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Reach For The Stars with this pediatric therapy and autism services blog.

What exactly is Modern Day ABA?


ABA Myths and Misconceptions When you hear the phrase “Applied Behavior Analysis,” what is the first thing you think of? Most people would say “Autism” or “a type of therapy”. The main reason for writing this article is to debunk any misconceptions or myths about ABA and explain how it has evolved over the years. The first myth is that it is a “therapy”. ABA is a Science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior, which focuses on objectively defining observable behaviors of social significance (Cooper, Heron & Howard, 1987). The principles of the science, or rather field of study, are applied in an ABA therapy program. The reason it’s important to point out that it’s a Science is to give it significant credit as “empirically validated”. There have been over a thousand studies published, revealing significant changes in the increase of language, communication, socialization, and appropriate behavior and...
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Routines During the Pandemic


Although places are starting to open around us, many child-friendly venues such as playgrounds, amusement parks, and schools will remain closed for quite some time. This time of uncertainty can be both scary and, at times, frustrating for everyone involved. It can be helpful to give your little ones some structure. We all benefit from having structure and routines. Routines help our little guys understand what we expect from them. Routines that are organized and predictable can be beneficial for all children, especially children who struggle with transitions. You may have seen a spike in your child's problem behaviors during the Pandemic, as things have quickly changed for them without any warning. Creating schedules for your little ones can be helpful for parents, as well. Some parents are working from home, and providing activities for your children to engage in while you are working is essential. Daily Home Schedule BreakfastFree playLearning...
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Tips to Build Communication


Using gestures or language can be challenging for many children with developmental delays, language delays or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is important to remember that with help and understanding, your child can develop communication skills. Children can often find it hard to relate and communicate with others especially when it is difficult for them to understand language or use language. Many children will learn unconventional ways to communicate such as using made-up words, repeating words or using them in the wrong context, pushing or pulling caregivers to what they want or using undesirable behaviors to access what they want. It is important to remember to help your child communicate and meet them at their skill level now, not where you want them to be. The more successful your child feels when learning new ways to communicate, the more often they will begin to use these new skills. Here are 4...
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What's Priming?


Priming is an evidence based ABA intervention that is used to prepare children for possibly challenging activities or events. It can be difficult to predict how your child will react to some situations, such as visiting the dentist or taking an airplane for the first time, but priming beforehand can help familiarize them with the new setting and ease transition. Priming is most effective when it is built into the child's everyday routine at school and home. It typically involves presenting the materials that would be naturally found in the new setting. This can be through social stories, books, video modeling, a related toy or an actual item from that environment, such as a toothbrush for the dentist or a stethoscope for a doctor's visit. This can reduce the child's stress and anxiety and increase their sense of predictability and success. Some Guidelines for Priming: Develop a Routine- If priming for...
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How to Best Prepare Your Child for Their First Dental Appointment


There are a lot of sensory elements at the dentist’s office like loud noises, bright lights, as well as new tastes and smells. While this can be difficult for a child at first, they usually become more comfortable at each appointment. However, these sensory issues can be much harder for children with autism. Despite these difficulties, there are many ways to help your child with autism prepare for the dentist. I have been practicing family dentistry for 17 years and have worked with many families to help prepare their children for dental visits. I’ve compiled a list of the best tips that you can try with your child before their first dental appointment. Ask plenty of questions One of the best ways to prepare for your child’s first dental appointment, is to ask your dentist a lot of questions. This is a great way for getting detailed information about what dental...
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Therapist Vlog - NET teaching

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Identifying language delays in young children

Children develop language skills at different times. Language development can also depend on a variety of factors including: their natural ability to learn language, other skills that they are learning at the same time, how much talking they hear during the day and what kind of response is given to when they do speak or attempt to speak ("Late Blooming or Language Problem?")

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), there are several risk factors to consider when analyzing a potential learning delay

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Vestibular Sensory Processing

What is it?

The vestibular system is responsible for receiving information as the body moves through its environment. Located within the inner ear, the vestibular system receives sensory information from head movement and gravity to maintain balance, equilibrium and movement through space. Movement and balance is necessary for children to explore their environment. It is also important in the development of emotional security and confidence. For children, vestibular movement can include running, jumping, swinging, or spinning. If a child is hyperresponsive to vestibular input, they will often avoid too much movement because it makes their body feel unbalanced and insecure. If a child is hyporesponsive to vestibular input they may seek excessive amounts of movement that could be considered unsafe at times.

