Autism

About Autism

Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities considered to be the result of a neurological condition affecting normal brain development.  Diagnosing ASDs can be difficult since there is no medical test, such as a blood test, to make a diagnosis.  Doctors look at the child’s behavior and development to make a diagnosis. There are three main areas included in the criteria for diagnosis:  impairments in social interaction, deficits in communication, and rigid, ritualistic, or repetitive behavior patterns. The severity of ASD and its impact on thinking and learning can range widely from gifted to severely-challenged, however most individuals with ASD often have difficulty developing social relationships. There are generally no physical differences in how persons with ASD look that may set them apart from their peers.

Research has provided information on probable causes of ASDs.  It is known there is no one cause of autism. Scientists have identified a number of rare genes that alone do not cause autism, but in combination with certain environmental factors influence early brain development and may result in autism.  We recognize that parents are passionate about the development of autism in their child.  Visit our FAQ link for information on what scientific research exists for various treatments which have been utilized for autism.  ABA therapy as a treatment for autism has shown significant, positive and evidence-based results.  ABA therapy is our focus.

ASD typically manifests early, around 12 months of age. This is often displayed as a sudden loss of skills and/or failure to learn new skills.  Research shows that early intervention treatment services can greatly improve a child’s development. Early intervention services help children from birth to 3 years old learn important skills. Services can include therapy to help the child talk, walk, and interact with others.  Therefore, it is important to talk to your child’s doctor as soon as possible if you think your child has an ASD or other developmental problem.

(source: Centers for Disease Control (http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/facts.html), American Psychiatric Association).

About ABA for Autism

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) involves the use of specific teaching procedures that rely on behavioral learning principles to bring about meaningful and positive changes in behavior.  Behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is affected by the environment. Applied behavior analysis method improves the lives of individuals by focusing on behavior change that has a socially significant impact for the individual. ABA involves functional assessment via direct observation to determine the relationship between a targeted behavior and its environment, allowing for an individualized behavior plan to be developed. Ongoing and objective measurement of observable behavior allows for a behavior analyst to determine program efficacy and make treatment modifications to maximize progress, on an ongoing basis. ABA programs can be created to address inappropriate behaviors while increasing appropriate behaviors, and to teach an individual important life-altering skills, such as communication, social skills, and independent completion of daily living skills and academic tasks.  Implementation of ABA programs requires a trained individual (e.g. behavior technician, tutor or family caregiver) adhere to specific teaching procedures on an ongoing basis.  Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA’s) will not provide psychological testing and diagnosis rendering; psychotherapy; medicinal prescriptions.