Early Intervention Behavior Support
Research shows that young children are in a “critical period” when their learning capacity is at its peak potential for growth across all developmental domains. Therefore, early intervention behavior therapy has been proven to be extremely important to promote positive outcomes that impact future development, learning, and success.
This program is for children ages 18 months-6 years old who may be demonstrating developmental delays or may need more explicit teaching to develop prerequisite skills (i.e., responding to name, requesting wants and needs, sitting and attending to an activity, following instructions…etc.) to be successful in a school environment or to improve home life. Programming will be founded on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), specifically elements of Pivotal Response Teaching (PRT), to teach children “pivotal behaviors” such as motivation, initiation, and self-regulation using a naturalistic and play-based approach.
Discovering the “WHY” Behind a Child’s Challenging Behaviors
Early intervention behavior support at Child Success Center is a blended therapeutic approach, with our team of behavior specialists working collaboratively to gain insight into the root or “why” of a child’s challenging behavior. With this knowledge, the team can create and implement a multi-modal therapeutic plan with the imperative goal of promoting positive behavioral change.
Behavior Therapy Benefits
A child’s problematic behavior may, in actuality, be the resulting reaction to any number of unseen factors. Our therapists work closely with family members to help determine what lies beneath the surface of the behavior, including a variety of sensory, social emotional, environmental, and physical issues.
Individualized behavioral therapy programs will then be created to remediate the underlying issues and to teach children different methods of responding to situations and stimuli in a more appropriate manner. The use of positive reinforcement, and the implementation of research based, structured token economy programs are the featured tools when working behaviorally with children and families. Therapists create a safe and structured environment, and often use play to help your child learn and practice appropriate communication tools and behaviors to get what they want in a positive manner.
A common misconception of behavioral therapy is that you are “training” your child, and this is not the case. Often times social interactions that we find easy, are difficult to children with sensory, attention, or emotional challenges. When something is difficult, there is little motivation to continue to do a difficult task unless there is some pay off. Behavior therapy creates an external motivation, which is often times a reward system in order to motivate children to stick with difficult tasks, join uncomfortable social situations, or follow directions/rules. In simple terms- we are creating a paycheck for your child so they will practice doing the things we are asking of them. If you were wondering why your child needs a paycheck, then an informational meeting about behavior therapy would be a great first step for you and your family.
CDC Recommends Behavior Therapy as First Line of Treatment for Young Children with ADHD
Behavioral Therapy Process
When beginning to work behaviorally with families, our team begins with meeting the parents to gain an understanding of family dynamics and expectations, and to provide parents with information about behavior therapy and how it will be implemented within the family lifestyle.
Families should be prepared and willing to collaborate in the use of positive reinforcement, implement prompting strategies, collect data, be active participants both within and outside of sessions, and potentially change routines in order to accommodate and support behavior therapy in their homes.
Working with families to identify their values and goals and ensuring that each individual family member is supported and heard, is of the utmost importance to our team.
After an initial 1-hour Behavioral Assessment, the therapist will create a behavior intervention plan. The format of this therapy program will be individualized based on the unique needs and goals of each child/family, and may include a variety of formats. (see below)
Due to the advanced practice training of our behavioral therapy team, your child may benefit from participation in a combination of behavior supports that may include:
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
- DIRFloortime® – an intervention that uses the power of relationships and human connections to promote the development of the capacities for self-regulation, engagement, communication, shared social problem solving, and creative, organized, and reflective thinking and reasoning.
- Behavioral support with a 1-on-1 shadow in school
- Family therapy
- Friendship Club – peer to peer (How to make my first best friend)
- Social Brain Building – the development of the child’s social emotional health, critical for interactions with others.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
ABA is an evidence based treatment approach. It is often used to support children who struggle with behaviors that directly impact their ability to successfully build relationships and participate in development and learning opportunities at home and school.
This approach seeks to identify the antecedent and the consequences of behaviors through the analysis and observation of the behaviors seen in a child, before, during and after a challenging interaction.
ABA therapy at Child Success Center takes a blended approach, where the therapist works actively to gain insight into the root or “why” of a child’s challenging behavior. Our clinicians work collaboratively to support children in accessing development and learning, and skill acquisition, with the imperative goal that a behavioral approach promote positive behavior change.
