The Autism Outreach program was initiated in October 2008, in response to the needs of children and adolescents diagnosed with autism. The outreach program provides individualized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to families of children with autism or other developmental disabilities. Our goal is to provide learning opportunities for children that will bring about success and positive outcomes at school and at home.
This is a pilot program and spots are very limited. In the beginning of this program we will first seek to serve young children, with the intention of expanding the program to serve adolescents in the future. Services will be available at Andrews Center clinics and in the child’s home and school environments, dependent upon the needs of the child and family. *ABA is an approved Individual Service Plan and is a reimbursable treatment for children and adults currently enrolled in Home and Community Based Services (HCS). If a child is enrolled in HCS and would benefit from ABA, please contact an HCS caseworker.
Program goals: In addition to expanding the number of autism-diagnosed children served by our outreach services, the goal of Andrews Center in launching this program is to expand services to all children on the Pervasive Development Disorders Spectrum (PDD). Our hope is to establish a day treatment and/or educational program. For more information, please email Alison Sterken or 903.535.7419. Information will be available and a waiting list for services will be maintained.
WHAT IS APPLIED BEHAVIORAL ANALYSIS?
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a scientific method proven to be the most effective treatment for people with Autism and other pervasive developmental disabilities. During ABA, the therapist, parent or teacher communicates a series of specific steps while interacting with the child. This helps the child adjust and adapt to different situations and teaches them to interact with others at home and at school in a positive way.
ABA is a structured one-on-one program that relies almost entirely upon meaningful, individualized rewards for specific, identified behaviors. ABA uses personalized positive reinforcement, rather than cookie cutter-type rewards.
Andrews Center contracts with Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Board Certified Associate Behavior Analysts to work one on one with clients.
ABA therapy includes benchmarks for success and evaluates results based on individualized goals. This focus on the individual is why ABA is so effective in treating autism. As well, ABA utilizes pure positive reinforcement – a universal way of learning. A child with autism needs intensive attention coupled with individualized reinforcements to learn very simple concepts. If ABA is done properly the child often will learn faster and with fewer interventions. There is simply no shortcut and no natural alternative. Just as infants cannot go to Kindergarten, children with autism are not able to “just learn” at their chronological age level. They must be guided through the proper language, play, and social steps and skills and cannot move ahead until they have mastered each.
WHAT SERVICES ARE INCLUDED IN ABA?
ABA services through Andrews Center include assessments and plans meant to benefit the client, as well as the family and caregivers.
- A functional behavioral assessment conducted over 1-3 days to include behavioral and language evaluations and training for staff and parents on teaching and understanding targeted skills.
- Behavior Intervention Plans.
- Inclusive individualized reports following each full-day assessment.
- Monthly or quarterly follow-up consultations.
- Therapy targeting language and articulation, behaviors, play and socialization, academics and self-help skills.
- Service coordination to assist family and caregivers in accessing medical, social, educational, and other appropriate services and supports.