Navigating the services and therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can sometimes feel overwhelming.  If your child has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) they may have a large team of interdisciplinary professionals (with a variety of different credentials) who contribute to their treatment.  This entry will briefly summarize the role of professionals and therapists and the services that they provide.  

 

Speech-Language Pathology

Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) and Speech-Language Pathology Assistants (SLPAs) often work with children with ASD to improve their ability to communicate.  SLPs work to assess, diagnose and treat speech disorders (for example when a person cannot produce speech sounds); language disorders (when a person has trouble understanding others); social communication (for example, asking questions or greeting a friend); and cognitive-communication (for example, organizing thoughts and paying attention).  Speech-language services support children in building the communication skills that they need to reach their individual goals.

 

ABA Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based intervention approach that targets improving specific behaviors.  A variety of professionals can provide this intervention including Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBAs), Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBTs) and paraprofessionals such as Behavioral Health Professionals or Education Technicians.  Prior to intervention, the provider will evaluate the causes and consequences of your child’s behavior and develop a plan for intervention and behavior change.  Strategies used may include positive reinforcement, changing the environment, and adding or removing cues that lead to a specific behavior.  

 

Social Work

Social workers help children and their families cope with the challenges in their daily lives.  A social worker may help a parent or caregiver build a supportive network; understand their legal rights; learn to advocate for their child; or collaborate to determine effective parenting strategies.  A child with ASD may learn and practice coping strategies, receive emotional support, and for older children, address how their challenges differ between school, home, and their community.  Common credentials for social workers include LSW (Licensed Social Worker); MSW (Master of Social Work); and LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker).

 

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapists (OTs) and Occupational Therapy Assistants (OTAs) help give children the opportunity to participate in the things that they want and need to do.  For children with autism spectrum disorder this often includes building independence with learning, playing with peers, participating in fine motor activities, self-care, and more.  Intervention sessions may consist of preparatory activities (such as engaging in a sensory rich environment), skill building, modifying the environment, modifying an activity, or establishing a new routine.

 

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy helps children improve their ability to move and function.  For children with ASD, this often translates to improving coordination and developing postural control.  Physical Therapists (PTs) and Physical Therapy Assistants (PTAs) help kids develop skills that may allow them to engage in gross motor games, sit at their desk for learning, or play on playground equipment at recess.  


Case Management

Case management (CM) and service coordination professionals work alongside family members to assess needs and help them to access services and therapies for Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Case managers are valuable team members who advocate for families and link them with the tools and resources that they need for their child with ASD.  The role of the case manager is comprehensive and often includes initial screening, assessment, goal-development, creating referrals, conveying information, monitoring the child’s progress, and more.

 

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us at office@aleebh.com

 

References

 

  1. https://www.asha.org/public/speech/
  2. https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Behavioral-Treatment-of-Autism-and-Other-Developmental-Disabilities-Fact-Sheet_210108.pdf
  3. https://www.socialworkers.org/News/Facts/Social-Workers
  4. https://www.aota.org/Conference-Events/OTMonth/what-is-OT.aspx
  5. https://www.choosept.com/symptomsconditionsdetail/physical-therapy-guide-to-autism-spectrum-disorder
  6. https://dsamh.utah.gov/pdf/case_management/CM%20Practice%20Standards.pdf

The new academic year can be challenging for any child. After all, entering a new grade (or school entirely) comes with a shift in responsibilities and expectations. They will also have to adjust to a new teaching style and re-integrate with their peers after spending a lot of time at home. Furthermore, due to school closures in 2020, these changes may feel even more intense as students transition from homeschooling and to a classroom environment. However, the prospect of returning to school may be even more difficult for children with Autism and related disorders.

 

As such, it’s important that you find as many ways as possible to prepare your child to go back to school!

 

Talk about going back to school ahead of time. Children with autism often react best to new situations when they are able to prepare for them ahead of time. Therefore, you should ensure you give them plenty of advance warning before their first day at school rolls around. One way in which you can achieve this goal is by making it part of your daily conversation. For example, you could ask them what they are most excited about learning in the new year, especially if their special interests align with the school curriculum. You can also bring it up more casually by saying, ‘School starts in ___ days, let’s get everything ready!’. Shopping for new clothes and supplies is another great way to help them feel more prepared.

