Evidence-based Services

Children’s Autism Center offers a variety of evidence-based ABA services complemented by a variety of assessments such as the M-CHAT with the goal of remediating the symptoms of autism. Services are offered year-round with additional programs occurring in the summer for children in the community. ABA therapy requires parental involvement.

You will be provided with a Parent Manual upon enrollment which outlines our procedures. You will also be provided with a document that describes our experience and training, what you can expect from us, and what we need from you to maximize your child’s progress. This treatment is a joined effort, each member’s role is vital to the success of the team.

If you have questions about which services are right for your child, please contact our Family Services Department at (260) 459-6040 or email intake@childrensautismcenter.org.

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ABA Services

ABA Therapy is conducted one-on-one and in small groups. A typical early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) program is 30-40 hours per week. An assessment, along with a records review and parent interview, these results will guide the medically necessary treatment for your child. You will be assigned a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to your child.

Each BCBA has a team or pod of Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT)s who are trained to work with your child. Our goal is for your child to enjoy coming here. Therefore, breaks from learning include brief trips outside or playing in our playrooms. We also work in tablet time, Wii games, food preparation, and other activities to keep your child engaged with our teaching.

ABA Services boy play with trains.

You will be scheduled for Parent Training as part of the treatment. It is critical that you understand the terminology we use and the basis for our interventions. While ABA may seem like common sense (and it is), we want to be sure that we have full parental buy-in for your child’s treatment. ABA is evidence-based, so we collect data to make decisions. We need to know what works and what does not work. Therefore, adherence to a specific protocol is essential before modifying our program.

Parent meetings are also a vital part of our treatment. Team meetings with parents help ensure the team understands your challenges (and successes) at home. This understanding will lead to more effective teaching and generalization of skills.

Skills targeted are based on the deficits associated with the diagnosis of autism, as defined by the DSM-V. These skills include language, social skills, and behavioral excesses and deficiencies. Toileting and food selectivity are two examples of skills building. Parents are interviewed as part of the intake process to determine the priority of skill development. It is imperative that skills have social validity (a skill that is useful to the child in his/her natural environment) and are generalized to all environments/people/other stimuli that the child encounters in his/her life.

ABA therapy is a process that requires committed involvement by all members of the team. CAC is here to provide that deep commitment to the treatment journey for your child.

Speech Therapy

Team Approach to Teaching Communication Skills

At the Children’s Autism Center, our team focuses on ABA principles to target communication skills. Clients receive direct speech and language therapies, consultative speech, language services, as well as in-home parent training.

The team at the Children’s Autism Center includes, the board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), the speech and language pathologist (SLP), the registered behavior technicians (RBTs), and the caregivers. The SLP and the BCBA collaborate to identify communication skills that focus on each client’s stage throughout the ABA program.

A child learning communication skills through ABA Therapy.

This program is then carried out by the SLP, the RBT, and the caregivers whenever possible. In our experience, this team approach to teaching communication skills is effective because when our clients participate in repeated practice of communication skills within speech and language therapy, daily ABA therapy sessions, and their homes. They are more like to demonstrate progress toward skill mastery. We also have found that our learners are more likely to generalize and maintain mastered skills with this approach.

Speech and Language Evaluation at the Children’s Autism Center

Each full-time client typically receives a speech and language evaluation provided by a licensed SLP*. The SLP will evaluate clients using formal standardized assessment tools, informal assessment tools, and clinical judgment based upon the needs of the client.

The evaluation will provide information regarding a variety of speech and language skills, including articulation of speech sounds, receptive and expressive language abilities, vocabulary skills, voice, and fluency skills.

Speech and language evaluation

The SLP will typically give one or more of the following standardized assessment tools depending on the chronological age and specific strengths and weaknesses of the client:

*If the learner is receiving services with another SLP in the community, the evaluation may be waived.

Speech and Language Therapy Sessions at the Children’s Autism Center

Our speech and language therapy are provided by a licensed SLP. Our SLPs have also received over 40 hours of training in ABA and/or have earned the certification of RBT. During a speech and language therapy session, clients target communication skills in a clinical setting.

SLPs use evidenced-based therapy techniques paired with ABA principles to teach communication skills.

Speech and Language therapy sessions

During our sessions, we focus on a variety of speech and language skills. The skills include but are not limited to the articulation of sounds, receptive and expressive language skills, use of alternative and augmentative systems, use of appropriate pragmatic skills, voice, and fluency of speech.

Some of the programs that our SLPs use in addition to other evidence-based therapy techniques during speech and language therapy sessions include:

Articulation

Language

Teaches oral language comprehension and expression, increases language comprehension and length and complexity of expressive language, and develops higher order thinking.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)

Teaches initiation, gaining a communication partner’s attention, manding (requesting), and tacting (labeling/commenting).

Pragmatics

Fluency

Social Skills Groups

Children’s Autism Center provides social skills groups to learners between the ages of 3-21. Social Skills Groups use evidence-based curricula that are age/developmentally appropriate. Groups meet once or twice per week. Learners will participate in fun, interactive activities both in the Center and in the community that enable the practice of targeted skills.

Groups are a blend of typical peers and targeted learners. Typical peers are utilized during group times to model and assist in learning in a group environment. Social skills group fees are billable through some health insurance plans and also by private pay.

Child playing on a swing.

Parent Training

Parent Training is an ongoing fourteen-week series that introduces parents to the principles and practices of applied behavior analysis (ABA). The goal of parent training is to equip parents/caregivers with the principles of ABA for home application and in other natural environments.

If you are interested in learning more about this series’ schedule, please see our Parent Training Protocol.

Mother working with her son

PEERS Program

Children’s Autism Center is proud to present the first evidence-based protocol for teaching social skills. We will be hosting three PEERS programs for the following age groups:

  • Friendship Group for Elementary age children ages 7-10
  • Adolescents Group for Middle and High school-age students
  • Young Adults Group for ages 18 – 35

Friendship Group

Children’s Friendship Training is a 12-week evidence-based social skills intervention for elementary age children who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. Please click here for more information on the Friendship Group and how to register.

For motivated adolescents in middle school or high school

PEERS® for Adolescents

Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) is a 14-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated adolescents in middle school or high school who are interested in learning ways to help them make and keep friends. Click here for more information and on how to register today!

PEERS® for Young Adults

Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) for Young Adults (Ages 18-35) is a 16-week evidence-based social skills intervention for motivated young adults, who are interested in learning skills to make and keep friends and develop romantic relationships. Click here for more information and on how to register today!

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