Functional Assessment and Treatment
We aim to discover the behavioral challenges your child may face and the reasons why with the use of a functional assessment. These tools allow us to identify pressing behavioral concerns and the best ways to address them. The outcomes of the functional assessment leads to the design of an individualized intervention plan that fits each client’s needs and creates both short and long term goals that are objectively measurable. Functional assessment procedures can be used to gather information and collect data your child’s problematic behaviors such refusal to follow instructions, dropping, elopement, screaming/crying, cursing, arguing, stereotypy, off-task behavior, mouthing, physical aggression, property destruction, and/or self harm. Functional assessment procedures can also be used to gather information on your child’s feeding issues to determine potential medical and/or environmental influences. Once medical causes are ruled out or addressed via consultation with your child’s physician, applied behavior analytic principles and procedures can be used to improve your child’s issues with overselectivity; food aversions to certain tastes, texture, temperature; food refusal; food induced vomiting or gagging; or overeating. It is important to be proactive in addressing feeding concerns as they can lead to issues with your child’s weight or development, as well as make other problem behaviors more likely to happen throughout the day.
Many children with intellectual disabilities often experience delays in skills exhibited by their same-age peers. These include difficulties in speech, communication, social and play skills, pre-academic, and daily-living skills. In addition to these deficits, some children also begin to engage in problem behaviors at a very early age which disrupts their ability to learn and overall quality of life. ABA therapy for early intervention focuses on helping children “catch up” as much as possible to their same-age peers, while respecting and understanding each child’s uniqueness and individual needs. Early intervention programs are typically highly focused and require a strong commitment to therapy.
Caregiver involvement is an integral component of behavior analytic services. Written and spoken instructions, modeling of procedures, role play activities, and direct monitoring with in-the-moment feedback will be used to help you learn effective ways to assess and manage your child’s behavior. We will help you learn problem solving techniques that aim to empower you to handle challenging situations in the moment while relying on previously learned strategies. Caregiver training and involvement can lead to more successful outcomes and help maintain positive changes over time as services are reduced and ultimately removed.
Safety Skills Training
Safety skills are a critical area of need for all children, especially individuals with intellectual disabilities. These include abduction prevention skills, gun safety, pedestrian safety, household hazards. An initial assessment can be conducted to evaluate your child’s ability to perform a given safety skill prior to training. Next, behavioral skills training and in-situ training will be used to teach your child to effectively perform the safety skill in the appropriate moment. This can either be incorporated into your child’s ongoing behavior analytic services or can be accessed as a stand alone treatment.