Q: How long have you been an Ukeru trainer?
A: From the beginning!
Q: What population do you work with? What inspired you to get into this field?
A: I currently train staff. During my direct care days, I primarily worked with children with autism and developmental disabilities.
Q: What part of Ukeru do you enjoy teaching the most and why?
A: I love talking about the brain and brain development and trauma and the brain, as well as Comfort vs. Control because those seemed to be the discussions that generated “aha” moments for many people that were the impetus for true culture change. I’m also a behaviorist and emphasizing being behavior detectives and discovering the “why” behind the behaviors to know what replacement behaviors to teach has always been a part of what I love to teach.
Q: What would you say to someone who is unsure about using Ukeru?
A: All we ask is that you keep an open mind and give it a try before using more controlling measures. When we as human beings are having a bad day, we want things that are going to help us feel better. The people we work with are no different. They don’t want to be controlled, punished or restrained- they just want to feel better.
Q: What advice or tip would you give to a new Ukeru trainer?
A: Use your resources. The Ukeru team, the Ukeru website, your trainer manual, and fellow trainers within your organization are all amazing resources! Know the material in the presentation so that you can talk to learners and not just read notes from a PowerPoint slide. Share your stories that support Ukeru philosophies. People respond to stories! Practice the skills until you can do them in your sleep. Present with passion. Make the training fun. Relax!
Q: How has Ukeru impacted your life?
A: I believe it has made me much kinder, compassionate, and less judgmental- though I am still a work in progress.
Q: What is your favorite quote or a motto that you like to live by?
A: As a person of faith, I try to live by biblical principles. I actually have a scripture ( Bible verse) that is my life verse- Proverbs 3:5-6. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
Q: What three words would you use to describe Ukeru?
A: Life-changing, comforting, kindness