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|Tuesday, 12 August 2008 22:33|
1. Garden Academy
Garden Academy is a private school located in Maplewood, New Jersey. Our program provides special education to individuals with autism ages 3-21 using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Garden Academy uses scientific, data-based, and accountable interventions to provide an individualized education to students with autism so that they may lead lives of the greatest possible independence. Ours is a full-day (6 hours), full-year program. The model requires a 1:1 staff to student ratio in order to achieve an effective educational program for each student.
We are committed to ensuring that our students develop the skills necessary to realize their full potential and to become integral and functional members of their families and communities. We accomplish these goals through:
Garden Academy’s educational programs are individualized to address specific deficits in the areas of communication, socialization and adaptive behaviors. Emphasis is placed on language acquisition, social interaction, self-help skills, pre-academic and academic skills, play skills and on the decrease of maladaptive behaviors.
All aspects of the program at Garden Academy are derived from the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Pedagogical technologies employed include, but are not limited to, discrete trials, incidental teaching, video and audio modeling, shaping, scripting and script fading procedures and peer modeling. Generalization procedures are implemented as part of the program to ensure maintenance of skills across people and environments. Garden Academy also recognizes the need for students to be in the least restrictive environment in which they can learn. When appropriate, we provide transitional support to our students throughout their educational careers.
To meet the rising demand for qualified professionals in the field of autism education, Garden Academy also provides hands-on, clinical training. Notably, a trainer is assigned to each classroom and works with the teaching staff each day, providing ongoing training and supervision. Garden Academy’s staff develops new curricula to educate those with autism and conducts and publishes research on the efficacy of interventions.
Garden Academy also promotes increased community awareness and understanding of autism, pervasive developmental disorders, and appropriate interventions through its events, website, marketing communications and public workshops.
Reaching Potentials, Inc. is a private nonprofit organization serving children with autism and their families. We partner with parents and the professional community to provide research-based services. Since our inception in 1995, Reaching Potentials has proudly promoted lifelong access and opportunity for all individuals within the autism spectrum and their families, so that they may be fully participating, included members of their community.
Recognizing and respecting the diverse range of opinions, needs and desires of this group, Reaching Potentials empowers individuals with autism, their parents and caregivers by utilizing the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). At the very core of this philosophy is the understanding that while no single program or treatment will benefit all individuals with autism, ABA is an empirically proven method of intervention that supports our commitment to evidence-based practice which addresses the unique needs of each child and his/her family.
With treatment centers located in Boca Raton, Florida and Fredericksburg, Virginia, we now serve an increasing population of individuals and families affected by autism. Our primary services include:
Day Program - An early intervention center based day treatment program, providing one-on-one individualized instruction for children age 14 months to 6 years. (Older children are considered on a case-by-case basis.) Utilizing programming based on the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis, instruction targets a variety of areas including communication, academics, adaptive/daily living skills, play skills and social interaction;
Tutoring - In addition to our center based day program, we offer after school tutoring and support for elementary and middle school age children. This program is appropriate for children who need extra help with academics, homework and/or social skills;
Home Based Programs – For families who decide to implement programs at home, we offer program development, support and supervision for home based ABA programs;
Training – A core piece of our efforts has always included parent and professional training classes. Beginning, intermediate and advanced training topics in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism Intervention are offered for family members and professionals involved in the education, care, treatment, and support of individuals with autism spectrum disorders;
Internships – Reaching Potentials has long recognized the need to increase the availability of trained personnel to support individuals with autism spectrum disorders. To help provide support in this area, we provide student internships and supervision of fieldwork for professionals pursuing certification;
Outreach Services – For families outside of our local geographic area, we offer distance supervision for home based programs (achieved through travel to the home supplemented with phone, email and video observation.)
Consultation Services - Behavior analytic consultation services are available to assist with a variety of other needs such as Functional Behavior Assessments, School Based Observation and Consultation Services, IEP Consultation, Skills Assessment, Supported Inclusion;
Community Education and Autism Awareness – Promoting awareness and support in the community is achieved through community presentations and workshops, special events and collaborative campaigns.
