Karolina holds a Masters Degree in psychology from Poland, which she gained in 2003. In 2009, she was awarded a Diploma in Play Therapy.
She has worked on numerous home ABA programmes and has supported clients in mainstream schools and nurseries.
Karolina received her BCBA accreditation in 2017, studying at the Florida Institute of Technology. As a keen yoga enthusiast, Karolina is also qualified to teach yoga to children with special needs and is keen to promote wellbeing of the mind as well as the body.
Tracey Tibbals (BCBA)
Tracey has more than 15 years of experience working with children with autism and related language delays. Whilst at university, she worked as a tutor on a home programme for a young boy.
After tutoring on two further ABA programmes, Tracey joined
Rainbow School, an ABA school in London, working her way up to senior supervisor/consultant.
Tracey has worked with children with a range of different needs and abilities including ASD, ADHD, emotional and behavioural difficulties and Global Developmental Delay. She has a Masters in Applied Behaviour Analysis from Bangor University and is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst.
MEET THE TEAM
The charity aims to introduce the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) to those children not yet on their own programmes, as well as being an extra resource for those already familiar to ABA. Children can practice social and play skills, and work on specific individual targets determined by ABA professionals (see below) in consultation with parents. The club aims to be nurturing, fun and child-centred, and is open to children aged from two to 16 years. The club runs from 10am to 12pm for children aged up to 10 and then from 1pm to 3pm for children aged from 11 to 16.
Focus Surrey is a place where parents can meet other parents in similar positions and listen to talks from guest speakers on autism-related subjects. Please note that parents must stay on-site for the duration of the club. There is free wifi available plus tea, coffee and biscuits for the adults.
Focus Surrey's 8th term was scheduled to run from February until June 2020 but was sadly cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the ongoing rules around social distancing, we have made the decision to start afresh in 2021. We hope that you are all keeping safe and healthy and from all of us at Focus Surrey, we look forward to seeing everyone when we finally re-open.
You can also find out more by visiting Focus Surrey on Facebook.
Saturday ABA Club
Bringing ABA to children in Surrey
Guest Speaker Series
Focus Surrey is continuing to open its FREE guest speaker series to the general public. We have welcomed professional speakers on impending puberty; ABA and self help skills; video-modelling; sensory processing; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and securing ABA for your child's education.
A special thanks to all our speakers who give up their time for free to share their knowledge with families. To sign up to the mailing list for our speaker series please email email@example.com.
Focus Surrey is also able to go out into the community to provide information on ABA. Focus Surrey's BCBAs Tracey Tibbals and Karolina Gburczyk were joined by ABAa4all's Jane McCready to speak about ABA and Focus Surrey to parents at YMCA East Surrey in April 2018 (see picture right).
Raising funds - Covid 19 appeal
Focus Surrey's last fundraising event was a quiz night on December 5th, 2020. Thank you to all the generous donors who offered prizes including The View from the Shard, The British Racing Drivers Club, Galu Restaurant, Sushi Jun Restaurant, Bocketts Farm, Pizza Express and many more.
Due to current government regulations we are not currently able to plan any in-person fundraising events in the near future.
If you are interested in fundraising for Focus Surrey by holding a virtual fundraiser or by taking part in a challenge at home then please do contact us. All donations are greatly appreciated. Please email for further details or donate at .
Official Charity Status
We are happy to announce that Focus Surrey was granted official charity status by the Charity Commission in May 2018 (registered charity 1178378). This is a significant milestone for the club which is now planning for its 8th term in February 2020. We are incredibly proud to have trained more than 150 volunteers in the principles of ABA and given them hands on experience working with children with special needs with many having gone on to work in the SEN field. We also opened a guest speaker series for the general public to share information on ABA and other ASD related therapies. But our greatest achievement is helping children with autism learn to communicate, play and develop their social skills.
We are very grateful to have received a grant from Sutton Community Fund provided by the London Borough of Sutton. These vital funds enable us to provide subsidised places for families of children with autism to attend the club.
Meet our lovely volunteer tutors and consultants from our inaugural Term 1. We're really pleased to now be hiring for Term 9.
Krisha Ahamed (Trustee)
Krisha has a young daughter who is on the spectrum. She has been running a home ABA programme for two years and has seen fantastic, positive changes in her child. Krisha is currently negotiating with her LA for a mainstream placement with ABA support.
Working part-time in finance, Krisha is a Chartered Institute of Management Accountant finalist. It is Krisha's hope that ABA is offered to all children in the future without lengthy battles and tribunal orders. She believes that Focus Surrey can help bring about this change.
