Christopher A. Garofalo, L-BCBA has extensive experience in helping developmentally disabled children and adults develop compensatory skills that replace unwanted behaviors.
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Behavior Consultation, Home and Community-Based Behavior Consultation, School-Based Behavior Consultation, Social Skills Groups, Supervision
We Respect That You Are Investing In Your Child And Entrusting Us In Their Care.
First and foremost, you are investing in the treatment and well-being of your child or loved one and thereby entrusting Behavior Understood: Applied Behavior Analysis Services, P.C. to directly work with your child, a fact taken very seriously.
Our primary goal is to ensure the safety, respect, privacy and dignity of all our clients and their families. Moreover, you are entrusting this practice to ensure efforts that your child develop the skills necessary to have the most successful, enriching and independent future, possible. Lastly, you are entrusting us to teach socially valid and evidence-based interventions to develop compensatory life skills that lasts throughout your child's development.
We Are Rooted In The Science Of Behavior – Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
Why ABA? Among the many therapies that exist for children, adolescents and adults diagnosed with autism, few withstand the rigors of experimental analysis.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific, evidence-based approach to improving socially significant behaviors. ABA’s focus is on the interactions between the person and their environment, including the triggers (antecedents) which evoke challenging behavior as well as the variables which maintain or reinforce (consequences) each episode of behavior.
The Goal of ABA is to Identify “Why” (Function) a Behavior Occurs and to Determine its Function as Well as to Develop Effective Behavioral Strategies.
Challenging behavior may occur for one or more of the following reasons:
- Gain attention from others
- Escape unpleasant or less preferred activities
- Obtain a tangible item/object/activity
- Experience sensory input
For example, a child may cry or pout to gain attention from a parent or teacher, etc. That same child may also break a pencil or tear up a worksheet to escape or at the very least delay the onset of the work demand (worksheet). Another example, involves a child who may grab another child’s toy because they want to play with it (tangible). Tangible functions include preferred objects as well as activities. Lastly, sensory functions may evoke challenging behavior because engaging in the behavior (i.e. hand flapping, rocking, etc.) feels good, looks good, smells good or tastes good.
Behavior Analysts systematically assess behavior, determine why the behavior occurs, test the hypothesis (if appropriate), develop behavioral interventions to replace the unwanted behavior with an appropriate alternative behavior, as well as develop a reliable measurement system to monitor the effectiveness of such interventions.
In addition, the Behavior Analyst trains others on the implementation and data collection of such strategies. The most effective training includes the client themselves and those who interact with the child or adult the most (family, teachers, aides, etc.). Once progress has been made, steps to maintain the new repertoire of behavior and fade out reinforcement and supervision levels are made to more closely resemble the natural environment.
At any given time, progress and techniques are open to your observation and therapy can be stopped at any time.
Collaboration and Communication Is Essential
Every step of the process, intake, analysis of behavior (to determine why (function) the challenging behavior is occurring), the development of treatment strategies and intervention, the implementation and training of the people implementing the behavioral strategies and the maintenance and follow-up, all involve collaboration with the parent and all pertinent members of the client’s treatment team especially the client.
Why Choose Us?
The National Autism Center website: http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/autism/autism-interventions/ includes four factors that should be considered when considering an intervention for children, adolescents or adults diagnosed with Autism:
- Evidence of intervention effectiveness
- Professional judgment and data-based clinical decision making
- Values and preferences of families (including the individual on the autism spectrum)
- Capacity to accurately implement an intervention