500 NE Spanish River Blvd., Suites 11 & 12, Boca Raton, FL 33431 Phone: 561-391-1004 Fax: 561-391-1008
1602 William St., Upper Floor, Fredericksburg, VA 22401 Phone: 540-368-8087 Fax: 540-368-8059
Kenneth F. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D
In late 2010, Caldwell College was proud to announce the opening of its new Center for Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis at Caldwell College. Walk into the space and you are immediately struck by the opportunities it provides. “Our goal is to graduate professionals to educate people with autism and to conduct cutting-edge research on science-based intervention strategies,” said Sharon A. Reeve, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Executive Director of the Center, and Chair of the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) department. “It is also a place where families will find hope for themselves and their children with autism.” Opening the Center was a natural step for the college, which has become a leader in training behavior analysts and autism education professionals, since beginning New Jersey’s first Master of Art’s in ABA program in 2005 and the state’s first Ph.D. program in 2009.
Along with ABA faculty members Dr. Tina Sidener, BCBA-D, and Dr. Ruth DeBar, BCBA-D, Reeve traveled the country and studied the most respected autism intervention centers prior to designing the 6,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility at Caldwell College. The Center features intervention rooms, a medical/dental examination room, research space, faculty and graduate student offices, and a modern videoconferencing classroom that allows Caldwell to share its research and expertise around the globe. “In a way, we combined all of the best aspects of the top-notch centers into the Caldwell College Center for Autism and ABA,” said Sidener, Director of Training at the Center.
Under the guidance of the faculty, Master and doctoral students work hands-on with learners ranging in age from infancy to adulthood, and teach them basic and advanced social, communication, academic, and adaptive skills, through the principles of ABA. When individuals come to the Center for services, they are assessed by an ABA faculty member. Then, a plan of intervention tailored to the specific needs of each individual is developed in collaboration between faculty and graduate students. The Center staff also provides home and school consultation, developmental assessments, and support services. Elena Garcia-Albea, a doctoral student who has been teaching children with disabilities in both private and public schools, is eager for the chance to collaborate with the Caldwell professors. “Their mentorship and guidance will help me become a better behavior analyst.” In collaboration with the Caldwell College graduate programs in ABA, the Center helps to meet the shortage of qualified professionals to teach children with autism and to design effective programs for them.
In addition to serving as a training space for master’s and doctoral students, the Center also serves as a hub for research. “What helps our work at the Center advance the fields of ABA and autism intervention is that able to uncover better teaching procedures through empirical studies, apply those procedures to our learners, and then disseminate them to professional colleagues through peer-reviewed research journals,” Reeve explained. State-of-the-art videoconferencing equipment in the Center will allow the professionals to communicate remotely with families affected by autism and reach out to colleagues across the country and around the world to share research. ABA faculty members have even been approached by professionals in Europe who are interested in offering degree programs through the use of videoconferencing. “We are one of only a handful of doctoral programs in ABA in the U.S., and many other countries have even fewer programs,” said DeBar, Director of Outreach at the Center. “Educators in these countries are looking for ways to gain access to the training provided by quality ABA programs, and we have the equipment to connect with them.”
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The Neurobehavioral Unit (NBU) is a 16-bed inpatient unit dedicated to the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior displayed by individuals with autism and intellectual disabilities (ID). This is a unique program that specializes in the treatment of severe and highly treatment resistant problems, provides intensive behavioral assessment and treatment services, offers integrated and targeted application of behavioral and pharmacological interventions (Hagopian & Caruso-Anderson, 2010). In addition to providing specialized treatment services, the NBU offers advanced training in applied behavior analysis through its APA-approved predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship.
The program has been in existence since the early 1980's, and has served patients from 31 states and several countries. Individuals aged 2-19 years admitted to the NBU present with a variety of severe and sometimes life-threatening behavioral problems, as well as complex medical issues. Criteria for admission are that behavior is of such severity and/or intensity that the individual is a danger to him or herself and is at risk for long-term residential placement. Admission length typically varies from three to six months.