 

Ask to meet their new teacher ahead of time. As your child moves into a new grade at school, it’s likely that they will also be assigned a new teacher. While this can be incredibly exciting, it does mean a slight deviation from what they are used to – as they may have grown accustomed to a specific teacher’s teaching style or behaviors. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can go about making your child feel more comfortable with a new teacher. For example, you could ask if they can meet with their teacher ahead of time, ideally in their new classroom, to get a feel for the space. Alternatively, you could schedule a quick zoom session with the teacher so that your child can introduce themselves and ask any questions they might have.

 

Set new goals for the academic year. Children with autism and related disorders are often very driven and like to present themselves with a series of challenges. As such, they usually thrive in an academic environment. Therefore, you can help them feel more excited about starting school by encouraging them to set themselves new goals for the academic year.

 

Put together a schedule. Children with autism or related disorders also tend to thrive when operating in a clearly structured environment. In this regard, attending school each day works in the favor – as they will be expected to arrive at the same time each morning and eat lunch at the same time each day. However, you can support them during this time by putting together a clear schedule for the rest of their time. For example, they should have a short break after school before doing their homework or participating in extra-curricular activities.

 

In short, there are various steps you can take to support your child as they prepare for the new school year. Doing so will support them through these changes and ensure they put their best foot forward. However, if you think they may need some additional support – we offer both in-person and online therapy services designed to help children with autism and related disorders thrive in any situation.

Parenting will always be tough – whether your kids are in the infamous terrible twos or entering their teens. However, if you are raising a child with autism or a related disorder, you may initially find it hard to provide them with the support and care they need to thrive in any situation. Thankfully, there are various ways in which you can begin to better provide for your child – many of which revolve around loving and respecting them for who they are. In this case, it’s important to remember that your child is not their autism diagnosis – it’s just a tiny component of who they are. They are also many other things – funny, kind, intelligent, and ultimately, capable of achieving their goals. With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can incorporate into your daily life to be the best parent possible for your child.

Unfortunately, there are many myths out there surrounding autism or what it means to be autistic – and these misconceptions can change how people respond to a person with autism or a related disorder. For example, they may believe that your child is less capable than they actually are based solely on their diagnosis. By doing your research and learning more about autism, you can help dispel these myths while ensuring you continue to meet your child’s diverse needs. You should also ensure that you discuss autism with other children in your family so that they understand why their siblings may behave a little differently to them. 

Attending therapy sessions, whether online or in-person, is another excellent way to begin to better support your child. For example, you could help your child find their voice through speech or ABA therapy. As each child is different, you must do your research ahead of time to ensure that you select a therapy program that is right for them and meets their unique needs. At Alee Behavioral, we’re always happy to answer any questions you might have about our services and will provide individualized therapy to improve your child’s skills and prepare them for a brighter future. 

Studies suggest that children with autism or related disorders prefer to follow a routine. This is because a well-structured routine removes the element of surprise from their daily lives, and they will not find themselves in a situation they are uncomfortable in. One way in which you can achieve this goal is by putting together a weekly calendar, which clearly details what your child will be doing each day and when. Following a routine is also a great way to encourage your child to follow a healthy lifestyle. If you are planning to deviate from their routine, ensure that you inform your child of this change in advance with as much notice as possible. 

Sometimes, children with autism or related disorders may find it harder to communicate how they feel, especially when entering a new environment. Therefore, to support your child, you should pay close attention to any non-verbal cues they may exhibit so that you know when they need extra support. For example, they may show signs of discomfort through nail-biting or hand tapping. 

When raising a neurodiverse child, it’s easy to feel separated from other parents as the issues you deal with on a daily basis are quite different from those that they may encounter. Therefore, joining support groups or connecting with other parents of children with autism or related disorders is a great way to gather more support or ask for advice when you need it. 

Many children with autism or related disorders have a ‘special interest.’ This is a specific hobby or activity that they enjoy more than anything else, and as a result, would like to dedicate most of their time to it. While it’s important that you encourage your child to diversify their interests and try out new things, you should also try to get excited about their special interests too and support them as they pursue their hobbies. This will help them feel more relaxed and confident. Furthermore, it could help them develop their communication skills as they discuss their interest(s) with you. 

