When to make a referral:
Life Strategies assists families and medical professionals in attaining prompt autism screenings. Even though routine developmental surveillance occurs, still, most children with autism are not diagnosed until after they reach age 4, while only 18% are diagnosed prior to age 3 (Centers for Disease Control: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Data & Statistics). Research indicates a reliable, valid, and stable diagnosis can be made at age 2. Life Strategies can provide quick and accurate autism screenings. If you have questions or would like to make a referral for an autism screening, please Contact Us.
Life Strategies provides in-home and center-based services for clients. This means your client obtains the care in their environment. Behavior is a function of environment. Being able to provide services within the environment of the client means a greater likelihood of positive outcomes.
A helpful toolkit is written for Indiana Medical Professionals:
HANDS in Autism. Toolkit for Medical Professionals: Tips and Supports for Working with Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Indianapolis, IN: Christian Sarkine Autism Treatment Center, Riley Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic, Indiana University School of Medicine – Department of Psychiatry; 2008
Autism Treatment Reviews for Physicians, from the Association for Science in Autism Treatment.
Why Behavior Analysis?
ABA’s effectiveness has been widely studied, here are a few excerpts from some key health organizations:
From National Institute of Mental Health, a section of the National Institute of Health:
“Among the many methods available for treatment and education of people with autism, applied behavior analysis (ABA) has become widely accepted as an effective treatment.”
From the U.S. Surgeon General:
Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General states,“Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior”
From the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“The effectiveness of ABA-based intervention in ASDs has been well documented through 5 decades of research by using single-subject methodology”… “Children who receive early intensive behavioral treatment have been shown to make substantial, sustained gains in IQ, language, academic performance, and adaptive behavior as well as some measures of social behavior, and their outcomes have been significantly better than those of children in control groups.”
In addition to using sound principles, the National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education says in their report “Educating Children with Autism” that “entry into intervention programs as soon as an autism spectrum diagnosis is seriously considered” is important. There is a substantial amount of research validating the effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis.
What is Behavior Analysis?
Behavior analysis is a scientific approach to understanding behavior and how behavior is affected by the environment. “Behavior” refers to all kinds of actions and skills (not just problematic behavior) and “environment” includes all physical and social events that might change or be changed by one’s behavior.
The science of behavior analysis focuses on principles about how behavior works and how learning takes place. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing behaviors that may be harmful or that interfere with learning. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of those techniques and principles to address socially important problems and to bring about meaningful behavioral change. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are trained in the science and application of Behavior Analysis. The BCBA is credentialed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.