Individuals admitted to the NBU inpatient service receive behavioral, psychiatric, educational, developmental, and social assessments and interventions. Behavioral assessment and treatment strategies are derived from an applied behavior analysis model. Interventions are developed based on the results of systematic behavioral assessments, including functional behavioral assessments (e.g., functional analysis), analysis of parent-child interactions, and reinforcer assessments. The interventions are individually designed to decrease problem behavior, while increasing more appropriate and adaptive responses. Furthermore, concomitant psychiatric disorders (e.g., mood disorders, ADHD) are also systematically evaluated and treated. Treatment effectiveness is systematically evaluated using reliable objective measures (i.e., direct observation) and single-case designs. Behavioral and psychiatric interventions are developed and applied in an integrated manner to achieve the goal of formulating the safest, least restrictive and most effective treatment regimen for each patient. Outcome data indicate that the primary treatment goal of reducing problem behavior by at least 80 percent is achieved for more than 80 percent of patients.
A critical component of the program is to train caregivers (e.g., parents and teachers) to implement prescribed behavioral treatments. When possible, pre-admission home and school visits are conducted to assess both child and caregiver behavior. These assessments continue while the child is an inpatient. Once an effective treatment has been developed during the hospitalization, caregivers are trained to implement the intervention at mastery level (90 percent accuracy). Caregivers practice implementation of the treatment in a variety of naturalistic settings under the supervision of a behavior therapist to promote maintenance of treatment gains. Intensive outpatient services are initiated at the time of discharge by the NBU outpatient department to help ensure a smooth transition from the hospital to the client's home. Thereafter, the intensity of outpatient services varies depending on the needs of the patient and family.
Solutions for Individuals with Autism and Related Conditions
The NBU has a long history of developing new and innovative procedures for the assessment and treatment of severe behavior disorders. In fact, NBU faculty have published numerous articles (including some seminal papers) related to behavioral assessments, communication training, behavior analysis, reinforcer identification, treatment development, pharmacological interventions, and behavioral medicine. For NBU patients with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), treatments have focused on addressing issues such as increasing tolerance to change, improving communication and social skills, and decreasing repetitive, stereotypic behavior. Below is a summary of intervention approaches as they relate to each of these diagnostic concerns.
Learning to Tolerate Change. Individuals with ASD often have difficulties tolerating change, interruption, or being denied access to preferred activities. While it is reasonable and appropriate to engineer the environment to minimize change and interruption, excessive accommodations can be detrimental and not sustainable in the long run. For a sizable minority of individuals with ASD and problem behavior, being interrupted from engaging in stereotypic behavior or interrupted from engaging in an activity when being transitioned to the next activity may be highly aversive because it involves both a loss of reinforcement and is unpredictable (Flannery & Horner, 1994; McCord, Thomson, & Iwata, 2001). When children react to this situation with frustration and the display of severe problem behavior, adults may terminate their attempts to transition the child, or generally avoid interruptions. Over the course of repeated exposure to this situation, these behavior patterns are strengthened and these children come to respond to most adult interactions and prompts with great agitation. Research has shown how problem behavior can be occasioned when individuals with ASD are interrupted, and how this maladaptive pattern can be changed through the use of signaling procedures, redirection, and gradually increasing tolerance to interruption by pairing compliance with interruptions with alternative reinforcement (Adelinis & Hagopian, 1999; Fisher, Adelinis, Thompson, Worsdell, & Zarcone, 1998; Hagopian & Adelinis, 2001; Hagopian, Bruzek, Bowman, & Jennett, 2007). This research illustrates how targeting a core deficit of autism, namely insistence on sameness and rigid stereotyped patterns of behavior is possible and can be critical in addressing problem behavior.
