norwood park autism services

All about services at the Norwood Park Autism Center

Welcome to our Key Autism Services, Norwood park ABA Center! Below you will find detailed steps of what to can expect if you are considering enrolling your child in our center-based ABA program!

To get started you will need to speak with our intake team and get approval from your insurance for an ABA assessment. After completing an assessment with a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), your child will be assigned to a team of highly qualified behavior therapists (BTs).  The BCBA will create a custom-tailored program for your child, targeting a variety of skill areas such as communication, social skills, daily living skills, and behavior reduction. Your child will have the opportunity to target these skills in an individualized setting with their team of BTs, as well as attend one of our unique NPC programs. Parents are informed about their child’s progress with regular updates from their BCBA, as well as receive a weekly newsletter from the center director.

Behavior Therapy Programs:

Each of our programs are put together by the team of BCBAs at NPC.  Our BCBAs work together to build a curriculum and program that targets the individual needs of each child. Each child will attend individual, group, or a combination of those programs with his or her assigned behavior therapist, who help the BCBA’s facilitate the programs and groups.

Early Learners:

Our Early Learners program is geared toward the 2-4 – year-old age group.  This program is structured like a preschool day, allowing the learners to practice the skills they would need in a school setting, while receiving individualized programming. Some of these skills include following group instructions, group transitions, waiting in a group, sharing and turn taking, fine motor activities, and sensory and movement activities. Each learner will work 1:1 with a behavior therapist, as well as spend much of the day with his or her peers, providing opportunities for communication, socialization, and toleration of less preferred activities. Our curriculum for the early learner program creates fun and exciting opportunities for learning throughout the whole day!

School Readiness Program:

Our School Readiness program targets children ages 5-7.  This program follows a daily schedule of a mix of group time and 1:1 sessions with each child’s team of therapists. Some of the goals targeted in this program include reciprocal conversation, collaborative play, gross motor play, self-advocacy, transitions, and toleration. The learner’s individual goals are incorporated to the group goals, allowing for more natural opportunities to practice. The school readiness program curriculum allows the children to learn about different topics in a variety of modalities, making learning fun and exciting, and preparing the children for attending school with their peers.

Pre-Teen Social Group:

The pre-teen social group meets 1-2 times weekly and is targeted toward leaners aged 10-13. This group follows an evidence-based curriculum and targets a variety of skills. Some of the skills targeted include executive functioning, daily living skills, conversational skills, collaboration and compromise, puberty, emotional regulation, money management, and team building.  Each member has individual goals which are then incorporated into a small group setting.

Speech and OT:

KAS has recently partnered with Pop Pediatric Therapy to provide onsite speech and occupational therapies at the Norwood Park Center. This allows for collaboration and goal building across disciplines, providing a well-rounded approach to the child’s therapy.

Special Activities:

We often have special activities and events at NPC such as spirit weeks, birthday celebrations, and milestone celebrations.  Additionally, the staff create fun and creative opportunities to target the strengths and unique abilities of each child, allowing everyone to shine!

Ready to see how we can help your child? Contact us here:

Sensory-Friendly Places to Learn, Do and Watch in Houston

Summer is a great time to get out of the house and beat the heat by experiencing some of the amazing activities that Houston has to offer adults and kids of all ages and needs.  Whether you are looking for a place to learn by experiencing, be active, or a place where you can be entertained, Houston has what you are looking for, especially for those with specific sensory needs.  Below is a list of places by category that make it a priority to provide daily accommodations for those with sensory sensitivities.

Places to Learn:

Houston has several wonderful Museums where children and adults can engage in learning while exploring different exhibits with room, to roam and accommodations made for those with sensory needs.

Children’s Museum of Houston

  • Sensory friendly days
  • Weighted lap pads, noise reducing headphones and sunglasses
  • Designated quiet rooms

Space Center Houston

  • Sensory friendly days
  • Sensory backpacks
  • Designated quiet rooms

Houston Museum of Natural Science

  • Sensory friendly days
  • Sensory backpacks

The Health Museum of Houston

  • Sensory friendly days
  • Sensory backpacks

Places to Do:

For a more physical experience, theses venues offer sensory-friendly days with a more-calm atmosphere where lights and music are turned off.

