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Oberson Emmerich, Outreach Director, "New Horizons"

"TITLE: "Applied Behavioral Concepts on (New Horizons "School's Out, Now What?")".

Tuesday,  June 15th at 9 p.m. (Eastern), Note portions of the text have been edited for spelling and grammatical errors, while other text with errors was left in tact in the context of the chat.

Tabv {public msg} Hello and Welcome to our talkAutism Specialty Chat. If you have a question for our Host Speaker, Just type a “?” in the room. The names will be taken in order received. Hold your questions until you are cued by the Moderator. Also, Please keep chit chat down to a minimal, unless ok'd by the Host. Thank You and enjoy your stay!
Moderator {public msg} Mr Oberson would you like to start now, I am sure we will be gathering others as we go
Oberson {public msg} Sure, lets go.
Oberson {public msg} I am going to tell you a little about myself to begin.
Moderator {public msg} great
Oberson {public msg} Good evening to everyone. I guess I should start by telling you a little bit about who I am and why I have been so fortunate to have an opportunity to speak with you tonight. My name is Oberson Emmerich and I am the Community Outreach Director for New Horizons in Autism and its sister organization Applied Behavioral Concepts. I have been in this field for approximately 10 years and will hopefully be active in this field for many more to come. New Horizons and Applied Behavioral Concepts are support service organizations specializing in children and adults with autism. Understanding our unique population is the key in providing appropriate, effective and productive services.
Guest49 {public msg} thanks
Oberson {public msg} Our global mission is multifaceted. We take into consideration the various differences and needs of each of our individuals. Services are developed as a result of the person’s need, not as a result of a generic template. One of our agency’s unique features is that we offer center based services during non-traditional times of the day and week. We all know that individuals with autism require 24 hour a day services. However finding these programs that can help supplement traditional school hours can be difficult. We work closely with school districts, parents and DDD to investigate the needs of the person and establish a functional routine of service.
Oberson {public msg} As stated, our services are non-traditional in the sense of time and day of service. This is true for the school year as well as during the summer.
Guest49 {public msg} ?
Moderator {action} . o O ( so the time of day you are open is essentially when ever the need arises? )
Oberson {public msg} Basically. We supplement the need of the family.
Moderator {public msg} guest 49 you have a question
Guest49 {public msg} Can you tell us where or how to find out where this is available? Also, is it only for US Citizens or World Wide?
Oberson {public msg} Our agency only serves New Jersey residents. However, your states department of developmental disabilities should direct you as appropriate.
Guest49 {public msg} Aww
Guest49 {public msg} ok
Guest49 {public msg} Sounds like something that could really help allot of parents/children
Oberson {public msg} Here is an idea of how our programs function:
Guest49 {public msg} Ok
Moderator {public msg} ok good just had that question give to me
Guest50 {public msg} K
Oberson {public msg} What programs are offered by New Horizons and ABC in the summer?
Oberson {public msg} 1. We are a 12 month service provider. This means that we continue with services through all breaks and in the summer months. We have found that these services are highly desired and needed to keep some components of programming consistent.
Oberson {public msg} 2. We offer continued after school services – 3pm to 6pm during the extended school year schedule.
Oberson {public msg} 3. We offer Saturday programming on an ongoing basis.
Oberson {public msg} 4. We offer a daytime camp program that runs a full day schedule during the months of June and August. This helps supplement the summer break schedules from the individuals’ school programs.
Guest50 {public msg} ?
Oberson {public msg} These programs are run in four different locations throughout NJ.
Lesliear {public msg} ?
Moderator {public msg} Is there more you are adding Oberson?
Guest50 {action} listens.
Oberson {public msg} These programs are established to promote consistency and give families the respite they need to keep the natural family established and functional.
Rebecca {action} smiles.
Oberson {public msg} I am open for questions about our existing program.
Rebecca {action} applauds fervently.
Moderator {public msg} So this is more of a Respite program?
Tabv {public msg} ?
Oberson {public msg} Respite is more for the family. Our program is designed for the child and the family.
