Neurological Diagnosis and Treatment for Learning Disabilities

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Tutors

Bright Minds Institute offers referrals for Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism.

Therapy Practice

An ABA treatment program means the entire therapy package for one child. This package may include the services of PT, SLP, OT or other paraprofessional in addition to the ABA expert.

A curriculum is an individualized plan to teach the child a wide variety of behaviors, skills, and knowledge. The curriculum may include modifying undesirable behavior, and development of skills in language, personal care, play, social, motor, and academics. It is made up of many programs, each teaching one specific behavior, skill or information.

ABA relies on behavioral principles. ABA is used to educate the child not just to control undesirable behaviors.

Positive reinforcement and informative feedback are used. Physical aversives are not recommended by BMI.

Each program must have a curriculum recommended by the team detailing the skills to be taught to the child. The curriculum should be based on normal child development, as interpreted by the Bright Minds team.

ABA therapy is most effective for children when started before age 5.

Structured one-on-one therapy is usually necessary for children in the first two to three years of therapy. As a child progresses, therapy is expected to change.

Team

Each child should have a therapy team. Team members must include all caregivers, an expert, and at least three therapists, pre-school or school staff.

The team should meet at least every second week to discuss progress, technique and future programming.

Expert

The expert should have an MD with training in Cognition and Behavior or a PhD in psychology, specializing in ABA therapy for autism, and have years of practical experience in this area. The expert must recommend a curriculum; provide training in ABA theory and practice, an assessment of the child; supervision and feedback for parents, therapists; and overall responsibility for program integrity.

Therapists

Therapists must be trained in ABA theory and practice. Therapists must follow ABA practices, as directed by the expert.

Intensity

The child should receive at least 40 hours of formal therapy, with at least 10 hours of that supervised by a senior therapist or expert

Miscellaneous

The ABA program should be enjoyable to the child. There should be some short amounts of playtime during formal therapy.

Everyone on the team is responsible for the child's safety.

The parents must have the final word on what is best for their child.

Integration may not be an immediate feature of an ABA program, but it must be an objective.

 
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