Why is a Saturday club important? Our Chair, Sue, answers:
A birthday party invitation for my oldest daughter is a treasured item in our house, a play date a rare occurrence and friends extremely rare. My daughter has Autism Spectrum Disorder and finds it difficult to communicate, she has trouble getting the words out and understanding the social nuances that are involved in making friendships. She also has sensory processing disorder which means the world comes rushing in with disorientating noises, information, sights, sounds and smells and means she often feels overwhelmed in new situations or meeting new people.
My daughter is 12. When demands are put upon her which she may not understand or when instructions she cannot follow are given, when she is feeling overloaded sensory wise, she will stare out the window, jump up and down and make what is to others nonsensical repetitive noises but which to her make sense or provide comfort.
Like many other children with Autism my child doesn't respond to the usual request
'go play with your friends' she has needed to be taught how to play with toys
appropriately; learning to share, how to join in, how to communicate and how to
socialise. The vast majority of children with Autism have to be taught these skills
whether they communicate through spoken word, signing or in clear sentences
that require social nuances.
So why a Saturday club? We are continually being told that our children with Autism
are unique and if you meet one child with autism you meet one child with autism.
So it makes sense that they would need individual targets and goals set by
experienced professionals. This is why I chose Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) as
an individualised child-centred teaching approach for my child and why I agreed to
help establish and chair another Focus Saturday Club using the principles of ABA.
My daughter joined Focus South London Saturday club based in Waterloo in October 2015 so she could get meaningful tutoring on play skills such as turn taking, learn fun alternatives to stimming, sharing and how to join in. It was a place she could meet and socialise with more children than those she meets in school. Like many girls with ASD my daughter is in the minority and for most of her school life she has been the only girl in an all-boys classroom. The Focus club is a place where she can practice these important play skills on different children to those she meets at school.
I have always wanted to find a place where my daughter could be herself, practice her communication skills, find fun alternatives to repetitive behaviours, and meet other children in an accepting environment. The other positive effect was that I was able to meet other like-minded parents with similar concerns and we were all able to share experiences and provide advice or support.
Unfortunately having professional oversight and one on one tutoring does cost money and our aim was to make it as affordable to as many people as possible which is why we need to fund raise to subsidise the costs and pay for vital equipment, staff and operating costs.
So if any of your potential donors ask why fundraise for a Saturday club for children with Autism in Surrey, please feel free to relay my story.
Focus Surrey is a registered charity which runs a Saturday club in Cheam for children with autism aged 2 to 16.
We are always on the lookout for volunteer tutors for our club. Tutors complete three days of training in order to help develop volunteers' knowledge of autism, ABA and the skills required. If you are interested in working with children with autism, please click here for further details.
Sue is a mum of two, whose eldest daughter has ASD. When she started a home ABA programme in April 2014, she saw immediate results and became an instant advocate for ABA.
Sue has worked as a programme manager for graduate trainees and as a journalist. In her spare time, she established a network for employees with disabilities and those with disabled family members.
She has a Masters in Human Resources, a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism and a BA in International Relations and Psychology. Sue first became involved with Focus South London which her daughter attended, and was very excited to get the opportunity to launch Focus Surrey in September 2016.
Lisa Masarati has been working in education for the past 15 years, initially as a mainstream teacher and Early Years Foundation Stage Coordinator. After 6 years of teaching, she started working for Surrey County Council as an Early Years and SEN Advisory Teacher supporting schools, nurseries and preschools to implement the Early Years Curriculum and support any pupils with special educational needs. For the past 4 years. Lisa has worked as a SENCO in mainstream schools and recently completed a post graduate qualification - the National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination.
Lisa's commitment to supporting pupils with special educational needs has been strengthened by having a son with Autism. When he was 3, they began a home ABA program. This approach was particularly effective in enabling her son to acquire skills that he had really struggled with previously. They could now motivate him, get his attention and see real progress in many areas. Lisa is passionate about sharing her experiences of ABA with other parents and is really proud to be a trustee of Focus Surrey. Through Focus, it is her aim that more families will be introduced to an ABA approach and parents will be given the knowledge and confidence to implement some of the strategies with their own child and see some of the progress that she has made with her son.
Amanda has supported Focus Surrey from its inception, being part of the support crew at its first Dragon Boat fundraiser! Full of energy, Amanda has worked tirelessly to support Focus Surrey from undertaking reference checks, to proof reading and helping to put together a charity submission to the Charity Commission. She is a hands on trustee with a can do attitude!
Amanda has a long history of raising money for charity and supporting charitable initiatives including Marie Curie; Cancer Research UK; BBC Children in Need and has even shaved her head for the Royal Marsden cancer campaign.
Amanda has undertaken a wide variety of jobs including data analyst, examiner, teaching English as a foreigh language, working on a kibbutz and working with children with learning difficulties. Her social awareness and degree in Psychology gives her a keen eye for detail and broad social understanding which makes her an asset to Focus Surrey.