Parent Education

Pacific Child & Family Associates embraces a behavior analytic approach to treatment. According to Baer, Wolf, and Risley's (1968): "Applied Behavior Analysis is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behavior to a meaningful degree". A distinguishing characteristic of Applied Behavior Analysis is the emphasis on the demonstration of the relationship between treatment interventions and socially significant behavioral change.

The United States Surgeon David Satcher, MD, PhD, has endorsed intensive behavioral intervention for individuals with autism. 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". Applied Behavior Analysis, to date, is the only proven practice and the only methodology endorsed by the Surgeon General and currently covered by insurance.

Over the past 50 years, thousands of published studies have documented the effectiveness of ABA for addressing skill deficits and behavioral excesses.

Our Behavior Analytic Approach

It all begins with the parents...
Providing effective treatment to families of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders requires the establishment of a partnership between treatment staff and parents. This partnership involves many elements, including effective communication, mutual respect, clear boundaries, and clearly defined roles.

Although every treatment team member plays a role on the team, parents play the key role. They are the most important members of their child’s treatment team. While treatment staff will come and go, parents will remain the central axis of any treatment team.

The responsibilities of a parent as an active treatment team member include:

•  Sharing expert information about their child—no one knows their child better
•  Actively participating in parent training sessions
•  Observing, and/or actively participating in, additional direct treatment sessions
•  Following through with agreed-upon treatment plans, embedding target skills within daily routines, and
   completing parent follow-up assignments
•  Effectively communicating and advocating for their child’s needs

While treatment staff and clinical specialists may have various expertise and responsibilities on a case, our overriding job is to progressively improve the abilities of parents to be effective with their children. More to the point, we must transfer control to the parents, so that they can be independently successful with their child in the home and community. Irrespective of our success when directly working with the child, if we do not accomplish this transfer we have not done our jobs.

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