A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a practitioner in the field of applied behavior analysis who creates, implements, and supervises individualized behavior intervention plans for children. The Behavior Analyst’s role at CSC is to collaborate with the child’s occupational therapists, speech therapists, and other service providers to create and implement a holistic treatment plan that takes into account the child’s unique sensory processing and language processing needs. CSC service providers, parents, and significant members of the child’s life work as a team to integrate a variety of effective therapeutic strategies, thereby promoting consistent implementation and ensuring the best possible outcomes for the family.
Child Success Center’s Shadow Program
A child struggling with communicating his/her wants and needs, or having difficulty following directions, attending to class routines or activities, staying on task, or engaging in social interactions, might manifest these struggles as challenging behaviors. For a child to access the learning and social opportunities school or home has to offer and to be successful, they may benefit from receiving direct behavioral support in school by way of a shadow.
Who and what is a “shadow”?
A shadow is a type of educational assistant that provides individualized direct support to a student within the classroom environment. A shadow provided by Child Success Center is a highly trained, certified or licensed professional. This high level of training, supervision and support enables the shadow to modify intervention at a moment’s notice, as required by the child in any given situation.
What does a “shadow” do?
A shadow collaborates with families and teachers to identify areas where intervention and growth are required. The shadow will learn all they can about why a child is struggling. It is imperative to understand the root of behavior and to choose the modality and therapeutic intervention that best fits the child and family’s needs. After gaining an understanding about the child’s processing and language/communication processing capacities (strengths and challenges), they will collaborate with a multidisciplinary team, including CSC’s occupational therapists, speech therapists, educational therapists and family counselors, to build a plan that provides the “just right challenge” to meet each child’s specific needs, within their school environment. The shadow is able to grade and adapt the child’s environment to accommodate different activities, giving the child the opportunity for successful learning and play interactions. A shadow also works with teachers and school staff to bring behavioral intervention strategies to the child within the classroom to help them be successful in that environment, rather than remove the child from the classroom to change their behavior.
What makes a good “shadow”?
A good shadow…
- Uses the least intrusive prompting and intervention necessary for the child to be successful, and has a plan to phase out prompting and support to promote the child’s independence.
- Works with families to generalize skills and behavior plans to the home and community settings (outside of direct sessions with the shadow).
- Captures and contrives opportunities for the child to communicate, participate, play, and socialize with others.
- Blends in with the class routines so as not to isolate the child, promoting the child’s inclusion within the classroom.
- Works to bring behavioral intervention strategies to the child within the classroom to help them be successful in that environment, rather than remove the child from the classroom to change their behavior.
- Wants to put herself out of a job! (Makes the child and staff so successful in the classroom that with time, her support is no longer needed).
Our Behavioral Therapy/Shadow Team
Patty Ramsey, M.A., CA LMFT (99030), has been working with children and families in both school and home settings for the past 10 years. She received her BA in Psychology from UC Irvine, and her training in Behavior Therapy and Cognitive Behavior Therapy at UCI Irvine’s Child Development School- a school for students with ADHD and other behavioral difficulties. She has worked in schools as a 1:1 behavior aide, and as a preschool teacher, and continues to consult with schools in the community in order to help with teacher training in classroom management.
Patty specializes in working with children ages 4-14 who are having difficulties with attention, being flexible with changes in routine, managing their emotions, reading verbal and non-verbal social cues, following directions and/or expected social rules, accepting responsibility for their actions or consequences, and/or are experiencing anxiety in social circumstances. She helps children and their families identify difficulties in communication, manage realistic expectations, and create a therapeutic home behavior program that supports family’s goals for growth.
Patty can also work as a case manager or consultant to families that are already engaged in therapies. Sometimes getting everyone on the same page and getting the same information becomes difficult and time consuming. Patty has years of experience working with teacher, doctors, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and therapeutic teams. She can act as a point person when team collaboration is necessary.
Lauren – M.ED., BCBA, specializes in early intervention ABA therapy for children ages 18 months-6 years old. She is extremely passionate about working with children, families, and other service providers to provide effective, evidence-based behavior interventions to increase functional skills while decreasing behaviors that present safety concerns, barriers to learning, and interfere with the child achieving successful social and adaptive outcomes in their natural environment. Lauren’s mission is to empower, make meaningful change, and improve the quality of life of children and their families.
Call the Child Success Center – 310.899.9597 for more information.