Frequently Asked Questions about autism treatment, from Fox Valley Autism Treatment Program.

Here are some of the most common questions we hear from parents when they first begin the process of choosing an autism treatment provider. Call us with any questions you have: (920) 749-1005.

What is intensive therapy?

What is post intensive or on-going therapy?

Will my child still make progress even if I didn’t start therapy when he or she was at a really young age?

How do you develop goals for each child?

What are the hour requirements and how will you work therapy around our family schedule?

Who will be working with my child?

What kinds of things will you work on?

Do I have a say in what type of therapy my child will be receiving?

How long is a typical therapy shift?

What happens during a typical therapy shift?

Do I need to be home when therapy is in session?

Is my child allowed to go on outings?

 

What is intensive therapy? What is post intensive or on-going therapy?

For children whose funding source is private insurance, the number of hours provided for intensive level of therapy can range from 20 hours per week to up to 40 hours per week depending on the private insurance provider. The number of hours provided at a non intensive level varies, with a maximum of 19 hours per week.

For children whose funding source is Medicaid, a prior authorization is submitted with the requested number of therapy hours, and is dependent on approval by Medicaid. The number of hours requested, depends on whether a child is in school, the recommendation of the treatment team, and the child’s pediatrician.

Will my child still make progress even if I didn’t start therapy when he or she was at a really young age?

Yes, our company has worked with children as young as 2 and into young adulthood. Each child we have worked with has made gains and progress regardless of what age therapy started.

How do you develop goals for each child?

During initial meetings with your senior therapist, we will spend time discussing areas of concern for your child, spend time interacting and performing skill assessments. Based on these interactions, The senior will then discuss with you any skill areas that need improvement and develop goals based on those. As therapy progresses therapists will track data on how your child progresses through skills and use this information to update goals every six months.

What are the hour requirements and how will you work therapy around our family schedule?

During initial meetings with your Senior Therapist a therapy schedule will be determined based on the child’s needs and the number of hours provided by the child’s funding source. Several times per year the therapy schedule is reevaluated and may change due to most of our staff attending college classes, and the fact that your child is not in school during the summer months. Our scheduling periods run from January-May, June-August and September-December. We will discuss with you what hours work best for your family and will schedule accordingly.

Who will be working with my child?

Behavioral Treatment Technicians (also referred to as Line therapists) will provide the majority of one on one therapy with your child. They are typically college students, majoring in the areas of education, psychology, social work, etc. Senior therapists are responsible for hiring staff, training staff, overseeing staff, writing goals and answering any concerns or questions of parents and/or line staff. They visit the house at least once a week to make sure things are running smoothly and that there are no major concerns or problems. They have college degrees as well as over 2,000 hours of line therapy experience. Lead therapists visit the house approximately every 6-8 weeks to meet with the senior, parents and line staff to provide feedback and ideas regarding any problems that may arise and to ensure the therapy program is running smoothly.

What kinds of things will you work on?

When we begin therapy we will start by writing a treatment plan. This includes goals in a variety of areas, depending on the needs of the child. Each treatment plan is individualized and is based on the following information:

  • any formal testing done
  • parent report
  • IEP’s
  • diagnostic report
  • any other relevant documents

Input from the family is extremely important to us. No one knows your child better than you and your immediate family, and it’s important that we’re all on the same page in terms of what goals and areas are most important. Senior therapists work closely with you to ensure that we can find techniques, goals and ideas that the whole team feels are effective and important. We take a team approach, and value the input of everyone on the team.

Some examples of things we work on are: toilet training, communication (with PECS, sign, or augmentative devices), social skills, safety skills within the home or community, self-care skills, daily living skills, independent living skills, attending skills, and more.

Do I have a say in what type of therapy my child will be receiving?

Yes, we believe in partnering with parents and always consider your input. We do ask that you remember that every senior therapist is trained in evaluating and analyzing your child and your child’s needs. The senior then puts together goals based on his or her observations. Your senior has the best interest in having your child succeed, though sometimes treatment may be different than what you envisioned.

How long is a typical therapy shift?

First, it’s important to remember that the majority of what we do will not be perceived to the child as “work” or “therapy”. Our goal is to keep as much of what we do positive, and much of it will be done through play.

The length of a therapy shift is individualized for each child depending on what they can handle, what the needs of the family are, etc. Shift lengths typically range from 2-4 hours. Senior therapists will work with your family to determine what will work best for your child.

What happens during a typical therapy shift?

All shifts will vary depending on the child’s needs and goals, but this is a “typical” day: When line therapists arrive, they will read through the binder to review the child’s individual goals, recent progress, and communication from any other staff members or family members. Next, they will spend some time greeting the child, maintaining/ building rapport, etc. After this they will generally create visual schedule of what the shift will look like, so you and your child know what to expect. Line therapists will work on the child’s individualized goals (communication, self help skills, social skills, safety skills, etc.) during this time, building in sensory breaks and break time as needed. For approximately the last 15 minutes of the shift, the line therapist will fill out paperwork in the binder that will help communicate and document the progress being made during therapy. The binder will be available for all members of the team or family to read at any time.

Do I need to be home when therapy is in session?

We do encourage family members to observe or take part in therapy regularly so that they are able to learn and apply the techniques and ideas that are used during therapy. Transferring skills to parents is an important part of therapy. Your senior therapist will discuss any expectations for parent involvement with and work together with you on ways for you to be involved in therapy shifts. If you do need to leave the house during a therapy session, we require that you are available by phone at all times in case of emergency and return before the shift is scheduled to be over.

Is my child allowed to go on outings?

Since we are an in-home program,  it is important to spend a good deal of time initially working with the child on skills within the home. It is important to teach social skills and safety skills first in the home, in a safe environment. As therapy progresses, the treatment team will discuss ways to generalize skills learned in the home to other environments. The senior will then create specific goals for the therapist and child to work on in the community.

The kind of care that makes a difference.