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.

Helping Children Cope with Changes as a Result of COVID-19

Families across the country are adjusting to the many changes resulting from COVID-19, including changes in daily life, the way we educate our children, and what we will now define as the new normal. This also includes keeping children occupied and focused on what is important. It is important to note that during this stressful time, children look to adults for guidance, so the way you react can have a major impact on how your child perceives and reacts to the changes occurring and information presented. COVID-19 gives parents the ability to model routines, schedules, and remote school lessons in creative ways. The following tips can help:

· Children look up to you. Staying calm, collected, and informed during this unsure time can decrease your child’s fears and ensure your child has the facts. Carefully listen to your child and help your child draw or write out concerns, thoughts, and feelings, then respond with truth, validation, and reassurance.

· Explain what COVID-19 and social distancing are. Children most likely do not fully understand what COVID-19 is and why we are social distancing. Create visuals or hands on activities for your child to explain what the COVID-19 virus does and exactly why we are participating in social distancing.

· Keep a morning routine, and don’t forget to relax. Keeping up with a regular schedule, especially as things start to shift to the new normal, is important to keep your child at ease. Working with your BCBA to identify preferences for activities that are calming and relaxing in nature to your child can help. An example of an activity that may be a preference to your child is yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.

· Model basic hygiene and health practices. Encourage your child to practice regular hygiene like washing hands for at least 20 seconds, wearing a mask in public, and teaching personal space.

· Be aware of your child’s mental health. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to change the way we interact. This can mean decreased contact with friends and family. Pay close attention to your child’s eating and sleeping habits – if you see a sudden change, consult with a mental healthcare professional.

Keeping an open, understanding mind towards your child’s concerns can help your child adjust to the fears of going back to school in the fall and others concerns your child might have.

For more information on COVID-19 and other helpful resources, visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/children.html

For more information on hand washing and hygiene, visit https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/hand-sanitizer-factsheet.pdf

4 Tips to a Happy Halloween

Halloween is a day that most kids wait all year for. It’s a time to dress up in a fun costume and then go out to people’s houses to get bags full of candy. What’s not to love about that? Fact is, children on the autism spectrum may not love it, and they may not understand it. Dressing up and upsetting normal routines can cause stress and anxiety for a child with autism. Participation in events like this is a goal, and there are some easy ways to making it a successful and stress free time. This article will give you 4 tips to a Happy Halloween.

4 Tips

  • Keep the costume to something simple. Not all costumes have to be made of uncomfortable material and have big cumbersome masks. Do something simple. An example of a simple costume would be Superman, but instead of a cape and tights, just use a T-Shirt with the Superman logo on it.
  • Trick or Treat if tolerated and for a short amount of time. If your child cannot tolerate trick or treating, do not force the issue. If they can, do it for a very short amount of time. Your child will have the experience, but not to a point that is disturbing to them.
  • Make necessary modifications. Put a bowl of candy outside your house for trick or treaters to take without them having to knock or ring the doorbell all night. The constant noise and hassle of answering the door with strangers outside might be too much for your child.
  • Go with the flow. You know your child best and understand what he or she enjoys and what may be too much. The last thing that anyone wants is for your child to have a negative experience on Halloween that lasts with them forever. Make decisions based on what’s best for your child.

Enjoy Together

The most important thing to remember is to enjoy Halloween together. Having a plan and following the 4 simple tips above can create an atmosphere filled with joy and laughter. Halloween in general has been toned down a bit in communities to make it more fun filled, and less scary for children.  Create a safe place for your child and make memories that can last forever.