We Rock the Spectrum Gym

  • Trampolines, tactile toys, climbing wall
  • Sensory friendly every day

Urban Air Adventure Park

  • Sensory friendly days
  • No flashing lights, no music, no whistles

Chuck E Cheese

  • Sensory Sundays
  • Reduced lighting and sound

Places to Watch:

If you are looking for an opportunity to sit back and be entertained, Houston has live theater and movie theaters with specialized accommodations.

The Hobby Center

  • Sensory-friendly shows
  • Lighting and sound adjusted

AMC Theatres

  • Sensory friendly films (2nd and 4th Saturday of every month)
  • Lights turned up and sound turned down

Main Street Theater

  • Sensory-friendly shows
  • Lighting and sound adjusted

Be sure to check with each facility to get the most up to date Covid-19 restrictions and policies to make sure your child is able to participate.

Services in Colorado

Key Autism Services Feature – Services in Colorado

Come join us at Key Autism Services Colorado!  Key Autism Services is accredited by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), an international accrediting body created to meet accreditation needs specific to the delivery of behavior analysis.   Here at Key Autism Services Colorado, your child will receive treatment tailored to his or her needs, aligned with your family’s goals, and based on scientific treatment models.  Our services address a wide range of pivotal skills and challenging behaviors.  Our clinical team consists of highly trained professionals who are passionate about helping your child reach his or her goals.  

Your Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services may include some or all of the following supports:

Home-based Services:

A trained Behavior Therapist works with your child, in your home, for a prescribed number of hours per week.  A Board CertifiedBehavior Analyst (BCBA) oversees these services on a weekly basis.  Goals and behavior change strategies are created through an initial evaluation of your child’s skills levels and behavior patterns.  Home-based therapy is designed to promote learning in the natural environment and may target areas such as communication, social skills, leisure skills, activities of daily living, safety skills, coping strategies, and challenging behavior.  Therapy sessions are integrated into your daily routines.  We make things easy for you by scheduling around your calendar.

Community-based Services:

ABA Services are incorporated into your family’s day-to-day life to propel your child towards the communicative, social, daily living, and behavioral goals of his or her age and family unit.  Community-based services may include shopping at the grocery store, taking a walk in the neighborhood, participating in dance lessons, and riding in the car.

Caregiver Support and Collaboration:

Our services do not just help your child, they help to improve life for your entire family.  Our clinical team employs family members to better understand why and how ABA Services are so effective.  Additionally, caregivers know their child best and can offer important insights to enhance the effectiveness of services.  Caregivers are teachers, and their ability to support their child’s treatment plan is essential to their child’s success.

Whole Team Collaboration:

Key Autism Services works alongside your child’s team of professionals (pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, speech and language pathologists, occupational therapists, school staff, etc.) to ensure that your child’s unique needs are met.

School-based Services:

If your child is exhibiting challenging behavior within the school setting, ABA services may be requested by a caregiver, Special Education Teacher, or the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.  Should this be an option for your family, a BCBA will conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) within the school setting.  Results from this evaluation will be used to create an individualized Behavior Support Plan (BSP).  The BSP will then be implemented in the school setting with the supervision of the BCBA and support of school staff.

Key Autism Services Colorado is located in Aurora, Brighton, Boulder, Centennial, Denver, Ft. Collins, Littleton, Loveland, Lakewood, Thornton, Castle Rock, Lafayette, Englewood, and Glendale.

Key Autism Services accepts CO-Medicaid, CO-Anthem BCBS, CO-UBH, CO-Aetna, CO-Humana, CO-Cigna, CO-Magellan, and CO-Beacon.