Increasing Communication Skills. Deficits in expressive and receptive communication may place individuals with ASD at increased risk for problem behavior because their needs cannot be effectively communicated. There is an abundance of research demonstrating that problem behavior (self-injury, aggression, etc) that sometimes co-occurs with ASD is often maintained by social consequences such as adult attention, access to toys, or escape from tasks (identified via functional behavioral assessment). Functional Communication Training (FCT) is an intervention for problem behavior that involves teaching the individual an appropriate communication response as a means of accessing reinforcement in lieu of problem behavior. Research on FCT has demonstrated its efficacy for the treatment of severe behavior displayed by children with ASD and ID, and has examined the mechanisms by which it may exert its effects (Fisher, Thompson, Bowman, Hagopian, & Krug, 2000; Hagopian, Fisher, Sullivan, Acquisto, & LeBlanc, 1998; Hagopian, Wilson, & Wilder, 2001; Hagopian, Kuhn, Long, & Rush, 2005; Tiger, Hanley, & Bruzek, 2008). Once problem behaviors are reduced and a functional communication response is taught, it is important to teach individuals to discriminate times when requests can and cannot be honored, such as when adults are busy (Kuhn, Chigrin, & Zelenka, 2010). An additional goal is to increase individuals’ tolerance to being denied immediate access to preferred activities and other reinforcers (an unavoidable event for everyone) as a means of enhancing the long-term sustainability of FCT interventions and ensuring the resilience of newly acquired communication responses (e.g., Hagopian et al., 2005).
Social Skills Training. For individuals with ASD, social skills deficits may impair day-to-day social interactions, and also result in missed opportunities to learn since much of learning occurs incidentally though social interactions and observation of others. Research has shown that individuals with ASD can be taught how to appropriately request social interaction, how to interact with others more appropriately (Hagopian, Kuhn, & Strother, 2009; Krantz & McClannahan, 1998; LeBlanc, Coates, Daneshvar, Charlop-Christy, Morris, & Lancaster, 2003), and to appropriately request that social interaction be terminated when it is unwanted (Hagopian, Wilson, & Wilder, 2001). As is the case with training communication skills, establishing effective social interaction skills can be helpful in both reducing problem behavior as well as broadening adaptive skills that can improve the individual’s quality of life.
Addressing Repetitive or Stereotyped Behavior. Repetitive or stereotyped behavior can pose problems in children with ASD, because the behavior can result in injury, can be highly disruptive, or it interferes with the establishment of appropriate behavior. A variation of the preference assessment, the competing stimulus assessment, is designed to identify items that produce stimulation that is more reinforcing than stimulation produced by self-stimulatory and some types of self-injurious behavior (Fisher, DeLeon, Rodriquez-Catter, & Keeney, 2004; Hagopian, Rush, Lewin, & Long, 2001; Hagopian, Kuhn, Long, & Rush, 2005; Jennett, Jann, & Hagopian, in press; Piazza, Fisher, Hanley, Hilker, & Derby, 1996; Piazza, Adelinis, Hanley, Goh, & Delia, 2000; Shore, Iwata, DeLeon, Kahng, & Smith, 1997). These procedures go beyond simply identifying reinforcement maintaining problem behavior and seek to identify reinforcers that compete with or are superior to those maintaining reinforcers. Problems with excessive stereotypic/self-stimulatory behavior and leisure skills deficits have been addressed by targeting toy play skills directly (Kuhn, Hagopian, & Kuhn, 2007). This approach involves using supplemental reinforcers to establish appropriate toy contact and toy engagement. Once the individual contacts the reinforcing properties of toy engagement itself, the supplemental reinforcers are removed.
Adelinis, J.D. & Hagopian, L.P. (1999). The use of symmetrical ‘do’ and ‘don’t’ requests to interrupt ongoing activities. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 32(4), 519-523.
Fisher, W.W., Adelinis, J.D., Thompson, R.H., Worsdell, A.S., & Zarcone, J.R. (1998). Functional analysis and treatment of destructive behavior maintained by termination of ‘don’t’ (and symmetrical ‘do’) requests. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31(3), 339-356.
Fisher, W.W., DeLeon, I.G., Rodriguez-Catter, V., & Keeney, K.M. (2004). Enhancing the effects of extinction on attention-maintained behavior through noncontingent delivery of attention or stimuli identified via a competing stimulus assessment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 37(2), 171-184.
Fisher, W.W., Thompson, R.H., Hagopian, L.P., Bowman, L.G., & Krug, A. (2000). Facilitating tolerance of delayed reinforcement during functional communication training. Behavior Modification, 24(1), 3-29.
