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I have been a teacher for almost 20 years. I have my bachelor's degree in psychology with a concentration in early childhood education. I later went to graduate school for special education and earned my Teacher of the Handicapped Certification as well as my master's degree in special education with a concentration of developmental disabilities. All of my degrees were obtained at William Paterson University.
I spent the early part of my career teaching regular education students. I was a kindergarten teacher in a private school with a heavy emphasis on phonics.
I have also worked with children suffering from autism ranging from ages 3-21, for over 6 years. I have been trained as an ABA therapist and have extensive knowledge and experience in Applied Behavior Analysis.
I have been working with adults suffering with developmental disabilities for the past three years. I have devised their curriculum around the individual needs of the students ranging from English and math on a first grade level, to basic living skills such as check writing/bill paying, to vocational skills such as typing and data entry. I am willing to take on either regular or special education students of any age.
I live in Bergen County, New Jersey and I am willing to travel to Passaic, Essex, and Hudson Counties. If someone lives in the 5 boroughs of NYC and wishes to travel to a library in Hudson County, I would be willing to meet there. I would also be willing to meet with students just over the New York border in towns such as Suffern or Nanuet that are approximately a half hour to 45 minutes away from me.
I look forward to meeting with you and sharing my wealth of knowledge and expertise that I have acquired over the past 20 years.
I have worked with children suffering from autism for more than six years. I have worked with every age group including pre-school, elementary, middle school, and high school ranging in ages from 3-21. I was trained as an ABA therapist and have extensive knowledge and experience in applied behavior analysis and discrete trial techniques. ABA therapy is one of the leading educational strategies for children with autism.
The most common and distinguishing type of intervention based on applied behavior analysis is discrete trial teaching. For example, the student is given a stimulus -(e.g., a green colored square) then posed with a question along with the correct response (e.g., "What color is this? This is green."), He is rewarded (a bite of a favorite snack, a minute with a favorite toy, or physical/verbal praise such as a high-five or "good job!") for repeating the right answer; anything else is ignored or corrected very neutrally. As his response becomes more reliable, the 'clues' are withdrawn until he can respond independently. This is usually done on a one-on-one basis, with detailed planning of the requests, timing, wording, and the therapist's reaction to the student's responses.
It is a mistake, however, to think of an ABA program as just discrete trial teaching. Once the skill is taught and mastered in a discrete trial setting, it must be practiced and generalized in natural settings. It takes time to go from mastery of a skill to understanding the skill enough to generalize it to natural settings.
I completed an Early Childhood Education concentration at William Paterson University. Although I was only awarded a provisional certificate in Education (my BA was actually in Psychology) which I later traded in for my Teacher of the Handicapped Certification after I finished my special education graduate classes, I do have my transcripts that can be scanned and emailed, detailing the classes I took in child development and curriculum methods ranging from pre-k to fifth grade. In addition, I participated in internships in day care centers as well as student teaching in the third grade.
Upon graduation, I started working in day care centers immediately and spent a year and a half working as a Kindergarten teacher in a private school. My curriculum had to meet public school standards in order for the children to advance to first grade the following year.
In my Kindergarten class, I taught reading by combining phonics and whole language approaches. First of all, I taught phonics utilizing the synthetic method which included looking at each letter and taking into account the sound that each letter makes, as well as the analytic approach which involves analyzing the different phonic blends, dipthongs, etc. that occur when stringing certain letters together.
Secondly, I taught whole language by emphasizing trial and error methods, context clues, utilizing pictures, as well as encouraging invented spelling. In addition to the traditional storybooks, I introduced these methods in a variety of innovative ways including class made picture books (where the entire class worked together to write their own storybook in addition to illustrating the pictures) as well as decoding a Little Red Riding Hood script (written by me) which was later performed for parents as the end of the year play.
I completed a full Master's program in special education which earned me a Teacher of the Handicapped Certification by the Commissioner of Education in the state of New Jersey as well as a Master's degree in education with a concentration of developmental disabilities. Both documents and my graduate transcripts from William Paterson University can be scanned and emailed upon request.
I spent four years working as a support advocate for developmentally disabled adults, assisting them in living in their own apartments independently. My job included coordinating and accompanying them on doctor appointments, applying for food stamps and other entitlements, helping them with their banking, grocery shopping, cleaning, cooking, etc.
In the past three years I started tutoring developmentally disabled adults in basic reading and math, bill paying (eg. check writing, balancing check book), typing and data entry in preparation for the job market.
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