Alright – so, today the state Medicaid agency (DHS) did person-centered training to families, providers and others who were interested. It was given by their clinical lead – Ms. Berning. She is a BCBA and did credit education units for her BACB board. One bears the question: what the heck does CEU for BCBAs have to do with providing training of any kind in a Medicaid funded program?
The goals should be doing training and not taking time that we quite frankly do not have. Why is the state Medicaid agency allowing this, particularly the supervisor there – Mr. Flint? Why would he not ensure EIDBI concentrate on using time wisely and not worry about what the BACB needs or does not need. Further, EIDBI also has developmental components and I do not see CEU for other modalities – it is all about BCBAs. Remember Marcia, Marcia, Marcia from the Brady Bunch. Ugh. These people irritate me to my core.
She did sooooooo many things wrong from the get-go….
- If I have time, I will answer your questions. Then she said the family is in the driver seat. This is the seat that is getting silenced by her and her protector – Mr. Flint. How is that for oxymoron?
- Then she talked about working on things the family wants to work on – what now? Have families be at the center of their child’s treatment’s first step is listening to families and not silencing them because you do not like our questions.
- She did not mention where the skills of the child/family are at. No surprise there.
- They need to record these trainings that are drive through.
- As usual with DHS EIDBI, it is in dictatorship mode – we were muted and our cameras off. Saudi Arabia, Mussolini and Idi Amin combined had more freedom than DHS EIDBI’s one hour drive through trainings. Why are our faces hidden, and voices silenced in a publicly funded program?
- She did not explain what the heck person-centered is, the research behind it and how all behaviors are embedded in the person’s culture. I for one would like to know more about the origin and history of person-centered and why it is important in autism therapy.
- As usual, she sounded nervous, although today she did not repeat herself 100 times, that was refreshing and time saving. Cry me a river – protector, Mr. Flint when God forbid, we have feedback for your staff.
- Oh and – how do families whose first language is not English even understand this drive thru one-hour training? Your guess is as good as mine. Yay, this is why we stayed up late at night in the state capital for years advocating for EIDBI, lovely!
- She forgot to mention the CMDE – you know the father/mother of the ITP must be used when developing the ITP. In other words, we have to make sure the CMDE is written with the child/family in the driver seat.
- She forgot to mention – sometimes, maybe often in minority and low-income families that have zero county and/or are struggling with schools and that is what they need first. EIDBI is NOT just about ABA and trials. It is about helping and supporting the WHOLE family. Why would a privileged white woman ever understand that though? Ugh.
- She finally did say be aware of subjective biases and how we avoid assumptions and judgements. Ahhh, what now? Isn’t that what she and her protector Mr. Flint are doing? Judging and subjective biases by silencing those of us that disagree with them or have different ideas and comments. You cannot even make this sh…t up. She is preaching the opposite of what they practice.
- Hey DHS EIDBI, have you listened and compared your words to your actions? – Classic oxymoron.
- When she was talking about individual goals/targets like operationally defining behaviors; meltdown vs looked away, etc., unlike them I give credit when it is due – she was in her territory and made sense. Hey DHS, learn to share credit and give people when they do good or accomplish something even if you do not like them. That is called being a reasonable adult and not a toddler having a meltdown – pun intended. I dare you to give minority autism families especially the Somali community credit for the incredible work we have done in EIDBI in Minnesota and nationwide. I dare you. Lunch on me for a week if you learn that life important skill.
- Oh wait, she is mentioning making referrals to other providers. This is good. Remember the days when ABA providers would never refer. In fact, they would discharge us if we dared went to speech, school, OT etc. Good ol days! not really.
- Data collection – her domain. She sounds like she knows this area. Giving credit when it is due. Lesson for DHS to learn, not holding my breath.
- When explaining executive functioning skills – not bad, Ms. Berning. I only wish you were good at people skills and did not always hide behind these white men at DHS that seem to protect you at every corner even when you are wrong. Before it was Mr. Nord and now it is the new hero Mr. Flint. Just lovely, we aren’t all as lucky as Karens – privileged and entitled. Ugh.
- Expressing their frustrations – is this for the child and family? Oh oh oh, I have one….I am extremely frustrated with you Ms. Berning and your new protector – Mr. Flint. But you are silencing those that disagree with you. There is a name for this…. What is it?……oh yeah the opposite of person-centered which is what she is preaching. Maybe you at DHS EIDBI practice what you preach. Ugh.
- Why isn’t this being recorded to eliminate he/she said or my favorite names – ranting, angry…blah blah.
- She talked about care coordination – not bad except DHS EIDBI does not practice coordinating with families that disagree with them.
- Stop talking about the BACB code of ethics crap. A BCBA discharging my son at age five and another BCBA demanding we do 40 hours at age 12 is exactly why I became an advocate which led to EIDBI and Medicaid covering autism therapy. The notion that BACB cares about any kind of human ethics is useless, false, and not happening on the ground.
- Denying a child a preferred item/activity – not bad how she is explaining. It is good to ensure there is a replacement behavior that has an equivalent purpose. She said think about what the child learning is – not bad. For me, it was, can I be on the phone for more than five minutes without my son having a behavior. So that goal is not just about the child but also the parents. She did not talk about family-centered goals which is part of the person-centered since the child does not live in silos; the kid is a part of family. What goals are important to families and how do we meet them? Personally, I would rather help the parents first before I get to the child. Similar to how in airlines they tell you to put your mask first then put the child’s mask. Dr. Insel – Dir of NIMH and IACC chair used to say – if families are on fire, providers have to put that down before they get to the child. In other words, writing perfect ITP goals for the kid when the family has no services, does not sleep at night, going through other things, etc. will do nothing for that child. I think we have to first ask mom/dad, etc.,. What do you need, how are you doing, do you sleep more than 5 hours a night, are you having any mental health issues that need family caregiver counseling, are you able to handle IEP meetings by yourself, what services do you get from the county? are those adequate for your family, etc. Again, a privileged white woman like Ms. Berning or her new hero protector, Mr. Flint would have no idea about these challenges. As the saying goes, I tell you from my experience and what I know, right.
- Barriers to any goals that the child did not learn – she was good here. We should be critical of ourselves if we did not teach what we said we would teach the child and do better. In parallel, we should use the same feedback for any family goals that we did not accomplish for the family. She did not mention any family-centered goals.
- It is 9:50am and she is still talking. I would give you feedback – give the last 15 minutes for questions and comments from your learners. This would be practicing what you are preaching. Ugh, they are becoming hemorrhoids for me now. I wonder if they hear themself. Teaching self-advocacy and hearing from families – ah, excuse me, unmute us then.
- She is starting to repeat herself now as usual. This is when her protector should oh, I don’t know, train her and tell her to stop talking and give the floor to your students/learners in this training…Earth to Mr. Flint. I hope you are listening objectively here and can see your own errors.
- More repeating herself —yada yada…. we got it, you said this already, it is 9:53am now. Share the floor and the time Mr. Berning.
- She is now talking about self-auditing as an agency. I will party like it is 1999 when DHS EIDBI learns this lesson – audit yourself and take feedback without being defensive and cruel by silencing us. Practice what you preach, practice what you preach, practice what you preach.
- Now she is telling us about a MNABA conference. Why does EIDBI and the state Medicaid agency care about ABA conferences and what the heck does that have to do with Medicaid?
- It is now 9:57 and she asked people to put their questions into the chat. I wrote – I am from an oral society and will not write any questions, stop silencing us. Thanks, Idil.
The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee.
Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Trying to retire advocate.