Overview (including session location, structure, parent involvement, interventions used)
Lehigh University Autism Services provides one-on-one therapy for children with autism. Our services are based in the science of applied behavior analysis and incorporate Pivotal Response Treatment among other evidence-based interventions. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach and instead individualize all of our services to ensure we are meeting each child’s unique needs. Sessions can take place in the home, community, school, or our clinic (located on Lehigh’s Mountaintop campus) and typically range from one to three hours long. We work with children to develop a variety of skills including language, play, social, and functional living skills. Each client’s program is developed and overseen by a clinician who is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and Licensed Behavior Specialist (LBS).
Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is the science of behavior and based on both classical and operant conditioning. The overall goal is to change socially significant behaviors, collecting data to ensure that the interventions utilized are the causes of behavior change. In ABA therapy, the environment, including triggers and consequences (good and bad) of behavior, are evaluated and altered toincrease prosocial behaviors and decrease challenging behaviors. The focus of most ABA therapy is to increase access to reinforcement. Though punishment has been used in the past, it is used infrequently now and only after a reinforcement-only approach has not been effective. ABA has been found to be effective for increasing a wide variety of prosocial skills (e.g., social skills, communication and language, independent living skills) and decreasing challenging behaviors.
Developed by Drs. Robert and Lynn Koegel, Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) is an evidence based, naturalistic intervention founded on the principles of ABA. PRT centers on providing treatment within the natural environment, family involvement, and a focus on the pivotal areas of development (motivation, multiple cues/joint attention, initiations, self-management, and empathy).
Beginning services with LUAS
LUAS is an Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) licensed agency within Pennsylvania, providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children under the age of 21 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
Caregiver and Family Involvement
One goal of our services is to work with families to teach them the strategies to increase success across all environments. We request that caregivers participate in sessions with their child and the therapist. In addition, parents are required to work with the BCBA regularly to continue to develop their skill set.