Simple Steps to Functional Communication

Simple Steps to Functional Communication A key factor of many Developmental Disabilities is a deficit in communication skills. These deficits may include difficulty with expressive language, receptive language, or a combination of both. Expressive language is the ability of an individual to express himself to others while receptive language is the ability to understand what…

Antecedent Based Interventions (ABI)

Antecedent Based Interventions (ABI) are a type of behavioral intervention designed to prevent challenging behavior.  With ABI, we assess conditions of an environment, such as the location, materials, noise level, instructions, and people present.  We also assess consequences that are reinforcing interfering behavior, such as the delivery of a desired item after a problem behavior…

Motor Development and ASD

In 2012 Flanagan and colleagues presented evidence that infants’ head lag during a pull-to-sit task at age six months was significantly associated with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder at 36 months. The authors acknowledged limitations of the study, including a relatively small sample and the absence of a comparison group of infants with idiopathic…

Teaching Safety Skills Using Behavioral Skills Training

By Christine Holland, BCBA, LBA In 2016, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children assisted law enforcement and families with approximately 20,500 cases of missing children.  Many families and caregivers try to protect their children from abduction by specifically teaching them skills like understanding the concept of strangers, warning signs of distrustful behavior, and what…

Commonwealth Autism Names New CEO

The Board of Directors of Commonwealth Autism is proud to announce that Jessica Gainous Philips, MA, BCBA, LBA, has been named the new President and CEO of Commonwealth Autism effective July 1, 2018. She will succeed John A. Toscano, MSW, MBA who recently announced his retirement, having served for 17 years. Jessica will be the…

True Inclusion

By Christine Holland, M.S., BCBA, LBA As a service provider for individuals with development disabilities we are sometimes asked by businesses and community organizations outside the field how they can be more inclusive of individuals with developmental disabilities. While there are many things they can do, we have listed five basic tips to keep in mind interacting…

Tips for New Families

Families of children who have just received a diagnosis of autism can be overwhelmed thinking about what to do next. They have a lot of information to sift through, including advice from professionals and various websites, blogs, and social media sites. If you are a parent, the following resources are a great place to start.…

Fire Safety Tips

Fire safety is important for everyone, but particularly important for individuals with disabilities and those with limited communication skills. Here are some tips and resources to support people with disabilities. Use Visuals The National Fire Protection Assocation recommends creating a storybook to help indivdiuals with special needs understand what fire is and why it can…