In June of 2012 there was a major federal policy change that took place that provided more families living with autism access to Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. Now, nearly all states require health insurance plans to cover ABA therapy.
Many people will agree that ABA therapy is something that can be done in a variety of environments, including a school environment, home environment and center-based environment. However, studies show that ABA is most effective when done 1 on 1 in an intensive, center-based environment.
Because ABA therapy is highly individualized and each program is uniquely designed for a child, it becomes difficult to implement these programs in a school environment. Schools often are dealing with budget and staffing constraints which makes it challenging to implement ABA therapy in a school setting.
A center-based program also allows children to interact with other children and therapists, work on not only social and communication skills, but also daily living skills, and it provides the opportunity to work on further “real world” situations outside of the classroom.
So what are some factors you should consider when looking for an ABA center?
Safe and welcoming environment
Educated staff (credentials and experience as well as passion matter)
BCBA caseload size
Always request a tour and ask about the process for enrollment. See if they offer assistance to the family such as support groups and education.
Elkhart Mayor meets student at Elkhart’s newest ABA Center
On Wednesday, September 25, 2019, Elkhart Mayor Tim Neese visited Lighthouse Autism Center’s newest center in Elkhart, IN. Mayor Neese met with founder and Executive Director, Gregg Maggioli, to learn more about Lighthouse and the ABA services being offered to the Elkhart community, as well as the 30 additional jobs that will be created through the opening of the new center. Following their meeting, Mayor Neese toured the center, visiting therapy rooms, the playroom, and group therapy spaces. The Mayor also had the opportunity to meet some of the kiddos who attend Lighthouse Autism Center in Elkhart and provided them with a small token to commemorate his visit.
Lighthouse Autism Center in Elkhart is currently enrolling. To learn more or schedule a tour of the new center, contact us at 574-387-4313.
While scientists work on finding the causes of autism behavioral specialists are making great strides in assisting child development through the use of technology.
How Technology Can Help with Childhood Development
Computers in the classroom have evolved from a luxury to a necessity as communication technologies progress. As traditional classrooms have proven successful with the use of modern technology, autism specialists have been researching and developing therapies that use computers to improve communication means for children with autism.
How Does It Work?
Research has found that many children with autism are visual learners. Computers provide teachers and therapists the means to create visual presentations as well as the ability to use communication software that resonates with children who have autism. Because children with autism often communicate through images as opposed to words, computer language software programs provide a way for children to communicate their wants and needs in a way that makes sense to them.
What are the Benefits of Using Technology to Help Children with Autism?
Through this means of positive communication, children experience a more enjoyable, less stressful learning environment that increases their ability to break down their barriers and develop their social skills. One of the most widely used learning techniques with technology is practicing cause and effect. For example, if the child is hungry and wants to eat, he or she would be taught to draw, find or present an image of a food item. The child would then show their picture to their teacher or parent and receive the food they asked for.
Technology and computers can also be used to benefit those who seek to further develop motor skills. Working with a computer, iPad, video game or any technology requires children to practice and develop their fine motor skills, something children with autism often struggle with.
To learn more about the use of technology in ABA therapy or how ABA therapy can help your child, schedule a tour at one of our centers by calling 574-387-4313.
Children with autism often struggle with verbal communication skills. A child may be unable to speak in full sentences, only say a few words, or simply unable to carry on a conversation or be unwilling to. Children with autism also may struggle in social environments where verbal communication with others is expected. They may not like being around other people, be unable to look at someone in the eye when they say something, or simply prefer to be alone.
Nonverbal Skills and Your Child with Autism
Many children with autism may be non-verbal, meaning they cannot communicate vocally. For children who are non-verbal, they often cannot communicate their wants and needs and that may leave them feeling frustrated. This can ultimately lead to other behaviors. For children who are non-verbal, it is important that a doctor, therapist, or trained professional work with that child to develop an effective way of communication, whether it is using a picture exchange system, a language software on an eye pad, or something else. It is crucial our children with autism have a way to communicate their wants and needs for their well being and for their quality of life.
Social Signs That May Indicate Your Child has Autism
2.) No eye-contact
3.) Will not respond to name
4.) Cannot use full sentences
5.) Only talks about one item or topic
6.) Cannot carry an appropriate conversation.
If you suspect your child may have autism, please contact Lighthouse Autism Center for more information on diagnosing your child and ABA therapy.