Autism

  • What does Autism mean?
  • What are the symptoms and signs?
  • Our Primary Intervention Approach
  • Program Development, Supervision, and Implementation
  • Our ABA-Based Skills Assessment and Intervention
  • Services for Individuals with ASD, their Families, and Educators
  • Frequently Asked Questions:

What Does Autism Mean?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability characterized by deficits in social skills and communication and by the presence of restricted and repetitive behaviors. The spectrum of autism is wide-ranging with each individual presenting with their own unique set of characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. (Adapted from the National Autism Center).

What Are the Symptoms and Signs?

ASD is diagnosed based on the presence or absence of specific observable behaviors. Symptoms and red flags include the following, it is important to note that individuals diagnosed with ASD may have just a few or all of the characteristics described below:

  • Limited or no eye contact
  • Lack of joyful expressions or lack of sharing enjoyment with others
  • Lack of gestures to communicate such as pointing, waving, reaching, giving, or showing
  • No response when name is called
  • No meaningful use of words
  • Lack of understanding of emotions
  • Repeats words over and over
  • Highly restricted interests
  • Engages in repetitive behaviors such as hand flapping, body rocking, or lining things up
  • Becomes upset during transitions or changes in routine

Our Primary Intervention Approach

A variety of purported treatment exists for addressing the deficits related to an ASD diagnosis. The National Autism Center published a standard report in 2015 identifying which treatments have sufficient evidence to support their use for individuals with autism. The report identified treatments based in the science of behavior analysis as the primary established intervention for autism. For more information on this report please click here.

At Lexicon Reading Center, we use interventions based on Applied Behavior Analysis. That involves individualized assessment and collaboration with the family to determine appropriate intervention goals. Intervention goals are decided according to the child’s individual needs covering some or all of the following:

  • Daily living skills such as toileting and eating
  • Communication and social skills
  • Academic and vocational skills.

Program Development, Supervision and Implementation

Treatment decisions and program revisions are based on the individual’s progress and performance and only evidence-based methods from the field of behavior analysis are used to develop treatment procedures.

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) provides training to the family and child’s treatment team in order to carry over the effects of the intervention to the child’s everyday life. Our behavioral therapists are RBT qualified (Registered Behavioral Therapist). They involved in continuous training and work under close supervision by BCBAs.

Our ABA-Based Skills Assessment and Intervention

  • PEAK– The PEAK Relational Training System is a one-of-a-kind evidence-based assessment and curriculum program designed to teach children with autism and other language disabilities. The PEAK assessment focuses on addressing core deficits ranging from foundational language skills related to rote memory, vocabulary, and generalization to complex language skills related to problem-solving, perspective taking, and flexibility.
  • VB-MAPP – The Verbal Behavior Milestones and Assessment Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is a criterion-referenced assessment tool and curriculum guide that focuses on teaching skills across verbal operants for typically developing skills through age 4.
  • AFLS – The Assessment of Functional Living Skills is an assessment that focuses on identifying skill deficits related to functional skills for children, adolescents, and adults in different settings. The assessment protocols are home, school, community, basic living, independent living, and vocational.
  • ESDM – The Early Start Denver Model is unique because it is a naturalistic behavioral intervention. The assessment is based on typically developing skills for children ages 0-4 and focuses on ameliorating symptoms of autism in each domain of the diagnosis such as joint-attention, imitation, and communication.
  • Social Skills – A variety of assessments are used to address social skills depending on each learner’s unique needs. The assessment programs include Skill Streaming, Social Thinking, Do Watch Listen Say, The Washington Social Skills Profile, PEERs, and the Autism Social Skills Profile.

Services for Individuals with ASD, their Families, and Educators

  • Autism diagnosis by psychologists.
  • Skills-Based assessments by BCBAs.
  • ABA-Based intervention program development, supervision, and implementation by BCBAs and RBTs.
  • Parents training.
  • Shadow teachers training.
  • Shadow teachers provision.
  • On-site and distance BCBA supervision for family-hired therapists.
  • School consultation.
  • Supervision for RBTs, BCaBAs and other professionals in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What are the early warning signs of Autism?
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in the United States (NICHD) lists five behaviors that warrant further evaluation:

 

  • Does not babble or coo by 12 months
  • Does not gesture (point, wave, grasp) by 12 months
  • Does not say single words by 16 months
  • Does not say two-word phrases on his or her own by 24 months
  • Has any loss of any language or social skill at any age

 

2. What is the age group of individuals with ASD you work with? 

We work with individuals from 2 years old up to adults with ASD.

 

3. Are your programs home-based, center-based or school-based? 

The program setting and goals depend on the individual’s needs as assessed and recommended by our specialists.

 

4. My child was diagnosed with Autism, but his behavior has improved greatly. Why would you still use ABA to develop his non-behavior related skill deficit? 

ABA focuses on developing skills to help individuals fully participate in society. The diagnostic symptoms of autism revolve around social communication and repetitive or restricted behaviors. Assessments relating to the specific symptoms of autism are conducted and intervention is developed to help your child achieve optimal success in the real world. Examples of our skill development programs include:

 

  • Basic social skills (sharing, manners, greetings, eye gaze);
  • Advanced social skills (making friends, conversation, perspective taking, understanding emotions, navigating social relationships);
  • Problem-solving and critical thinking (cause and effect, advanced math skills, and advanced reading skills);
  • Daily living skills (toileting, dressing, sleeping, chores, brushing teeth, washing face, feeding);
  • Safety and community skills (traffic safety, stranger danger, managing money, making purchases).