Click here to inquire about initiating services with Key Autism Services Colorado:  https://www.keyautismservices.com/contact-us/

Your Child is a Sunset: Strategies for Managing Stress as a Special Needs Parent

Stress is a normal and unavoidable part of life, but families with children with autism can experience more stress than other families. Many families feel immense pressure to “parent perfectly”, following all of the recommendations and strategies provided by their BCBAs, SLPs, and other providers 100% of the time. This approach, however, as a “fixer” of our child’s challenges, often leaves us feeling like we are falling in quicksand. The more we try to fix, the faster we fall in. Acceptance and Commitment Therapy offers a different approach, focusing on strategies to move through inevitably difficult and stressful situations. Here are just a few strategies derived from the ACT:

Your Life is a Movie:

Think back to a time in your life when you felt stressed. Maybe your child was having a meltdown in the grocery store, and all the tips and tricks you usually implement aren’t working. Imagine yourself as a bystander in the situation. What’s something kind you would say in this moment? Maybe you’d say something such like, “I’ve been there!”, or “You got this”. Practicing self-compassion will not only help you move through stressful situations in the moment, but also model these skills for your child. 

Milk, milk, milk:

Have you ever noticed that if you keep saying the same word over and over, it starts to sound strange or loses its meaning? Try saying the word “milk” over and over for 45 seconds straight. Eventually the word loses all of its associations, and becomes a series of meaningless sounds. We can use this same strategy to move through uncomfortable or anxious thoughts. 

Your Child as a Sunset:

ABA Therapy can be immensely helpful in identifying interventions to support our children’s independence. It is also important, however, to sometimes resist the urge to problem solve, and appreciate our children as sunsets. This means we enjoy their beauty and unique qualities without focusing on how long the moment will last, or how we could improve it. 

For more information on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, see a list of resources below:

The Happiness Trap: How to Stop Struggling and Start Living: A Guide to ACT by Russ Harris

Get Out of Your Mind & Into Your Life: The New Acceptance & Commitment Therapy by Steven C. Hayes

Additional References:

Hahs, A.D., Dixon, M.R., & Paliliunas, D. (in press). Randomized controlled trial of a brief acceptance and commitment training for parents of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science

Paary-Cruwys, R. (Producer). (2019, February 13). Acceptance and commitment training with Dr. Adam Hahs [Audio podcast].

Harris, R. (2006). Embracing your demons: an Overview of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Psychotherapy in Australia, 12, 2-8. 

Our New Partnership With SensAble Kids

Here at Key Autism services, we are very excited to announce that we have recently partnered with SensAble kids for our client’s speech and occupational therapy needs. SensAble Kids began providing speech and occupational therapy at our Oak Lawn ABA clinic at the beginning of June. With this new partnership, our clients are able to receive speech and/ or occupational therapy through SensAble kids here at the convenience of our Oak Lawn ABA clinic. Speech and Occupational therapy are now built into each of our client’s schedules and offers the ease and convenience of a single therapy location. 

The decision to partner with SensAble kids was an easy one and came down to 3 key factors;

1. Being able to meet all our clients’ therapeutic needs in a whole child approach. 

2. Identifying a highly reputable company providing quality therapeutic services. 

3. The convenience of 1 location for all of our client’s therapy needs. 

Since agreeing to partner with SensAble kids our team of BCBA’s and behavior therapists have been able to shift their focus from strictly an ABA model to a co-treatment approach. Our BCBA’s, speech therapists, and occupational therapists now have an opportunity to work together as a team focusing on the whole child. With this unique set up, our team has the opportunity to come together and meet to review the progress and goals of the child’s individual therapies and ensure that they are working together towards a common goal. 

Our second driving factor in this partnership was the quality of services that SensAble kids adheres to and their reputation in the community. SensAble kids core values truly line up with the core mission and values here at Key. We were quickly able to identify that this would be a great fit based on their desire to work collaboratively with other liked mind professionals, the willingness to collaborate in all areas of the child’s treatment, and the integrity of their services. 

Our third and final factor in this decision to partner was the ability to offer these services on site in a single location for all of our Oak Lawn center clients. We understand that modern families are always busy and on the go. Juggling school, extra curriculars, and therapies can be a scheduling nightmare. We see a huge value in the ability to combine and reduce our families drive time to and from therapy so they can focus on the things that really matter like quality family time. 

We are confident that this exciting new partnership model provides an exciting opportunity for all disciplines to collaborate on a child’s treatment and we are looking forward to future partnerships at all of our clinic locations with local speech and occupational therapy partners.