Our Autism Education PROGRams
Autism is challenging for everyone affected by it. It is the biggest challenge for those with limited access to services and supports. We believe that everyone affected by autism should have a chance to reach their potential. Our Educational programs are an affordable solution that can help make growth and learning possible for those who need it most.
Child Sponsorship Program
We offer our child sponsorship program to families who for whatever reason are unable to access quality therapy services for their child. Participants in the Child Sponsorship Program receive 5 hours per week of one-on-one services, our intensive parent training program, and access to Spectrum Online, our innovative online learning program.
Our online autism video training program begins by introducing children to foundational skills critical to building communication through imaginative, child-friendly content. Recognizing that some children may have sensory factors that might distract from learning, we minimize visually distracting content and employing other design elements intended to make content both appealing and engaging to children.
Parents are able to set their own pace for delivering program content based on their child’s unique learning needs within the comfort of the familiar home environment. Parents are also provided lessons of their own on how to continue to build these learning concepts with guided opportunities to apply training in other settings.
Spectrum Nashville’s vision is to become the leader in increasing the public’s awareness and understanding of practices that support individuals with autism spectrum disorder. We aim to provide the highest quality intervention and create resources that all members of our community can use to improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder.
Spectrum Nashville’s mission is to promote the well-being of those affected by autism spectrum disorder through innovative therapy and education.
Our Autism Therapy Programs
Our interdisciplinary team creates individualized therapy programs designed to meet the unique needs of each individaul child.
ABA is proven to be the most effective method to teach children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities. ABA practices have been endorsed by the Surgeon General, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and the Association for Science in Autism Research. At Spectrum Nashville we offer ABA therapy in two distinct tracks: Early Intervention and Social Skills Intervention. Both tracks are described below.
EARLY INTERVENTION TRACK
Early intervention is critical to support positive growth for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Participants in our comprehensive early intervention program receive between 5 and 30 hours per week of one-on-one services provided using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This program is designed for students from the age of diagnosis through age 8. Following the initial evaluation and assessment period, an individualized treatment plan is written by our clinical director. Goals are developed in a variety of domains (communication, academic, adaptive, etc.) based on student strengths, needs, and family input. All programming at Spectrum Nashville is individualized based on the needs and priorities of each child and family. Skills are taught using a variety of research-based practices, such as discrete trial teaching (DTT) and incidental teaching, among others. Interventionists collect data about student behaviors during every session. This data is frequently analyzed by our clinical director to ensure meaningful progress toward individual goals. Parents attend monthly progress meetings with our clinical director at which time they receive progress reports which carefully detail their child’s performance on individualized goals and have the opportunity to collaborate with our clinical director to answer questions and identify ways to maximize student progress. Family involvement is a vital part of a successful early intervention program and parents are encouraged to participate in our family training program during which time they learn to implement the teaching practices used by our interventionists in the home and community settings.
SOCIAL SKILLS INTERVENTION TRACK
Spectrum Nashville provides targeted social skills instruction for individuals diagnosed with ASD. Participants in our social skills program receive between 3 and 6 hours per week of targeted social skills instruction. This program is designed for students from ages 4 to 12. Following an initial evaluation and assessment, an individualized treatment plan containing goals and objectives related to social skills is developed by our clinical director. Goals are targeted using research-based practices based on the principles of ABA, including behavior skills training (BST) and video modeling, among other practices. Intervention occurs in both one-on-one and small group settings. Interventionists collect data on student behaviors during every session, which is frequently analyzed by our clinical director to ensure meaningful progress toward individual goals. Parents attend monthly or bi-monthly progress meetings with our clinical director at which
time they receive progress reports which carefully detail their student’s performance on individualized goals and they have the opportunity to collaborate with our clinical director to answer questions and identify ways to maximize student progress. Family involvement can greatly enhance the success of social skills instruction and parents are encouraged to participate in our family training program during which time they learn to implement the teaching practices used by our interventionists in the home
and community settings.
Spectrum Nashville offers consultative Occupational Therapy (OT) services as part of its therapeutic programming for children with specific motor and sensory differences.
Pediatric Occupational Therapists (OT) focus on the development or regaining of skills needed for everyday activities. This can include gross motor coordination, fine motor skills, cognitive skills, self-care skill, visual motor/perceptual skills, and sensory processing needs. Fine motor skills can include activities such as grasp, handwriting, scissor skills, and manipulation of fasteners (buttons, zipper, etc.). Self-care skills can include feeding, dressing, and overall hygiene. Occupational Therapists often help children coordinate gross motor movements in the sense of timing, rhythm, and isolating movements. Integrating primitive reflexes is also an important milestone for all children. From infancy to adolescence, Pediatric Occupational Therapy helps children achieve independence in everyday activities.