My advanced education began at Ryerson University where I received a Bachelor of Arts Degree (Honours) specializing in Disability Studies. I received a Diploma (advanced standing) in Child and Youth Care from Humber College. I am a Certified Crisis Prevention Instructor and received my certification from the National Crisis Prevention Institute. I am also a blogger for the National Crisis Prevention Institute having contributed to the resources section for educators, namely an article on the importance of touch and its impact on an agitated student’s level of cognitive arousal. Additionally, I have been an active participant at a number of Geneva Centre conferences related to the learning needs, profiles and behavioural needs of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
It has been my great privilege to provide 15+ years of service for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-morbid disorders for the Peel District School Board as an Educational Resource Facilitator. For the past eight years, I have worked on the Autism Resource Team for the Peel District School Board where I work collaboratively with teachers and para-professionals to better understand the learning profiles of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and related disorders, teach educators how environmental and instructional accommodations can enhance such students’ success. In this respect, I use various cognitive and behavioural assessment scales (Brigance Early Inventory of Developmental Skills, Assessment of Basic Language and Learning-Revised) to develop Individual Education and Positive Behavioural Intervention Plans with measureable goals. Working within a team of Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Teachers and Occupational Therapists, I am part of a Tier 2 Review Committee on which I advocate on behalf of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I am a Certified Crisis Prevention Trainer and frequently train teachers and school administrators. The primary objectives of Crisis Prevention Training are: training staff with effective techniques in approaching and reducing the tension of an agitated person; focusing on the alternatives if a person loses control and becomes violent; instructing staff members in techniques to control their own anxieties during interventions and maintain the best possible professional attitude; and providing nonverbal, paraverbal, verbal and physical intervention skills to allow staff to maintain the best possible care and welfare, as well as safety and security, for all involved – even during the most violent moments .
I am a proprietor of Shining Stars Support Services for Persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Inc. Shining Stars Support Services incorporates methods of Applied Behavioural Analysis and provides in-home, centre and community-based instructional and behavioural support to students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and co-morbid disorders. Shining Stars assesses student’s learning needs and determines specific Cognitive Behavioural strategies and interventions to help students reach their full potentialities. Shining Stars works collaboratively with Occupational Therapists to assess a student’s sensory needs.