From the time a child is born until he or she enters kindergarten, parents have fewer than 2,000 days to teach all the skills necessary to be successful in kindergarten. These skills include requesting for items appropriately, responding to his/her name and following basic instructions (Weiss & Zane, 2010). On average, children receive an autism diagnosis at four years of age, leaving just one year to learn these skills and overcome additional deficits before enrolling in school. For these children, additional supports may be necessary to ensure acquisition of early learner skills.
By providing services in clinic, BCOTB has the unique advantage of offering programs specifically designed to prepare children for the school environment. For parents seeking individualized treatment to prepare their child for school, BCOTB offers the Toddler Achievement Program as part of the Child Advancement Track. This program is intended for children one and a half to three and a half years of age.
In the Toddler Achievement Program, your child will attend a 60-minute group session with similarly aged peers during their regularly scheduled appointment. During this time, therapists provide opportunities for your child to practice early learner skills within a group setting. Targeted skills include:
- Sharing and taking turns
- Responding to group instructions
- Imitating gross and fine motor movements
- Imitating vocalizations
- Remaining seated for up to 10 minutes
- Completing a simple craft with assistance
- Attending to a calendar
- Attending to a teacher reading a book
- Responding to their name
- Greetings and farewells
Research suggests early intensive behavioral intervention may result in large gains in development and decreased need for specialized services later in a child’s life. BCOTB provides the Toddler Achievement Program as part of early intensive behavioral intervention designed to help your child succeed. If you think your child would benefit from practicing these school readiness skills, please contact BCOTB at (813) 814-2000 to schedule a complimentary meet and greet to learn more.
Bleicher, A. (2013). Hunting for autism’s earliest clues. [Online article] Retrieved from https://www.autismspeaks.org/blog/hunting-autisms-earliest-clues
Howard, J. S., Sparkman, C. R., Cohen, H. G., Green, G., & Stanislaw, H. (2005). A comparison of intensive behavior analytic and eclectic treatments for young children with autism. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 26, 359-383.
Sallows, G. O., & Graupner, T. D. (2005). Intensive behavioral treatment for children with autism: Four-year outcome and predictors. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 110, 417-438.
Weiss, M. J., & Zane, T. (2010). Three important things to consider when starting intervention for a child diagnosed with autism. Behavior analysis in practice, 3(2), 58.