Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a systematic approach to teaching small, measurable units of behavior ranging from relatively simple responses like making eye contact to advanced responses like spontaneous communication and social interaction. Skills are broken down into small steps and taught systematically through one-on-one instruction and positive reinforcement from teachers trained by the Lovaas Institute for Early Intervention (LIFE).
A unique component of the program is parent involvement. Parents are considered the most essential part of the child's educational team and are trained to work alongside the child's therapists and to implement programs in the home. The intervention program is based on extensive clinical experience and more than 40 years of scientific research that yields the best educational results for children with autism.
EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAM
The Early Intervention program focuses on using play and positive reinforcement as a building block to teaching the child how to learn. Play is essential to a child’s development. It is an all-encompassing activity that helps to develop critical skills such as social, intellectual, emotional and physical abilities. For children with disabilities, these skills are crucial to their development.
INDEPENDENCE THROUGH INTERVENTION
The Independence through Intervention program targets giving individuals with autism the life skills to live a safe, happy life of independence. The therapists at ALLC focus on various life skills such as: crossing the street, calling 9-1-1, counting money, making a grocery list, going shopping, obtaining transportation, preparing meals, taking medicine, knowing basic first aid, house keeping, making a bed, doing laundry, ironing, proper personal hygiene, phone skills, using public restrooms, private vs. public behavior, using debit/credit cards, table manners, shaving, budgeting, typing, reading street signs, following directions, changing batteries, using coupons, time management, paying bills, volunteering, listening skills, interview skills, balancing a check book, self advocacy, self regulation, internet safety, swimming safety, personal safety, developing friendships, reading social cues, visiting the doctor, reporting health concerns, etc.
A “mock apartment” is set up so that the children can learn to complete the various skills needed to become more independent. The apartment currently has a bed, a refrigerator, a dishwasher, an ironing board, and a bathroom with plans to purchase a washer and dryer in the near future. The children also participate in community outings with their therapists to work on navigating public transportation, communication, learning how to ask for help, building social relationships, learning to read signs, eating at a restaurant, and volunteering. They currently volunteer at Catholic Charities on Wednesdays where they package meals, stock the pantry, etc. Therapists also work on self-advocacy, self-regulation, pursuing interests, communication, etc. while at the Center and while in the community.