Diagnosis is Key
Every child with autism has a greater chance of having a brighter future with the proper interventions and help from trained professionals.
Early intervention is the key piece to the puzzle to help children gain communication, self-care and social skills. An individual with severe autism will always need support. With milder autism, adults are able to live on their own. The earlier a child begins autism intervention program, the better. Every child with autism has a greater chance of having a brighter future with the proper interventions and help from trained professionals.
An autism diagnosis can only be made by a trained and licensed physician. Some warning signs a parent should look for are described here. All concerns a parent has should be first addressed by their family physician or pediatrician.
Threshold endorses and uses evidence-based, outcome-oriented programs and therapy. A basic premise of health care, dating back several thousand years, is to first do no harm.
Our goal at Threshold is to ensure that we use and endorse only outcome-based, research validated treatment procedures and protocols.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Behavior Modification is the basic science from which Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is derived. In the early days of the profession behavior modification seemed to be too associated with animal training or the manipulation of people to gain general acceptance. Thus the term behavior analysis was created. Behavior analysis sounds less intrusive than behavior modification. Performance management is an offshoot of behavior analysis and uses the same techniques and methodologies to improve the performance of workers.
Therapy is about behavior and learning. Disabilities related to disease and/or injuries often results in impaired social interaction, communication difficulties, and physical activities.
People with neurological disabilities often exhibit abnormal responses to sensory stimulation (e.g., touch, sound, light) and usually have moderate to severe physical abilities. The use of performance improving behavioral programs with these disabilities should be thoroughly explored and documented that that all patients have the best opportunity for an optimal outcome.
Team approach— While behavior analysis has consistently been shown to be the most effective way to work with children and adults with autistic spectral disorders, it takes a well-coordinated team of health care professionals, behavioral professionals and parents to ensure that these children have the best opportunity for some degree of normalcy
Threshold uses a team approach starting with early diagnosis and early intervention. Physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, behavioral professionals, psychologists, social workers, physical and occupational therapists, speech and hearing specialists, as well as dieticians combine their talents and skills to ensure that each child has the best opportunity for success. Parent training is absolutely essential to the facilitation of their child's progress. Parents are trained and educated to ensure that they are speaking the same language as the other members of the intervention and therapeutic team. We believe that parents are the most important part of our treatment team because they will spend the greatest amount of time with their child.
How we do it— Threshold integrates behavioral and biomedical approaches.
Threshold Center is distinct because it combines medical, dental and behavior analytic approaches to autistic spectrum disorders. By combining pediatrics and internal medicine with current behavior analysis techniques we can arrive at more complete explanations and solutions of the behavioral impairments. Threshold's goal is to use this knowledge to reduce the impact of various impairments that affect children and adults with developmental disabilities.
For more information please call 407-671-7060 extension #102.
When Threshold was founded, Teena Willard stated that, "We will take the children no one else want." At the time, there were many children in the autistic spectrum no other group homes would take. Threshold has developed programs that bring hope, health and happiness to the families of these children by providing on-campus, intense residential placement. In other words, by providing a nurturing environment designed to encourage their growth.
Over the years these children became adults and many intensive behaviors were significantly reduced or eliminated. Threshold developed a program to step-down services and provide long-term placement within our system of supports. The community-based group homes are located within eight miles of our main campus in a variety of neighborhoods. Our goal for each of these programs is to offer programs that allow our residents to live comfortably.
Our residential services are supported by our behavior analysis staff. These professionals work with both our residents and staff to ensure that appropriate training programs are available and residents are living in the least restrictive environment. Skill acquisition is the key to hope, health and happiness.
The Agency for Persons with Disabilities states that each Floridian should have a "meaningful day activity". Threshold's adult day training programs are designed to evaluate the client's capabilities and assist them in defining what is available for them. Skill development is essential for learning and building skills takes time for people with life-long disabilities.
In 2003, Threshold started our Ceramics and Pottery Shop (TCAPS) with the idea of pulling disabled people out of the industrial district where they waited for small jobs to find them. People who had never made anything in their lives were now being introduced to new materials and an opportunity to be creative.