Julie L. Preuss
Learning occurs with listening: child led, identity centered,
& family focused
It was about 20 years ago when I knew that I wanted to work with children. I enjoy learning and teaching others, so that was naturally the way I started on this path. After volunteering in a few classrooms, I realized I wanted to work one-on-one with children, so that I could devote my time on their specific needs. Through some mentoring and helpful advice, I ended up becoming a behavioral therapist. And I love it!
As a mom of two teenagers, I have learned that children are constantly changing. To be honest, they are constantly teaching me ways I can improve on listening to their needs. It's a never ending lesson on humility.
My children attended a Reggio Emilia preschool, ever so long ago. That philosophy of letting a child lead the teacher to "listen" to their interests and how to use those moments as teaching opportunities just really resonated with me.
During and after my practicum work for my behavior analysis degree, I had the opportunity to work in a classroom that used a similar art education program called Project Construct. We let the children explore art and nature, letting them guide their master pieces instead of the adult.
Additionally, I was ESDM trained, which is an interdisciplinary approach to autism therapy, based on the principles of applied behavior analysis but developmentally focused. ESDM incorporates occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech-pathology into its framework. Ultimately, goals written for children are individualized to help them thrive in all these domains as they grow. ESDM is one of several therapy models that provide Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Interventions (NDBI). (See my NDBI tab for more information on this topic)
I also have experience with adults with disabilities, including Autism, Intellectual Disability and Psychiatric/Dual diagnosis. To help me be more person-centered in my practice, I have done training on person-centered thinking with Helen Anderson Associates. Additionally, I recently got a certificate in Positive Psychology, which isn't really anything that special but hopefully demonstrates to others that this perspective is important to me. Positive Psychology provides practitioners evidence-based antecedent strategies for well-being. How this can be integrated with behavior analysis can be found at A New Plan
I have completed Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) for Beginners, by Russ Harris. Currently, I am taking some more CEUs on ACT to broaden my use and training in this method.
On my site you will find more information about ESDM, Project Construct and other educational art philosophies, my independent research, and some photos from my travels abroad. Please reach out to me if you would like to connect and collaborate!