Motivator Spotlight: Melissa Poccia's ABA Therapy Insights at Parsippany Troy Hills School District

In March 2024, we had the opportunity to to introduce Melissa Poccia, a dedicated BCBA in Parsippany Troy Hills School District, whose journey from teacher to BCBA at her school showcases the profound impact of ABA in education. She has amazing insights on effective ABA strategies, her experience with Motivity, and how it transforms data collection and team collaboration in educational settings.

1. Can you share your journey in ABA therapy and what inspired you to pursue it?

My cousin's son was diagnosed with autism many years ago and I could not believe how many positive changes were made in his life through ABA. I wanted to make a difference in other children's lives and there is no better place than in a public school! I first started as a teacher in an autism self contained classroom and decided to pursue my masters degree in ABA. I passed the exam and am now the BCBA in the school I taught at.

2. In your experience, what ABA strategy or technique has proven most effective in supporting students' behavioral and academic growth within the school environment?

Positive reinforcement!! We can help make so many positive changes in individuals' lives.

3. How do you like to spend your free time?

I love spending all my time with my husband Sal and my 14 month old daughter Eliana. I like to vacation and love sitting on the beach reading a book. I also enjoy coffee, exercising, listening to music (mostly Russel Dickerson), and shopping at Target.

4. How has Motivity enhanced your ability to collect and analyze data in the educational setting? What features do you find most beneficial?

Motivity is so easy to use, it makes collecting data a breeze.  Having the ability to see the data collected on the program you are working on as well as the other programs you have already collected data on on makes it helpful to determine what data need to be completed without making a student wait for a long period of time.The graphs are so easy to read and understand, it makes analyzing the data simple and convenient.

5. What advice would you give to other BCBAs or educational professionals considering the integration of ABA therapy and technology like Motivity into their practice?

Integrating Motivity into our ABA therapy has saved the teachers and staff members invaluable time by streamlining the process of collecting and analyzing data. It also provides a simple overview of each of the children's education programs and behaviors. It would be silly not to switch!

6. Can you tell me how Motivity supports collaboration and communication between you, your educational team, and the families of your students. How does this impact student outcomes?

Motivity makes it effortless for me to see the programs and graphs for all the students in the program, especially live when the paraprofessionals are running the sessions. The simplicity of the graphs makes it easy to show progress to a parent while in a meeting or a parent teacher conference. Motivity makes it easy to analyze the graphs to determine if changes need to be made to programs to assist with student acquisitions of skills.

7. What challenges have you faced in implementing ABA therapy in schools, and how has Motivity helped address these challenges?

We currently have 26 students in our program each with their own paraprofessional. Staff training is a difficult task since the students are always present and there is not an opportunity to meet with all the paraprofessionals at one time. Since Motivity is so easy to use, the paraprofessionals were able to understand the system and use it without any difficulty and intensive training needed. The data collection screen also gives the paraprofessionals all of the important information they need to run the programs including the SD and the teaching procedures. They do not need to click on another screen to find this important information.

8. Favorite thing about Motivity?

My favorite thing about Motivity is being able to see others collect data live and seeing the updates made in the moment. There is no lag time.

UPCOMING GROUP WEBINARS

Integration-Specific Demos

Apr 24
3:30 pm
AlohaABA
Jun 4
2:00 pm
TherapyPMS
Marc Malheiro
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