Enjoying the Season with a Child with Special Needs

 

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This time of year, no family should miss festive holiday outings and opportunities to enjoy public celebrations. Fortunately, Kristin Vespe, M.S.Ed., BCBA, Director, Bancroft’s Mobile Solutions, can offer suggestions to avoid problematic behaviors during this busy time of year.

Families with children with intellectual or developmental disabilities may be familiar with the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies disruptive or inappropriate behaviors in public settings.  But parents and caregivers can be prepared to minimize the occurrence of problem behaviors and manage them when they do occur.

“Children and adolescents often respond well to a predictable schedule,” Vespe says. “Keep a visual calendar of events prominent in your home or classroom and review the day’s activities together.”

While planning your holiday events, attempt to minimize disruptions to routines.  As a family, decide which seasonal events and outings are most important, and incorporate them into your family schedule well in advance. Provide concrete guidelines prior to the event and ample warning before traveling to the event.

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This time of year, no family should miss festive holiday outings and opportunities to enjoy public celebrations. Fortunately, Kristin Vespe, M.S.Ed., BCBA, Director, Bancroft’s Mobile Solutions, can offer suggestions to avoid problematic behaviors during this busy time of year.

Families with children with intellectual or developmental disabilities may be familiar with the emotional roller coaster that often accompanies disruptive or inappropriate behaviors in public settings.  But parents and caregivers can be prepared to minimize the occurrence of problem behaviors and manage them when they do occur.

“Children and adolescents often respond well to a predictable schedule,” Vespe says. “Keep a visual calendar of events prominent in your home or classroom and review the day’s activities together.”

While planning your holiday events, attempt to minimize disruptions to routines.  As a family, decide which seasonal events and outings are most important, and incorporate them into your family schedule well in advance. Provide concrete guidelines prior to the event and ample warning before traveling to the event.

 

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If you or someone you know is seeking answers to questions about neurological health, Bancroft can help. Dial 1.800.774.5516 or visit www.bancroft.org to connect with an Access to Care specialist.

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Kristin Vespe, M.S.Ed., BCBA

Behavior Analyst, Bancroft’s Pediatric and Adolescent Campus Residential Program

Ms. Vespe has worked in the field of developmental disabilities since 1995. The majority of that time has been with her current program, in a variety of clinical and supervisory roles. She has worked with both children and adults with developmental disabilities and challenging behaviors in residential, school and home settings. She has also provided consultation and training to public schools and families. Ms. Vespe earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Villanova University and her master’s degree from Temple University. She has been a board certified behavior analyst since 2001. Ms. Vespe’s research interests include functional analysis methodology and the reduction of severe problem behavior. She has presented her research at numerous local and national conferences.

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