TAGteacher Spotlight – Martha Gabler MA

Editor’s Note: We are thrilled to have Martha on our team of TAGteach Instructors as a Faculty Member. Martha has made a huge contribution to the development of TAGteach for autism.

Martha is the author of the popular book, Chaos to Calm: Discovering solutions to the everyday problems of living with autism.

By Martha Gabler MA, TAGteach Faculty

My name is Martha Gabler. My husband and I are the parents of two boys. The younger one, now 21 years old, was diagnosed at age 3 as having severe autism and being profoundly non-verbal. He had all the common difficult behaviors typical of children with autism, including self-injury and aggression.

By sheer chance, I learned about TAGteach and realized instantly that this method for positive behavior change could be a huge help for us. This turned out to be the case. My son is now a delightful, happy teen who loves life and loves going places. He still has autism, but life is much, much better for us all.

Here is a video that shows my son Doug going for a walk with his friend Anne and listening to his music. I had to teach him the skills for safe walking and sitting still to listen to music; now he can apply these and gain enjoyment from them independently.

 

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TAGteacher Spotlight – Luca Canever

luca circleAbout ten years ago, Luca had an idea: to give his girlfriend a puppy as a birthday gift. The puppy, named Iris was a starting point. After a few months, Luca bought a clicker and started to train Iris. The discovery of clicker training was his light bulb moment. Luca gained the CAP3 certification in 2006. After this he started his career as a professional dog trainer, even though his main activity remains Archaeology. Luca holds a Bachelor’s degree In Archaeology from Padova University. In 2008, Luca’s first son, Alessandro, was born. As a new parent, Luca became more focused towards using positive reinforcement with his son. Karen Pryor’s “Reaching the Animal Mind” introduced him to TAGteach. This was a real life changing event, that led Luca to attending one of the first TAGteach seminars in Europe.

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TAGteacher Spotlight: Jane Jackson, Riding Instructor

By Jane Jackson, Level 3 TAGteacher

I was at a clinic with Alexandra Kurland (I had been clicker training horses for many years) when she mentioned that since I taught kids as well as adults, I should try TAGteach. When I asked what that was, she used the following example, “you ask them to keep their position around a 20 meter circle and if they do, then click them and they can go jump the cross rail”. I think my jaw dropped. What a brilliant idea. I remember saying that I could have left the clinic right then and there and I would have gotten my money’s worth (but I’m glad I didn’t because there was more great stuff to come). My mind went wild with the possibilities. I couldn’t wait to get home and try it. Kids love to jump – they don’t like to work on position so much. There was a perfect way to work them together.

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TAGteacher Spotlight: Emelie Johnson Vegh and Eva Bertilsson

evaemelie1Swedes Emelie Johnson Vegh and Eva Bertilsson are Certified Level 3 TAGteachers, authors of the book Agility Right from the Start and work together under the name Carpe Momentum. Emelie studied to be a high school teacher in English and Swedish, and Eva has a degree in education and psychology – but after getting together to work within Carpe Momentum, giving classes, hosting seminars, writing articles and the recently published book Agility Right from the Start, neither has time to pursue a more traditional career in their field.

Emelie and Eva came into contact with clicker training at roughly the same time (around 1997), but before knowing each other. They met while competing in agility one hot summer, and found that they both shared a great passion for training and discussing training. After having begun teaching together, they noticed that clicker training made them good animal trainers – in their classes everything was split into small pieces for the dogs and the rate of reinforcement was kept high. But for the human part of the team? As instructors they felt that they wanted to share everything and give all the tools they could to their students, but just cramming their heads full didn’t feel right. How was that setting anybody up for success? Eva spent some time searching the Web, looking for ideas. She came across TAGteach and promptly wrote an email to Theresa McKeon and Beth Wheeler, and that is how the first Primary Certification Seminar came to be hosted in Dingle, Sweden, in 2004.

Since then, Emelie and Eva have worked their way to a Level 3, now educating and certifying others in TAGteach in Scandinavia. They’ve written a few articles in Swedish on the subject and in their book Agility Right from the Start, there is a passage briefly introducing TAGteach and many of the exercises come with suggestions of TAG points for the trainer/handler.


We highly recommend this book! It is not just agility done right it is TAGteach done right as well! Click here to find out more or buy the book

 Parenting Webinar with Emelie

TAGteacher Spotlight: Laura Monaco Torelli

Laura mt circle2Laura Monaco Torelli, Karen Pryor Academy Certified Training Partner (KPA CTP) and a member of the KPA faculty, is the Director of Training for Animal Behavior Training Concepts in Chicago. She works in collaboration with veterinary behaviorist Dr. John Ciribassi at Animal Behavior Partners, and is staff with Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants. Laura is also TAGteach Level 2 certified. Since 1991, Laura has worked with and trained beluga whales, dolphins, sea otters, seals, river otters, and penguins (at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago), primates, large cats, birds of prey, reticulated giraffes, Arctic foxes, horses, parrots, macaws, tree kangaroos, and red pandas (at the San Diego Zoo, Brookfield Zoo and Niabi Zoological Society) and of course, dogs (just about everywhere).

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TAGteacher Spotlight: Laura VanArendonk Baugh

laura vab circleTen years ago, Laura skipped a clicker training lecture to look in on an introduction to something she’d heard about called TAGteach — and she’s never looked back.

“Shaping human behavior incrementally just makes so much sense. We do it with the animals because it’s easier for them and us both — why not for human student and human teacher?”

Laura has incorporated TAGteach not only into her professional work, for training private clients with Canines In Action, Inc and as faculty with the Karen Pryor Academy, but into her personal life as well — which finds her using TAG principles in organizing costume masquerades, in physical exercise form, in handling a firearm safely and shooting competitively, and in writing and editing. This fall she will tour the Indianapolis library system with Alena VanArendonk, teaching teenagers to dance THRILLER as part of a zombie-themed reading program and sneaking in TAGteach along the way. Check out Laura’s video, The Thrill of Tag…

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