Meeting called to order by Nicole B. at 7:06 p.m.
Stephanie K. gave a brief introductions of current executive, and purpose of the Advisory. Reminded attendees that this group is for advisory not advocacy issues. We have facebook group – Surrey District ABA Advisory https://www.facebook.com/groups/1519848291587061/
and website – https://surreyabaadvisory.com/
2) Approval of Minutes from May 2019 – deferred
3) Approval of today’s Agenda
4) New Parents:
• FAQ has been updated – https://surreyabaadvisory.com/faq/
• Autism Support Network pamphlet- note that the ASN has informative videos on a variety of topics that may be of interest and help to parents. https://autismsupportbc.ca/web-series-workshops/, as well as regional support meetings. Next Surrey meeting is in Cloverdale on October 30, 2019.
Navigating the beginning of the year:
a) Familiarization hours – Nicole explained this concept. Familiarization hours can be used to train for break coverage. All ABA students are allowed 15 hours, but parents often need to request to use them. The ABASW or EA is NOT required to do this as it is voluntary on the part of the support worker as it is outside of their working hours.
b) Team Meetings: misinformation about this from school to school. Attendance by the support worker is voluntary. You would pay for their time if the meeting in not on school grounds. You can invite school teacher and IST. If meeting is on school grounds, support person is required to be supervised by another staff member (ie. Principal, or VP)
c) New IEP formats: Not all attendees have yet had an IEP meeting this year. New software, uses a lot of “I” statements. Can be customized – does not need to adhere to the 5 items in the drop down list.
Drafts of IEP can be provided before IEP but can be amended after or at the meeting.
If you feel you are not given enough time for the meeting, you can advocate for more time. Time has ranged from 30 minutes, 45 or more than 1 hour.
d) Communication pages/books: can be designed by your BCBA, can be tailored as you need. IST is in charge of communication by EA in this book. So new formats should be requested from IST.
EA in ABASW role is to be taking data or trained to take needed data.
If familiarization hours declined and ABASW not working out, you can go to district re: training. If you show that the person is not able to do job well, then advocate to the district.
e) Instructional Control: can be defined as positive working relationship with consistent response at some level in the working session. This is discussed in ASN videos (?)
El- this is expected from anyone working with our children and is a good measure of a good fit with your child. Has a mix of positive reinforcement [and demands.] It is possible that some [working with our children] do not know what it is.
5) ABA Renewal Form – Steph
The ABA SW renewal (request) form goes out in Spring. In 2019’s version, it was noted that there was a blurb added authorizing observations of the child without consent/notification of the parent/guardian. This is yet to be discussed with Deena/district as it was not a priority at the May meeting with executive and is still pending discussion.
This form will be given out in February 2020 and if that line is still there, you can scratch it out.
6) Changes to ABA-SW program – Nicole
The current support levels have EA, ABASW and EABT. EABT has 40 hours of theory, 7-30 hours of observation, and 500 hours of practice, (whereas ABASW has 1000) with 4 being supervised by district members. EABT can post to and own an ABASW posting.
Executive recommended that it be 500 hours of “homebased” training vs. school only, but district said no one was likely to opt for that route and that EA cannot be made to do it. Currently use the RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) curriculum that is designed by district.
Exec relented to say 250 hours of home based hours with multiple consultants.
Currently 100 EABT, but exec has no idea how many posted in.
– Clarification of EABT postings and process given
7) Follow up items from previous meeting
a) goal to have a set number of EABT and ABASW – match ABASW with position (?) Comment that if there is a saturation of EABT then matching may not be possible
Positive information from Deena at meeting to continue matching (?)
b) Parent question to District (BOE) – When ABASW position is unfulfilled. Parents want a minimum hours to be trained. District say no, not necessary to train more, that general training/qualifications of EA at hiring is adequate
c) request that the district do more to recruit ABASW
Options brainstormed at meeting such as – apprenticeship program, recruit parents of school age children, compile job fair options
8) Review of Escalation Process:
If there are issues, then follow the escalation process:
1) School Principal
2) District Principal/Assistant Superintendent
3) Director of Instruction (Michelle Schmidt)
5) Section 11- BOE formal complaint
* other avenues of advocacy – File Human Rights Complaint, media, ombudsperson complaint, complaint to the Teacher’s Regulation Board, litigation
• Do not skip the levels or you will have to start over.
• Reminder to document interactions with school members when you are advocating.
• Give a deadline for response.
Reminder of privacy/confidentiality concerns: Steph
This is a reminder that sharing posts can harm our relationship with the district which makes us less effective. It is important to remember that nothing posted on the internet is truly private, so please be careful with posting sensitive information.
Meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.