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The A-Word, Autism Part 31: Expanding Language

When Jack Riley first began services with CARD he wasn’t speaking. Now, after 9 months, he uses three word sentences to communicate, and his therapists are continually teaching him new frames of language to use. Learning takes a little longer for those on the autism spectrum, but by teaching lessons in small sections, and then connecting, and expanding, significant progress can be made.

The A-Word, Part 24: Gaining Attention

As Jack Riley’s language skills expand, so do his social skills. Jessica is teaching Jack Riley how to appropriately gain attention from others. As the skill is new to Jack Riley, Jessica prompts him the entire way using visual, physical, and vocal prompts until he learns how to gain others attention independently.

Proposed Changes to Diagnostic Criteria For Autism

We will have to wait to see if the APA adopts these guidelines for publication in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th Edition, (DSM-5) in May 2013, to truly see if there is a change in the amount of people being diagnosed and to the level of service the children receive based off of the new diagnostic criteria.


CARD Hosts CARD Virginia School Open House, For Families of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

CARD will host CARD Virginia School Open House events in the months of February and March for families of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). An Open House will be held on February 9, 14, and 27 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and on March 8, 14, 20, and 26 from 9:00 am to 11:00 am and 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. The CARD Virginia School is located at 5400 Shawnee Road, Ste. 208 in Alexandria. Light refreshments will be served and families will have the opportunity to tour the school and meet with managing staff and teachers.

Arizona Families Offered Free Autism Services

Families with children from birth to five years of age who are experiencing any sort of challenging behavior and reside in the communities of the Northeast Maricopa region may qualify for a “First Things First” grant that provides free specialized outpatient services.

2011 Annual Charity Golf Classic For Autism

This last Monday, ACT Today! hosted the 2011 Annual Charity Golf Classic to raise money and awareness for autism.This year’s event was hosted by Joe Mantegna (The Godfather Part III, Searching For Bobby Fischer, Forget Paris, Criminal Minds)who is the father of a daughter with autism. The event was filled with a wide-range of celebrities including Michael Reagan (Ronald Reagan’s son) to Jason Gedrick (Backdraft, The Last Don) all coming together to promote awareness for autism.

Teaching Stranger Danger Skills to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Normally, when deciding which skills to include in a child’s ABA program, they are prioritized based on which skills the child is likely to use most. While the likelihood of ever using stranger danger skills is slim to none (hopefully none), teaching these skills is nevertheless important to better ensure the safety of children with ASD. Thus in this study, CARD researchers set out to evaluate a stranger danger training procedure that can realistically be incorporated into a child’s ABA program.

CARD and Skills® Participate in CBS TV’s Stephanie’s Day

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and Skills® participated in this past Saturday’s Stephanie’s Day, hosted by CBS Los Angeles.

It was a fun-filled day—meeting families of children with autism, relaying valuable resources and a whole lot more. Check out the video and the slideshow for a behind-the-scenes look at the successful event!

What is ABA? Natural Environment Training

The goal of any ABA therapist is to help improve the life of the child they work with and their family using the principles of behavior analysis. By using NET, these real life applications are addressed. Throughout this past month I have learned that as you get to know a child better, you are more equipped for NET because you know what generalized skills the child could really use and are able to use reinforcers that you understand are the child’s favorite to create these effective changes and improvements in their life. Such skills as answering the phone when it rings, asking for the child’s favorite movie when they want to watch it, and responding appropriately to a sibling make life for the child and the family a whole lot easier.