Alpine Autism Center: Pikes Peak Region
Author: Thomas C. Weiss : Contact: Disabled World
Synopsis and Key Points:
Overview of the Alpine Autism Center that provides access to treatment for people and family members affected by autism in the Pikes Peak Region.
The mission of the Alpine Autism Center is to provide access to effective treatment for people and their family members affected by autism in the Pikes Peak Region, enabling those affected by autism to reach their full potential. The organization's vision is to sustain a center of excellence for autism treatment, providing integrated and comprehensive services that are accessible to every family affected by autism and related disorders in Southern Colorado. The Alpine Autism Center provides intensive, one-on-one instruction using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Their staff members are highly trained and dedicated to improving the lives of children with autism by teaching important academic, social, communication and daily living skills.
Alpine Autism Center has some different core values. For example; the organization treats students and their parents with respect at all times while recognizing the essential dignity of all people, irrespective of their life circumstances. The organization works to create an atmosphere where learning will be both a fun and rewarding experience for students and their teachers. The organization's other core values include:
- Looking for innovative ways to solve issues when they happen, not simply identifying them.
- Applying the basic principles of Behavior Analysis continually throughout the school day to make learning more successful and teaching more effective.
- Remaining abreast of current research and teaching strategies being developed to help children with autism and keeping a willingness to try new techniques.
- Acknowledging that no person is identical, the organization modifies its curriculum based upon, or to meet, the person's individual needs and the learning abilities of each child to facilitate success.
Alpine Autism Center began operations in October of 2005. The organization was the first treatment facility in the Pikes Peak Region for children with a diagnosis of autism. The organization is a private, non-profit, state-of-the-art treatment facility that provides data-driven, individualized, evidence-based, one-on-one therapy using the principles of ABA.
All of the training and therapy is provided or supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The organization's therapists specialize in ABA, Natural Environment Teaching, Discrete Trial Teaching, Verbal behavior and small and large group direct instruction. Alpine Autism Center works on all areas of development to include:
- Motor, behavior
- Daily living and social skills
The organization's staff members are highly qualified with backgrounds ranging from early childhood, psychology and special education. Their staff members are understanding and apply behavioral principles. Alpine Autism Center also provides home therapy, parent meetings and consultation services. The organization offers ongoing support to families, therapists, teachers and schools in the community.
Alpine Autism Center's Services
Alpine Autism Center provides intensive and one-on-one instruction using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Their staff members are highly trained and dedicated to improving the lives of people with autism by teaching important academic, communication, daily living skills and social skills. The organization offers:
Center Based: Alpine Autism Center offers center based services on half-day and full-day basis.
Home Based: The organization offers home based services as well. Their team of therapists as well as BcaBA will come into your home and provide ABA for a minimum of twelve hours each week, Monday through Saturday.
Day Habilitation: Alpine Autism Center offers half or full day programs for people who are over the age of eighteen. Their day habilitation program uses The Essentials for Living assessment. The organization's curriculum focuses on language, behavioral and functional skills.
Advocacy: Alpine Autism Center provides advocacy through consultation and representation at 504 Plan and IEP meetings.
Assessments: The organization provides assessments such as Functional Analysis, VB-MAPP, Behavior Support Planning and Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) Curriculum.
Alpine Autism Center and Treatment of Autism
The most scientifically validated treatment for autism now is Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). The intervention is labor intensive and has a national annual average cost of $50,000-$80,000 for each child. The National Research Council, in a landmark publication in 2001, recommended early diagnosis before the age of three and intensive intervention in order to achieve the best outcomes. Services should include at least 25 hours each week, 12 months a year, administered by highly trained staff with one-on-one and very small group instruction in which the child is engaged in systematically planned, developmentally appropriate educational activity toward identified objectives.
Obstacles for Families
The main obstacles families face in receiving effective autism treatment are a lack of trained professionals and cost. The cost of intensive ABA programming can range from $50,000-$70,000 per year for each child. Alpine Autism Center is working with local community providers to pool resources with the goal of getting each person the effective treatment they need.
Even though effective autism treatment is costly, the cost of not providing treatment is significant to family members and the community. It is estimated that 90% of people with autism who do not get appropriate intervention will need lifelong care. In addition, without treatment, people often develop dangerous and life threatening behaviors while further isolating themselves and their families. While ABA might not be a cure for autism, it does provide for continuous learning with the goals of enhanced quality of life and independent living.
Careers at Alpine Autism Center
Alpine Autism Center hires both full and part-time openings for energetic, bright, motivated, caring and responsible people who like working with children with special needs and their family members. The organization is non-profit and operates a day treatment facility using the Center for Autism Related Disorders (CARD) curriculum. They offer center based programming, as well as home based, using the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and Verbal Behavior (VB) for children with autism. In addition, the organization uses ABA principles to decrease or eliminate inappropriate behaviors such as, yet not limited to, aggression and self-injurious behaviors and replace them with appropriate behaviors with the use of functional communication training and individualized behavior support plans. Extensive paid training is provided and supervised by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) and Assistants (BcaBA).
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