Who we are at ITP:
ITP was established in 2018 to respond to a broad need for accessible behavioral and coaching services in southern Indiana. ITP’s founders, Ellen Davidson, Karena Robertson, and Raphael Cornford combine their many years in education and behavioral implementation to benefit the local community through collaboration and research-based practice.
To provide both sustained and transitional support at a minimum of expense to clients by focusing on insurance-billable models, services, and practices.
To provide as much accessible, responsible care as widely as our lives and the region’s infrastructure afford us the opportunity to provide.
To follow the ethical guidelines outlined by BCBA/RBT regulations
To treat employees, coworkers, clients, and stakeholders with respect and dignity.
To follow best research-based practice on social determinants of health.
To work creatively towards the application of behavioral practice into unfamiliar and/or unexplored areas both for research and for the benefit of clients and staff.
Our Approach to Services
Your goals are our top priority! While we get input from educators, physicians, and caregivers, we focus on the individual with whom we work. What do you want? What is important to you? What will be important to you as you move into whatever phase of your life is next?
Though we love Applied Behavioral Analysis, we acknowledge that some people have had aversive or negative experiences within the field. Our programming is tailor-made for your needs, drawing on a vast array of evidence-based programming to support flexible and precise interventions. We work to help you become the person you want to be, not to make you conform to arbitrary external standards. We believe that socially significant maladaptive behaviors are barriers to living a rich and fulfilling life. We do not do “compliance training” and wherever possible work on skill-building in conjunction with behavior reduction.
We are happy to discuss examples of our programming, therapy experiences, and answer any questions. Don’t hesitate to inquire about what makes Infinite Transitions Project unique in the field!
Ellen is a co-founder at Infinite Transitions Project, bringing an extensive background in ABA and special education. She became interested in the field of behavior analysis after her son was diagnosed with Autism in 2001 and began attending an ABA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is passionate about helping individuals and their families increase their quality of life and overcome challenges.
Ellen is also a behavior consultant for IU Adapted PE program in Bloomington, she has a Masters in ABA from Florida Institute of Technology, and has worked in the field for 18 years. Ellen enjoys spending time with her family, traveling to the Florida Keys, gardening, and attending various local farmers markets and festivals.
Karena is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and co-founder at the Infinite Transition Project. Karena has been providing behavior analytic services for eleven years, with the past eight years dedicated to supporting individuals affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, and their families, in Bloomington and the surrounding areas. She received her bachelors of arts in Secondary Education at Indiana University before obtaining a master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and certification as a behavior analyst. Karena is passionate about using the practices and principles of ABA to increase executive functions and activities of daily living skills (ADLS), as well as improve the overall quality of life for the individuals that she serves. Karena is an active member of several professional scientific organizations, has served on the boards of two local foundations, and regularly attends and participates in continuing education conferences and trainings. Her work within the Bloomington community has led to a number of collaborations with local businesses, schools, universities, and special needs programs. In her spare time, Karena enjoys traveling, being outside, and spending time with her husband and two young sons.
Raphael Cornford is a co-founder at Infinite Transitions Project and has been working in education since 2011. He received his Masters in Printmaking from Indiana University and has taught and lectured at universities across the midwest. Since 2017, he has worked with people on the autism spectrum. He is motivated by helping people identify and work toward meaningful goals in their lives. In addition to his work as an educator and therapist, Raphael is a practicing artist, curator, and publisher. He is always happy to use shared interests like gaming and comics in his work with young people. Raphael lives with his partner Melanie and their three cats.
What is ABA?
ABA is the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvement in human behavior. ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relations between environment and behavior. ABA uses changes in environmental events, including antecedent stimuli (thing or event) and consequences, to produce practical and significant changes in behavior.
These relevant environmental events are usually identified through a variety of specialized assessment methods. During this assessment period, a number of intervention techniques may be tested. Through the use of trial and error, a behavior intervention will be implemented based on the most conducive therapy methods for that individual. ABA is based on the fact that an individual’s behavior is determined by past and current environmental events in conjunction with organic variables (such as their genetic endowment and ongoing physiological variables). ABA focuses on treating behavioral difficulties by changing the individual’s environment rather than focusing on variables that are, at least presently, beyond our direct access.