Moderator {public msg} Guest 50 you have a question
Guest50 {public msg} So this is person to person, and will it be available in other States in the future, Meaning what are your long term goals? also, what results have you seen in Autistic adults. (Sorry for so many questions)
Guest50 {public msg} This sounds so awesome, so many could benefit from this!
Oberson {public msg} The focus of our program is to offer the support necessary not just for children but also adults to be included in all aspects of community integration...
Guest50 {public msg} I see, so it is computer to computer
Oberson {public msg} Expansion is inevitable due to the popularity of the program. We will be open to suggestions from other governmental agencies from other states in an effort to offer our services in other states.
Oberson {public msg} computer to computer ?
Moderator {public msg} this is person to person guest, I think
Guest50 {public msg} I mean What if the child is non-verbal? How would they benefit?
Guest50 {public msg} or communicate
Oberson {public msg} yes person to person. It is the true method used to achieve the highest ends of success
Oberson {public msg} most of the individuals we service are non verbal. We develop numerous concrete strategies to promote appropriate and functional communication
Guest50 {public msg} ahh ok..
Guest50 {public msg} thanks
Oberson {public msg} We utilize all different language systems which are popular and unique
Guest50 {public msg} one more ?
Moderator {public msg} sure guest
Guest50 {public msg} Is there any visualization tools?
Guest50 {public msg} Or is it all through a head set
Oberson {public msg} Our outreach program services all different ages. However our vocational program includes all aspects of community based training within the IHP's
Guest50 {public msg} sounds/talking
Guest50 {public msg} Ahh ok
Moderator {public msg} Leslie your turn
Lesliear {public msg} My son does not have Autism but so many of his traits are the same, do you only take Children with diagnosed Autism?
Oberson {public msg} We utilize our video phone as a tool to enter into the home in a very non intrusive manner
Guest50 {public msg} Thank You
Guest50 {public msg} Ok Thanks
Guest50 {public msg} Ive taken enough of your time :)
Oberson {public msg} We take children who have been diagnosed with autism or autistic like characteristics
Guest50 {public msg} Thank You
Rebecca {action: guest50} smiles at guest50.
Oberson {public msg} Thanks for the questions
Lesliear {public msg} If I am getting this right, it is like a day care for those that need these special services right?
Lesliear {public msg} You individualize what each one does, according to what they need?
Oberson {public msg} Day care focuses on caring for the person..we focus on teaching the person to care for themselves
Lesliear {public msg} sorry bad way of putting it I guess
Oberson {public msg} Of course, individualization means what is pertinent to each individual. Not a generic template
Lesliear {public msg} How many people in NJ are lucky enough to be in such a program with you?
Oberson {public msg} Generic programs achieve success for some. Our goal is to attain success for all who walk into our program
Lesliear {public msg} How is yours different?
Oberson {public msg} We service aprox 100 families
Lesliear {public msg} that is truly wonderful
Rebecca {public msg} wow
Lesliear {public msg} having gone through agency after agency here in Illinois, I know what hassles there are trying to get help
Oberson {public msg} 100 families within our outreach
Rebecca {public msg} Can you imagine if this could expand to other states?
Guest49 {public msg} ?
Lesliear {public msg} The question is Why hasnt it *S*
Oberson {public msg} Help is only a loud scream away.. remember the squeaky wheel always gets the oil. This is basic, sad but true. Yell for what you believe in..for your child. Your instincts are right
Guest49 {action} agrees whole-heartedly.
Lesliear {public msg} Oh believe me I did, also kept a ledger of who I talked to going up that ladder
Moderator {public msg} Tab you have a question
Rebecca applauds lesliear fervently.
