I first heard about FATE’S workshops in the fall of 2007 when a teacher I work with raved about the first training in the series. I am a speech pathologist currently working in the Port Jervis School District in a classroom for students with autism. This is a brand new program that began last fall. We (the special education teacher, myself, aides, and other related services personnel) had had no formal training with verbal behavior and wanted to learn how to best meet the needs of our children. Fortunately, FATE began to offer these workshops in the Warwick School District. I have been able to attend the first three trainings, along with Dr. Sundberg’s workshop on the VB-MAPP. The trainings have provided me with valuable information that I can implement into the classroom and in my individual sessions. FATE first provided me with a framework, and now through the other sessions, I am learning specific teaching strategies for each skill.
The teacher and I are doing our best to implement the new skills we have learned into the classroom. We have already seen a positive change with the students. Our children are learning how to use language to communicate their wants and needs, they are interacting more with their peers, and they are attending to a variety of different activities. We structure their day as much as possible to limit downtime. One of the most gratifying things for me is to hear that the parents are seeing progress at home. They are thrilled with our program and have become our strongest advocates.
It would be great if our area had more training sessions, so that our parents, aides, and other related services personnel could attend and benefit from the information presented. It would also help to have more consultants in the area to not only help our classroom, but possibly to go in to the homes. Unfortunately, our resources are limited, but we are doing the best we can with what we have. We are far from being the verbal behavior classroom we want to be, but the little steps we take are making a positive difference in the lives of our children.
Thank you FATE!
Lisa Ryan M.A.CCC-SLP