Peggy HallidayPeggy Halliday is a board certified associate behavior analyst who has specialized in autism education for the past ten years. She is the Director of Outreach Services at the Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA) in Charlottesville, VA. VIA is a non-profit organization which provides a day school and other resources for families, educators, and other professionals seeking services, training or information about autism and evidence-based interventions. The Institute operates a year-round school for students ages 2-22, a 700-volume library, training workshops, internships for undergraduate and graduate students and teachers, and customized trainings for schools. Peggy supervises a wide range of outreach services, including development and supervision of comprehensive, home-based early intervention programs incorporating naturalistic, incidental, and structured teaching using the principles of applied behavior analysis; training for parents and home instructors; skills assessments, functional behavior assessments and intervention plans, and consultation on Individual Education Plan goals. She has presented trainings and workshops at state and national conferences.
Host: If you are a first time parent, is it difficult to know what is different?
Peggy Halliday: It is difficult to know what is typical and not just if you are a first time parent but perhaps you have a daughter, an older child who is a daughter and girls tend to reach some of these milestones a little sooner than boys. It can be very confusing if you have a second child who is not developing at the same rate and in that case you may hear from your pediatrician, Well, girls develop sooner than boys, do not compare your son to your daughter. So, I think that we do a pretty good job as parents and informing ourselves of the physical milestones that our children should be reaching. We are looking at the age of that they are rolling over and we are waiting for these things to happen. We are looking for them to sit up at a certain age, we are looking for them to pull themselves up to a stand and take their first steps. I think we need to change the way we think about growth to incorporate the way babies act. In other ways, not just the physical milestones, but how do they learn, how are they beginning to talk, how are they engaging socially and I think we need to incorporate all of these things into the milestones that we are looking for as parents. It is just the matter of educating ourselves as to what to expect.