Lesliear {action} . o O ( its called survival rebecca *S* )
Oberson {public msg} We are still trying to conquer NJ .. but we will move on as we develop the sure fire strategy
Tabv {public msg} I wanted to know more about the video phones, what situations do you find those most helpful for? The 24 hour type help that some families need?our
Moderator {action} . o O ( oh good question tab )
Oberson {public msg} We primarily use the video phones as a course of intervention for difficult behaviors faced by the family and in home program evaluation processes and staff training modules
Rebecca {action} . o O ( Wow does Pagey need this for her son in Kentucky :( )
Oberson {public msg} It is the least intrusive method of intervention
Tabv {public msg} So, who is helped more by the video aspect, the family or you, in how you are able to see what is needed?
Tabv {public msg} if that made sense
Moderator {public msg} So basically you are able to view the person without actually being there?
Rebecca {public msg} makes sense to me Tab, good question
Oberson {public msg} Both equally benefit. The child reacts with no outside sources entering into the situation. The data we can collect is more accurate. The largest benefit is obviously to the child
Oberson {public msg} Yes. The normal routine can be followed with no extraneous sources
Lesliear {public msg} Yes I know for a fact my sons attitude changes dramatically when there is someone else in the home
Tabv {public msg} That's a major lesson, what difference does an observer make in just being there... in almost any situation, but especially true in autism
Oberson {public msg} The parents can also turn the camera on to tape situations as they occur spontaneously, then we can review it with them
Tabv {public msg} thank you, that helped
Oberson {public msg} Observers generally cause more trouble than good
Rebecca {public msg} ahh I bet so
Lesliear {public msg} So once you get this tape, how do you go about changing or altering the event?
Lesliear {public msg} Sorry tab, intruding on your question time
Rebecca {action} guesses you let the pros run the show
Oberson {public msg} This is a very proactive situation. We look for behavior of both parent and child. Feedback is given with strategies to prevent or weaken the situation
Tabv {action} . o O ( that's ok, my question was answered, you are being helpful by expanding it! )
Oberson {public msg} I love talking about this stuff..keep going.
Lesliear {public msg} Oberson, what brought you to this field, and eventually to ending up opening this wonderful sounding place?
Guest50 {action} loves this Oberson, Very interesting
Lesliear {action} . o O ( which almost sounds to good to be true )
Zan {public msg} sounds like i will be getting a transcript.
Oberson {public msg} I fell into this job buy accident. It was the best accident anyone could have. I could not imagine doing anything else.
Moderator {public msg} Guest 49, sorry did not forget you, you have a question.
Guest49 {public msg} Just a follow up question, Where do you see this service in the future. Will this be made available in other states in the future? Many homes can benefit from this!
Moderator {action} . o O ( sorry trying to make sure we answer everyones questions )
Guest49 {public msg} no problem Mod. Thanks
Guest49 {public msg} or should we all move to NJ.?
Moderator {public msg} lol there ya go
Guest49 {action} smiles.
Guest49 {public msg} just a futuristic question.
Tabv {public msg} rofl
Moderator {public msg} more like a dream with some states budgets.
Oberson {public msg} We can only hope that other states will follow the lead of NJ. We have been very lucky to have the support to date. You are the best advocate..push your state for what is entitled to your child. No is not an answer. No money is unacceptable as well. Remember, for individuals with autism they need and are entitled to "appropriate education", this encompasses everything we have talked about and more. Autism is not 8 to 3
Tabv {public msg} pa is a little restrictive.
Moderator {public msg} very true Oberson.
Guest49 {public msg} Oberson, who or where should we direct them too for information?
Oberson {public msg} Pa is restrictive but that comes from education or lack of education.. again you need to be the advocate
Oberson {public msg} I would be happy to field any questions.
Moderator {action} . o O ( unfortunately it becomes the school of hard knocks in most states before you get what you need )
Oberson {public msg} Yes that is a very true statement.
Guest49 {public msg} Where do we send our Government Officials for info concerning this option.
Guest49 {public msg} or the Schools.
Lesliear {public msg} Oberson, this is State funded, like any Special Education is?
Guest49 {public msg} to your email or address?
