Do you accept children without an identification?
Yes. We accept all children. However once we meet and discuss your concerns we will refer you to another agency if we cannot service your needs.
What age does my child have to be to register my child?
Your child can be as young as infants and as old as teens. Every child has different needs. We are here to work with you to help your child attain their milestones.
How long will my child remain in your program?
That is a difficult question. It all depends on your child’s age, needs and treatment intensity. Often therapy is a long term commitment and children remain in treatment until it is evident that they have made tremendous progress in our facility. We will then refer you to agencies and community services that can best support your child.
How many hours does my child need?
Depending on your child’s age, activities your child is involved in and whether you child naps or is involved in other programs will determine the intensity and frequency of therapy. Young children may not tolerate long therapy hours, whereas school aged children can manage. However children attending day schools have less available hours. Infants and toddlers will attend with parents for shorter visits, whereas teens will be dropped off for several hours. Intensity and frequency is dependant on a number of variables. Sandy Palombo will speak with you about your child’s needs.
What is the best age for Intervention?
There is no magic number, however research has shown that the earlier the better.
What disorders do you have experience with?
We have experience working with children diagnosed with a variety of exceptionalities and disorders. Children can have mild needs or profound disorders. Our team has experience working with a variety of children and their needs. Inquire within to discuss your child’s specific needs.
CHILDREN WITH PDD:
Do kids with PDD recover?
NO. This is a lifelong pervasive (means it affects mostly all areas of development) developmental (means it continues as the child develops and matures) disorder. Some children acquire more skills than others and at different rates. Residual symptoms however remain.
Why are these kids so different from one another if they all have the same diagnosis?
Because PDD is an umbrella with subcategories of disorders. It is essentially a spectrum where kids extend from the low end to the high end.
Why are these kids so rigid and not like change?
The child is trying to keep their world manageable and copes easily when there is sameness.
Why does the child want to do everything his/her own way and not respond to others feelings?
Research has indicated that individuals with PDD do not share perspective from other. They see things from their view, and are unable to interpret others feelings.
Why does he/ she talks about what they want to talk about?
It is familiar and automatic for someone to do things or speak about topics they know well. This indicates that they do not have a broad repertoire of activities and interests.
Why can’t he/she figure out how to do simple things? (Get a drink)
This involves a lot of planning and organizing of behaviors. The child may have never had to experience the exact same situation with the same fridge, cup, drink before and thus is unable to plan.
Why do they like to engage in repetitive actions and can’t seem to engage in longer actions?
Possible impairment in STM.
Why do they always leave a task before it’s done?
Because they simply may not understand what “Finished” means. They may not know what the last step is. They may be irritated and unable to focus.
Why won’t he/ she move when I ask them to do something?
The child possibly doesn’t understand what they are supposed to do next. They may be a difficulty in shifting attention or processing the information. What purpose does he/she have to do that? What’s more reinforcing to them?
Why won’t they ask for help?
They might not know how to initiate to ask for help and generalize this skill to other situations
Why is he/she so anxious and impulsive?
They might not understand temporal concepts (passage of time).
Why does he/ she walk around and have so much energy?
They are filling up free time. They might not know what to do in free-time situations. You might have to teach them to relax or do something functionally with their time. Or the person might be anxious and copes by pacing. High activity level requires and outlet.
Why do they engage in ritualistic behaviors that seem compulsive?
He/she is trying to organize their environment and create order.
Why does everything have to be perfect and symmetrical? (Doors, cupboards, lines things up)
They are coping by trying to organize the environment. Symmetry is more pleasing than asymmetry.
Why don’t they give eye contact?
Direct eye contact is difficult. Peripheral vision is often preferred. Perhaps dual modal processing issues affect giving eye contact and attending auditorally.
Why don’t some kids like to be touched?
Hypersensitivities/ hyposensitivities affect they ability to tolerate and modulate tactile sensations. Perhaps they don’t expect when you will touch them.
Why does he/ she cover her ears?
They might be hypersensitive to sounds. Some children experience certain sounds as painful and unable to tolerate certain tones and pitches. This may vary from person to person, environment and time of day.
Why does he/ she laugh when I’m hurt?
Perspective taking. Laughter may be a sign of anxiety.
Why does he/she tantrum and cry and get angry so easily?
Inability to express their needs, wants, communicate for assistance or clarification.
Our inability to read their minds and know what they mean, their gestures and what their behaviors are telling us.
Why does he/ she repeat everything (songs, phrases, movies, commercials) but they don’t talk otherwise?
The child has not learned the function of reciprocal communication. These phrases are automatic and rehearsed. They are familiar and they may not how to imitate but can imitate what was heard easily.
Chunking information is easier than creating new sentences.
Why does he/ she stares at light, movement, spinning toys or dust particles?
The child may have sensory dysfunction and is coping by engaging into these activities to fulfill their need for sensory stimulation.
Why does he become irritated when he/she’s in large spaces, elevators, stairs?
The child may have difficulty with depth and spatial perception.
Source: Dalrymple, Nance, (1992). Helpful Responses to some of the behaviors of Individuals with Autism; Indiana resource center for Autism. Institute for the study of developmental disabilities.
What is Autism?
Autism is a significant difficulty in social interactions, restricted range of interests and behaviors, impairment in communication (receptive/ non-verbal/ expressive).
It is a biological disorder. It results from a central nervous system insult or abnormality that occurred during fetal brain development period. Research has found some structural aspects of the brains of persons with autism.
Not all children are the same even they present with the same diagnosis. Some children may exhibit characteristics that other children do not. (Poor vs. good eye contact, lethargy vs. energetic, affectionate vs. ‘in their own world’, hand-flapping, vocalizations, toe-walking, perseverations, lining things up, obsessions, transitions, sleep impairment, hyperlexia, ect)
ALL CHILDREN WITH AUTISM HAVE IMPAIRMENT IN COMMUNICATION, SOCIAL INTERACTIONS, PLAY (SYBOLIC/PRETEND PLAY).
Prompts: (From most intrusive to least intrusive)
- Hand over Hand (HOH): full physical contact that is NOT taken away during the response
- Partial Physical/ Partial Prompt (PP): physical aid is given only when the response is faltering e.g. to keep the hand going to the target
- Gestural Prompt (G): a pointing of the instructors hand, foot, head, movement of the eyes to the correct response
- Modeling (M): demonstrating the appropriate response before the individual responds
- Verbal Prompt (V): telling the correct response to the individual as he/she responds
- Textual (T): written words/script to follow for the correct response
- Positional (PL): moving the stimulus or objects closer or further away on the learning surface
- Initiation (Init): An initial nudge or shift is made by the IA to indicate for the child to respond. Often this phase is introduced if Ind prompt seems unlikely.
- Unprompted/ Independent ( Ind): the individual is able to accomplish the task on his/her own without aid from the instructor
Prompt Fading: this is the process of eliminating prompts when correct responses are given by the individual. We are working down the hierarchy from HOH to Ind.
Things to Avoid
- giving instructions that are too long or have irrelevant words
- paying attention to behaviors that are negative or not required for the task
- prompting too intrusively
- prompting not intrusively enough
- providing a prompt when one isn’t needed (by accident, e.g. by looking at the correct target)
- prompts are faded too slowly
- when the individual does not understand what is being as is interpreted as non-compliance (ensure that the child does or does not know what is being asked of him/her by baselining)
- reinforcing when a neutral response has been given
- giving a neutral response when a reinforcement is required