Treatment for children with autism is a challenge for both parents and therapists. These children are individuals first and foremost, with unique strengths and weaknesses. Goals are tailored to that individual’s intellectual ability and functioning level.
Highlands Center for Autism is located, on the first floor, in a facility adjacent to the Highlands Regional Medical Center campus. The Center operates as a year round day treatment center and accepts children from earliest diagnosis through school age.
The program has a low child to staff ratio (virtually 1:1) and each child’s program is tailored to their needs. Multiple professionals and consultants are involved with each child's program. These individuals may include clinical psychologists, speech/language pathologists, and behavior therapists. Consultations with pediatrics, nursing, and psychiatry are also utilized. Parents are asked to participate in their child's programming, attend seminars about ABA, work with their children at home, and attend meetings regarding their child’s specific treatment plan.
Philosophy of Treatment and Care
The Highlands Center for Autism team believes that all children deserve the opportunity to laugh and play, and to become healthy, happy and productive adults. Children with autism require specially designed services and support to reach those goals. We strive to meet their needs by:
- providing accurate, up-to-date information about autism treatment
- giving children access to research supported treatment and education
- encouraging parent education and involvement
What is ABA?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science that uses behavioral techniques to teach children basic and complex skills. It works by reinforcing appropriate behavior while decreasing or eliminating challenging behavior. Opportunities for success are built into the program. Adjustments are made as children progress, helping them to function better in the world.
Children enrolled at the Highlands Center for Autism, through participation in ABA, have seen improvements such as:
- Speaking for the first time
- Saying "I love you" for the first time
- Laughing for the first time
- Eating in a restaurant without behavioral problems
- Child smiling for photographs
- Opening Christmas gift and trick-or-treating for the first time
Data is collected daily regarding each child’s progress within their specifically designed program.