Harsha Cognitive Center provides individualized programs to those with a diagnosis of autism and other neurological and developmental disabilities. They serve individuals from 18 months to 22 years of age. They offer services that are center based and provided intensive early intervention.
Therapies and behavioral interventions are designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about substantial improvement. The therapist use highly structured and intensive skill oriented training using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) to help kids develop social and language skills.
Here is the link to their website.
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
"Applied" means practice, rather than research or
philosophy. "Behavior analysis" may be read as "learning theory," that
is, understanding what leads to (or doesn't lead to) new skills. (This
is a simplification: ABA is just as much about maintaining
and using skills as about learning.) It may seem
odd to use the word "behavior" when talking about learning to talk,
play, and live, but to a behaviorist all
these can be taught, so long as there are intact brain functions to
learn and practice the skills.
Typically developing children learn without our
intervention--the world around them provides the right conditions to
learn language, play, and social skills. Children with autism learn
much, much less easily from the environment. They have the
potential to learn, but it takes a very structured environment,
one where conditions are optimized for acquiring the same skills that
typical children learn "naturally." ABA is all about how to set up the
environment to enable our kids to learn.
Here are a few videos of ABA. I could not really find a good one.
Trenton has been receiving ABA from Alicia and Heather a few hours a week for the past two years. However, at his severity he needs a lot more than what this area can offer. Hence, why we are going to Terre Haute.
Trenton will be spending 7 hours a day, three days a week at this facility. Its all one on one which is what he needs.
A really simple example is the therapist placing a small ball and a big ball in front of him. The therapist says, "Hand me the small ball." Trenton has to hand the therapist the small ball. The therapist will not move on until Trenton follows through with the command. This teaches Trenton to follow commands but at the same time, understand language. Many times it will lead to full blown meltdowns that will last a long time because he may not know or understand what is being asked. If prompts are needed the therapist will do verbal or touch prompts. This is normal. This is why ABA is brutal at this level. However, we pray it will help in the long run.
Trenton will have a very structured setting the whole time he is there.
Yes, I am very excited for Trenton and Andrew to start at Harsha. On the other hand, its tearing me up. I have cried tears every night since the official date has been set. It hurts....its very painful....its an awful feeling to know that your child or children have to go through really tough, mentally hard, therapy that will push them to the curve to better their life.