Episode #76 The Autism Helper, Inc., Interview with Sasha Long, BCBA, M.A

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  Sasha Long, BCBA, M.A., is the founder and president of The Autism Helper, Inc. She is a board-certified behavior analyst and
former special education teacher. Sasha works full-time as a consultant, writer, and behavior analyst. Sasha manages and writes
The Autism Helper Blog, as a way to share easy-to-use and ready-to-implement strategies and ideas. Sasha also travels
internationally as a speaker and consultant providing individualized training and feedback to parents, educators, therapists, and
administrators in the world of autism. She is currently an adjunct professor in the school of Applied Behavior Analysis at The
Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Sasha received her undergraduate degree in Special Education from Miami University
and has a Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

You can learn more about Sasha Long, BCBA,M.A., and The Autism Helper, Inc. here https://theautismhelper.com/our-team/

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sasha, membership, autism, parents, enrollment, strategies, teachers, classroom, special ed teacher, share, helper, behavior analyst, work, training, ideas, kids, sessions, learn, submission form, videos

Hey everybody,

welcome back to and Hey everybody. Welcome back to another episode of the autism and action podcast. I'm Tosha Rollins, your host and today we have another very special guest. We've got Miss Sasha long. She is with the autism helper. Sasha long is the founder and president of the autism helper Incorporated. She is a Board Certified behavior analyst and former special education teacher. Sasha works full time as a consultant, writer and behavior analyst. Sasha manages and writes the autism helper blog as a way to share easy to use and ready to implement strategies and ideas. Sasha also travels internationally as a speaker and consultant, providing individualized training and feedback to parents, educators, therapists and administrators in the world of autism. She is currently an adjunct professor in the School of Applied Behavior Analysis at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Sasha received her undergraduate degree in special education from Miami University and has a master's degree in applied behavioral analysis from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology. Sasha, thank you so much for taking the time to be here today. I'm so excited to meet you and learn all about what you have to offer the world of autism.

Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to share.

Thank you. Well, if you would just kind of do an introduction of what the autism helper is, and how you serve families and support.

Yeah, I'll kind of like rewind a little bit to the beginning. I am a former special education teacher. And you know, you were just sharing that you started this podcast from a parent perspective, because you were hungry for resources. And that was similar to my story. I was a teacher and I was hungry for resources, I felt wildly unprepared in my role as a special ed teacher. Because that degree is so broad, you know, you are certified to teach preschool through high school as a special ed teacher, which a lot of people don't realize. So you kind of know a little bit of a lot. And then you get into this classroom, and you're like, boom, behind, there's a lot I don't know yet. So I was hungry for resources and ideas just everywhere. I actually got my masters while I was in the classroom, because I wanted to know what to do next, and how to serve my students the best and I saw so much potential in them, but like, didn't know how to get over those hurdles. So I started, you know, learning and researching and getting my masters. And after that, I just wanted to share my ideas with everyone. And this was before Pinterest, this was before Instagram. So I just you know, I started a blog and taking photos on a digital camera, and making my who my husband were married at the time, my boyfriend at the time, come in and take video tours in my classroom because I was like, This is what I would want to know, if I was a teacher, I'd want to see other ideas and other people's classrooms because as a special ed teacher, you're oftentimes like alone are one of only two or three classrooms in the building. So from there just grew, it continued to snowball from, you know, a blog to later a podcast. And I started doing speaking and consulting after I was a behavior analyst. And now we have online courses and a professional development membership. So really, I just want to share best practices that can be utilized in a busy classroom in a busy household in, you know, the clinical setting that can generalize outside of a center based, you know, environment, and share those ideas with teachers with parents and with clinicians who are working with individuals boxes up. So that's kind of like long story long.

You offer so much that is just incredible. And so you primarily work with during the special ed special ed now. Okay, so you primarily work a lot with students one on one, I'm sorry, I'm not a teacher anymore. I'm no you're not okay. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah. Um, so with your membership, can you kind of run through what you look for there for a client?

Yes. So, you know, I pre COVID I did quite a bit of traveling, doing workshops and conferences, which I love doing. And I and I do truly miss that about COVID. Now, but, um, I know, right, but it also got to be a lot like it, you know, I have little kids. So I limited how many events I did in the year and I saw that a few struggles that I had with going to a district and doing a full day session. One was that I had no ongoing relationship with those teachers or those parents who came, you know, I came for the day and as you can tell already, I talk really fast. So I gave a just a ton of information like I was, I'm gonna give you everything I can in six hours because I got on a plane to get here and I want to, I want to give you everything, and then I leave. And it just it always felt like I'm like ghosting people like, what about their follow up questions? What about when they go home? And they try this with their son or their daughter? And then they have a question like, what do we do next? And also I knew that it was information overload. You can't sit in a six hour training and take everything. No, I mean, no one, you know, so even. So that's kind of how this idea for the membership develops that I was like, What if we basically broke up my trainings into small bite sized sessions, delivered it on a monthly basis, and then kind of allowed that opportunity for collaboration, not only with me, but with other parents with other teachers. And we started it almost three years ago, this September. And on a monthly basis, you get short training videos, five to 10 minutes, you can watch them in your prep, you can watch them on your kids are napping on concepts that you can use right away. And then we have that collaboration aspect. So we actually just moved our membership over to a new website and an app, which is really cool. So all the activity feed is right there. And it's fun to see people connecting like, oh, is anyone else, a parent of a teenager? What are you doing for this? Or is anyone else an SLP? working this setting? What are you doing for this and able to connect with people from really around the world. So that's what the membership is. And it's, it's been one of the best things I've ever built, because it's full of true rock stars, like, you know, the go getters, the parents that are like, yep, I'm gonna, when my kid gets home from school, we're doing more work, because they've got to you know, and so I love getting the opportunity to, you know, work with with that group.

