As the Director of Psychological Services on Long Island, I oversee many programs. I am fortunate to work with amazing Behavior Analysts and Behavior Specialists at the Genesis School, the Day Habilitation Program, the Residential Program, and the Behavior Clinic. I work closely with Erin Archibald, Hester Bekisz, Lauren Colon, James Corrigan, Jaimie Blaszcyk, Jackie Libretti, Irene Stefas, Jillian Braccolino , and Kathleen Rotan. Everyone I mentioned is just exceptional, professional, and highly skilled in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA.) Besides overseeing the behavior interventions at Genesis, I also work closely with our resident social worker, Patricia Thompson. Patricia has been an amazing addition to our programs and we work together to provide counseling and testing to many participants each year.
Since the COVID-19 quarantine and remote services began, the team I work with has been incredible, flexible, and amazingly creative to ensure services get delivered to our students, participants, and their families. They continue to go above and beyond to ensure that our Genesis families are receiving the supports they need, and the students and participants are having their behavioral needs addressed.
We continue to have our monthly BMC (Behavior Management Committee) and HRC (Human Rights Committee) meetings via video Google meet. We have added a bi-weekly Clinical meeting to discuss any cases of concern and share ideas and support as a team.
There are weekly phone calls to check up on the behavioral status of individuals in each setting, especially our residential settings where individuals have been quarantined.
Patricia and I have conducted webinars on stress management for parents and Direct Care Workers for some extra support to those working hands on with our students and participants on a daily basis. Our next webinar will focus on self-care for parents during COVID-19.
Patricia and I have also been able to continue our mandated counseling sessions remotely with a video platform in Google. It has its challenges, but we are making it work and seeing the students respond well is wonderful. Students have questions about the pandemic, they are confused and scared. Some are having a hard time understanding all the new rules and changes going on. The video counseling gives us an opportunity to discuss and educate our students.
We developed an informational share section in Google Drive for our teachers and behaviorists to access, addressing issues such as the pandemic, anxiety, coping strategies, relaxation, and anger management.
We continue to share information through various Eden ll webinars and gather information as well. A number of us were able to do a workshop at ABAI (virtually) and attend many informative talks during the Memorial Day weekend.
Although my team is at different locations, we continue to collaborate and work together to ensure the individuals we serve are supported emotionally during these difficult times.