Upendo Behavior Services
Hellen Odumbe, B.C.B.A., M.Ed.
Theory to Practice
Janel Astor, M.A. Ed.
Do you struggle to help the school understand what makes your child tick?
Do you need help advocating for your child with the school district?
Do you have questions or concerns about your child's IEP meeting?
Do you have questions/concerns about your child's current placement?
Do you need referral for a clinical diagnosis?
Does your child have trouble following directions or rules?
Does your child have extreme temper tantrums?
Does your child hit, kick or pinch?
Does your child engage in self injurious behavior?
Does your child scream or cry more than is expected?
Does your child struggle to express their wants or needs?
Does your child stuggle in social situations?
Does your child have trouble making or keeping friends?
Does your child misinterpret social cues?
Does your child play with toys or peers appropriately?
Does your child take turns during play?
Do you or your child's teacher want to help, but don't know how?
Does your child have trouble regulating their emotions?
Is your child perpetually late, messy or disorganized?
Does your child struggle to start their homework?
Does your child do their homework and not turn it in?
Does your child understand the passage of time?
Does your child have trouble with flexibility, i.e. transtions, changes in plans
I am not a medical practitioner, but rather a developmental specialist, relying heavily on education as well as on experience (over 30 years!) in my field. My work with children is informed by my practice(s) and includes collaboration with family, the child and teams/professionals also working with the child. I really do love to work with schools and enjoy working on IEP's with everyone cocerned for better outcomes.
This approach differs from a medical or behavioral approach in that my goal is to understand what competencies/skill(s) should be better supported to effect change rather than only "fixing" or replacing the behavior. My work is focused on helping children, parents and schools understand what strategies, tips and tricks can make a difference and developing practical advice for parents, caregivers and teachers on how to best work with the child at home or school. I like to include families in my sessions as much as possible and also provide advocacy and support for IEP's and school meetings.
I earned a B.A. in Child Development and a Master's in Special Education before getting my credential in Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE). For many years I worked with children and their families as an early interventionist becoming very knowledgeable in understanding early development, developmental delays and family systems. I also worked as a behavior and developmental specialist providing homevists for a developmental pediatrician and finally, co-founded a clinic practice with 2 other partners focused on children with social cognitive and executive function delays such as ADHD and Autism.
As a Developmental Specialist, I value collaborating with and supporting families, educators, and other professionals to identify a child’s areas of need and strength.
I am a dynamic, astute and experienced practitioner in the field of mental and behavioral health. Upon completing my Master of Arts degree in Special Education, I became a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). My background in mental and behavioral health, reflects skills and accomplishments gained through my work in settings such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) clinics, in-home therapy, in school districts and in acute hospital settings. My experience and training allows me to excel in conducting Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) and developing Behavior Support/Intervention Plans (BSP/ BIP). I am also well versed in the implementation and training of both staff and parents in employing various methodologies including but not limited to; Natural Environment Teaching (NET), Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS).
I am passionate about service provision rooted in cultural competence and cultural sensitivity. Given that the population is increasingly diverse, it is essential that I, as a practitioner, recognize and strive for cultural competence in service provision. Keeping in mind that a lot of the kiddos I serve have/will likely experience trauma, I am constantly striving for a more trauma informed approach in the care provided to clients. As a practitioner, being able to create a company and embed these important aspects that are of value to me in service provision and extending that to client’s families and other stakeholders is my version of "changing the world with ABA."
Janel Astor and Hellen Odumbe
Janel is one of the few people in my son's life who truly 'gets him'. She has amazing insights into his strengths and challenges and has helped him to recognize what a great kid he is, and how to negotiate what often seems like a difficult world. In addition, her help in advocating for him with the school system has been invaluable, and has ensured that he has had the services he needs.
– Kimberley F. (Parent)
Connecting with Theory to Practice or Upendo!
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Janel can be reached at 650-483-8105