Welcome to Holland

This poem ‘Welcome to Holland’ is often used by parents and professionals to help describe what it’s like to be a parent of a child with additional needs.



The blog post below also gives another perspective…’Welcome to Italy’ ( which recognises that every parent has expectations of their child, be they neurotypical or not, which will never be met and/or change on a daily basis. Ultimately, it’s ok and normal to have those expectations, it’s natural to be disappointed and angry and sad when they’re not met…when you have to move the goal posts so much further and work harder than you ever envisaged. And, although those original expectations may never completely go away, with the new ones you may begin to find successes, hope and pride and determination you didn’t know you had.

ABA uses the science of behaviour to enable successes step by step; to work towards those expectations, to widen those goal posts…it may not be the route or destination that was planned but that doesn’t mean the journey can’t be doable, rewarding, empowering, and…it may even be fun! 😀

Noticing the wood for the trees…

In this mad, modern, polarising, crazy world it is all too easy to get hooked on how mad🤯/bad🤬/sad😭 other people are…and not even notice the small acts of kindness and connections that happen every day!

I bet, if you were to go into the world today and took the time to notice, you will see so many acts of small kindnesses – to you, to others, between others. 🤗

What if I was to give you a challenge? To BE the person who makes eye contact and smiles to a stranger, who says “Good morning”, who stops and holds the door open for another person, who says to the cashier “have a nice day” and actually MEAN it! 🤩
And to listen, and hear for those times when others are being kind – to you, to themselves or to others.

The world may be a little hectic and crazy nowadays but you have control over how you can treat others, and it’s these moments that can make a person’s day.

Be kind. Notice the small things. Do small things. Connect. Take your time.

It’s going to feel good!

#TransactionalAnalysis #AcceptanceandCommitmentTherapy #Values#Kindess #Mindfulness #Noticing #Doing


Jargon, jargon, jargon…

Here is an interesting article – one that calls for ABA to stop with the elitist and often confusing terminology and make it accessible. I agree – why not use ‘added’ and ‘subtracted’ reinforcement rather than ‘positive’ and ‘negative’?

I always try to speak in layman’s terms…yes, we need the scientific language so we can communicate with other professionals…but we don’t always need to use it. Time to get off our high-horses and share our knowledge in a way that makes sense.

Treatment fads – how do we know what is and isn’t legit?

I regularly see, and hear about, ‘treatments for autism’ and how parents will try anything to try and help the child they love so dearly. For me, telling a parent a treatment will cure their child’s autism without the scientific evidence to support such claims in on a par with telling a recently bereaved parent, or widow, that they can contact their love one through a Medium or psychic…the person delivering said treatment is, as Tim Minchin would say, “lying, or mentally ill”. Not only can these treatments be expensive and ineffective but they can also be harmful – both physically and mentally, and can even be life threatening. Look for the science, look for the evidence, because “Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed; Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved.”

This linked article is old but resonates a lot with me. I regularly come across autism ‘treatment packages’ which are not supported by science. Further, as I see more and more, I am a true believer of using a mixture of approaches to support a child. Every, single child is unique…and so their treatment should be approached as such.

How do we know if what we’re doing is useful? Data!! And we adapt and adjust accordingly.

Tim Minchin talks about this in his poem, named ‘Storm’

Encouraging speech and communication

Encouraging speech…this is a fun little video in which we are shaping the little one’s speech sounds to be closer to ‘Swing’. This has been a long process…first, as she made NO sounds at all, we reinforced ANY sound she made whilst swinging (a HIGHLY preferred activity) with extra big/fast/more fun swings. Now, we’re waiting and modelling the sounds that we want…and when she makes a sound that’s closer to “swing” than before (e.g., “wing” vs “ing”) she’s getting even bigger/better/longer swings than if she just made an unrelated sound. This is so she knows when she’s got it right!
And listen to her trying so hard to make the sound “swing”. 😍

The most important thing is that we’re doing this when she’s having FUN and is highly motivated. 😁 Plus, what you can’t see is how engaged she is with us both, with lots of eye contact and sign!

She’s a little superstar!! 🤩


What is shaping?

Shaping is defined as differentially reinforcing successive approximations toward a terminal behaviour. It can be applied to any behaviour – speech, movement, sign language, length of time studying.




Welcome to my website and blog.

I will periodically be posting content around ABA, counselling, and Transactional Analysis. Much of my writings will be musings about how I work and what is valuable to me.

If you have any questions (about my blog or otherwise) please get in contact with me – I will do my best to answer!

For now, I hope you enjoy the content!