Between 13 and 17 February 2017, Naked Heart experts Tatiana Morozova and Svyatoslav Dovbnya teamed up with leading international specialists Tyra Sellers and Katie Endicott Harris from Utah State University to deliver a seminar in Nizhny Novgorod on the use of the VB-MAPP assessment programme on preschool children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), as part of the Naked Heart Foundation’s early intervention project.
The VB-MAPP (Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Programme) method was developed by Mark Sundberg in 2008 and is used in Applied Behaviour Analysis in many countries. The method is used to determine the specific goals of tailored programmes for teaching children with special needs and developing their speech and communication skills.
The Naked Heart Foundation, with the support of the Nizhny Novgorod Department of Education, has been implementing an early intervention project for small children with ASD at various preschool establishments since 2015. Leading international experts are contributing to the project.
A seminar on the use of the VB-MAPP assessment programme was held for specialists from the Early Intervention Centre and preschool establishments taking part in the Naked Heart early intervention project. It was run by international experts from Utah State University with whom the Foundation has been collaborating for several years in the area of special education and the ASSERT programme. The specialists from the Early Intervention Centre and the Naked Heart Family Support Centre had already competed international training on the ASSERT programme. The experts from Utah helped to train specialists from Nizhny Novgorod and Saint Petersburg, and also took part in the Foundation’s annual international Every Child Deserves a Family forum.
Thanks to their newly acquired knowledge, 31 specialists from Saint Petersburg, Tver, Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod were able not only to learn about the process for conducting an assessment and creating a programme, but also to practise the use of that method in real-life situations.
“I love the trainers and all the seminar participants. I know that usually in preschools the children are simply left out of the group, but here it is different. This was an amazing opportunity to see how it really works. It turns out that VВ-МАРР is a very useful practical tool.” – Seminar participant
“Thank you so much to the trainers for this unique opportunity. The VВ-МАРР programme will prove indispensible. Thanks to the Foundation for giving us this opportunity. Before the project we were blind; we didn’t know what to do with the children. We made mistakes, but now we know what to do. Thanks to my colleagues from various towns and cities for assessing our work.” – Seminar participant
Tyra Sellers is an experienced practitioner and researcher and has been working with people with developmental disabilities for the past 20 years. Tyra is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and received her Ph.D. in Disabilities Discipline – Applied Behaviour Analysis from Utah State University in 2011. Specialism: assessment and support programmes for people with behavioural disorders.
Katie Endicott Harris has been providing support to children and adults with autism and developmental disabilities for over 20 years. She is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and, received her PhD in Disabilities Discipline – Applied Behaviour Analysis from Utah State University in 2016. Specialisms: verbal behaviour, play behaviour, differentiating children with autism spectrum disorders.
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