As a community behavior analyst with clients all across the age span, Dr. Kolu goes to her patients where they need her, working in their homes, schools, nursing homes, family visitation rooms, doctor’s offices, or the grocery store – wherever the challenging behaviors are worst, or where the skill deficits are most pronounced. Recently, Dr. Kolu has been partnering with community agencies that support families involved with the foster care system. One of our clients lived with a foster family who began working a year ago to learn strategies to support behavioral wellness. After removal from a drug-using and neglectful biological home, young clients often experience challenges related to toileting, eating, getting adults’ attention safely, and learning to play or interact with siblings (and more). Dr. Kolu provides social emotional support or developmental intervention from a behavioral perspective, and these services may be funded by early intervention, faith based organizations, or health and human service or other agencies. Working carefully with the child and family, Dr. Kolu provides coaching, data collection and observation, learning how a child’s past experiences have affected their current behavior and participation in their environments. Experiencing early trauma, abuse or neglect, or disrupted caregiving early in life impacts a child’s ability to communicate their wants and needs, get along with other children in the family, and participate in childhood appropriate routines, play, and learning opportunities. In this success story, we helped to teach our client how to play or talk with others instead of hurting other people, and to play safely by himself for a brief moment while a caregiver turned away. Together with the family, we learned that the typical parenting techniques successful with their other biological and foster children were not effective with this child, and used individualized strategies instead based on the functions of his behaviors and history of interactions with his previous and current environments. As the foster family learned new strategies (for example, to support the child to eat only foods, participating in meals and snacks at appropriate times instead of foraging through the trash), the child used appropriate behavior and language much more often. After about a year of working on these behaviors once or twice per month in family coaching sessions, the child’s behavior had improved so much that the family stopped needing regular coaching. The child has now been adopted by his foster family and is a happy three year old with siblings of his own. If you are interested in hearing more about Cusp Emergence and our work with foster families in Colorado, email Dr. Kolu through the website or leave a comment and we will get back to you!
Client success story
28 Saturday May 2016