What is ABA?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the applied use of behavioral principles to everyday situations with the goal of either increasing or decreasing targeted behaviors. ABA was defined as a field in the late 1960s after years of research. Decades later the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning. ABA builds appropriate beneficial skills in learners with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that can then be generalized into everyday living situations. In practice the analyst breaks down a goal based task into several smaller components to teach each step individually allowing the child to learn at their own pace with smaller pieces of information distributed. This approach allows each correct response to be positively reinforced.
Shine ABA Therapy
Our Applied Behavior Analysis approach is structured technique with an emphasis on a naturalistic environment that breaks down skills into small, “discrete” components. Systematically, the behavior analyst teaches these skills one by one. Along the way, analysts use tangible positive reinforcements for desired behavior.
Our Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) customizes our ABA programs after a full assessment of each child. Parents or caregivers will receive a detailed review of the assessment and work with the BCBA to determine goals. Programs will be administered in a 1:1 or 1:2 setting as medically prescribed by a development pediatrician or other applicable diagnostician. Social skills group time is also available utilizing a 1:1 therapist/client setting.
Autism can affect speech, language development, and social communication in many ways. Speech-language therapy is designed to coordinate the mechanics of speech with the meaning and social use of language. Receiving regular Speech therapy can address a wide range of communication problems for people with autism and other developmental delays. A full assessment is done initially by the Speech Therapist, it is reviewed with parents/caregivers and goals are established. Therapy is provided in a 1:1 setting. Skills are then generalized throughout the day during other therapies and social interactions.
Many ASD children also have sensory processing challenges, this can lead to difficulties with social interaction, communication, behaviors and fine motors skills. Often sensory-based, occupational therapists focus specifically on helping children integrate their sensory systems and initiate and sustain purposeful play. Therapy can involve swings, deep touch and massage, working on self-feeding with a fork and spoon or holding a writing tool to begin to learn coloring, letters or shapes. Each child undergoes a full assessment by the therapist and treatment goals are established with parent/caregiver. Therapy sessions always center on the child and go at each individuals pace. The focus being to foster engagement and independence in meaningful activities of daily life such as self-care skills, education, or social interaction.
Shine Music Therapy
Music therapy is a well-established professional health discipline that uses music to achieve non-musical treatment goals.
Interaction and participation with music supports connections between speech and singing, rhythm and motor behavior, memory for song and memory for academic material, and overall ability of preferred music to enhance mood, attention, and behavior to optimize the student’s ability to learn and interact.
Music therapy is a particularly important intervention for children with autism spectrum disorders as research indicates that treatment may: increase attention, improved behavior, decrease self-stimulation, enhance auditory processing, improve cognitive functioning, decreased agitation, increase socialization, improve verbal skills, facilitate successful and safe self-expression, and enhance sensory-motor skills.
Center based private & small group Music Therapy is available. Please call us at Shine for session information and visit Heart & Harmony to learn more about the benefits of music therapy.
Respite care is provided from 4:30-5:30 pm Monday – Friday. This is ideal for parents who work or need a little bit more time in the evening to pick up. Children will remain with a trained therapist during respite and will have access to the gym, sensory room or can sign up for group music therapy during this time, a great way to wind down after the day! Respite care is private pay and is not covered by insurance.
Special Needs Hair Stylist Services
Children with ASD and many other developmental disorders commonly have trouble with haircuts. Sensory processing can be very difficult and this can make many children become “tactile defensive”. By offering haircuts at the center in a comfortable and private environment the child feels more comfortable and we are able to go at each child’s individual pace. The licensed stylist, Tia Turner from Cuts on the Fly has many years of experience with special needs children and with autistic children in particular. She is knowledgeable and skilled at dealing with sensory issues during a haircut. The overall goal is to slowly allow the child to become comfortable getting his or her hair cut so that eventually they are able to go to a standard barber or salon. Each month services will be offered at the center on a pre-scheduled basis.
Each month a parent meeting is held and a relevant educational topic will be presented. This not only provides parents with tips and tools to utilize at home it also allows us at Shine to share cutting edge information in the field with parents and caregivers. Parents get to know one another and develop a support system as well. Individual parent meetings are also scheduled monthly to review the child’s programs and progress. We want you to be involved and aware every step of the way!