Prior to my doctoral studies, I was a general and special education math teacher for junior high school. I never worked much with the elementary level and focused much of my time at the secondary level. During my first year, I started reading about autism and behavioral therapy since one of my advisors was a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst (BCBA). Many of her courses embedded Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) articles and research which clearly defined the differences between the educational and medical models. I became very confused fairly quickly when the verbiage was one I did not recognize. For example, in education, we simply say ” I want” or “request” something, but in ABA the term is “mand.” No one says “mand” in the school systems. Similarily, “tact” in ABA is just the medical term that generally means to just “identify” in school. With this came frustration for 2 reasons. One, why didn’t I ever learn this in the 11 years that I worked with special education students? Two, why make a new word for something that already exists? Academia has its many questions, but I quickly learned it was an opportunity to learn a new skill and to better understand what I was reading.
During the height of the pandemic, I took an internship that required me to do some clinical hours, which is common in doctoral programs. I took on getting my Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) license since at the time I complete most of it online in my “free time” through BlueSprig Pediatrics (which I highly recommend by the way), previously known as Thrive. I have learned more about Autism, since receiving my license, in the past year with BlueSprig than in my 11 years as a teacher. So much more makes sense now to why my older students with autism were struggling, especially if they did not receive early intervention ABA therapy as a child. This gave me the opportunity to help bridge the school, clinic, and home gap by helping all parties through my “technological savviness.”
Token boards are a form of what in education we call “Positive Behavioral Intervention Systems” or PBIS. Another vocabulary lesson for another day. It was very costly and time-consuming to create token boards at school or in the clinic through printing, lamination, and notebook purchases that were technically completed three times in some cases for the clinic, home, and school, to increase generalization of learning across environments. On a whim, I started creating digital token boards based on my client’s favorite things through PowerPoint (which can also be done in Google Slides or Boom Cards). One of my most successful presentations to date was a workshop I did on the step-by-step process on “how to” create one. So many people have asked for a copy so, therefore, in hopes of bridging the gap just a little and helping families, schools, and clinics, I wanted to share one of my digital token board notebooks in PowerPoint with you that includes 3 different digital token boards: Peppa the Pig, Ryan’s World, and Baby Shark (Doo Doo Doo). The link to Digital Token Board can be found HERE. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do, and for an added bonus, if you have a high school student who loves “the Rock,” there is a little added bonus token board just for you!
Go to https://krystlemerry.com/freebies/ to download or click the links above.