows the turn autism around? Approach is like, Yeah, good luck with that. But what I do recommend and I have looked at your blogs and and believe that you have expertize with like the ables and the VBmapp and intraverbals. And you know, all the things that we talk about because there is also a difference between traditional ABA that doesn't utilize Skinner's analysis of verbal behavior. That's correct. And me being so involved with verbal behavior and now the turn autism around approach. There's there's going to be very few people who are trained and knowledgeable about the turm autism around approach. But what I recommend people do is if you are in Tampa, Florida. Mm hmm. Just search for autism, ABA. Verbal behavior. Even VB map, because I am very partial to the VB map and then Tampa, Florida and see what comes up, right? Now, I have seen clinics in schools where they use the VBmapp for diagnosis and for like the first evaluation, the first assessment. But then they still are working on things like eye contact and carry phrases and things that.
Tameika: Definitely still happening. Yeah.
Mary: So but at least you have people with a base knowledge of. You know, we're going to use verbal behavior, we're going to use motivation and pairing and manding, hopefully and maybe we can, you know, shape our behavior together to really that's that's what I'm recommending to find quality programs and then you have to interview them. Like you said, look for language. See if you can go in.
Tameika: I mean, you really do. And I completely understand because there may be parents listening that are like, OK, there's two places in my local area, and they both have waitlists and I'm supposed to interview them like, I understand how this sounds. But like when you consider that it's time and energy and effort that you cannot get back, you cannot get that time back that you spent at a not so great place working on things that didn't matter, that were important, that did not really help the child on a kind of global comprehensive level like we it's so important to get this right. It is so important to put your energy and your time and your focus into things that are really going to help your child long term. Not just kind of oh, he learned how to label two more animals this week. OK, that's great. But he still doesn't sleep at night, and I've been telling you that for six months, like he does not sleep at night. When are we going to like, address that? Like, you got to get to the important critical things that are happening on a daily basis and causing challenges, and not just a provider who's telling you, Oh, here's what I think your child needs to work on because they're three. Oh they're five, they need this. Oh, they're seven. They need this. Like it has to be a conversation.
Mary: Yeah, and a big quote, I say, is no therapy is better than bad therapy.
Tameika: I agree.
Mary: And at the end of my book in the last chapter, I say that and I say basically if you made it through the whole book. No therapy is better than a bad therapy, but the good news is, if you made it through my whole book, you now know how to provide...
Tameika: To work with your own child. Yeah. absolutely.
Mary: And I think we just all and you've done a great job with your blog and your work of empowering parents to to do the right thing, to look at the important things. Sleep. Yeah. Potty training. I've done blogs, podcasts on all of that. We can put all your notes. Your shownotes are going to be very long with all the resources. But yeah, speaking of resources, how..so parents can follow you and IloveABA.com, but and..
How to find Tameika and access I Love ABA Resources:
Tameika: There's tons and tons and tons of resources. There's a whole section of just resources. Nothing is a fee. You just download it, print it off and use it because I want people to understand this stuff. And I feel like when I was kind of very early newbie in this field, people really didn't understand what I did. And I feel like in twenty twenty one, I can almost say the same thing. Like, I encounter families on a regular basis who have no idea what this is, what it's supposed to be. They're just kind of handing me their child. And I don't want that. I want families to know like, OK, I know this is what this should look like, and I know the ethical standards for your credential, and I know that I should be asking this question like, that's what I want. I want to work with informed families who are going to say, you know, we're watching what you're doing and we're watching your strategy and we're reading your behavior plan because we know what to look for. I think that's amazing. I think all providers should want that. You should want accountability. If you really care about the work that you're doing, you should want the people you're serving to agree and to say yes to me, Tameika's a great BCBA, we're very like, you should want that, you know, so you shouldn't be afraid or intimidated or, you know, angry because a family has questions for you. That's a good thing. They're invested, they're involved. They want to learn. I love when families ask me questions. I think it's great.
Mary: Yeah, yeah. I think it's great, too. So I like to end. So we will put IloveABA.com In the show notes, and you have a lot of great resources there. People can contact you that website and we'd like to end the same way. Part of my podcast goals are not to just help the kids, but to help parents and professionals be less stressed and lead happier lives. So do you have any stress reduction tips or stress management tools that you use?
Tameika's Perspective on Professional Burnout:
Tameika: I have, um, I guess I would say, unique. I have a little bit of a unique perspective on the whole kind of professional burnout thing, which you know is very big in the BCBA world. And we know in general, the ABA industry has a lot of turnover, you know, a lot of kind of unhappiness dissatisfaction. I feel like burnout requires your consent is how I feel about that. And I think. When you set boundaries and when you communicate what you need, I don't think you end up in situations where you need to have a daily self-care routine to make it through the week. And I've had positions before where I did need to do that and all the bubble bath and scented candles in the world is not going to replace the need to work somewhere where you are respected and your boundaries aren't trampled on. So I feel like we need to do a better job of advocating for ourselves. We teach our clients to advocate, but sometimes we forget. Oh, I also need to advocate, and I need to say this is the amount of break I need. This is the amount of time off I need after x amount of time. Don't call me. Don't email me. I'm not responding. I don't work on the weekends. That's for my family. Like, we need to do a better job of setting our own boundaries to have a personal life and not trying to be everything to everyone at all times because that's not possible. And you're just going to burn yourself out is what's going to happen.
Mary: Well, I like that. Burnout needs your consent. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. It's been a pleasure to get to know you a little bit better today, and I look forward to connecting in the future. Maybe in person. Some time you've just been a real, bright light to our field, and I wish you all the best going forward.
Tameika: Thank you. I wish you the best, too. 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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