When I came to work at the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) in August of 2005, I was given a number of “projects” to work on, one of which was the CARD Curriculum (as it was called at the time). The CARD Curriculum had been in development for many years before I came along but was nowhere near done. At first the project wasn’t my main priority, as I had other projects, until one day that all changed.
I can recall the day vividly. I was meeting with Dr. Doreen Granpeesheh, the founder and Executive Director of CARD, on her balcony overlooking Ventura Blvd in sunny N. Los Angeles. That day she appeared extremely stressed. When I asked her what was bothering her, she told me that she had been having trouble sleeping at night. Doreen had been traveling all across the globe meeting with parents talking about ABA. She listened to these parents as they cried on her shoulder both to thank her for introducing them to God’s answer to their prayers (ABA Therapy), but also to lament over their lack of access to ABA Treatment. I can remember her saying that as every day passes that the CARD Curriculum is not available to the public, she feels progressively more sick to her stomach thinking about it. She wanted the curriculum out and ASAP! It was on that day that I offered to discontinue my work on other projects and devote myself to finishing the CARD Curriculum. I can still remember her smile when I made that promise and her joy when I said I thought I could get it done in one year’s time.
Haha! Now that was a joke. Five years later and with a staff of about 15 people, the CARD Curriculum was beta launched in October of 2010 with a brand new name, Skills®.
At the same time that Skills was being developed, a companion software, CARD eLearning™, was being developed. This new software was put together by CARD’s top clinicians to provide training on how to implement ABA-based techniques for teaching skills to children with ASD and challenging behaviors.
With the completion of CARD eLearning and Skills, Doreen’s dream had been achieved. All families could now have access to training in ABA and curriculum for treating their children. And if that wasn’t enough, they could also get Skills Consultation, wherein they could meet via video conference with a Skills expert who would hold their hand through the process.
We officially released Skills and eLearning in March of 2011 and since then we’ve had families, schools, and service providers all over the world sign up to use our programs. We couldn’t be more thrilled with its infusion into the world of ASD! Now for the first time, CARD has the ability to reach thousands through the Skills technology.
Knowing that ABA is the most effective treatment today for children with ASD and not being able to deliver it to everyone used to be so frustrating, but now we don’t have to feel that way, and it’s a very exhilarating feeling!
That’s why we are giving it away! If you enter our Skills Facebook contest you get entered in to get a chance to win 6 months of Skills FREE! Just go here: http://www.facebook.com/skillsforautism/app_28134323652 and follow the directions!! It’s simple, Like us on Facebook and share us on your wall and you get entered to win!