Be the change you want to see in this world

"Be the change you want to see in the world."
-Mahatma Gandhi

Saturday, May 24, 2014

PEP Island-Wide Disability Conference a Success!

Jo Mascorro, Keynote Speaker and Education Consultant from San Antonio, Texas, wows the crowd with her tips and humor.

Jo Mascorro is awarded a cultural plaque for her insightful keynote presentation at PEP's 1st Annual Island-Wide Conference on Disabilities held May 24, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

The Parents Empowering Parents (PEP) 1st Annual Island-Wide Conference on Disabilities held May 24, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel was meaningful. The theme of the conference was Don't Look Now, YOUR Behavior is Showing! - Strategies to Assist in Teaching Ownership and Management of Behavior.  It featured renown Keynote Speaker Jo Mascorro, Consultant for Education, from San Antonio, Texas.

The conference began with a thought-reflective quote by Helen Keller, which includes the following:  "A person who is severely impaired never knows his hidden sources of strength until he is treated like a normal human being and encouraged to shape his own life."

Behavior protocols for the teacher and student were reviewed.  The teacher must focus on Self, Instruction/Expectations, Environment, and Parameters.  When working with the student, we need to focus on Targeted Behaviors, Student Specifics (Info), Interventions, and Opportunities.

Some ideas reflected on include to focus on "YOU" to make a difference; behavior and words have to match; we must be a role model 100% of the the time; be detailed with praises; and do not measure madness.  Other ideas I was reminded of were to allow for wait time to process, and don't sweat the small stuff.  With regards to Instruction/Expectations, we must be mindful that the brain struggles with "right now."  The brain demand is inclusive of "Hear, See, Do!"  It records and playback.  All brains need to anticipate who, what, when, where, why, and how.  With regards to the environment, we must ensure that it is conducive.  After observing the room environment, we may also reflect and question, "Would you want to go in there?"  The campus parameters can be connected with policies and procedures.  Mascorro reminded the participants that "They're (children) counting on you to set parameters."  This is because parameters validate parameters.  She further mentioned that we "should teach now while they're short."  Other autism resources she recommended were Taylor Crowe and Steven Hinkle.

We reviewed that adults ponder from the frontal lobe; anticipation is critical; and the importance of directives in "3's," such as, "Hear, See, Do!"  It's important to have visuals, rituals, and routines.  We must also always approach from the front first.  In addition, there is a difference between opportunity and intervention.  An opportunity occurs after the fact and is a reaction, whereas the intervention is a replacement behavior.  Also, intervention is the skill that is learned to do instead of the unwanted behavior.  It is person specific, so it depends on the child.

Positive Behavior Support phrasing examples were also introduced.  As part of this, we must keep in mind that the number of words used is driven by the cognitive ability of the student.  More specifically, we were reminded to use "By" to clarify what we say; avoid "?" phrases when the emotion center has turned on; say what you SEE and say what you WANT; (Describe behavior)..."tells me you want (+)"; and (Describe behavior)..."tells me you want (-)"

Lastly, the reflective question she posed a few times were, "How's that working for you?"  She said that if you want positive change to happen, "You got to work it!  You have to put it in before you can get it out!"

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