Oberson {public msg} The best place to start is with our department of developmental disabilities. But a lot of what we are talking about starts with your Childs IEP.. Get it in there and it is law
Oberson {public msg} 50% private and 50% ddd
Lesliear {public msg} IEPS are very very important
Oberson {public msg} IEP's are your childs pseudo life plan. They should be regarded with this type of importance
Lesliear {public msg} Well I for one applaud you Oberson, I do wish you much huge success with this program, and hope other states will continue with it
Oberson {public msg} e mail is a good place to start
Oberson {public msg} Thank you
Moderator {action} . o O ( Anyone have any last questions for Oberson? )
Rebecca {public msg} Can you list your email contact for the transcript Oberson?
Rebecca {public msg} we will have this chat up on transcript for all Community Members ASAP
Oberson {public msg} We have been very greatful to have this opportunity to talk with you
Lesliear {public msg} Is there any age limit to this program? Like in some states they have to be at least 3 to get ANY type of help for disabilities
Rebecca {public msg} And Thank You for your time Oberson
Oberson {public msg}
Rebecca {public msg} Thank You Oberson
Oberson {public msg} We offer early behavioral intervention as well
Lesliear {public msg} amazing
Rebecca {public msg} what age span?
Oberson {public msg} birth to death
Rebecca {public msg} wow
Rebecca {public msg} Great!
Lesliear {public msg} early intervention is so important to some of these kids
Rebecca {public msg} and early diagnosis
Rebecca {public msg} Thank you Oberson for your time
Oberson {public msg} thanks again..hope to speak with you in the future
Tabv {public msg} yes, thank you for being here
Rebecca {public msg} Yes, we welcome you back soon!
Moderator {public msg} Thank you so much for sharing this time with us
Rebecca {public msg} Contact me if you’d like a future date for chat with us Oberson
Moderator {public msg} Very exciting thing you are doing
Guest49 {public msg} Thanks Oberson
Oberson {public msg} Goodnight everyone. I'd like to post a couple of more items i have at the end for the transcript.
Tabv {public msg} nice to meet you guest :)
Patchy {public msg} Yes, thanks
Moderator {public msg} Please do
Guest50 {action} listens.
Oberson {public msg} * What summer activities are there for people with autism?
Oberson {public msg} Any activity is great. One important factor in a successful outing is, knowing the person you want to engage. What activities do they favor, what don’t they find enjoyable. This is true for all of us, but people with autism require more care and consideration.
Once these ideas are established contact the places you are considering. Find out what accommodations they have for handicapped individuals. You will find your outings to Great Adventure will be more successful if you don’t wait on the long lines. Most places have accommodations that will make these trips much more enjoyable and beneficial.
Oberson {public msg} Never put yourself in a situation you cannot handle. If you are questioning an outing for any reason, bring someone else with you as support. Remember, we want to get our kids out there…all the time…but we need to make it successful. Do not put off an outing because you “think” they might have behavioral problems. This is where the support comes into play. The more exposure the kids have…the better off they will be.
Oberson {public msg} For new, and maybe crowded situations you need to evaluate your surroundings. What food items are readily available? Bring items if needed for the day. Use special items, only found at the activity as a reward for a good outing. For example: Cotton Candy at the circus, a hot pretzel at the bowling alley.
Oberson {public msg} Long drives may be good or bad ideas. This is when knowing the person is key in a successful outing. Remember to take along snacks or an activity if they become bored.
Oberson {public msg} Vacations are difficult. Call ahead. Figure out the environmental situation and be prepared to accommodate for these things. The most successful vacations come with assistance. Take a respite provider along to help relieve some of the stress. Make it a true vacation for everyone. Take another family member.
Create a schedule that everyone can stick to in regards to watching and doing activities for the child. You want your child to have a great time, but you need to keep in mind that you need these times to regroup and relax. This will make you better at home. There is no shame in needing help. Everyone does.
Oberson {public msg} Best wishes everyone. I wish you all well on your search for appropriate services.
Guest50 {public msg} Thank you
Oberson {public msg} Have a good one.
Rebecca {public msg} Thanks Oberson
Moderator {public msg} Thank you Oberson
Rebecca {public msg} Have a good one also!
Oberson {leaves}

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