123TokenMe is Made in America

Made-in-America-post-for-123TokenMe-300x296Made in America! From 123TokenMe’s conception in an American special ed autism classroom, to computer coding, to beta testing, to sharing it at conferences from coast-to-coast, it is a “Made in America” product. The funds to develop and market 123TokenMe so far? Well over 90% has stayed within the USA.

 

The impetus for this post? A 123TokenMe user emailed us this link to a YouTube video. It made us proud to be a small part of America’s job solution. Watch it yourself, and go make a purchase.

123TokenMe replaces old-fashioned token boards

Screenshot-of-123TokenMe-with-a-watermark-300x225At the most basic level, 123TokenMe replaces old-fashioned token boards. So, no more of the time and expense of laminating and velcroing. No more token boards that can not be updated to keep students interested.

 

Plus, 123TokenMe can be used to create individualized token boards for unlimited students and every one of their target behaviors and skills. Reinforcers can be added instantly, and it collects key data automatically.

Autism in Photographs: Echolilia

Elijah-Archibald-from-Echolilia-book-300x300This link to Timothy Archibald’s site was shared with us by a 123TokenMe user. In Archibald’s own words, he is the photographer that “agencies call to make empathetic photographs of things that are a little bit different, a little bit curious.”

 

So, his book, Echolilia, should be no surprise. Archibald started photographing his son, Elijah, when he was five years old. The project resulted in more than a book: A deeper understanding and appreciation for his son and his autism diagnosis.

Excitement for 123TokenMe!

Screen-Shot-2013-10-17-at-10.20.05-AM-300x300Our favorite 123TokenMe comment from the FABA conference? It had to be Jessica’s: “If I were wearing socks, they’d be rolling up & down right now!” She explained that a favorite professor said this whenever he was really excited about something new.

 

Jessica went on to say that she was thrilled to learn about 123TokenMe- no more making old-fashioned laminate and velcro token boards. Plus, a tool that would engage her students while improving behaviors, and take data in the background.

 

Her autism center just purchased 40 iPads, so she was excited to share with her co-workers. Do you hear that noise? Sounds like lots of socks rolling up and down!

A book review: Raising the Curve

Raising-the-Curve-by-Ron-Berler-300x300How do you improve education? A simple question that receives attention galore, but has no definitive answers.

 

Ron Berler’s book, Raising the Curve: A Year Inside One of America’s 45,000 Failing Public Schools, takes a year long, in-depth look at a single school, Brookside Elementary in Norwalk, Connecticut. It introduces us to teachers, administrators, specialists, and students as they make a school wide effort to raise standardized test scores. After school programs, teacher camaraderie, intense teaching to the test, peer leadership, classroom distractions, and more are all explored.

 

What works best? Frustratingly, the answer appears to be D: None of the Above, since the Brookside test scores barely improved after this year long effort. However, Raising the Curve hints at a possible key: Home. Yes, that place where a child spends even more time than at school. Reading together. Homework support. Quality time. Good nutrition. Mealtime discussions. Would a year of these activities raise the test scores? Maybe a subject for a Raising the Curve, Home Edition?

Reducing Challenging Behaviors

Dr.-Doreen-Granpeesheh-300x300Attended an excellent presentation by Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh of the Center for Autism & Related Disorders. The subject? “Using ABA to Reduce Challenging Behaviors.” Among much wisdom, here are three takeaways:

 

1)All challenging behaviors are, in essence, communication. Not functional communication, but communication nonetheless. The challenge? To figure out what children or students are “trying to say” through these challenging behaviors.

 

2) The two main areas of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy: Provide reinforcement to increase skill deficits, and remove reinforcement to decrease behavior excesses.

 

3) How do we change behaviors? By changing the antecedents (What comes before the behaviors) and the consequences (What comes after the behaviors.)

 

One more? ABA works, but that does not mean “easy.” Parents, teachers, and therapists should be on the same page. Hours of consistent work. However, as Dr. Granpeesheh pointed out, it should ideally be provided as part of a day that includes fun.

 

Which triggers the realization that 123TokenMe uses ABA methodology to assist in reinforcement of skills and behaviors. With a touch of fun. Perfect.

 

Can we help? Yes…

Our look atIMG_5480-300x300 “Passion Behind the Business” continues with Lisa and Bob Compton of SensoryCraver.com. They are new friends from the FABA 2013 conference in Daytona Beach. Their story starts eleven years ago with a question for good friends who had children diagnosed with autism: “What can we do to help?”

 

“Don’t you have sewing machines?” was the reply. This led to making weighted sensory products. Which led to making and supplying other items for the special needs community. Which morphed into a physical store. And an on-line store.

 

Next, clients started to ask if they’d open a clinic. So they did. A cutting edge clinic, Second Steps, where ABA therapy is provided for a wide range of children. The end? No. Bob and Lisa now spend much of their time consulting, and installing sensory therapy rooms based on feedback from Second Steps. Are they busy beyond belief? Yes. All because of taking that often difficult first step of asking a friend in need if they could help.