An Interview with Alexandra Ranieri-Deniken, PsyD: Part 2
Today is the
follow-up from last week's interview with licensed clinical psychologist, Alexandra
Ranieri-Deniken, PsyD, of
the Behavioral & Developmental Services Department at Special People In Northeast (SPIN), Inc,
Below are some of
the follow-up questions I sent to Dr. Ranieri-Deniken, along with her
When you say "behavioral health
consultations," can you tell us a bit more? Is it solely
trainings? I know you have come into our classrooms in the past and
observed. Can you talk about that a bit?
health consultation encompasses a lot of modalities - assisting teachers
with supporting children in their classroom by the use of the pyramid method
(as viewed on theCenter on the Social and
Emotional Foundations for Early Learning website), meaning that we can address behavior from a
broad perspective with the use of use classroom techniques for building
relationships with children and having an environment in the classroom that
supports and promotes learning for all children.
We also discuss direct teaching of
social-emotional skills. Children that are displaying challenging behaviors
are often coming from an area of skill deficit in key areas and need to be
taught different skills to identify and manage emotions in a safe, healthy and
socially acceptable way. When I do consultations, we discuss the skills of
the children as well as the teachers and whether or not a child needs some of
the broader supports or more intensive interventions.
When I observe in classrooms, I
look at the overall skills of the children to help identify where there may be
social-emotional skills deficits as well as areas where teachers can adjust
their classroom management style to encourage
more appropriate behavior.
Do you work with SLPs when you are doing the
consultations or just the trainings?
Just the trainings. The consultations have mainly been with teachers,
staff and administrators.
I would also think SLPs are often the ones creating the
picture schedules/supports for the child/class. Is this correct?
They are often the ones that create them. I have
done it before through the use of the program Boardmaker®.
You mentioned last week that therapists should make sure
"all entities are heard in developing a behavior support plan." Can you expand on that?
Who should be included? Is there one person who needs to be the main contact
and organize the team?
My main concern is that anyone who
has contact with the child has their opinion represented in the meeting. Different
disciplines, in addition to family members, are going to have their unique view
of the child, and the more perspectives we have, the more data we have to pull
from, and the more specific we can make interventions for the child.
There should definitely be one consistent contact person that organizes the
meetings and keeps in touch with everyone so that nothing is missed in
developing a plan and having a follow-up. Just as we discussed in the
training, you will get different data from different people, and being able to
access as much of the child's support network as possible makes for a better
outcome and follow-up on a behavior support plan.
How do you become involved with certain schools and
organizations? Do they contact you for a consultation when they are in need of
In the grant, I was contacted
to be the "coach" or consultant. I did not pick the sites that were involved -
it was pre-determined through the grant that I am working under.
Thank you for providing the website resources. This
blog reaches people worldwide and we have had therapists and parents write
in from all over the world. Would these sites only be helpful for people
living here in the Philadelphia and surrounding
areas, just the US, or beyond?
The CSEFEL website is not specific to Philadelphia - they are resources that
could be used by just about anyone out there.
Please feel free to post
any questions you may have for Dr. Alexandra
Ranieri-Deniken. Hope these resources have been helpful!