The treatment methods used by the Center address the core deficit areas of each child, as identified through an assessment. These deficits may include communication, interaction, sensory issues and challenging behaviors that interfere with learning.
The Center views a child's developmental objectives are addressed through structured play activities that are based on the principles of both child development and applied behavior analysis. The individual assessment profile of the child determines the combination of treatment options.
Each of our treatment programs are specialized to meet the need of the child and their family. The following treatment methods may be incorporated into a program:
a. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) The Center uses Applied Behavior Analysis on the theory that behavior is learned and is shaped by events that happen before and after the behavior. In order to shape more productive behaviors, specific tasks are analyzed organized and preplanned consequences are identified, which include meaningful reinforcement.
b. Auditory Verbal Therapy (AVT) Auditory-verbal therapy is a method for teaching deaf children to listen and speak using their residual hearing in addition to the constant use of amplification devices such as hearing aids, FM devices, and cochlear implants. Auditory-verbal therapy emphasizes speech and listening.Auditory verbal therapy is used in the Center under the theory that it enables deaf and hard of hearing children to participate more fully in mainstream school and hearing society.
c. Sensory Integration Therapy The Center uses Sensory Integration Therapy, which involves stimulating the sensory systems in order to promote adaptive responses that are based on the individual's neurological profile. The focus of this therapy is to help the child organize sensory input, so that the child's adaptive responses to learning, behavior and relationships improve.
d. Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) The PECS system uses picture symbols to promote initiation of communication through the exchange of picture symbols with a partner. PECS training consists of six phases they include: exchange, distance and persistence, discrimination, building sentences, responding and commenting.
e. T.E.A.C.C.H Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication-handicapped CHildren is a program designed to enable children with special needs to function independently and meaningfully in their surroundings. The Center employs T.E.A.C.C.H which is based on a philosophy that emphasizes highly structured program rooms with predictable routines. A variety of techniques and methods are used depending on the individual child's needs interests and abilities.
f. Verbal Behavior Therapy The Center uses Verbal Behavior Therapy, based on B.F. Skinner's theory, which identifies speaking as verbal behavior. Verbal behavior includes spoken words, written words, signed words and picture words. Applied Behavior Analysis principles are used in teaching verbal behavior. In order to shape verbal behavior, specific tasks are analyzed and organized; preplanned consequences are identified and often include meaningful reinforcement.
g. Visual Supports The Center uses visual supports to enhance the child's ability to gain meaning from the environment through sight. We then use this understanding to improve their learning and communication skills. Many autistic children demonstrate strength in understanding visual information.
h. Reading Program North Light Research-Based Reading Program has been developed to support five essential components of reading; phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The Program’s structured intervention programs combine teacher modeling, repeated reading and progress monitoring – three strategies that research has shown are effective in improving students’ reading proficiency. Using audio support and graphs of their progress, students work with high-interest material at their skill level.
i. Creative Art Therapies The Center uses Creative Art Therapies to engage the children in a therapeutic relationship in order to focus on social interaction, self-esteem and reciprocity. These therapies are often used to provide additional support to children who are non-verbal and include dance therapy, art therapy and music therapy.