Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidenced based treatment that focuses on improving specific behaviors such as expressive communication, receptive communication, social skills, daily living skills, coping skills, community skills, reading, academics, gross and fine motor skills, interpersonal skills, safety and job competence. ABA is a therapeutic intervention that can be used for individuals with autism. Many experts consider ABA to be the gold-standard treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental conditions.
Center Based Therapy
Mainsail Therapeutics offers ABA therapy for children ages 2-6, training workshops, consultation and follow-up supervision in state-of-the-art clinics. We provide comprehensive ABA therapy involving an intensity level of 30-40 hours of 1:1 direct treatment to the client per week, not including parent/caregiver training, supervision, and other needed services. Therapy days are in a preschool setting, with programming included in 1:1 and group formats.
Children may start with a few hours of therapy per day for a week with the goal of increasing the intensity of therapy as their ability to tolerate and participate permits. Treatment hours are subsequently increased or decreased based on the client’s response to treatment and current needs. Hours may be increased to more efficiently reach treatment goals. Decreases in hours of therapy per week typically occur when a client has met a majority of the treatment goals and is moving toward discharge. Although the recommended number of hours of therapy may seem high, this is based on research findings regarding the intensity required to produce the best outcomes.
In-Home ABA Therapy
Home-based therapy allows our therapists to provide ABA therapy in the comfort of your own home, in the child’s natural environment. This program is available for newly diagnosed and young children, school-age children, adolescents and young adults. Typical programming consists of 10-20 hours per week with parent training to implement programs with your child. The focus of in-home therapy will be on skill acquisition including academics, daily living skills, communication, and play. Behavior reduction will also be targeted if necessary.
In-home therapy can be used in coordination with center based therapy for individualized programming that is best for the child and their family.
Parents will receive individualized training with the goal of taking an active role in their child’s therapy and overall growth. Training is intended to help parents teach their child across multiple environments, take advantage of naturally occurring learning opportunities, and encourage their child to be successful and independent in daily life.
Social Skills Group
For children with autism, social interaction is often a challenge. Mainsail Therapeutics utilizes a social skills curriculum that is based on typical development. This curriculum includes social skills such as joint attention (e.g. referencing others to share enjoyment, pointing to show others something of interest), play skills (e.g. turn taking, pretend play), conversation (e.g. initiating and responding) and understanding social rules (e.g. how to be a good sport). The implementation of this curriculum utilizes ABA methods in the clinic and community settings. Skills are initially taught in a 1:1 setting at the clinic and are generalized to peer dyads and eventually community settings.
ABA uses the principles of behavior for increasing and decreasing specific behaviors of social significance. Behaviors to increase or decrease are selected using different assessment tools, observations and collaboration with parents. For challenging behaviors, it is important to consider how much the behavior impacts the child’s functioning, learning, social opportunities, ability to access the community or significant impact within his or her family. Similarly, it is important to ask questions about what the child should be doing at his age and what are peers his age doing or expected to do when considering increasing specific behaviors or skills pivotal to a child's future development.
Using the potty is an exciting and challenging step for any child. Children with autism might need extra teaching and some strategies adjusted to suit their individual needs. Based on the needs of the child, potty training will be conducted using motivation and reinforcement and celebrating each step along the way.
Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
Discrete Trial Training (DTT) is a specific method of teaching based on the principles of ABA. DTT breaks down skills into discrete steps and provides multiple opportunities to practice each skill. Through the use of prompting and reinforcement, children learn individual skills and then the ability to combine these skills into more complex repertoires. Research has proven that DTT is an effective method in teaching various skills to children with autism and related disorders.
Natural Environment Teaching (NET)
Natural Environment Teaching (NET) utilizes the principles of ABA to teach within the natural environment of the learner. In NET clients acquire new skills through fun and reinforcing play activities. Goals are taught directly by inserting "trials" into natural and fun play.
School-readiness will work with structured small groups, combining individual and group programming. ABA therapists will work with each child, implementing a treatment plan that is individualized to his or her abilities and supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.