The Association of Behavior Consultants (ABC) is experienced in providing in-home developmental, educational and behavioral services for children at risk for developmental delay as well as providing Intensive Developmental Skills Training (IDST) for children of the autistic spectrum. Due to the nature of autistic disorders, highly specialized and more intensive teaching efforts are often necessary to obtain developmental progress in young children. One-to-one teaching is often necessary for a protracted period of time in order to overcome the effects of reduced environmental awareness and sensory perception deficits.
Home Based Structure
Research has shown that children benefit greatly from daily home based structured teaching sessions that include parent involvement. Intensive Developmental Skill Training means daily one-to-one teaching designed by a qualified professional, based on an assessment of developmental and behavioral needs. The teaching program is implemented by a team of professionals who have received specialized training in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).
To identify developmental skill strengths and deficits, ABC uses the Carolina Curriculum for Infants and Toddlers, 2nd edition, The Verbal Behavior Milestones and Placement Program (Sundberg, 2005) and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) as the primary model of intervention for children under 60 months of age.
Each of these assessments provides a primary model of intervention for children under 60 months of age, proving a comprehensive treatment model that addresses developmental skills in the areas of language, play, social interaction, joint attention, imitation, motor skills, self-care and behavior.
Existing Activities and Routines
The goal of this model is to find and use the child’s interests and motivations to develop activities and routines that facilitate communication, interaction and learning. Teaching is embedded in play activities, naturally occurring routines and structural/continued teaching strategies. Teaching activities address multiple objectives across developmental domains. Teaching opportunities occur at a very high rate.
ABC incorporates aspects from three empirically supported models of intervention – the Denver Model, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), and Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication related Handicapped Children (TEACH).
We incorporate contingencies, prompting and fading prompts, managing consequences, shaping behaviors, and chaining behaviors. All of our programs emphasize the importance of motivation and natural reinforcers in the generalization of skills. Both of these interventions have strong empirical support across age spans and severity of symptoms (National Standards Project, 2009).
ABC provides a developmentally based curriculum and focuses heavily on relationship building, communication and affect. Most of the teaching occurs through joint activity routines, in which parent/therapist and child are focused on creating learning activities together. ABC’s Autism Program pairs our developmental model for intervention with functional behavior analysis and functional communication training to address behavioral excesses.