Autism is a complex medical condition that affects a person’s ability to communicate, socially interact with others and their ability to regulate behaviors and sensory stimuli.
Autism was first described by a U.S psychiatrist Leo Kanner in 1943 from a group of eleven children who were under his care. That same year, a German pediatrician named Hans Asperger described some of the children he was treating as having high IQ’s, but a lack of social skills, empathy, and the ability to only have one-sided conversation. Asperger’s Disorder was added to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) in 1994 as a separate disorder from autism. It was removed from DSM-5 in 2013 and included in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) classification.
ABA is Applied Behavior Analysis. Applied is the principal that is used to change socially significant behavior. Behavior is an observable & measurable act that is the focus of the intervention. Analysis is the measurement of behavior to determine functional and replicable relationships between intervention and outcome. ABA is based on scientific methods and is founded on seven core dimensions (Baer, Wolf, Risley, 1968).
ABA is the most researched, evidence based and comprehensive approach for treatment of autism spectrum disorder. According to National Standards Project, published by the National Autism Center, two thirds of established interventions for autism are based on behavior interventions. The earlier a child gets ABA intervention the better. However, it is never too late to teach children and adults the behavior skills they need to function and achieve a good quality of life.
Absolutely. It is estimated 25 to 30% of autistic children are nonverbal. The prevalence statistics are higher for some communities. Our approach is to teach each child the best way for them to communicate by utilizing devices, the written word, the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), etc.
Absolutely. We understand autism has a significant behavior component. It is known that most children with autism will have a higher frequency of behavior issues if they are not able to communicate effectively or have sensory needs that are unmet. We understand that every behavior has a function. Our staff will come into your home or where the problem behavior is occurring, determine the function of the behavior and write a treatment program that focuses on decreasing and eliminating inappropriate behaviors with an appropriate behavior.
We provide services and treatments to individuals with autism spectrum disorder from birth to 21 years old. We know that adolescents and teenagers are often the neglected population. As a result, we have created, and designed programs and services tailored to them. Please read our different services and programs.
We know and understand individuals with autism have either hypo or hyper sensory needs. We will use various approaches to meet the individual’s sensory needs, including sensory diet, movement, brushing, etc., by consulting with an Occupational therapist and other members of the treatment team.
This is a great question. Each child/adult must have an annual comprehensive multi-disciplinary evaluation (CMDE), which includes parental/guardian input. We take those recommendations and write an individual treatment plan (ITP) for each child/adult. This plan is evolving as circumstances change and progress is made.
We completely understand our families’ limited time and will work with each family to individualize their parent/guardian training schedule. For example, we will accommodate Saturday family/caregiver training and counseling. We know you are invested in your child’s success and will do whatever we can to provide you the support you need within your schedule.
Absolutely not. We believe each child’s needs are individual and if school or other therapeutic therapies are needed, we will collaborate with those professionals to ensure consistency and cooperation to meet your child’s therapeutic needs.
We will work with each family’s circumstances to ensure treatment continues and is consistent.
We believe celebrating every step whether it is little or big. We understand often autistic individuals have uneven skills and learn differently and at varying rates. We evaluate and monitor progress daily. In addition, we complete evaluations every 6 months to determine how to best teach in collaboration with the family and other professionals, as necessary.
Absolutely not! We will not discharge for no progress or slow progress, but alternatively will work to change what and how we are teaching to ensure our program fits the needs of each individual. Our goal is not to fit the individual to our programs, but rather fit our programs to each individual. We think that approach will guarantee success and progress. We understand behavior therapy is not “one size fits all”.
Suspension of services and treatment will only occur while we try to find alternate solutions. For example, if there are no staff available in your area, it may take time to find and hire qualified and competent staff. Please be aware that this strategy is used as a last resort solution and would occur in the interest of ensuring a high-quality level of treatment.
We can evaluate your child’s behavior and conduct a behavior functional assessment (FBA). We also train your child’s Individual Education Program (IEP) team how to best teach your child to be successful in school.
Yes! We love families who ask us questions about their child’s treatment and services. In fact, we believe families who ask questions are better informed and thereby empowered. We think empowered families are most effective in helping their children. “Ask away” and we will answer to the best of our ability. If we do not have an answer, we will work to find it for you!
We love this question! SKILLS-ATPE understands research has stated all behaviors are culturally embedded-- everyone has a cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and racial identity, and no behavior is ever independent of social or environmental context. Our professional therapy staff will never assume their perspective and priority is the same as the families’ perspective. Furthermore, we understand that teaching styles, methods and curriculum materials are culturally embedded. Our teaching methods will be tailored to each client through changing, bending and revising to meet the progress and needs of each individual client. For example, research states that verbal language is more important to Anglo-European cultures, whereas self-care is more important to Hispanic and African cultures. Another example is eye contact is an insult in some cultures whereas it is valued and important in others. We will teach each child/individual not just based on their need, but also on how their culture influences what their full potential looks like.

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