While you may not always understand why your child is behaving in a certain way, especially if they are acting out of character, it’s essential that you are patient. For example, if your child is experiencing symptoms of a meltdown, you should remove them from that situation immediately and into an environment where they feel more comfortable. You should then help them find ways to calm down before asking them to explain how they are feeling to you. If they find it hard to discuss their emotions, you could use a feelings chart to help get the conversation going. 

In short, the easiest way in which you can provide for your child is simply being there for them – and letting you know that you’re there to help no matter what they may be going through. Doing so will enable you to raise a strong, confident child ready for whatever life may throw their way.

No student enjoys doing their homework. After all, after spending a busy day at school – they want to be able to dedicate their time to something a little more relaxing or fun, such as exploring their special interests or hobbies. However, for children with autism or related disorders, completing their homework could present them with a number of different challenges that they must combat. 

While the school year may be behind us, many teachers chose to set their student’s work to complete over the holidays. If not, it’s important that they develop these skills in time for the new academic year. 

With that in mind, here are some tips that you can use to help your child complete their homework (without the stress). 

At Alee Behavioral, we have decades of experience working alongside children with autism and their families to give them the skills they need to thrive in their daily lives. Through a range of different online therapy and clinical services, we can help your child through just about everything they encounter – from homework to finding their voice. Get in touch today to find out more! 

We are pleased to announce the limited reopening of our 626 Park Avenue, Cranston and 845-851 North Main Street, Providence clinics for in-person therapy.  We are closely following state Department of Health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our clients’ and employees’.  Parents and caregivers are asked to monitor their phones and emails or call us directly for the latest updates.

We are pleased to announce a limited reopening of our 626 Park Avenue, Cranston ABA clinic for in-person therapy. This reopening will begin Monday, June 8th.  We are closely following state Department of Health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our clients’ and employees’. We look forward to opening the Providence clinic in the near future.  We are continuing to provide therapy online for those clients who have not been scheduled yet for in-person therapy. Parents and caregivers are asked to monitor their phones and emails for the latest updates.

Unfortunately COVID-19 claimed another victim, the 2019-2020 school year. After much deliberation Governors Baker and Raimondo felt they had no other option but to close the schools. There is some good news, RI was ahead of the curve with online education and will continue to provide RI students with quality online instruction for the rest of the school year. Likewise, Alee has been providing its families and children online ABA services throughout this crisis.

Due to the present crisis the Autism Project’s Imagine Walk will be held virtually.  The Autism Project provides services, resources and advocacy for the autism community.  Please click the image below to find out how you can help them during these trying times.


From The Autism Project’s Website

We understand that this is a very unique and challenging time that we are all in. At The Autism Project, our top priority is and always will be the health and safety of our community. To ensure the safety of all Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day participants during the COVID-19 pandemic we decided to cancel the day of event and go VIRTUAL!

The weeks and months ahead will present unique and unprecedented challenges, but also stories of hope and inspiration. Our virtual Walk will be a platform to raise critical funds for programming, while providing space to celebrate many important firsts for members of our community.

Together with you, our staff, volunteers, community partners and many more, we will make our VIRTUAL IMAGINE event truly special and highlight just how strong we are as a community.

This webinar will provide considerations and specific strategies for supporting children on the spectrum at home during school closure related to COVID-19. It will be informative for parents and other caregivers, as well as professionals who are supporting families through this new reality.  (1 hour)

Register at: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_UpVaTHpoQ9CrvRgYh9C3QQ

With the worldwide spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we want to reaffirm that the health and safety of our employees, clients, and partners is our top priority. We are actively monitoring the situation, and are closely following the guidelines provided to us by the state and local governments, states department of health as well as the CDC.  As of Monday 3/16/20 we have closed our clinics at 626 Park Avenue Cranston and 845 North Main Street, Providence. Parents and caregivers are asked to monitor their phones and emails for the latest updates regarding our reopening.

Any questions? Give us a call!

401-228-8303

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