Flannery, B.K. & Horner, R.H. (1994). The relationship between predictability and problem behavior for students with severe disabilities. Journal of Behavioral Education, 4(2), 157-176.
Hagopian, L.P. & Adelinis, J.D. (2001). Response blocking with and without redirection for the treatment of pica. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34(4), 527-530.
Hagopian, L.P., Bruzek, J.L., Bowman, L.G., & Jennett, H.K. (2007). Assessment and treatment of problem behavior occasioned by interruption of free-operant behavior. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 40(1), 89-103.
Hagopian, L.P. & Caruso-Anderson, M.E. (2010). Integrating behavioral and pharmacological interventions for severe problem behavior displayed by children with neurogenetic and developmental disorders. In B.K. Shapiro & J. Pasquale (Eds.), Neurogenetic syndromes: Behavioral issues and their treatment (pp. 217-239). Baltimore, MD US: Paul H. Brookes Publishing.
Hagopian, L.P., Fisher, W.W., Sullivan, M., Acquisto, J., & LeBlanc, L.A. (1998). Effectiveness of functional communication training with and without extinction and punishment: A summary of 21 inpatient cases. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31(2), 211-235.
Hagopian, L.P., Kuhn, S.A.C., Long, E.S., & Rush, K.S. (2005). Schedule thinning following communication training: Using competing stimuli to enhance tolerance to decrements in reinforce density. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 38(2), 177-193.
Hagopian, L.P., Kuhn, D.E., & Strother, G.E. (2009). Targeting social skills deficits in an adolescent with pervasive developmental disorder. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(4), 907-911.
Hagopian, L.P., Rush, K.S., Lewin, A.B., & Long, E.S. (2001). Evaluating the predictive validity of a single stimulus engagement preference assessment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34(4), 475-485.
Hagopian, L.P., Wilson, D.M., & Wilder, D.A. (2001). Assessment and treatment of problem behavior maintained by escape from attention and access to tangible items. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34(2), 229-232.
Jennett, H.K., Jann, K., & Hagopian, L.P. (in press). A further refinement of competing stimulus assessments: Inclusion of response blocking and representation. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Krantz, P.J. & McClannahan, L.E. (1998). Social interaction skills for children with autism: A script-fading procedure for beginning readers. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 31(2), 191-202.
Kuhn, D.E., Chirighin, A.E., & Zelenka, K. (2010). Discriminated functional communication: A procedural extension of functional communication training. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 43(2), 249-264.
Kuhn, D.E., Hagopian, L.P., & Kuhn, S.A.C. (2007). The effects of increasing appropriate play skills on preference for toys. In J.E. Ringdahl (Chair) Symposium presented at the 33rd Annual Meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis International. San Diego, CA.
LeBlanc, L.A., Coates, A.M., Daneshvar, S., Charlop-Christy, M.H., Morris, C., & Lancaster, B.M. (2003). Using video modeling and reinforcement to teach perspective-taking skills to children with autism. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 36(2), 253-257.
McCord, B.E., Thomson, R.J., & Iwata, B.A. (2001). Functional analysis and treatment of self-injury associated with transitions. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 34(2), 195-210.
Piazza, C.C., Adelinis, J.D., Hanley, G.P., Goh, H., & Delia, M.D. (2000). An evaluation of the effects of matched stimuli on behaviors maintained by automatic reinforcement. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 33(1), 13-27.
Piazza, C.C., Fisher, W.W., Hanley, G.P., Hilker, K., & Derby, K.M. (1996). A preliminary procedure for predicting the positive and negative effects of reinforcer-based procedures. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 29(2), 137-152.
Shore, B.A., Iwata, B.A., DeLeon, I.G., Kahng, S., & Smith, R.G. (1997). An analysis of reinforce substitutability using object manipulation and self-injury as competing responses. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30(1), 21-40.
Tiger, J.H., Hanley, G.P., & Bruzek, J. (2008). Functional communication training: A review and practical guide. Behavior Analysis in Practice, 1(1), 16-23.
|Last Updated on Monday, 04 June 2012 19:12|