Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) improving lives

 

Early Intensive ABA for 1-3 year olds just diagnosed with ASD

  • EIBI starts as soon after your young child is diagnosed as possible, the younger the better, typically between the ages of 1-3. 
  • Your child receives an average of 40 hours of intensive ABA each week with a team of behavior therapists led by a BCBA with weekly oversight by a doctoral level BCBA-D as well. 
  • EIBI programs typically last for 2-3 years and enable many children to enter 1st grade in a more typical learning environment.
  • EIBI is a combination typically of discrete trial learning (DTI or DTT) and incidental teaching (also called pivotal response training or naturalistic teaching) in blocks throughout daily, 6-7 hour sessions.
  • Sessions for early intensive behavioral intervention can occur at home or in a daycare or private preschool setting. 
  • We do offer clinic-based sessions for those families that cannot do it at home or find a daycare and are located near one of our clinical sites.
  • Click here to find out how to use your insurance or HUSKY to get your child EIBI - don't rely on Birth to Three because they won't


Intensive Home-based ABA programs for children ages 3-18 with ASD

  • We bring together our highly trained and friendly Behavior Technicians to craft teams that are a great fit and create a fun, effective learning environment. We work in homes, schools, daycares, and the community.
  • We have a three tiered model for supervision of our home-based ABA programs. We have teams of behavior therapists (BTs) supervised weekly by a BCBA who leads the team. We also have weekly oversight by a doctoral level BCBA-D as well for all our programs.
  • We use Catalyst for data collection (on mini iPads and iPods) to ensure that even when our Doctoral level BCBAs and Master's level BCBAs are not there in person, they can review all the data at any time, change any program at any time, and get those updates to staff immediately. Catalyst also includes a parent/teacher portal so you can track progress and read any notes.


School Consultation:

  • We provide consultation to schools with highly experienced BCBAs on an ongoing basis for students with special needs with weekly oversight for all consultation by Dr Zwicker.
  • For complex cases, Dr Zwicker provides direct consultation services. If additional doctoral level consultants are needed, our resident professor, Dr Frank Savage, Ph.D., BCBA-D provides direct consultation.


Full School Support Programs

  • We provide highly trained 1:1 behavior therapists to implement behavioral programs and provide shadowing support throughout each school day.
  • Our BCBAs and Dr Zwicker provide weekly supervision.


Training

  • We offer targeted and specific hands on training for parents and teachers and others are welcome to attend and learn as much as they can from our doctoral level BCBA-Ds and graduate students who lead the intensive training sessions.
    • We offer training that follows the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) task list in accordance with BACB standards.
  • We offer training on conducting and using functional analyses to drive more effective interventions to eliminate severe problem behaviors - this is how you should be doing all your Functional Behavior Assessments!


Assessments:

​       Assessments help drive treatment decision-making

  • Functional Behavior Assessments:
    • Behaviors (i.e., anything dead people don't do) are maintained by their consequences.
    • Interventions designed to reduce and eliminate problem behaviors should be based on a sound analysis of the function of the problem behavior(s).
    • there are two kinds of functional behavior assessments: (1) descriptive analyses and (2) functional analyses. You should be asking for functional analyses instead of descriptive analyses when you ask for an FBA.
      • Descriptive analyses involve observing behavior and identifying common events that occur after the behavior and looking at the proportion of time specific consequences follow a behavior compared to other consequences. Descriptive analyses yield a hypothesis for the function(s) of problem behavior(s). 
      • Functional analyses involve interviewing those who know the individual, observing the individual, and then setting up control and test conditions in which the consequence(s) that are thought to maintain the problem behavior are delivered only after the problem behavior occurs (test condition) or throughout the entire duration of a condition (control condition). Alternating between these two yields data about how often the behavior occurs in each which enables the Behavior Analyst to determine what consequence(s) causes the problem behavior(s). Functional analyses are much more accurate than descriptive analyses for identifying the consequence(s) that maintain problem behaviors. They also often take even less time than a descriptive assessment where hours and hours of observations are needed just to come up with a hypothesis (which in many cases has been demonstrated in studies to be inaccurate).


  • Skill and Milestone Assessments (ABLLS-R, VB-MAPP, ALFS, PEAK, Social Skills):
    • Identify critical areas to focus on for early intensive behavioral intervention, the ABLLS-R and VB-MAPP offer helpful starting points. The VB-MAPP is the more useful skill assessment because it is organized to evaluate skills at each developmental level (0-18 months, 18-36 months, 36-48 months). 
    • PEAK is an assessment and curriculum that incorporates traditional verbal behavior approaches and adds components to evaluate and teach through equivalence and relational learning to create derived responding. It includes many of the skill areas on the ABLLS and VB-MAPP and goes beyond both of the previous assessments to evaluate more complex language that is needed to have meaningful conversations that often require abstract language.
    • Adolescents who have significant areas of need can benefit from ongoing skills assessments such as the AFLS that focus on daily living skills at home, the community, and school.
    • Many adolescents with autism struggle socially. Assessing skill using the Social Skills Rating Scale (SSRS) can help to focus the targets for intensive behavioral interventions to address social skills deficits (for example, using the Teaching Interaction Procedure to teach social skills such as accepting constructive feedback, sharing, showing empathy, etc). 


  • Ecological assessments:
    • Help to identify the specific behaviors needed for a child to be successful in a given environment, including the amount of different behaviors that represent typical patterns. Ecological assessments often involve observing how  child performs in specific environments compared to a sample of typical peers in that environment.
    • These assessments can help determine what learning value a child is getting from specific environment and whether that environment is appropriate given the child's skills compared to those required to be successful in that environment.

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