Awesome. Now with your speaking and consulting and going around and talking to different, you talk to different schools, administration, that kind of thing. If someone wanted to reach out to you about that, what would be the best way for them to get in touch with you? Yeah,

great question. So my website, the autism helper comm, we actually recently redid it, which was very exciting, it's a lot easier to find everything, you can just click on speaking. And there's a submission form. In 2021, I'm only doing virtual sessions, which has its pros and cons, you know, we're all sick of the screen, I get it. But for me, I can do a lot more. So I can do a lot more sessions because I don't have to quite worry about jumping on a plane and flying somewhere else. So we've been making the best of it. So yeah, there's a submission form there. I do a lot on behavior. I do a lot on classroom setup. Data Collection, which is so needed. No one's like, the data collection. One is one of my favorites. No one's like, thrilled to go to it. But then they leave. And they're like, yes, like I can take data, I can do this. Yes.

Now with the courses that you offer, do you have standalone courses outside the membership? We do?

Yeah. So we actually, Tuesday just wrapped up our our enrollment for our second course, we have two courses. The first one is on positive behavior change. We opened up enrollment last spring for that right as COVID head and we had 2500 parents, teachers clinicians go through that, we heard really great things like similar to the membership, it's all broken up into bite sized pieces, 510 minute videos, you can go at your own pace, that course is still currently open. So we we kind of closed enrollment on that for a while, we like to get everyone in and go through it together. And we reopen that recently. So that one will stay open comes with a really cool toolkit because I'm big on, you know, you want to learn the strategies. And then you want the stuff right like, as a teacher, I used to sit in trainings being like, Oh, God, I got so much work to do like making all the things. So the course also comes with the option of a toolkit that you get with all kinds of the tools that you might need to put the strategies into action. Our last course that we just closed enrollment on is called the roadmap to reading and that I've been working on for like a year, it feels like my fourth child. And I saw that there was such a gap in kind of the training field for special ed on literacy and read it. And no one's talking about what are the best practices for teaching kids with autism and kids with special needs, how to read in the right way, utilizing evidence based, you know, strategies. So I did a ton of research and kind of went through everything I've been doing and put it all together in a way that's going to really leave teachers and parents with like, a path and a plan. Like these are the steps I need to do to teach reading to my student because reading is everything like it's Yes. It's just I mean, it's, you know, when parents sometimes or teachers will ask me even like, you know, for my junior high high school kids, when do I go from, from academics to life skills, and I'm like, never, never Oh, never. He's like, you're always academics are life's, you can't, you know, be be a meaningful member of a community or a household without having literacy skills. So that's something I'm obviously very passionate about talking about, but that was we just closed enrollment in that and everyone's getting started in the modules right now.

Awesome, awesome. Well, Sasha, is there anything else at all that you would like to share? With our listeners today,

well, we have a ton of free resources. You know, the courses in the memberships are, you know those paid components. But if you want to kind of get your feet wet and start learning different strategies or figuring out my style, we share a lot of free strategies through our blog. Right now we have seven bloggers on our blogging team. So it's not just me, we also have the two preschool teachers, we have an elementary teacher, we have a parents, an SLP, and an OT. So it's kind of nice, because it's everyone's different perspectives. Yes. All on one place, which is really fun. I also have a podcast which is to me like such a fun way to learn, like as a podcast listener, you know, you can, you can multitask, you can go on a walk, you can do the dishes. We have a we did a great series last fall called mini eight, the mini ABA series, and I interviewed a whole bunch of behavior analysts again on those short episodes, like people love the big episodes, but also they like the short one. Yeah, yeah, make it consumable. Yeah, you know. Um, so that's a great resource to kind of get started. And then we share a lot on social media, you know, on Instagram, on Facebook, and on YouTube. We have a ton of different videos and tutorials, a lot of our bloggers utilize different strategies and show it on video. One, one of the bloggers does a lot with her son and shows kind of how to use things which is always fun. So there's a lot of free ways to learn new strategies and new ideas and kind of just jump in. Awesome. Well, thank

you so much for taking time to be here today. I can't wait to jump in all of you listeners out there. Go check out the autism helper calm and all the valuable resources services that Sasha long offers. Thank you

Let's Discuss!

Now, we would love to hear from you.

Do you have questions? Do you have ideas? Do you have an opinion? Do you think we missed something?

Let's have a discussion in the comments below or head over to the Autism in Action Facebook group. We would love to hear from you!

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