Early childhood intervention specialist and BCBA Lisa Cvetnich works with children from birth to age 3. After finishing her undergraduate education, she began working in a preschool program for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. Lisa then obtained a master’s degree in early childhood/special education and got her ABA certification in 2016. Her advice for teachers who are just starting out is to not be afraid to ask for help when you don’t have the answers and to know the ethical code inside and out.
When Lisa does her first home visit with a family, she observes what they’re currently able to do and discusses their present challenges. It really helps when you can explain to parents that there is a reason behind their child’s behaviors. Once you figure out what parents are comfortable doing, then strategies become easier to create. In the visits that follow, Lisa will catch up with the family on what’s happened since the last session and then link any new focuses on from that place. Often parents just need someone to talk to about what’s going on. Meeting parents where they’re at in terms of what is and isn’t working can be hugely beneficial.
Parents can get frustrated and overwhelmed with how much information is out there as well as with how long the process and waitlists can take before treatment begins. Lisa is also a mom to a son with ADHD, so she knows all about going through these things herself. Lisa’s website, The Autism Connection, has a ton of informative handouts and blog posts for parents of young children with special needs. It’s a great resource for practitioners, too.
- Why it’s important to create plans that fit with a family’s lifestyle.
- How you can alleviate parents’ frustrations by meeting them where they are.
- Lisa’s recommended books and resources for parents and practitioners.