ABA Therapy

ABA Therapy

Surgeon General Endorses Behavioral Intervention for Autism

United States Surgeon General David Satcher, MD, PhD, has endorsed intensive behavioral intervention for individuals with autism.

“Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General” states, “Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior.”

The report is available at National Library of Medicine’s Profiles in Science.

The following organizations endorse ABA as a scientifically proven approach for treating children with autism and related disorders:
American Academy of Neurology, American Academy of Family Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Occupational Therapy Association,
American Psychological Association, American Speech-Language Hearing Association, Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics,
Autism Society of America, National Alliance for Autism Research,
National Institute of Child Health & Human Development and the National Institute of Mental Health.

Early Intervention
Early intervention focuses on children from infancy to the age of five with special needs affecting their development. Early intervention is used to close the developmental gap while it is still small. Using ABA principles, early intervention aims to help your child in reaching goals created specifically for their needs to gain developmentally appropriate language and learning skills. Early intervention programs prepare your child for the transition to school-based learning with the ultimate goal of entering into the least restrictive environment possible.

Verbal Behavior
A child’s verbal behavior goals are then taught by utilizing both Natural Environment Teaching (NET) and Intensive Table Teaching (ITT) techniques. During each 1:1 therapy session, data is collected on skill acquisition, as well as generalization and maintenance of previously mastered skills. Behavior Analysts, Program Supervisors and the child’s Behavioral Treatment Therapist work collaboratively with each family to individualize treatment to target the skills of greatest importance and need. 

Children with developmental delays may sometimes engage in negative behaviors because they have no way appropriate way of expressing their wants and needs. As a team, it is our mission to create an effective treatment plan that will create a basic communication process and then build on itself. Our primary goal is to give children a way to communicate by devising programming that is individualized to each child and their abilities, utilizing vocals, sign language, iPad or other device communication methods, or a combination of these.

Daily Living Skills
Daily living skills refer to those behaviors that are needed for an individual to function safely, independently and appropriately in the home and community. Common daily living skills addressed in treatment include dressing, meal time behavior at home and in public, housekeeping and chores, safety, money management, community knowledge, shopping, phone skills, time skills, social awareness and changes or disruptions to schedules. The goal of daily living skills training is to increase independence across various settings and caregivers.

Specific Daily Living Skills groups are offered on Saturdays for children ages 7-17. These specific daily living skills focus on increasing independence in home living situations, such as completing laundry or preparing basic meals. The goal is to provide children with the appropriate skills needed to live as independently as possible in the future.

Social Skills
Social skills are offered in two different groups to children ages 4-6 and 7-13 who have deficits including, but not limited to, establishing peer relationships, sharing items, taking part in conversations, engaging with toys appropriately, initiating peer interactions, understanding humor/sarcasm, making and maintaining eye contact, allowing others to manipulate toys or games, and predicting and understanding emotions. Social skills classes are conducted in a group environment twice per week for 90 minute sessions and one 3 hour session on Saturdays for each age group, with Behavioral Technicians shadowing and providing assistance when needed. Each group focuses on developing and then maintaining social skills with developmentally appropriate peers.

Parent Coordination and Generalization
Parent coordination is a vital part of the Connections center based treatment package. These once a month sessions provide a way for your child’s Behavioral Treatment Therapist to directly coach you, the parent, on how to utilize behavior analytic techniques in the home and community settings that have been proven successful in the center. Similar to beginning a new fitness routine, you cannot expect to get ideal results from just one or two hours a week of hard work. Parent coordination provides the opportunity for consistency and promoting generalization of important life skills your child has mastered in our clinical setting. Our vision is to empower parents with the appropriate behavior analytic tools to help manage any situation that may arise, even after treatment has ended.  

 

Connections has gone above and beyond my expectations for my amazing son.The entire staff is dedicated to ensuring the best and highest outcomes of these children and truly care for my son and his future. My son inspires me every day and I can tell from the hard work, time and dedication Connections’ staff provides to my son, that they too are inspired by him and all the other amazing kids they work with. Thanks to Connections and the staff I can confidently say my son is on the right path to reach his highest potential and enjoying life.

My son wouldn’t be where he is without the hard work and time through Connections.

- A. A.

My wife and I chose Connections to give our son the needed one-on-one therapy combined with a relaxed non-stressful learning environment. “At home therapy” has gone its limit with our family. Connections came into our life at a perfect time for us.

The past year while at Connections, our son has made positive gains in socialization, on skills with adults and his peers. Overall speaking, although difficult for our son, is moving ahead. Our son really enjoys the Connections facility for learning. Summertime comes with the added surprise of really cool field trips.

- K. K.

 

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