By: Julianne Trudeau
For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Julianne Trudeau and I am the Director of Speech Services here at Bierman Autism Centers. I have been a Speech Language Pathologist for a little over 11 years now and absolutely LOVE my job. I have been fortunate enough to have had really positive experiences working with the field of ABA, unfortunately that is not every SLP’s story.
I cannot say enough about how much I value and appreciate the way that Bierman operates in terms of providing ABA services day in and day out. Our staff is incredible and it shows in how they interact with our kids each and every day. This is hard work that we do and not every day is sunshine and rainbows but at our core we are all striving for the best for our learners.
If you look at Bierman’s website, it provides a description of our model of ABA:
“We use naturalistic teaching to teach through play. We understand that children are always right – and if they are not learning, we are doing something wrong! We ensure children are progressing and developing skills through our proprietary data measurement system. We seek to create lifelong learners and long-term success.”
When I hear SLPs or other professionals speaking negatively about the field of ABA, I try to listen empathetically because, unfortunately, not all ABA centers operate like we do. One of the first things I relay to any potential SLP candidates for this job is that we do NOT operate in that “old school, black and white” fashion that some people think of when they hear ABA.
Instead, I like to think of SLPs and ABA therapists as a married couple. We may not always see eye-to-eye (and that’s okay) but we have the same goals at heart. We can each take a little from each other to become better, more informed professionals, while making our kiddos as successful as possible.
There are many benefits to collaboration between Speech Therapy and ABA, but let’s take a look at a few from this post below:
- Children get many more learning opportunities.
- Speech and language goals are more individualized.
- Behavior Analysts better understand why they are teaching particular skills.
- SLP team members better understand how to teach particular skills.
- Parents are happy when team members are on the same page and their kids are talking.
It is important to remember that we can all learn a little bit from each other. A child’s success depends on a cohesive team and that involves a joint effort. At Bierman Autism Centers we have found a great way to balance our fields of expertise and collaboration to produce the best programs for each child as an individual.