The impact of developmental and intellectual disabilities often lingers long after childhood. People with such diagnoses often face many challenges throughout their lifetime including difficulty with basic language or conversation skills, the ability to independently care for themselves, proper self-control or anger management skills, as well as social awareness and social skills.
For both children and adults, these skill deficits can negatively impact their quality of life, resulting in significant problematic behaviors, and inhibiting long term independence.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Research has demonstrated that behaviorally based interventions, such as those advocated in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), can significantly improve life and social skills over time, as well as decreasing maladaptive behaviors. ABA is derived from the science of Behaviorism, founded by B.F. Skinner, and concerned with identifying how people learn and what motivates their behavior. ABA is the only proven treatment approach with empirical data and a body of scientific literature to support its effectiveness.
Individualized Behavior Support Plans
At The Arc, we are dedicated to creating individualized Behavior Support Plans (BSP) is based on the principles of ABA under the supervision of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). We offer behavioral support services for adolescents and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities (ID), those on the autism spectrum, and those dually diagnosed with mental illness as well as ID.
Our focus is to not only decrease maladaptive behaviors, but to help improve their social, adaptive, and behavioral skills. We use proven methodologies, based on positive reinforcement, to teach skills across an individual’s day: in the residence, at the day program/training center, and in the community. We use many different methods including task analysis, discrete trials, incidental learning, and other proven curricula that best suit the individual’s learning style, as well as focusing on the function of these behaviors, to create effective BSPs.
In additional to providing services for those individuals with significant behavioral concerns, we also partner with our Health Services department, as well as a local psychiatrist, to provide psychiatric services to our individuals taking psychotropic medications to provide a holistic approach to the behavioral, mental, and physical health of the individuals we serve.
Data are taken before and during treatment on all those on BSPs and those on psychotropic medications to ensure effect treatment, and ineffective interventions are revised quickly to ensure continued progress. Procedures for reduction and acquisition are taught systematically across Day Program and Residential Program staff to ensure generalization and maintenance when in the community. We also work closely with the local school systems for adolescents that receive schooling in the public school system to ensure continuity of care.