ATC’s Crystal Charity Ball Educational Wing specializes in providing education to students with autism, ages 3 to 22, by adapting the educational curriculum with teaching strategies that facilitate learning for the student in bright, well-equipped classrooms. Low student/teacher ratios are maintained to maximize individual attention and to address special needs. ABA therapy is provided in the classroom as needed. Every student has an individual educational plan designed to address his/her specific needs. All programming is designed to incorporate the development of communication, self-help, independent living, and social/recreational skills. Teachers provide the students with an atmosphere of acceptance and motivation, taking care to reward each step of accomplishment no matter how big or small. Additional vocational activities such as Tiger Café, Snack Shop, Art, and Horticulture are also a part of ATC’s educational services.
The Adult Services program offers a variety of options to the adults at ATC. The skills and interests of the individual are matched with employment and/or volunteer opportunities that are either at the Center or out in the community with area businesses and other non-profits. Some ATC adults have outside employment, while many others give back to the community by consistently volunteering with other nonprofits like Meals on Wheels and World of Goods. Collectively, our adults give over 1,500 hours of their time volunteering each month. These activities allow the adults in our program to gain job experience, build self-esteem, and make new friends. Additional training, recreational, and therapeutic activities designed to increase social and developmental skills take place at the Center and in the community. The adults enjoy many outings to recreation centers, Equest and SpiritHorse (therapeutic horseback riding), and Lake Highlands to tend the Community Garden.
Although there is currently no known cause or cure for autism, an early diagnosis allows for early interventions which can be beneficial for reducing the symptoms of autism. Diagnostics at ATC involves the use of various tests, observations, interviews, and review of family history to rule out or diagnose autism.
The Autism Treatment Center uses the principles of ABA to (1) identify children struggling with functional communication, social and academic skills; (2) document each child's performance; and (3) determine the adequacy of each child's response to instruction in order to determine an appropriate level of instructional intensity and any other changes, as needed. Each child in the program receives an initial evaluation upon admission to the ABA program. This consists of a functional behavior assessment, use of the Behavior Language Assessment Form (a brief assessment that contains areas found in the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised, ABLLS-R), and portions of the Verbal Behavior Milestones and Placement Program, VB-MAPP. The initial assessment provides a baseline level of the child's performance, while at the same time providing evidence for the development of specific, measurable educational and behavioral objectives. A complete VB-MAPP Milestones Assessment, Barriers Assessment, and/or ABLLS-R assessment are completed after the individual has received ABA services (numerous sessions) to build rapport, determine appropriate instruction, presentation, and reinforcement procedures in order to obtain an accurate score. ATC emphasizes the use of positive behavior support. Positive Behavior support is an approach to intervention that integrates technical features of ABA with person-centered values. Positive behavior support is a process for designing individualized behavioral intervention plans based on understanding relationships between a student's behavior and aspects of his or her environment. Plans include: modification to the environment, teaching skills to replace problem behaviors, effective management of consequences, and promotion of positive life style changes. Direct delivery staff (licensed therapists) are supervised by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). ATC holds contracts with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, and is an approved provider for Tricare for ABA services. We also offer a competitive private pay rate in an effort to extend these services to children in the community.
ATC Therapy Clinic provides autism-specific outpatient therapy for children and adults in North Texas. Therapy services include occupational, physical, and speech. Our expertise will ensure a warm and accepting therapeutic environment which will lead toward effective language, communication, social skills and sensory integration. Read more about services offered at ATC Therapy Clinic.
Calls and referrals to ATC for autism services have increased significantly; approximately 1,500 a year! To help meet the needs of these individuals, ATC established a Resource Center to answer questions, make referrals, and provide training for parents of children with autism. In addition, ATC participates in several informative events each year in an effort to educate and create awareness about autism and the Autism Treatment Center. At events, such as Stephanie's Day, a resource fair held at NorthPark Center, ATC will have a booth with staff available to answer questions and hand out information about services. Directors in the program are often invited to speak to community groups,universities, and other autism organizations.