Providers at Step-in Autism Services of Alaska (SiAS) understand the importance of intensive intervention for individuals diagnosed with Autism or other developmental delays. We have seen firsthand the impact that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) creates in the lives of the individual, siblings, and family members. This is why we pride ourselves on quality ABA services.
SiAS utilizes a relatively novel approach to ABA. Our Center is set up, not like a clinic, but like a natural setting. One of our founders, Linda Robertson, coined the term 'family style ABA' to describe the services provided at the SiAS Center. With an open layout, all of the clients engage with each other and all of the staff. Siblings and peers are often on site to provide more social opportunities for clients.
Center-based services offers the opportunity to teach skills in a novel environment. Often, individuals have a history with a behavior in their home environment. This means that in order to teach new skills, the individual's learning is competing with a previous history of reinforcement for an, often competing, behavior.
Benefits of a center-based autism therapy program include:
- Training & Supervision: More interaction between your child and your BCBA. Immediate support and training of your therapy team.
- BCBA Collaboration: Your BCBA is able to consult with our other BCBA(s) Clinicians to improve your child’s program and make faster, more effective changes. Your child will benefit from face-to-face interactions from multiple experienced Behavior Technicians, Supervisors, and BCBAs.
- Social skills: Opportunities to target social and language skills with peers, and participate in play-based therapy during structured group activities
- Generalization: Increased generalization of learned skills with other Behavior Technicians and BCBAs, the center-based setting, and during community outings.
- School Readiness: Your child will participate in school-based activities to practice following classroom routines, and successfully learn in a school setting (e.g. lining up, sitting in circle time, group responding, going to the restroom).
- Consistency of Services: Substitution by a skilled Behavior Technician or BCBA in the event of a Step-In Autism Services team member call-out. Coordinated Step-In Autism Services team member transitions and breaks to ensure your child is engaged and learning at all times.
No two children are exactly the same, and center-based services supply variables that may increase opportunities to jumpstart new skills and interactions, many of which are afforded by having your loved one in a shared space with other individuals.
SiAS recognizes that life is busy for all families, often more so for families planning around therapy sessions, IEPs, etc. Sometimes home-based services are the answer to these scheduling difficulties. Additionally, as clients progress in skills it is important to generalize those skills to other environments and with other care providers. Introducing home sessions is often a technique used to ensure that the individual is using the skills learned in the environment where he or she spends the majority of his or her time.
SiAS offers services in almost any environment in which that individual requires supports. We have worked with clients in Fred Meyer, Safeway, Walmart, Pioneer Park, MSRC, Subway... In fact, our providers have even worked on Sundays to assist with an individual who was struggling during Sunday School at his or her church. We are more than happy to go where the need is.
An initial assessment will be conducted with you and your child by a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA). The results from this assessment will then be used to develop an individualized ABA program for your child. This program will be implemented in a 1:1 ratio by a behavior technician trained in the principles and techniques of ABA. Depending on your child’s specific needs, a combination of the following skills will be taught during these sessions:
- Attending skills – Communication skills – Imitation Skills – Play/Leisure Skills
- Advocacy/Self-Help Skills – Academic skills – Social Skills – Functionally Equivalent Replacement Behaviors – Adaptive Living Skills – Pre-Vocational Skills
If your child engages in any aggressive or inappropriate behaviors, a functional assessment will be given to determine the behaviors' functions. A behavior plan will then be developed and implemented with him/her to decrease one or more of the behaviors and to teach your child an appropriate replacement behavior .
All of the 1:1 programs are overseen by BCBAs at the Center through data analysis, direct observation, and video taped observations to ensure your child is progressing and that his/her program is being implemented correctly and consistently. All of the behavior technicians employed by SiAS also participate in monthly training. SiAS center-based services exceed the standard BCBA supervision. Our BCBAs are easily accessible to clients, family members, and behavior technicians.
In order to ensure your child generalizes the skills being learned during the 1:1 sessions, your BCBA may recommend some ABA services in the home and community environment. The type and amount of in-home/ community services will vary depending on your child’s needs and the number of hours he/she receives at the Center.