For the past year and a half it has been my pleasure to serve as the Behavior Specialist for the Potomac Center in Romney, West Virginia, a residential placement center for children with intellectual/developmental disabilities and severe behavioral issues. I am particularly passionate about this work because the Potomac Center takes in the children that no one else will, children who have been unsuccessful in virtually every environment, and who other residential centers turn away from. I have worked with Potomac Center staff to redesign their program under the guidelines of applied behavior analysis, trained staff in the principles of ABA and CBT, and incorporated new emotional regulation and anger management CBT strategies into the programs. I designed the behavior plans, crisis plans, and skill acquisition programs for each resident, and designed a data reporting and monitoring system to continually assess progress across skills and maladaptive behaviors. Working with the incredible Potomac Center team, I have had the pleasure of both helping the center to pioneer a model program, and witnessing the amazing growth and success of children who came to us labeled “incorrigible”, “unteachable”, and “beyond help”.
Wendy Knowles, M.S., BCBA, LHMC