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Robot Therapy

Some children with autism have difficulty with social and emotional cues from others. Milo is a robot that was created by RoboKind that is a new tool in helping children with autism learn about these cues. One of the main reasons that Milo works so well is because of the engagement that the child has with him in the activities. The robot takes away the anxiety and pressure that the child feels when interacting with a human.
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Easter Bunny for Special Needs

b2ap3_thumbnail_easterbunny.jpg Autism Speaks partnered with Simon Property Group, Inc. and the Noerr Programs Corporation on their Caring Bunny program. This program bring a controlled and friendly environment for children with special needs to meet the Easter Bunny. It is also a great oppourtunity for special needs families to meet and socialize with one another. The Caring Bunny program is active throughout the United States. To get a full list of the dates and times go to the Autism Speaks website. Here are the dates that are within the states that Achieve Beyond services:
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ASD and Me

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The mother Donnie, age 7, wanted to find a better way to explain to children what Autism is. She decided to write an illustrate her own book. This is a preview of the book.

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Opening a Door to Dental Care

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Mrs. Brown struggled to find a dentist that would clean her daughter Camryn's teeth. Camryn has autism, and going to the dentist set off many sensory triggers that made this process difficult. Then she found Dr. Luedemann-Lazar who worked with her daughter and is now able to do a full 25 minutes cleaning in one sitting. This story is inspirational and opening a door to dental care for children with special needs.

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10 iPad Apps for Children with Autism

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services serves children with special needs nationwide on a daily basis. With the invention of the iPad and rise of tablets in general many apps have been created to aid in developmental therapies of children on the Autistic spectrum. Here are 10 that come highly recommended by Applied Behavior Analysts, BCBAs and special needs parents. If you have an app that has ben beneficial to a child with special needs please feel free to post links to these apps below. Feel free to share these apps on your favorite social networks as well. AutisMate AutisMate's is a great app for children with Autism because of it’s comprehensive approach that encourages users to develop communication and behavioral skills simultaneously, allowing each skill to build on the other through features like video modeling, stories, schedules and much more. Drawing Pad Drawing Pad is a mobile art studio...
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5 Inspirational Videos on Autism Everyone Should View

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services serves children with special needs nationwide on a daily basis throughout New York, California and Virginia. In this day and age of YouTube and the rise of video online, this medium has become a more powerful tool then ever to raise Autism Awareness in this country. Here are 5 inspiring videos on Autism that everyone should take a look at. They are exceptional videos that will most likely shed a new light on Autism for most that view them. If you have an inspirational video on Autism please feel free to post links to these apps below. Feel free to share these apps on your favorite social networks as well. The Face of Autism BBC - My Autism and MeJake: Math Prodigy Proud of His Autism Autistic Girl Displays Unimaginable IntelligenceWhat It is Like to Have a Brother With Autism Have a question? Want...
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10 Great Autism Parenting Books

Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy and Autism Services aids special needs children and families on a daily basis. We know that parenting a child on the autistic spectrum is a consistent challenge. Parents are always looking for new methods and advice to make their child have the best chance to thrive in their natural environments. We took the time to recommend 10 excellent resources that special needs parents can look to as valuable references, for inspiration and to help make a difference in their child's lives. If you have any additional resources to suggest please do so in the comments section below. We would love to hear what books you would recommend. If you agree with these resources please feel free to share on Facebook and Twitter as well. Here are 10 books we recommend for special needs parents. Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wishes You Knew – by Ellen Notbohn1001...
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10 Summer Activities For Special Needs Children

Summer is here! There are so many great activities that can be done when the weather is sunny and warm outside. Here are some fun activities that can be done with special needs children that can potentially help them improve their social skills, motor skills and cognitive abilities. If you have more fun activities you would like to share with other special needs parents that read this blog please feel free to leave a comment below or post them on Achieve Beyond Pediatric Therapy & Autism Services's Facebook page Dig for worms This a great exercise to improve a special needs child’s fine motor skills. Re-home the worms next to that seedling you planted. The child can have fun getting their hands dirty and at the same time help your garden at the same time. Build a “fairy house” Create a miniature “fairy house” outside with your own yards’ twigs, pebbles,...
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