At the moment, ABA Senegal offers services in-home and in-school.
- Limited availability in our donated therapy room.
October 2017 - April 2018
April 2018 - Sept 2019
Practicum (1500 hours) -- Clinic Preparation
The Co-Directors prepare for their own practicum hours to start in Dakar. This involves:
Completing training coursework (Oct 2017-Oct 2018)
Securing practicum locations and clients
Securing funding for startup materials (see our GoFundMe campaign)
Acquiring startup materials (furnishings, toys, and therapy supplies - thank you DevelopAfrica, N&M, and Stephen Bailey for your kind help and donations!)
Securing distance supervision
The Co-Directors go through their coursework and practicum hours and sit the BCBA exam in August 2019. Practicums will be carried out in donated spaces, in home settings, and in clients' school settings.
During this time, preparations for the opening of the day center will be carried out. This includes:
Model-specific training via additional online distance learning tools
In progress: PRT and DTT distance training underway
Determining and fine-tuning the nature of our intervention model, schedule, and activities.
Formal registration in Dakar
Preparing to take on clinic clients, employees, and volunteers (determination of needs, setup of contracts, handbooks, & policies).
Sit the BCBA exam. If all goes well, we continue.
Sept 2019: Adair has passed her exam and is now BCBA-certified! Quesia will sit the exam at a later
Fundraising for project startup and preparing for maintenance needs
Securing a location to house the clinic (rented)
Setting up the space: Paint, furnishings, etc.
Making hires, staff orientation and training, as well as transitioning current clients to the center
Adair's current team will transfer over, plus new hires will be made
Networking and community grounding - Local: Connect with local special needs schools and centers, assess needs, and build relationships. Global: Connecting with wider-reaching entities and organizations such as universities, embassies, local and nonlocal nonprofits & NGOs and governmental structures, as well as other ABA programs in Africa. Additionally, finding opportunities to receive distance consulting and CEUs.
Always in progress!
The First Year
Supported by local educational specialists, ABA Senegal's program aims to include a blend of one-on-one intervention and enriching group activities. Additionally, all students will be evaluated for readiness for integration into local schools based on a 3-tier system. Students can attend the program at full-time or half-time depending on their needs.
Parent support and open communication will continue to be very highly valued! We consider parents a part of our team and will be open to their input.
The Directors will place a high emphasis on staff training (not to mention headhunting for future BCBAs!).
During this time, our services will be subject to further supervision and consultation from the U.S.
End-of-year student body goal: 6 students
At the end of Year 3 our Directors may transition to fully independent caseload management and may take on supervisees who wish to begin their own formal education in ABA (Masters degree and English-language required) - However, consultation from a diverse range of ABA specialists will still be sought. We also hope to have secured occasional speech and occupational therapy consults by visiting specialists whenever possible, as well as regular volunteers via university or independent placement.
By the beginning of Year 2 we hope to begin establishing a small nonprofit with the following goals: 1) Aid in providing quality direct services with quality materials and staff here in Senegal (lessening the financial load on the families of our students), 2) Contribute to dissemination and awareness of autism and science-backed ABA information to the community, and 3) Contribute to the education of Senegalese individuals pursuing a career in ABA (in addition to providing supervision).
By the end of Year 2, with the help of other ABA practitioners in West Africa and elsewhere, we hope to successfully petition the BACB to include French as an examination language for all ABA certification levels. We also hope to begin collaboration towards a French-language, fully online BCBA course sequence. If this is successful, the doors to further education for Senegalese professionals will be open (granted funds and travel means).
Year 3 student body goal: 12 students (no more than 16, no more than 2 added per month across 2 BCBAs)
In Year 3, we will aim to hire an Activities Administrator from the local communities in Dakar, as we Directors anticipate increasing participation in special projects. Our greatest hope will be that this individual, if not one of our interventionists, can obtain BCBA certification via our aid and supervision, though we will need to plan accordingly if not possible due to the large language barrier between Senegalese francophone speakers and most ABA materials and resources, which are in English.
Further employee expansion may include administration staff for the nonprofit, office staff, and regular clinical contribution by specialists.
By end of Year 3 we hope to have accumulated satisfactory progress data to apply for grants to expand the project.
By the end of Year 4 we hope to have secured real estate in or near Dakar to build a larger space in order to expand and welcome more students (a quicker alternative would be buy a pre-existing building, depending on growth needs). Construction would be expected to take 1-3 years, well-underway in Year 5.
If a third BCBA is taken on at the center, our Year 5 student body goal would be 24, housed in the new location (Year 5 or 6, though several are expected to be enrolled in school full-time).
Assuming training up to the level of BCBA is possible for francophone speakers, and assuming a Senegalese Masters degree is accepted by the BACB as secondary education, we would aim to produce 5-10 new BCBAs by Year 10. Our dream is that a number of these BCBAs would wish to work in a variety of locations in Senegal, particularly outside of the urban center of Dakar. By Year 10 we would aim for two new centers to be in the process of development or completed. Additionally, we hope that several BCBAs would wish to start their own independent treatment and consulting businesses as the field grows beyond our own walls, granted a high standard to evidence-based practices via outside consultation.
Our own centers should aim to house a relatively low student body, 30-40 students maximum within 6+ classrooms, to maintain space and flexibility for a 1:1 student-therapist ratio as well as quality, student-centered management practices.