All services we offer have a primary goal in mind – to increase the Quality of Life for the Individual and his or her family, now, and for the future.

 

Intensive Early Intervention for Autism and Related Behavioral and Developmental Disorders (EIBI)

City Regional Centers Provide Early Intervention for Autism and Related Disorders to families of special needs. Intensive” means that therapy is provided one-to-one for the child and family and that everything the child does during the session receives some sort of a therapeutic, teaching response. It also means that the therapy addresses a broad range of the child’s development and unction, not just a few specific skills or behaviors.

Early Intervention involves teaching parents how to understand their child’s motivations, the skills for thinking and behaving that they have or do not yet have, and the obstacles they face in developing them. Services are sponsored by the California State Department of Developmental Disabilities Regional Centers, School Districts or Private Insurance.

Being able to practice behavioral (ABA) and relationship-based developmental interventions provides us with the flexibility we need to adapt to almost any family lifestyle. Our primary goal is to empower parents by helping them become the constant movers of a child’s development. We seek to decrease obstacles to emotional connection, relating and communicating, and becoming a more active and adaptable member of the family. We seek to preserve natural family life, without asking parents to make the rest of their lives work around “therapy time.” When parents understand their children’s thinking better, and they learn how to make just about any situation some kind of a teachable moment, therapy occurs at any time. With the right therapeutic fit, families can provide many more teaching opportunities than a one-to-one Therapist can, even if that Therapist came to the home 40 hours per week. We realize that families have to enjoy the benefits of their own interactions with their child, and to feel confident enough that they have the skills to handle new and unplanned situations.

To develop a prescription. We begin with a thorough functional analysis of both the child’s behavior, but of their development, thinking and learning styles, and sensory-perceptual regulation. We then ask the family four basic questions:

  • What do you already do together?(ex. “I help him dress for school.” “We spend a lot of time in the car together.” “I read her a story before bed.”)
    • In this area, we usually use relationship-based methods such as Guided Participation/Relationship Skills Intervention (when the adult is more naturally in the lead) or DIR/Floortime (to build on the child’s natural motivation and interests), or Pivotal Response Training, a form of natural environment teaching that comes from ABA.
    • For the procedures involved (e.g. brushing teeth; getting dressed; riding a bike; tying shoes), we use  special education, which uses ABA tactics and is ideally suited to teaching chains of steps. The ABA approach allows us to break learning down into smaller, more teachable steps, and to arrange the steps in ways that help the child learn faster.
  • What do you do for your child that you could possibly do with your child? This is often unexplored territory, and the possibilities are amazing if you think about it and know how to do it. When we explain that we can work with the obstacles (the child’s behavior or lack of interest or skills) and help involve the child more actively in what the parents or the family alreadydoes, it is not necessary to disturb the family rhythm. Many families see this as a much better alternative than a requirement to put everything on hold in order to do a therapy best done in a clinic.
    • In this area, we usually use an adult-led, relationship-based methodology such as Guided Participation/Relationship Skills Intervention, because the child is doing what other, more experienced partners are doing. We place the child in an Apprenticeship role, where he or she has responsibilities suited to his or her capacity, and set up in ways that he or she must use the problem-solving skills we’re trying to teach, in order to meet those responsibilities.
  • What does your child like to do that you have time and motivation to join?It makes sense to follow the child’s lead, and most families allot time to do just that – with all of their children. Following a child’s lead helps form intimacy in ways that other methods can’t. It also allows parents to enter their child’s world in order to better understand and respond to it at any other time.
    • A relationship-based therapy such as Floortime is ideal for those times in which you can follow the child’s lead. With Floortime, you can work on communicating and relating as well as imaginary play, social reciprocity and mutual engagement.
    • Guided Participation also values intimacy and attunement and is considered a relationship-based behaviorally oriented methodology with the adult in the lead, may also be a good fit for when the parent follows the child’s interests, but is in a teaching or task-oriented role.
  • What has been so difficult to do with your child that it will take more than one person to work on it? This may be the case when a child’s behaviors are very difficult to deal with, or when the teaching requires a confederate (such as when teaching how to talk on the phone).

Help with Specific Behaviors

City Regional Centers provides Consultation services to families dealing with acute behavioral or life issues.

Consultation begins with a functional and developmental analysis of the behaviors involved, and the relationship and environmental factors that affect them. From there, parents and other stakeholders develop new ways of understanding why the behavior occurs and what can be done, given the child’s strengths and limitations.

Pay particular emphasis not just to the behavior, or even the “whole child” for that matter, but to the individual in the context of his or her relationships and surroundings. The emphasis and driving forces for change are the new understandings people have of the behavior – not just a bunch of tricks or artificial incentives used to make behaviors go up or down.