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Category Archives: Community Outreach

Center-Based ABA Therapy

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)
  • Child-to-therapist ratio
  • BCBA caseload size
  • Open communication
  • Parental involvement

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.

If you would like to learn more about center-based ABA therapy, please contact Lighthouse Autism Center’s Family Outreach Coordinator at 574-387-4313.

Does Frankenstein have Autism?

 

During a presentation on autism to a third grade class today, our Outreach Coordinator received a rather amusing question, “Does Frankenstein have autism?”  With Halloween so close it is certainly understandable why a child might pose such a question. Frankenstein is definitely different. He might not look the same as most people, or speak the same way, or act the same way. While this doesn’t necessarily mean Frankenstein has autism, one can understand why a child being introduced to autism for the first time might think so.

As part of the autism community, we believe it is our responsibility to not only fulfill our mission of providing quality ABA therapy to communities that need it, but we also to spread awareness about autism and educate our community.  When a local grade school teacher approached us to give a presentation to her third grade class, we knew this is something we wanted to do, although we had never done it before! By educating our youth, we teach them about what autism is, what it looks like, and things to keep in mind when interacting with someone who has autism. While someone with autism might act differently, hear things differently, or see things differently, it doesn’t mean they can’t be our friend or can’t do the same things we do. It is important that children understand how to accept the differences that come with autism, or any other disability, disease, etc… and know that it is ok to be different. We are so glad to have had this opportunity to teach local children about autism and look forward to having the opportunity to do it again in the future.

Online Course for Caregivers of Adults with Autism to Begin Next Week!

The fourth round of the AGI Residential/Daily Living Support Coursewill begin Monday, June 23rd! This first-of-its-kind course, funded by a 2011 Autism Speaks grant to the Autistic Global Initiative of the Autism Research Institute, was developed by a team of 15 curriculum experts from across the United States and is instructed by world-renowned faculty. The Autistic Global Initiative is comprised of a committee of adults diagnosed with autism and is dedicated to fostering the development of adults on the autism spectrum and those who work with and for them.

 

The 12-week online course, hosted by the Houlton Institute, provides evidence-based practices to those who support people with autism and related disabilities in daily living and residential settings. The course provides parents, siblings, family members, in-home support workers, agency support providers and volunteers from the community the foundational knowledge, competencies and tools necessary to support the daily living needs of transition aged students, young adults and adults with autism. The program is self-paced, facilitated by professors and includes lectures, videos, moderated discussions, activities, chat rooms, reading activities and more.

The 12 topics covered include person-center approach to support adults with autism, learning and implementing evidence-based practices in residential settings, citizenship and community life, supporting safety. The cost of the course is $300 but scholarships are available.

For the original article visit: http://www.autismspeaks.org/news/news-item/online-course-caregivers-adults-autism-begin-next-week

Autism Awareness Training for First Responders Teaches Emergency Personnel How to Respond to Individuals with Autism

Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and Institute for Behavioral Training (IBT) today announced that they will partner to train first responders on how to approach and interact with individuals with autism spectrum disorder beginning in April for Autism Awareness Month. IBT has trained over 3,000 people across the United States and various countries since 2013. The free training titled, “Autism for First Responders,” will be presented in Fairport, N.Y. on April 30; Larchmont, N.Y. on April 30; Chicago, Ill. on April 23; Austin, Texas on April 26; Phoenix, Ariz. on April 28 and 29; Washington, D.C. on April 23; and in the following California cities, Sacramento on April 28, Fresno on April 25, Woodland Hills on April 24, Thousand Oaks on April 30, Tustin on May 1, Temecula on April 29, Riverside on April 28, and San Marcos on April 29.

According to the new statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on March 27, 2014, one in every 68 children in America is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), with one in 42 boys and one in 189 girls diagnosed. As more children, teens and adults are impacted by ASD, more police and other first responders will have interactions with the population.

Individuals with autism may struggle to communicate, make appropriate eye contact or even respond to someone asking them their name. The behaviors that children and teens with ASD display vary greatly, which is why autism is described as a spectrum disorder. Parents and professionals agree that safety is a huge concern for everyone in this population as they may be easily distracted, lost or even elope from their school or surroundings. The “Autism for First Responders” training will enable emergency personnel to recognize the signs of ASD and react accordingly to minimize their own risk and that of the individuals with autism.

“Training first responders to recognize ASD is crucial,” said Cecilia H. Knight, director of IBT. “Helping a family find a child who has wandered away, protecting an adult with autism whose behavior is misunderstood, or helping a paramedic know how to interact when a child is injured can truly make a life or death difference. Recognizing the signs of autism and knowing how to react is key.”

The trainings will be hosted by CARD treatment centers across the United States. IBT’s training will teach attendees the signs and symptoms of ASD, how to communicate with individuals who appear to be affected by autism and tips for first responders who interact with individuals on the spectrum. For more information on the events or to set-up a training, please visit http://www.centerforautism.com/first-responders.aspx
For the original article see the link below

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11782687.htm