My Decision to Move Forward and Enter A Brilliant Expanded -New Path
I can often be heard reciting a poem I heard at church in my childhood to my son. I give him a modified version that gives the consistent ending “You can be anything you want to be. You can go anywhere you want to go. The WORLD is yours.” Now, at the age of three, he chimes in with me and ends with the question “The world is mine?” I respond with a resounding Yes! He then sticks his chest out and smiles. This inside building of self-esteem is not new in my family. My mother would sing the “If you Believe/ Believe in yourself” song from The Wizard of OZ and The Wiz to us and charged my sister and I to sing this song on every Youth Sunday.
Believing in myself. As an adult, when #$#@ happens, you may forget to believe from the inside and move towards that outside validation and needing to be approved by others. My mentors always taught and trained me to make sure that I had data and evidenced based research to support the belief or the next step for my clients. This was important in clinical decision making or helping clinics and organizations make decisions in program development and application. For personal decisions, I go inward, consult my inner circle, and go to the heart tug.
So here I am on this new path, after restoring and filling up my own cup and having a baby girl (surprise!). This path is so great and vast, I am often breathless in the best way possible, knowing there is still more to do. When I began to delve deeply in the field of autism, there was such and still is a disconnect in among and between the professions of applied behavior analysis (ABA), speech pathology, education-special education, core standards, and occupational therapy. I continue to be astounded at the the number of therapy centers that only serve early learners and insulted that middle and highschool programs teach laundry and cooking as skills when in reality I know plenty of adults who don’t do their own laundry and can’t stand cooking…yet manage (and no one judges them, they learn real things like money, competitive job training skills, and more). I am baffled by ABA centers operating without the input from speech pathology yet posts questions on Facebook of what to to do? I gawk at feeding programs run by OTs only knowing that this is well outside the scope of practice of this profession. So as I sat back with my cup of tea working, building, and restoring myself…my call to serve never left. In fact, it is louder and resonates deeper than ever.
So imagine my surprise, when asked to partner with TN Active Care. I had already created the SOAR Autism Curriculum as a library for TN Active Care . The creation of this library was so intimidating and exhilarating at the same time. How often does one create a platform of therapy programs and targets for learners with autism and related disorders that integrates verbal behavior, social communication, preference assessments, academic academic programs, core curriculum, and fine motor programs? My dream of having quality assurance and integration of disciplines for the execution of programming for learners with autism would be realized and reach a global platform.
In a recent conversation with the CEO of TN Active Care, Ling Huang, I was asked to take on the role of Director of Operations and Sales for the U.S. territory and build a team. My heart jumped and said “YES”. My head said, you are a speech pathologist…not a sales person. And then I had to remember, at the core in talking about services, getting new clients, etc. ..you sell. When you think about branding, you sell yourself. So yes, I could more than assume this role. I believe in the product. I helped to develop the product. This opportunity was an intersection of passion, intellect, belief, and community global need…it is serendipity.
At the core, I am a change-maker. I want to change the clinical landscape in how we look at and treat autism for the better. I want Dr. Temple Grandin and all of her accomplishments to be the norm, not the anomaly. I want to utilize STEM (STEAM) programs and capitalize on the strengths of autism so there is independence for living with real career attainment. I want more options and choices for learners with autism outside of learning daily living skills and preparation for jobs in laundry, store greeting, and stock shelving.
I imagine every parent being able to say to their learner with autism
“You can do anything you want. The World is yours.”
Let me introduce to you, TN Active Care, a application and web based platform that pulls the best from old school program books and new school technology. This tool, created by an awesome technology team supported by clinical therapists across the globe, is smart. It collects data for ABA programs. The data for trial by trial, duration, latency, inter-response time, and more. It takes data on each and every target. It remembers maintenance programs. It moves by prompt level. It embeds scheduling and pairs it with cost (how much were we authorized for), it allows for video conferencing technology for supervision. And there is more…you know how much therapists text each other about scheduling and programs…and violate HIPPA?? Well the TN Active Care pulls in instant messaging within its secure platform and parent’s can use it to communicate with their child’s therapy team on this secure platform. It generates reports needed for parents and third party billing. It is paired with the SOAR Autism Curriculum, that supports early learner through higher level language and academic work toward vocational and pre-college readiness.
I am not only thrilled to join this team, I am excited. The field needs smart technology. This is it. Parents need more information..weekends can be long. Now they can see treatment programs and do them (as assigned by the therapist). Parents can video behaviors not seen in treatment and show them through recording or real time to the therapy team. Scheduling beyond authorizations support the front desk and back end. Billing …yes it includes that too. Oh and it connects the schedule to the therapist work hours…so now we have payroll and productivity tied to the clinical schedule. And guess what?!? The technology team listens and makes it better and customizes things to fit the center’s they work with. I can attest to this because I actually meet with the tech team and have a deeper and newfound respect for security and technology development.
While there is still more to come for me (stay tuned), I am excited to introduce you to this program and start to build partnerships within the U.S. and beyond of those using this SMART ABA program technology.
I grew up with the song lyrics “If you believe within your heart, you’ll know that nothing can change the path you must go. Believe what you feel and know your right because the time will come around when you’ll say, it’s yours. Believe in yourself right from the start. Believe in the magic that’s inside your heart. Believe ALL these things..”
So in my waiting, my listening, reciting the childhood poem to my children…I went back to my core and what I believe the impact therapy should be on its clients’.
And now this program, TN Active Care, is available to the world…clinics, parents, groups, schools that serve people with autism.
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Let’s Keep THRIVING!
Landria Seals Green, MA., CCC-SLP