Behavior Problem? No Problem!
We have been providing services to children and adolescents with serious learning or behavior problems for over 30 years nationally and nearly 20 years in south Florida and are one of the premier behavioral services agencies in the world. No matter if your son or daughter is just beginning to experience problems, has recently been diagnosed or has been seen by other professionals and you are looking for more effective therapy - we can help. No problem is too big or too small for us to handle. We have worked successfully with behavior problems ranging from mildly annoying to life-threatening. Furthermore, we can work with children, adolescents or adults with and without mental health diagnoses. We treat the individual – not the diagnosis! Some of our specialties are listed below.
How Does it Work?
ASSESSMENT. We begin with a thorough behavioral (functional) assessment designed to determine exactly why the person is behaving as he or she does and to determine appropriate behaviors that should replace the unwanted behavior. The person is getting something out of the behavior - our job is to figure out what he or she is getting out of the behavior so we can determine the most appropriate treatment methods. Research and experience shows that reducing the undesired behavior without teaching the person appropriate alternative behavior will not produce significant long-lasting behavior change. Therefore, we place great emphasis on teaching the individual appropriate, desired behavior to replace the problem behavior.
INDIVIDUALIZED TREATMENT PLAN. Based on this assessment, we create an individualized behavioral treatment plan that is designed to meet the individual’s and the family's unique needs. The treatment plan uses the principles and procedures of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) both to reduce the unwanted behavior and to teach appropriate alternative behaviors. Applied Behavior Analysis is the treatment of choice for teaching new behavior as well as for reducing undesired behavior and has an extensive scientific literature supporting its use. We emphasize the use of positive reinforcement in all of our intervention plans, which leads to people wanting to behave well, not having to behave well in order to avoid something unpleasant. This results in better interpersonal relationships and in long-lasting behavior change.
TRAINING PARENTS AND OTHERS. Our approach is not like others in which the professional works only with the child and does not involve the parent significantly in treatment. If we want a child to behave well in someone's presence, that person must carry out the treatment himself or herself. That means that in order for a child (or adolescent) to behave appropriately in the presence of his or her parents, the parents must carry out the program. Therefore, once we have the program figured out, we train all relevant caregivers on exactly what to do, when to do it and how to do it. Think of behavioral treatment as a team approach – we are the coaches and determine what to do, when to do it and how to do it; you are the players, you actually carry out the program according to the plan. If the family is not directly involved in treatment, the child will learn to behave well only in the presence of the behavior analyst. Clearly, this is not useful to the family. Only by teaching the family how to respond to the child, will the child's behavior change in meaningful and long-lasting ways.
MONITORING PROGRESS. We systematically monitor progress frequently so that everyone knows exactly how well treatment is going, how far we've come and how far we have to go. We use this information to ensure that we are making optimal progress and to adjust the program as necessary to achieve the greatest degree of progress possible. The child's parents and others are often asked to collect some information on the level of desired and undesired behavior to aid in this decision making.
FADING OUT. Our goal is to give you the tools to effectively manage the child's behavior now and in the future. Once the behavior is changing in the desired direction, we'll gradually and systematically fade out of the picture so that you can get on with your new lives.