ABA practitioners use the Least Restrictive Treatment Model. The least restrictive treatment is defined as that treatment that affords the most favorable risk-to benefit ratio, with specific consideration of probability of treatment success, anticipated duration of treatment, distress caused by procedures, and distress caused by the behavior itself. Less restrictive procedures must be ruled out before more restrictive interventions (such as physical management, restraint, and seclusion) may be employed.
What might an ABA program look like?
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders require the use of effective interventions. Based on the National Autism Center’s National Standards Report, the following components meet the criteria of research-based, effective interventions for children with ASD:
Antecedent manipulation: modification of situational events that precede the target behavior. These alterations are designed to increase the likelihood of success of the targeted behavior. Examples include: prompt/fading procedures, behavioral momentum, contrived motivational operations, inter-trial intervals, incorporation special interests, etc.
Behavioral treatment: programs designed to decrease problem behaviors and to increase functional alternative behaviors. Examples include: functional communication training, chaining, discrete trial training, mand training, generalization training, reinforcement, shaping, etc.
Comprehensive intervention: low student to teacher ratio (1:1, or low as appropriate) in a variety of settings, including home school and community. Effective programs are based on a treatment manual, provide intensive treatment (25hrs/wk+), and include data-driven decision-making.
Joint attention intervention: programs designed to teach a child to respond to the social bids of another, or to initiate joint attention interactions. Examples include: pointing to objects, showing items, activities to another, and following eye gaze.
Modeling: adults or peers provide a demonstration of the target behavior; the student is expected to imitate. Thus, imitation skills are a necessary prerequisite to this type intervention. Modeling is often combined with prompting and reinforcement strategies which can assist the student to acquire imitation skills.
Naturalistic teaching strategies: use of child-initiated interactions to teach functional skills in the natural environment. This intervention requires providing a stimulating environment, modeling play, providing choices, encouraging conversation and rewarding reasonable attempts
Peer training: involves training peers without disabilities strategies for interacting (play and social) with children with autism. Some commonly known peer-training programs include: circle of friends, buddy skills, peer networks, etc.
Pivotal response training: program designed to target specific, “pivotal,” behaviors that lead to improvement across a broad range of behaviors. These pivotal behaviors include: motivation to engage in social communication, self-initiation, self-management, responsiveness to multiple cues, etc.
Schedules: teaching a student to follow a task list (picture- or word-based) through a series of activities or steps in order to complete a specific activity. Schedules are accompanied by other behavioral interventions, including reinforcement.
Self-management: this treatment intervention teaches a student to regulate his or her behavior by recording the occurrence or non-occurrence of the target behavior, and secure reinforcement for doing so.
Story-based interventions: involves a written description of the situations under which specific behaviors are expected to occur. The stories seek to teach the: who, what, when, where and why of social interactions to improve perspective taking. The most well-known of these interventions is Carol Gray’s “Social Stories.”
Caregiver support is at the core of our practice at ITP. We want to be there as a comfort and as practical aides to your loved one's continued skill building, growing independence, and self-actualization. Research has shown that programming is most effective during all waking hours--let us help you whenever we can't be there directly.
From appointments multiple times a week to biweekly sessions, from in person to remote, ITP works with your schedule, insurance coverage, and budget to provide the supports that are right for your whole family!
Share your struggles
Have a receptive and informed confidant with our experienced team. Commiserate with a sympathetic and highly-informed member of our staff who understands the challenges faced by caregivers to those with special needs--we’ve been there too!
Matching your commitment to neurodiversity
ITP builds strategies and interventions around your families' priorities and the goals and desires of your loved one. We build intrinsic motivation for emerging skills as the behaviors that you have identified to reduce are replaced by functional and appropriate ones, all the while giving you and your loved one maximum control and agency over treatment and programming. Through regularly scheduled meetings, your loved one’s treatment plan is consistently updated as they continue to grow and change. ITP does not do “compliance training” as a part of our ABA programming. Instead, we focus on developing your skills, talents, interests, and goals.
