I have known Tom Caffrey for many years; we first met at an introductory seminar he was giving for a school district in Lyndhurst, NJ. At the time, I was a poorly prepared Special Needs teacher, left alone in a self contained classroom with six preschoolers on the Autistic Spectrum. Most were non-verbal, several where quite violent, and I had one runner. I had very little training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and the training I did have did not seem to make any sense. The principles we had learned to teach our student’s was not intuitive, we were trying to have them match colors and numbers while trying to keep them in the room, or not bite themselves or others.
That first day sitting with 100 other folks in Lyndurst, I knew I was onto something. Tom presents the principles of ABA in a simplistic and logical fashion….put the kids first, engage them, make them see the value in the teacher and they will want to learn, not bite, not run, but learn and eventually become part of the community with useful skills.
Since that experience I have moved on to preparing new teachers in higher education, many of which have children of their own, some on the autistic spectrum. I have taken my own adult students to see Tom speak, and have brought Tom to campus on multiple occasions to present and inspire. I cannot recommend Tom’s training highly enough as he inspires all those who have the pleasure of hearing him present. The energy he creates around the subject matter he loves is palpable and not to be missed.
Alison Friars, Instructor at Hudson County Community College