News and Notes from The Johnson Center

Pilot Program Takes off For Preschoolers with ASD

JCCHD | Mon, May 07, 2012 | [Applied Behavior Analysis][Autism Treatment]

JCCHD Pilot Program

Families of children with autism are often told their children need Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).  Sounds easy enough, right? Just find an ABA provider and start services.  Unfortunately, finding quality services at an affordable price can be an extremely difficult process. Knowing firsthand how families struggle to find appropriate services, The Johnson Center incorporates quality ABA services into our multi-disciplinary program.

Our behavioral services department offers a wide range of programs and services, including supervision and oversight of behavioral programs, training of parents and professionals, and social skills training groups for children on the spectrum; earlier this year we launched our Pilot Program, a preschool preparedness program for children aged 2-5.

The goals of the Pilot Program are to provide families with access to quality one-on-one ABA services at an affordable price and to educate families on how powerful ABA interventions can be.  Pilot Program sessions consist of 20 hours a week of ABA provided by a trained therapist for each participant.  All ABA services occur on-site in order to provide access to age- and program-appropriate toys and stimuli, as well as social opportunities with the other children receiving services at The Johnson Center. 

The program is structured and scheduled in order to maximize a child’s learning opportunities during their time at the JCCHD.  There are designated times for learning new skills, expanding and increasing language, and interacting with peers.  Using ABA techniques, the staff members in the Pilot Program teach a variety of skills including self-help, gross motor, fine motor, speech, language, listening skills, school readiness, social interactions, and play.  All of the goals are individualized to each child’s unique needs. 
The interventions are implemented by therapists trained at The Johnson Center, and are supervised by behavioral consultant Sally Borella, with consultation provided by Regan Fitzgerald, BCBA.  The program also incorporates parental input regarding programming goals by conducting bi-weekly meetings with the parents, ABA therapists, and the case supervisor.  These team meetings create an opportunity for everyone to receive training, ask questions, and address any parental concerns regarding behavior and progress outside of The Johnson Center.

As we approach the end of the first session of this program it is truly amazing to see how much progress has been made in so little time.  All of the parents of the participants are reporting that their children are applying skills learned at The Johnson Center to their home and community settings.  One mother of a Pilot-Program participant reports that the program has improved her son’s quality of life so significantly that “he is a different kid” and that the Pilot Program “…saved our lives.”

Based on the success of the first session, The Johnson Center will start a summer session of the Pilot Program on June 4th.  For more information about this program and ABA services, contact Jeanna Martinez at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call 512.732.8400.