Dr. Maria Montessori’s original work was based upon the work of Dr.s Edouard Séguin | American psychiatrist and Jean-Marc-Gaspard Itard | French physician, who was known for his work with The Wild Boy of Aveyron. You can read about Dr. Itard’s experiences and discoveries in the book, watch the movie, or listen to this short summary and relationship to the Sensitive Periods of language we often refer to in Montessori: Grammar Girl #738. Victor, the Wild Child of Aveyron (You can skip the ad between 6:50-9:22).
This story of Victor of Aveyron is an extreme example, yet still ties directly into the work of Montessori education for all children to this very day because the Montessori Materials and individual approach were designed to reach all children of all abilities. This method of adjusting to each individual child’s needs is a key component of a quality Montessori education. Individualization is also a key component in behavior analysis. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are allied health professionals who endure thousands of hours of comprehensive scientific study, hands-on training, and supervised experiences working in many areas, including schools.
Our work in behavior analysis parallels our work in Montessori because we work with children based upon their individual needs, innate desires, motivations, and personal strengths and attributes. Some people mistakenly equate all behavior sciences with behavior modification, and that is not how the field of applied behavior analysis was intended. Thankfully, a governing Board was created, with frequently updated ethical standards in order to protect the individual’s dignity, personal rights, and independence. BCBAs and the behavior therapists who work for them must follow this strict ethical code, which includes collaboration. Here is a list of core ethical principles we follow: https://www.abaethicshotline.com/core-ethical-principles/
Please communicate with any behavior therapists you are working with to let them know what is working and what is not, so they can adjust the type or level of intervention based on what is best for the child – there is no one-size-fits-all approach in Montessori or ABA.
Just as we protect the children’s work as adults, my work is to protect your work as a Guide. My aim is to provide Montessori Guides, assistants, admin, and staff, with collaborative strategies, training, coaching, and 1:1 support within the overarching framework of Montessori – it’s already built in! I work from a strength-based model and I emphasize what you are doing right and build from there. Please reach out to me with your questions, comments, or concerns: calendly.com/tier3montessori
~ erin 🙂
Erin Lopez-Brooks, AMI, M.Ed., BCBA, IBA, LBA