Sunday, December 16, 2007

Autism and ABA Success Story From ARC Broward

Priorities differ in the autism world like anywhere else. For some the choice of metaphors used to describe autism and autistic behaviors is the most important priority. For many parents of autistic children thought the priorities are shaped more by day to day, sometimes harsh and upsetting, realities. For these real world parents of children ending their autistic child's aggressive harmful behavior, to themselves and others, is by necessity the top priority in their autism campaign. In ARC Broward helps autistic boy improve behavior reports a success story; the story of how the Travis family improved the aggressive and violent behavior of their autistic son Trey with the help of ARC Broward and Applied Behavior Analysis.

Trey's behavior was defiant and sometimes violent and dangerous:

"Trey stood on his head in public places, choked his older sister and defied almost every request his family made. They quit taking him to birthday parties, play dates and restaurants."

The Travis family did not give up on Trey, they sought the help of Achievement and Rehabilitation Services (ARC) Broward who helped the family using ABA techniques:

"With the help of ARC's Parents as Teachers program, his family began learning how to ignore his bad behavior and use positive reinforcement to make changes for the better.

"I thought it just can't be that easy. I have tried everything," Kylee Travis said. "But it was the combination that worked."


Kylee Travis said the results were astonishing.

"Here you have Trey behaving this way and we were accepting it because we were confused about what an actual trait of autism is, vs. bad behavior," she said.

ARC "addressed our needs and addressed issues in the order of importance. We're not stuck in our bubble anymore."

Today, Trey can sit and play games with his mother. Before ARC got involved, he would destroy the games, she said.

Now he can sit at the table and eat dinner with his family. But it took being wedged between his mother and father, with their hands on his legs until he took a bite, for him to learn what was expected. Four months ago, after less than a year in the program, the Travis family ate at a restaurant with another family — without incident — for the first time ever."

The Sun-Sentinel article does not actually use the term ABA to describe the approach used to help Trey Travis but anyone who has actually been involved with ABA will recognize the techniques. And a visit to the ARC Broward web site confirms that ABA is used by that agency to address behavior challenges of developmentally delayed children:

Behavioral Healthcare Services

In-Home Behavioral Supports In-Home Behavioral Supports

This program provides individuals and their caregivers the training and support necessary to be successful in addressing the needs of their child while in the natural home environment. The Community-Based Behavioral Services Program provides in-home behavioral services for children and adults who are diagnosed with a developmental disability/delay. Individualized behavior plans are designed to address maladaptive behaviors and teach functionally equivalent and adaptive skills. These plans are developed by Certified Associate Behavioral Analysts, Certified Behavior Analysts and approved/monitored by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Autism success stories using ABA bring to the attention of parents anecdotal evidence of what works in helping heir autistic children. It is the kind of autism awareness that makes a real, and positive, difference in the lives of autistic children and their families.

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