Frequently Asked Questions
What is autism?
Autism is a developmental disability that becomes apparent during a child’s first three years of life. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) demonstrate a limited range of interests and behaviors, and are at risk for developing severe stereotypic, challenging behavior, ranging from moderate to severe aggression, tantrums, and self-injury.
What causes autism?
Genetic inheritance is involved in the development of ASD.
How many people have autism?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recent estimates place the prevalence of individuals with ASD as high as or higher than 1 per 68.
What are some of the behaviors exhibited by a child who may have an autism spectrum disorder?
Children who may have an autism spectrum disorder may be deficient in functional communication skills, symbolic play deficits, repetitive behaviors and/or marked adherence to specific routines also must be present for an ASD to be diagnosed.
My child is over two and not talking yet, does this mean he has autism?
No. There are a variety of disorders that are related to limited speech development, but any child that is not talking by the age of three should have a developmental assessment immediately.
What kinds of tests need to be done to diagnose autism?
There are no definitive diagnostic tests for autism. The most effective means of determining diagnosis is a thorough review of the child's developmental history and observation of their behavior in structured and unstructured situations. The diagnostic tools most often turned to by pediatricians are the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).
What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors to a meaningful degree, and to demonstrate that the interventions employed are responsible for the improvement in behavior.
At Big Apple Children Services we are dedicated to using the principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis evidenced based approach to help every child and their families. Our well qualified team will work closely with each family using a family centered approach. Together we will achieve maximum results.
Our goal is to provide individuals with autism the essential skills needed to maximize their potential, integrate, be productive members of the community, and become fulfilled individuals. Big Apple Children Services accomplishes this by providing expert comprehensive direct services to the children and families we serve in their homes, schools, and communities.
ABA, for the treatment of autism, is the application of the principles of learning to 1) build skills and 2) treat problem behavior. It works because each person's behavior is assessed to determine what skills they have not mastered and what types of problem behavior interfere with learning and social functioning. For skill deficits, direct instruction is provided until the skill is mastered. For problem behavior, specific analysis of why the behavior occurs is used to develop treatment to eliminate the behavior or teach the person to use other more appropriate behavior to serve the same function.
Who is qualified to provide ABA services?
The person who supervises the implementation of an ABA program should be a "behavior analyst." There is a Behavior Analyst Certification Board® (BACB®) and the criteria for becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® or BCBA® are listed at www.bacb.com.
In brief, a professional would need a Master's or PhD in a human service discipline such as psychology, education, or special education and they should have a number of graduate courses specifically in behavior analysis. Another necessary qualification is substantial relevant supervised experience in working with persons with autism. Beyond that, a BCBA or BCABA must remain abreast of developments in the field by obtaining a minimum of 36 hours of continuing education across every 3 years.
Big Apple Children Services is staffed with qualified ABA service providers, including our founder and CEO, Majory Gabriel.