Frequently Asked Questions The following questions are ones we are asked on a regular basis by concerned caregivers. Hopefully the answers, will give you a better understanding of autism and the services we provide.
What is autism?
Autism is a developmental disorder that appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brain’s normal development of social,cognitive and communication skills.
What causes autism?
Research has shown what may be some causes of autism. First and foremost, we now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism. Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves.In addition environmental factors influencing early brain development with a combination of autism risk genes increase the risk of autism.
What are the traits of autism?
- No or little speech
- Non-speech vocalizations
- Delayed development of speech
- Echolalia: speech consisting of literally repeating something heard
- Lack of interaction
- Lack of eye contact
- Preoccupation with hands
- Flapping hands/ this may be accompanied by jumping up and down with excitement
- Balancing, e.g. as if standing on a fence
- Walking on tiptoes
- Extreme dislike of certain sounds / may hold hands over ears
- Extreme dislike of touching certain textures
- Dislike of being touched / close contact
- Either extremely passive behavior or extremely nervous, active behavior
- Extreme dislike of certain foods
- Behavior that is aggressive to others
- Desire to follow set patterns of behavior / interaction
- Desire to keep objects in a certain physical pattern
- Repetitive behavior
- Self-injurious behavior
- Ritualistic behavior
Are there different levels of autism?
Yes,Autism has a wide spectrum ranging from mild to severe.The subtypes include Classic Autism, Asperger’s, PDD-NOS,Rett’s Syndrome and Childhood disintegrative disorder
Who is most susceptible?
Autism is widespread across races and religions. It occurs in more boys than girls, by a ratio of 4:1.
How does someone get diagnosed?
Presently, we don’t have a medical test that can diagnose autism. Instead, specially trained physicians and psychologists administer autism-specific behavioral evaluations.
Is There a cure for autism?
Although there is no cure,Scientific studies have demonstrated that early intensive behavioral intervention improves learning, communication and social skills in young children with autism.
What is the difference between ABA, discrete trials, and VB?
Applied Behavior Analysis is the application of scientific research to improve human behavior. ABA uses the principles of reinforcement, extinction, and punishment to shape behaviors. Discrete Trials is the direct method of ABA using a specified number of trials to teach a behavior. Behavior is referring to any action a person does. Verbal Behavior is a method of ABA used to facilitate functional communication, communication can be spoken words, PECS, sign language or an augmentative communication device. Verbal Behavior focuses on four levels of communication, Echoics, Tacts, Mands, and Intraverbals. Each level is individually taught to the learner.
How do I know if my child is receiving quality intervention services?
Quality intervention services are grounded in evidence-based practices. If there is no supporting evidence that a particular treatment is effective in treating autism, then that treatment does not have “proof” of success.
Who is qualified to deliver ABA?
A professional is qualified to deliver ABA services if s/he has completed coursework and field experience under the supervision of a competent behavior analyst. Some behavior analysts possess the credential of BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) or BCABA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst). Although the number of BCBAs and BCABAs continues to grow, many children with ASD receive intervention from individuals who do not possess board certification. These may include instructional aides, classroom teachers, behavior specialists, ABA instructors, and many times parents! A variety of stakeholders can enhance the effectiveness of ABA programs under the supervision of a competent BACB-credentialed professional.
Should the family be involved?
Family involvement is vital to the success of any intervention. Without the family practicing learned skills on a daily basis, a child with autism will have a difficult time maintaining or generalizing skills s/he has learned during intensive therapy. In other words, all the therapy in the world will not be effective if the childâ€™s family does not carry it over into daily life. So, the more involvement the better! Always be present during therapy sessions. Ask the instructors any and all questions. Work with your child while the instructor watches and gives feedback.
When will health insurance start paying for ABA?
On August 13, 2009, Governer Corzine signed into law A2238, which requires state-regulated health insurance companies to fund services for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. In July 2010, Xanadu Behavior Therapy started the credentialing process to become an in-network provider for a variety of health insurance carriers. Currently, we are an in-network provider for the following health insurance companies: Aetna (single-case agreements); Amerihealth; Blue Cross Blue Shield; Cigna; Oxford; and United Health.