Empowering new approach to affecting behaviour change makes a difference at Laurel Services
Ryan Rogers

Service co-ordinator Sareth Ly from the Laurel Behaviour Support Services at posAbilities has just returned to her field of experience, supporting individuals with autism, which coincides with April being Autism Awareness Month in B.C.

Picking up on her eight-and-a-half years experience with autism and service delivery, she plans to earn her board certified behaviour analyst (BCBA) designation as a behaviour consultant.

She came to Canada as a backpacker with no intentions of staying more than 18 months. Six and a half years later she’s still in Canada, continuing her work with children, and she’s not the only product of Australia focusing on autism for posAbilities.

A new program called Triple-P® Positive Parenting Program, developed at the University of Queensland, has been running at posAbilities since June 2010, and is described as a scientifically-proven family support strategy for parents and caregivers of children and youth.

The program gives parents the resources to address common social, emotional and behavioural problems. Triple-P® also empowers parents with the skills and tools to identify and change behaviours when caregivers are unavailable.

“One of the important pieces that we recognize is that it’s not necessarily the best thing to hand a program to a family, but rather to teach the parents to integrate it themselves and to be able to support their children,” says Sareth.

Sareth says there are many misconceptions about autism, but it’s most important for families to be asking the right questions about their children and setting realistic goals before entering into services.

“It’s all about goals,” says Sareth. “I think parents have to be really honest and direct about what they believe their child’s goals are going to be, and then working with a consultant to achieve those.”

She says a particularly bright field of application in behavioural analysis for individuals with autism is positive behaviour support, which focuses on goals, and ensuring an individual’s goals are meaningful to them.

The Laurel Behaviour Support Services provides three general support areas; an early intervention program for children under six, a general behaviour consultation for youth between six and 18 years of age, and adult services. 

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