Iowa University Center for Excellence in Disabilities in Singapore (IA UCEDD)

January 21, 2019

Brenda Bassingthwaite, PhD, BCBA, Program Manager for Education at Iowa's UCEDD and David Wacker, PhD, Emeritus Faculty in Pediatrics at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, presented their work training Iowa school-based behavior teams in functional behavior assessment and behavior assessment and interventions in homes in-person and via telehealth at the --- conference at the National Institute of Education in Singapore. Currently, there is not an applied behavior analysis (ABA) program in Singapore; thus, there is limited application of ABA.

A highlight of the trip was a tour to Minds Woodlawns Gardens School, a school for students who have moderate to severe disabilities. Mr. Chong, the principal, inspired us as he provided a tour and discussed initiatives he started in the past four years ago. New programs that he has implemented included increasing engagement from mothers in mathematics and fathers in reading, better preparing the students for employment by increasing the length of some school days to equal a work day, increasing opportunities for leisure skills by purchasing indoor gym equipment and musical instruments, and developing gardening/horticulture skills. He insisted on adding tablecloths and centerpieces to their "Sunshine Café." When teachers said that the students would have a negative reaction to these items (e.g., play with them, be bothered by the cloth touching their legs), he explained his philosophy of "Cannot also Can." After attempting something new, if it doesn't work you can make changes so that it can work. "First we try. Cannot also CAN."