By Zainab Fazal, M.ADS, BCBA
bSci21 Contributing Writer
On today’s agenda: 1 new client you will meet for the first time, 1 client you are starting an assessment with, and 1 client you’ve been working with for a month. Oh and all your clients live in different parts of town. All in a day’s work for the traveling behaviour analyst! So how do you prepare for a day like that? You can’t possibly take everything you might need, unless of course you drive a 16-seater van!
To save us all from driving that 16-seater, I did an inventory of my trunk, kits, and all my green bags full of stuff I just might need. Then I asked fellow consultants their must-haves when they’re on the road. It turns out, there are a lot more than just ten. So here are some categories with the 10 must-haves when you hit the road!
Top 10 Tools For Your Session
- Data Sheets
- Consent Forms
- Reinforcer Inventory/Preference Assessment Forms
- Phone or Tablet with Data Collection Apps (e.g., timers, clickers)
- Indirect Assessment Tools (e.g., FAST, QABF, MAS, FAI, SATT)
- Curricula & Assessments – keep your top 3 with you
- Tip Sheets – leave parents and staff with notes on what you discussed (e.g., reinforcement vs. punishment tip sheet)
- Pens, Pencils, Markers, Crayons (or your son’s pencil case works too!)
- Notebook, blank paper
- Smiles ☺
Top 10 Versatile Materials
- Dry Erase Board & Markers
- Board Games, Card Games
- Fidget Toys
- Multi-Task Toys – with a pack of small colored blocks, test skills in these domains: mand, tact, listener responding, matching, fine motor, play, imitation, sorting, and math.
- Art Kits (check your local dollar store)
- Things That ___________ (smell, squish, glow, light up, twirl, make sounds)
- Picture Icons (e.g., help, no, yes, stop, more, food, drink, break, play, work)
- Smartphone or Tablet – with Wi-Fi and a good case!
Top 10 Things For You
- Coffee & Water
- Advil or Tylenol
- Change of Clothes
- Extra Socks
- Charger – for your phone, tablet, laptop
- Audio Books and Awesome Play Lists For the Car
- Hand sanitizer
- First Aid Kit
- Smiles ☺
As you prepare your kits, consider the most common assessments you administer and ensure you have a few materials for each domain that you will assess. To help you stay organized, pack the items in 3 separate kits and always have a small suitcase or shopping trolley in your car.
Here we go…. on the road again!
Let us know your own top ten list in the comments below, and be sure to subscribe to bSci21 via email to receive the latest articles directly to your inbox!
Zainab Fazal, M.ADS, BCBA, began her career in the developmental disabilities field in 2002, and has dedicated her clinical work and research in the area of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). She has worked for many years in assessing and developing comprehensive programs plans for children, youth, and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), learning disabilities, other developmental disabilities, behavioural challenges and mental health issues. Her recent work includes training front-line staff and teachers to use ABA in therapeutic and school settings, and has successfully trained individuals for the Registered Behaviour Technician credential with the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board. She is also an adjunct professor at Seneca College teaching ABA courses in the Behavioural Sciences program. Zainab is the founder and director of Phoenix Behaviour Services, a private practice in Toronto, Canada. You can follow her on twitter @Phoenix_ABA and reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.