There are many children with physical, behavioral and emotional anomalies in schools. There are many children who suffer from afflictions and conditions that make learning difficult, if not impossible, in a “regular” classroom. Teachers have so many “special needs” children [I detest that phrase, for the record: every child’s needs are special!] that sometimes it can be overwhelming. Differently-abled children struggle in the classroom, and the teachers struggle to give them the help they need to learn, to function, to grow.
ADD, ADHD, social disorders, Autism, anger management issues, emotional trauma, physical and mental conditions: all these scar children, label them as well-meaning folks try to pigeon-hole them into convenient little slots. How can anyone possibly help the child crying out for help, with over-crowding in classrooms, the lack of aides and teachers who are pulling their hair out, just trying to cope with sheer numbers? This is why parents turn to behavioral specialists.
I received an email from a gentleman some time ago, offering to let me try his application to help Autistic children and young adults. I have been subsequently doing research on this product, reading the information, gathering a feel for the product and the practical applications – what this would mean to behavioral experts and families of those affected by Autism?
Is there a way to measure progress? Is there a way to compile data, to see patterns and growth and development? To understand behavior, to track skills, to analyze the data? Steve Maher believes there is. In his email, he stated,
” My name is Steve Maher and my wife Liz and I are the founders of Data Makes the Difference, LLC. We develop iPhone, iTouch and iPad software to assist children and young adults with Autism. We released Behavior Tracker Pro about 18 months ago and it was and still is a huge success. BTP is used to track behaviors and automatically chart them in support of an applied behavioral analysis treatment program.
Liz and I just released Skill Tracker Pro on the 20th of this month [October]. Like BTP, STP supports kids and young adults with Autism, but ATP is used to automate the process of providing ABA Verbal Behavior instruction and then charting the results. We think it will revolutionize the field and make a huge difference for thousands of kids.”
Anyone who knows me, and who has ever read my articles, knows that I am all about the kids and what’s best for them. This program, that offers to track and measure (via graphs, etc) results, when used by a professional, may help unlock some of the mysteries of Autism, and may help find ways to help Autistic children learn and grow.
I am certainly not an expert on Autism, but I have watched parents and children struggle together to make headway and progress. I can empathize with behavioral specialists, who have the knowledge but not necessarily the tracking tools to do their job to the best of their ability.
I can’t endorse this product, although I agree the applications may be a wonderful thing. I can suggest that the Tracking systems may be worth trying, especially to enable the monitoring and tracking of results, to benefit the behavioral specialist and especially the child. It may give parents a concrete way to see progress in their child, too.
Talk to your child’s behavioral expert about this – see what they have to say. Share the video and documentation with them and see if there is any practical use to benefit your child.
If you have the interest, or need, to test this product, you can reach Mr. Maher at:
Data Makes the Difference, LLC
You can find videos of the apps and documentation by clicking the provided links.