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Pine Grove Outpatient Autism Services

Pine Grove Outpatient Services in Hattiesburg, Mississippi is pleased to announce the addition of the following services for Autism and other Pervasive Development Disorders (PDD):

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy

At Pine Grove, we are committed to providing state-of-the-art ABA services based on many published research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of ABA with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The Surgeon General of the United States and the National Institute of Health have both identified ABA as best practice in the assessment and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is a method for serving the needs of children and families that involves the application of basic behavioral practices such as positive reinforcement, repetition, and prompting, to support the development of language, positive skills, and social behavior.

ABA can also help reduce everyday problem behaviors, such as noncompliance, tantrums, self-injury, and aggression. At Pine Grove, we are committed to providing state-of-the-art ABA services based on hundreds of published research studies demonstrating the effectiveness of ABA with children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Is ABA just another trend in treatment of Autism?

ABA with persons with autism is not new and is not a trend. Research began in the early 1960s with the studies of Charles Ferster, Ivar Lovaas, Montrose Wolf and Todd Risley to name just the best known pioneers.

As long ago as 1981, applied behavior analysis was identified as the treatment of choice for autistic behavior. The Surgeon General of the United States and the National Institute of Health have identified ABA as best practice in the assessment and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Is ABA safe?

Test by research and experience for nearly 40 years, ABA practices have been consistently shown to be among the safestand most effective treatment approaches available. The skills and experience of the professional providing ABA services are essential for safety and success. Continuous and systematic data collection and evaluation of effectiveness is a fundamental component of the ABA methodology.

At what age can a child benefit from the ABA approach?

ABA can be effective in working with individuals of all ages. However, research clearly shows that skill development programs, emphasizing behavioral management and language acquisition, that are provided at a young age, foster better outcomes and can often reduce the likelihood of more severe or dangerous behaviors later in life.

In what environments are ABA techniques used?

ABA techniques work across all environments – work, home, and school. We want parents and teachers consistently employing ABA techniques throughout the day so the effectiveness the child sees with use extends to all environments. This requires an ABA behavior plan, developed by an ABA professional, which guides data collection, appropriate reinforcers, and interventions by parents, siblings, caregivers, and educators for that individual child.

The ABA professional is available to train and coach parents and teachers in the implementation of the techniques in the behavior plan so that they are comfortable applying them with the child.

Is ABA an easy cure for autism?

ABA is not easy and not a "miracle cure”. Unfortunately there are NO cures – psychological or medical. Anyone who has tried to do ABA knows it is not easy. However, when done properly, progress can be seen very quickly. Positive results make the effort worthwhile.

In a recent review of autism in the New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Isabelle Rapin concluded: “No drug or other treatment cures autism, and many patients do not require medication. However, psychotropic drugs that target specific symptoms may help substantially.” She said further that: “The most important intervention in autism is early and intensive remedial education that addresses both behavioral and communication disorders.”

“Many other interventions are available, but few, if any, scientific studies support their use. These therapies remain controversial and may or may not reduce a specific person's symptoms. Parents should use caution before subscribing to any particular treatment. Counseling for the families of people with autism also may assist them in coping with the disorder.” (From NIMH Fact Sheet)

How can I identify a qualified ABA professional and what should I expect?

It is incredibly important to make sure professionals utilizing ABA techniques have solid practical experience in the field and meet high educational and professional standards.

Given the rapid growth of ABA services in the country, the Behavior Analysis Certification Board was formed to sanction licensed behavior analysts. Professionals who meet the rigorous education,experience, and supervision requirements and then pass a written exam on ABA become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).

What should I expect when I meet with an ABA professional?

During your initial visits to a qualified ABA professional, you will notice a few things different from other professionals you may have encountered. ABA professionals will work diligently to determine exactly and precisely your child’s specific needs for intervention and support. They will observe your child in different situations and settings, to determine where and why behaviors are either occurring or not occurring. After the initial assessment, a behavior plan will be specifically tailored with the intervention recommendations specific to your child’s individual needs. Anything less than these services are not true ABA methods.

How do I know if ABA is right for my child?

Parents who feel their child might be helped by ABA procedures can be comfortable knowing that these methods have proven effectiveness. Hundreds of scientific studies have shown that ABA is the most effective method to teach children and adolescents with autism and other developmental disabilities. ABA has been endorsed by the National Institute of Health and the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, and has been identified by the Surgeon General of the United States as the most effective way to treat Autism.

Will insurance pay for this program?

TriCare offers coverage for ABA for patients enrolled in ECHO or the Autism Demonstration project. Currently, most private insurances do not pay for ABA Therapy in Mississippi. However, Pine Grove Outpatient Services will gladly verify insurance benefits and will assist in payment arrangements as needed if your insurance will not pay.

For more information call 601-288-8050


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