The Autism Partnership Method
What makes Autism Partnership different from other agencies is that we focus on building strong learning foundations. If children have disruptive and interfering behaviors it is extremely difficult for them to learn. Teaching children “how to learn” is essential. Therefore, we must concentrate our initial efforts on learning readiness skills. Our approach to intervention utilizes evidence-based principles of learning to maximize progress. By actively leading the child we can speed up the rate of learning and reduce the developmental gap. Time is precious and children deserve the kind of teaching that best enables them to learn and ultimately enjoy the highest quality of life.
Key Elements of the APM:
- Developing strong and natural reinforcers so that learning can easily transfer to the real world.
- Helping children so that they learn not only in 1:1 situations, but in small and large groups
- Helping children learn in natural settings, that includes the types of distractions that occur in schools and the community.
- Focusing on the whole child: not only is communication and academics important but teaching children all the skills they need to develop meaningful and long-lasting relationships. This includes developing social and play skills.
- Teaching children the skills that will allow them to become truly independent. Learning how to monitor their own behaviors is essential for maximizing quality of life.
- Recognizing the need to provide counseling services for children, siblings and parents.
- Providing therapy in natural forms so that children develop natural language and are able to engage with the natural world.
- Training parents, teachers, and family. Members the necessary skills so that they can facilitate success
There are several studies demonstrating the effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) for people diagnosed with ASD, including a study conducted by Autism Partnership (2011). In these studies, the children with the best possible outcomes had these key elements in common:
• Consistency of Treatment
• Early Intervention
• Utilizing Quality ABA
• Not incorporating other treatment that would dilute the impact of ABA
• Intensive supervision
• Parental Expertise
Howard, et al (2005 & 2014) Outcome Study
In this study, three groups of children receiving different types of treatment were examined. One group was provided Intensive ABA exclusively for 30 hours per week, another group received 30 hours per week of eclectic treatment (combination of ABA, TEACCH, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and small group), and the third group received eclectic treatment for 15 hours per week. The results of the study indicated that children in the 30-hour ABA only group were “more than twice as likely to score in the normal range on measures of cognitive, language, and adaptive functioning than were children who received either form of eclectic intervention.” The chart below summarizes the results.