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School Services

NEW!

I have been working with school personnel since my Boston days back in the mid-1980's.  In California, most of my work has involved psychological and functional behavior assessment, training, and behavior program design.  I became certified as a Non-Public Agency with the California Department of Education 1996.  Since then, my practice has evolved to include functional behavior assessments, psychoeducational evaluations, staff seminars, and social skills group programs.  I particularly enjoy including useful technology when working with children and adolescents to enhance their motivation for behavior change.  I also find that comprehensive data collection strategies can be extremely useful to schools and families in both identifying significant areas to target as well as tracking student progress.

Click on any of the areas below to learn more:

About Behavioral Consultation
About Functional Analysis Assessments

Why is data collection so important?
About Psychological Assessment
Multi-Rater behavior assessment (Rapid Screener)
Kids and Computers:  Turning what they love to into effective treatment
Social skills group programs
Online Presentation:  Helping Students by Looking Through the Wrong End of the Telescope

Read why data collection is so important

Behavioral Consultation  Top

Dr. Gale provides behavioral consulting services, working with school districts and privately with children and families. Behaviors to be targeted often include:  oppositional or defiant behavior; impulse control problems; social anxiety and fears and other behavior problems that significantly impact individuals and/or family members.

Most challenging behaviors occur for reasons that are not always immediately obvious. Typically, consultation begins with developing an understanding of the factors that maintain unacceptable or interfering behaviors. This may occur through a variety of techniques, including but not limited to:

  • Parent Interview: Usually done in the office, although , without the child present, (it can also be conducted by telephone). This provide an opportunity to learn about important details in the child's life and background history.

  • Observation at school or home: Since the goal of therapy isn't really to improve the child's functioning in the office, it's best to observe the problems where they actually occur. This can occur in a variety of ways, sometimes through individual observations and sometimes within small groups. Depending upon the kind of difficulty occurring, structured data may be helpful or simply taking process notes during the observation may be sufficient.

  • Psychometric and developmental questionnaires: These psychological tools are helpful in "drilling down" and providing information about the child's skills and situations that precede challenging behaviors. Giving these questionnaires to the parent(s), teacher(s), and/or other significant individuals helps paint a profile of how the child functions in different settings and with different individuals.

  • Development of a Behavior Plan: Based on the information developed from the assessment, a behavioral strategy is developed. Depending upon the child's age, circumstances, and other factors, they may or may not be involved in the implementation of the treatment plan. It is critical that some form of data collection be included to monitor the effectiveness of treatment.

Dr. Gale has also developed specialized assessments for children and adolescents based upon their specific treatment needs.  His latest instrument, the C-BATT Rapid Screener, helps rapidly identify problem behaviors broken down into descriptive categories.  This on-line instrument can be completed by any adult who knows the individual being rated reasonably well.  Although the tool itself is descriptive, it links to nationally normed instruments and can produce an acuity index, if needed.  It also links to Dr. Gale's other C-BATT online programs.

What is a Functional Analysis Assessment?  Top

The purpose of a Functional Analysis Assessment is to determine what behaviors are interfering with a child's ability to profit from or access his or her educational program.

The main steps involved in an FAA/FBA are as follows:

  1. Initial interview with school and/or parents to develop the specific reason the assessment is being conducted

  2. Observation at school

  3. Teacher consultation

  4. Parent consultation

  5. Data collection or psychometric surveys highlighting positive adaptive behaviors that facilitate learning and interfering behaviors that impede learning, present a risk to the child, or disrupt the learning of his or her peers.

  6. Data analysis to determine frequency, and severity of interfering behaviors; factors maintaining interfering behaviors

  7. Interviewing the student alone or in a small group with school permission

  8. Ecobehavioral assessment

  9. Reinforcer assessment

  10. Report write-up

  11. Recommendations

  12. Review at IEP meeting

  13. If requested, team-driven development of behavior intervention program

Psychological Assessment  Top

Psychodiagnostic and psychoeducational assessment is available for children aged 5-22, and adults with suspected developmentally disabling conditions and social-emotional problems.  Dr. Gale specializes in assessing cognition, learning, attention, executive functioning, social-emotional functioning and adaptive behavior as part of the evaluation process

The main steps in Psychological Assessments are as follows:

  1. Initial interview with school and/or parents to develop the specific reason the assessment is being conducted

  2. Review of prior records and/or assessments - (did you know some tests cannot be given more than once per 6-12 months or it invalidates the findings?)

  3. Observation at school (before the student knows me)

  4. Meeting with student to administer psychological tests (preferably at my private office, where sounds and environment can be controlled more easily than at school.  E.g., no bells going off, people walking by the room, other noises and distractions that are often present when testing in school settings.)

  5. If social-emotional function is a requested portion of the assessment, this will be conducted both using standardized measures and through a "functional assessment" of the behaviors that interfering with functioning.

  6. Administration of parent, teacher, or individual questionnaires or surveys to gather information about behavior, personality, or specific behavior patterns

  7. Teacher consultation

  8. Parent or Relative consultation

  9. Report write-up

  10. Recommendations

  11. Attendance at IEP Meeting, if requested