Improve relationships and ease tension
Minimize conflict with your loved one by learning individualized strategies to support them through difficult routines in your day-to-day life. From toothbrushing to meal times to visiting extended family, our dedicated staff have years of experience both as parents and professionals in the field. Our team has seen it all, so lean on that experience and enjoy better living day-to-day.
Learn effective strategies for managing difficult transitions
From small transitions like bedtime to the big ones like moving or going to a new school, ITP caregiver support gives you valuable strategies in tricky situations. Learn techniques to manage expectations, build behavioral momentum, and transition from high preference activities like video games to low preference ones like chores without all the ruckus!
Set your loved one up for their personal best
Two heads are better than one, and a whole team is even better! Get extra support reviewing your strategies for prompting at home. Learn to shape the habits and routines that build independence and support best outcomes for your loved one! With a vast library of evidence-based and data-supported strategies to pull from, ITP tailors our supports and strategies to your family’s needs.
Executive Functioning Support
Our approach to ABA often includes executive functioning (EF) support, particularly for older learners. Following George McCloskey’s identification of executive functions, our programming promotes generalization of those skills that allow you or your loved one to navigate socially significant environments from home to school to the workplace. In particular, we have worked extensively to support learners in their teen and young adult years by focusing on EF skills.
Executive Functions in your everyday life
Marvin (4 years old) has had a hard time putting the iPad away when it is time for bed, with EF support he can learn to interrupt his favorite iPad activities and smoothly transition into bedtime.
Sophia (12 years old) can't keep track of her school supplies, her chargers, and her homework--it's been really hard for her folks to get her prepared for school on weekdays, but with EF support she picks up organizational skills that make mornings better for the whole family.
Alex (21 years old) has been ordering excessively from online retailers and has been having negative interactions with his coworkers, but with EF coaching he can learn to inhibit his spending and have coping strategies at work.
What are Executive Functions?
Executive functions are not the mental processes that we use to think, act, or feel, but rather the processes that direct us to do so. Our approach to programming centers your needs and the skills you need to use in the most important parts of your life. Starting with your strengths, we successively build layers of EF support to allow you or your loved one to access their skills across environments, providing a smooth pathway to achieving your goals.
Here is how McCloskey describes EF skills, from (http://www.fasp.org/PDF_Files/School_Neuropsychology/Executive_Functions-A_General_Overview_McCloskey.pdf):
Inhibiting reflexive, impulsive responding;
Stopping, or interrupting, and returning to, an ongoing activity;
Directing and focusing attentional processes, screening out interference and distractions, and sustaining attention
Cueing the initiation of effort and judgments about the amount of effort required to complete a task, and the sustaining of a sufficient amount of effort to effectively complete the task
Demonstrating flexibility to consider the need for changes and the capacity for shifting of cognitive resources to focus on new demands or to respond to new conditions or new information
Directing the efficient use of, and alternation between, pattern and detail processing (Knowing when to focus on the “big picture” and when to concentrate on the details, and when to switch between the two).
Monitoring and regulating speed of information processing; finding the right combination of speed and accuracy for optimal performance of an activity
Monitoring and correcting task performance for accuracy and efficiency
Overseeing the selection of verbal-nonverbal and abstract-concrete information
Directing motor output, altering performance based on feedback
Directing the efficient use of fluid reasoning resources
Directing the use of working memory resources – that is, directing the ability to hold and mentally manipulate information
Directing the efficient and fluent production of language when highly specific production demands are made
Directing the integration of multiple abilities to produce oral or written responses or products that reflect the level of capacity of the component abilities involved
Directing the efficient placement of information in long-term storage
Directing the retrieval of information from long-term storage
Regulating social behavior
Regulating emotional control
Enabling self-observation and self-analysis
Making use of hindsight and foresight in the direction of current processing
Enabling the capacity to “take the perspective of the other” in order to infer how someone is perceiving, thinking, or feeling at a given point in time