NAMI, Hench Autism Studies Program partner to offer training

NAMI Four County and the Hench Autism Studies Program at Defiance College are once again partnering to offer a free three hour training for youth serving volunteers that will provide practical strategies to prevent challenging behavior and promote positive behavior.

The training will be held Saturday morning, April 16 starting at 8:30 a.m. in Room 18 of Defiance Hall on the Defiance College campus.

The target audience includes persons who work with youth as part of a church, Scouting or 4-H program, or those who provide day care for children.

Dr. Clarissa Barnes, the director of the autism program at the college, will explain effective behavior management strategies that prevent challenging behaviors and promote positive behaviors with youth who may have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or some other autism spectrum disorder.

These are youngsters who always seem to be moving, fidgeting or doing things to bother others in a class setting or while participating in activities when a teacher, coach or adult leader are trying to explain or demonstrate things to the group.

“The youngsters don’t seem to respond to or do what the adult leader is asking,” explained Lou Levy with the local NAMI chapter. “The class or activity is disrupted, the adult leader gets frustrated and doesn’t know what to do. However, maybe the youngster just learns differently from the rest of the group and with a different approach the disruptive behavior can be reduced or eliminated.

“The result: a better learning environment for all participants and a less frustrating experience for the adult volunteer,” Levy said.

Over the three hours, Dr. Barnes will help the participants understand the “why” behind what is happening and help them develop a plan that the volunteer leaders can take back to their Sunday school class or next Scout or 4-H meeting. The workshop teaches effective behavior management strategies that are based on the science of applied behavior analysis.

The participants will work in small groups to develop their action plan based on the information and examples that Dr. Barnes presents.

Although the workshop is free, space is limited and pre-registration is required. To register, either call Lou Levy at 419-399-0952 or send an email to [email protected] Please provide your name, the church or organization where you volunteer, and a phone number or email address where you can be reached.