Autism Program

Overview

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Building Blocks Developmental Preschool offers a comprehensive treatment plan for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) through age five. There are many treatments available for children diagnosed as having autism or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Extensive research has shown empirically that children who receive early and intensive education using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have significant gains in cognitive, communication, and social relatedness skills. ABA uses reinforcement to shape behavior and to help children learn new skills. The goal is to help each child achieve the greatest degree of independence possible and to provide the skills he or she will need to function successfully and reach their fullest potential. Our program offers an intensive ABA program individualized to meet the needs of each child. We provide intervention using discrete trial instruction, verbal behavior strategies, and incidental teaching opportunities. The development and generalization of social skills, speech and language, cognition, and daily living skills is the goal for every child. Our teaching occurs in structured settings in the home and school, as well as in natural settings in the home and community.

Our Autism program offers:

  • Individualized curricula
  • A collaborative team approach
  • Team meetings
  • Weekly family training
  • Data based decision making
  • Systematic assessment of each child’s skills
  • Integrated socialization groups
  • Parent support groups
  • Speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy as indicated on each child’s education plan
  • Special Education Itinerant Teachers (SEIT)

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Our teachers are all New York State certified in special education, and early intervention providers have undergone extensive training to meet Suffolk County ABA competency recommendations. All teachers and assistants are under the direct supervision of the Clinical Coordinator and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Ongoing individual and group supervision is provided, and inservice training is offered in behavior management, augmentative communication, and other relevant areas on an ongoing basis.

 



EARLY INTERVENTION ABA

Building Blocks is proud to offer several models of service delivery for children with autism spectrum disorders from birth through age 3. The various options are designed to meet the specific needs of each child and family receiving services.

Option 1:
  • 2 hour group instruction daily in integrated early intervention class
  • Daily 2 hour group uitilizing ABA techniques with 1:1 adult to child ratio
  • 1-2 90 minute 1:1 ABA sessions daily in the home/community setting
  • Home and center ABA combined equals approximately 20 hours
  • Parent training in the home once per week
  • Speech, OT, PT as indicated on child’s IFSP
  • Regular team meetings, including parents, in the school setting
  • Transportation available
Option 2:
  • Several 1 ½ hour home-based ABA sessions daily to equal approximately 20 hours per week
  • 1 ½ hour group instruction several times per week in integrated early intervention class
  • Parent training in the home once per week
  • Speech, OT, PT as indicated on IFSP in the home
  • Regular team meetings, including parents, in the school setting
Option 3:
  • Several 1 ½ hour home-based ABA sessions daily to equal approximately 20 hours per week
  • Parent training in the home once per week
  • Speech, OT, PT as indicated on IFSP, in the home
  • Regular team meetings, including parents, in the school or home setting

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An important component of our EI ABA program is group instruction, which provides an opportunity for children to generalize and use in a functional way, the skills they learn in the 1:1 ABA setting. In addition, the group instructor, who is also a part of the child’s ABA team, is able to observe the child with other children and facilitate social and communication skill development.

Our team approach utilizes lead teachers who coordinate ABA teachers and related service providers (speech, OT, PT) to provide a cohesive treatment team for each child and family. Lead teachers provide family training once a week in the home, which serves to educate parents and other family members. Families learn how to help their children learn and generalize skills throughout their day in all settings. They become integral parts of the child’s team, and are involved in decision making and choosing functional goals for their child.



PRESCHOOL ABA

The preschool program at Building Blocks is comprised of full day (4 hour) and half day (2 ½ hour) special education classes, as well as half day integrated classes.  Children on the autism spectrum are placed in the appropriate class for their individual needs ( i.e. the least restrictive environment, as determined at their CPSE and indicated on their Individualized Education Plan).  Our most comprehensive treatment option for preschoolers with an Autism spectrum disorder is our full day, self-contained 6:1:2 class.  Incorporated into the daily activities of this class are ABA therapy, components of TEACCH, as well as alternative communication strategies should they be appropriate.  For some students, additional individual educational services can be approved by the child’s school district as a supplement to the primary class placement. If deemed necessary, these SEIT services are provided in the home, school, or community setting, and are dependent on what best meets the specific needs of the child.

Our preschool ABA program includes several models of service delivery:

  • Full day special classes on site at Building Blocks which incorporate ABA and TEACCH methodologies, as well as utilize alternative means of communication such as PECS and iPads.
  • SEIT services for children who attend community based preschools.  These services can be provided onsite at the child’s preschool or in the home.
  • Opportunities to learn in small social skills groups with 1:1 SEIT teachers.
  • Individual parent training services are offered in accordance with a family’s needs and the child’s IEP.
  • Parent support/educational groups are available to all families of children who receive services through Building Blocks Developmental Preschool.
  • Six week summer program for children who qualify.

ABA services at the preschool level follow the school calendar. There are generally no services on weekends, or during regularly scheduled holidays and school vacations.



Resources

For further information on autism and related topics, please visit the following sites

www.autismspeaks.org

www.elija.org

NY Families of Autistic Children at www.nyfac.org

www.autismsociety.org

http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/

www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/codycenter

ABA materials and resources http://www.difflearn.com

Consumers Guide to Quality Home Programming http://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/health