October 25, 2016

Tom Caffrey. Used with Permission
Tom Caffrey. Used with Permission

Tom Caffrey, M.Ed, BCBA, international trainer and speaker and founder and director of VBN Training, has created a series of video training modules to help parents and professionals overcome the daily behavioral challenges children with autism and their families face. As a parent of a child with autism, Caffrey understands these challenges firsthand.

Caffrey says:

“I wanted to throw a lifeline to parents and teachers who are working so hard to overcome challenges teaching children with autism.  Applied Behavior Analysis provides proven answers but the information can be hard to extract from typical vehicles, such as books.  My use of video powerfully illustrates both the effectiveness and universality of the science while bringing implementation to life.  When issues can be put in the rearview mirror, it’s empowering, and serves as inspiration for others…instilling the hope that maybe they can do the same.”

This is the first in a pair of two articles about Caffrey’s video training modules. This article reviews « Overcoming Irrational Fears ». The second article will review Caffrey’s training module « Getting Kids to Eat ».

The « Overcoming Irrational Fears » training module explores such topics as identifying irrational fears in a child with autism, knowing when necessary action needs to be taken, completing three necessary pre-intervention steps, and implementing the required steps to help your child overcome an irrational fear.

According to Miriam-Welester who is quoted in the module, an irrational fear is  «an exaggerated usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects or situation ». A child may fear a place, a thing or a noise. Some examples include fear of school, elevators or a baby crying. According to Caffrey, the majority of children with autism who have irrational fears are afraid of mechanical objects such as vacuum cleaners or elevators.

In this module, Caffrey introduces us to a little boy who is afraid of the noise of a fire alarm and a little girl who is afraid of a particular wall mural in a historical square. He worked with the little boy in the US and the little girl in Italy. Caffrey’s videos share the stories of children he has helped in various countries.

In this video training module, Caffrey walks parents and professionals through the steps of creating an intervention plan using lists, detailed verbal explanations and video footage of interventions he has put in place with children with autism in his work.

Caffrey’s video training series has received glowing reviews. A father of a child with autism in Ireland, Alan Doyle, says:

“I strongly recommend all teachers, parents and anyone who is touched by autism, to explore Tom’s video module series and let years of experience working in the field benefit you today.”

More information about Caffrey’s video training modules can be found on his web site: www.tomcaffrey.com.

About the author 

Alix Strickland

Alix Strickland, BCaBA is an applied behavior specialist and founder and director of the Le Chemin ABA VB Learning Center for children with autism and other special needs in Paris, France. She is known as the « Green Behavior Specialist » because she uses natural cleansers and organic foods at her center in addition to making a lot of her own DIY, upcycled therapy materials. She coaches families and professionals in using ABA and Verbal Behavior strategies in France and abroad. Her website is www.lecheminaba.com.

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