Here are a variety (small at first but growing) of topics
related to areas we routinely consult on covered briefly. We hope that
these "Topics of the
Day" will help you better understand our approach to each question and
provide you with a resource or two related to the issue(s) covered.
Brief Review of the NEA's The Autism Puzzle The
National Education Association recently published a 40+ page guide for
America's educators on Autism Spectrum Disorders. Dr. Montgomery
reviews and critiques this important document.
is the ABLLS? is an article by Dr. R.
Montgomery that provides a brief overview of the ABLLS, its uses and
is a BCBA Anyway? is an article that attempts to dispel some of
the myths and misinformation about what BCBA means, stands for, and what
having it means regarding someone's skills and training. Is having a
PhD and BCBA better? Does having a BCBA mean that the person
necessarily knows anything about Autism? IF they know about autism do
they automatically know about Aspergers?
Sign Language vs. Picture Exchange Communication System in the Development
of Verbal Language in Children with Autism: A Review
Evaluations. The diagnostic process is one of a trained professional
interviewing caregivers, observing the child, and having the child try to do
some specific things to help clarify the child's abilities and developmental
sequences for the professional. There is a lot of confusion about
diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorders, Much of the confusion comes from many
people misusing screening devices as diagnostic instruments. This
article presents some information that I recently offered to the Georgia
Autism Listserv in an effort to help clarify this issue.
ADHD or Sleep Disturbance?
Sleep Hygiene: The non-drug intervention is an article written by Dr.
Montgomery reviewing the issue of sleep deprivation as it affects behavior and
how these effects can be misdiagnosed as common childhood conditions.
There is a pdf
handout on Sleep Hygiene available.
do I hire a qualified Behavior Analyst? is an issue that is more
and more raised by parents and agencies. Dr. Montgomery summarizes some
recommendations on how to look at the credentials of someone claiming to be
a behavior analyst and provides sources for specific criteria in evaluating
those credentials based on those published by ABA.
I.D.E.A. Increases the Need for Functional Behavior Analytic Skills in
Public Schools: What they donít know can hurt us! was first read
in 1999 at the 25th annual conference of the Association for Behavior
Analysis in Chicago by Dr. Montgomery. In it he analyzes the position
of the National Association of School Psychologists in relation to their
claimed ability to be experts on FBAs within the public schools.
Aggression in Schools is an ever growing
problem in the U.S. (and around the world for that matter). Dr. Montgomery has been
working with aggression in a wide range of settings for almost two decades and offers some
initial thoughts and guidance on minimizing such behavior in the classroom.
Functional Behavior Assessment is a
term that many in U.S. schools heard for the first time when IDEA went into effect. FBA is a behavioral assessment process that is deceptively
complex. Dr. Montgomery offers a brief overview of this area with essential
Functional Communication Training refers
to a treatment typically recommended when a Functional Behavior Analysis (see above) has
shown that an individual's problem behavior is maintained by social consequences.
FCT involves teaching the individual functional communication responses that produce
access to the social reinforcer(s) identified as maintaining the problem behavior.
issues involving sharing data with Psychiatrists is a brief article
written by Dr. Montgomery for the newsletter of The Learning Tree. Dr.
Montgomery has been a clinical and behavioral consultant to various state
and private agencies and has participated in developing their Behavior Development Program
policies and procedures which involve the access to and utilization of
medication services for students.
than Medication is Appropriate is a statement involving some
controversy. There are some professionals, mainly physicians, who will tell parents
that every behavior problem has an Organic Origin - and at some level that is
true. Dr. Montgomery discusses two disorders which are believed to be organic in
origin and for which biological/medical/drug treatment alone appear to be wholly
Social Maladjustment is an education term
that many clinicians think of as synonymous with Oppositional- Defiant or Conduct Disorder
from the DSM-IV. Dr. Montgomery discusses the difference between Social Maladjustment and
Emotional Disturbance within the schools.
What Makes a Good Psychological
Report? This is a question that Dr. Montgomery has found himself asking more and
more recently as he has read lots of reports from a variety of professionals on students
in a variety of schools. Dr. Montgomery discusses the two main factors which he
believes must be present for a psychological assessment to result in a truly useful
Please Email us any suggestions you may have for issues, areas, or
questions that you would like to see addressed in future "Topics of the Day"
columns. We will do our best to address any areas brought to our attention.