My name is Crystal Velez. I am certified to teach early both early childhood and childhood education and students with disabilities. I am entering my second year of teaching. Currently I teach 3K (essentially Pre-K but for 3-4 year olds). In 2015 I graduated with both my high school diploma and my Associates Degree in Liberal Arts at the age of 18. I attended the State University of New York at New Paltz for my undergraduate studies. There, I studied early childhood, childhood education and english. Upon graduating in 2018, I decided to attend the City University of New York Brooklyn College to take classes for my certification extension in Students with Disabilities. In 2020 I extended my learning further and enrolled in the State University of New York at Albany's Curriculum Development and Instructional Technology program.
My initial interest in working with children with special needs and disabilities started immediately after my youngest sibling was diagnosed. Over time I have seen first hand how much progress can be made in an individual's life when given the right tools, resources, and services. Having a sixteen and a half year age gap between us allowed me to become more aware of and involved of his needs and progress over time. I was always interested in finding a way to help my brother and I was interested in the services he was getting. As a teenager I would often ask questions and observe the therapists in my living room. I made connections through these individuals that ended up getting me a registered behavior technician position at the ABA center he attended. I worked with children on the autism spectrum of all ages both in a center and at homes on a case by case basis. Here I gained useful skills that will help me both inside and outside of the classroom. Upon working with so many diverse children of different needs, I realized I wanted to take my knowledge to the next level and become more involved with bringing efficient and useful modern technology to the world of students with disabilities. Hence, my certification in students with disabilities and my current enrollment in SUNY Albany's CDIT program.
My Topic and Purpose
The intent of this course is to assist parents, teachers, and registered behavior technicians in throughly understanding the practice of applied behavior analysis in relation to children on the autism spectrum. ABA is a practice that is not commonly known. Although registered behavior technicians typically are the individuals to implement these services, educators and parents can learn useful skills and techniques to help their child or someone they know, live comfortably.