NEW CLINIC OPENING IN EASTBOURNE AT THE END OF SUMMER 2022!

The clinic for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder will provide parents training based on Early Start Denver Model & individualised tailored early intervention program for children 1-5 years old. 

The mission of the clinic is to empower parents to help their children lead better life by equipping them with necessary tools to encourage social interaction, communication and language development of their child.

Child Psycholgist
 

INDIVIDUALISED FOR YOUR CHILD

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ABOUT

All early intervention services are run and developed by Anna Castanedo, a Certified Behaviour Analyst (BCBA) and Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Certified Therapist.

Anna achieved MSc in Psychology from Kingston University, London in 2011, where she developed interest in autism and learning disabilities. She began working on home ABA programs and continued to work in this field ever since. She continued her professional development by successfully completing the Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) ABA course at Florida Institute of Technology (FIT), and attained Board Certification shortly after (https://www.bacb.com/, registration no. 1-17-27273). Anna was supervised by Jamie Hughes Lika (Ph.D., BCBA-D; Summit Autism Services) and Emily Kerwin Sweeney (Ph.D., BCBA-D; Carbone's Clinic). A number of other behaviour consultants have had also an important influence on her work.

Anna is deeply interested in Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and is Certified ESDM Therapist (https://health.ucdavis.edu/mindinstitute/research/esdm/pdf/esdm_certifiedtherapists.pdf).

Anna has extensive experience of working with individuals with Autism spectrum disorders and other learning disabilities with ages ranging from 15 months - 16 years old with an expertise in the younger group of children (1-5 y.o.). She has worked across numerous settings such as nurseries, mainstream primary schools, an ABA school, special needs secondary schools and home settings.

Anna adheres to the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board’s Professional Ethical Compliance Code and Guidelines for Responsible Conduct (BACB, 2017) in her practice.

 

APPLIED BEHAVIOURAL ANALYSIS

 
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What is ABA

Applied behaviour analysis is an evidence based practice which uses principles of learning to bring about a meaningful and positive change in a behaviour. ABA is a process of defining target behaviours, recording behavioural data, analysing data, and making changes to treatments that are not effective.

ABA is considered an evidence-based “best” practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association. “Evidence based” means that ABA has passed scientific tests of its usefulness, quality, and effectiveness.

ABA therapy includes many different techniques. All of these techniques focus on antecedents (what happens before a behaviour occurs) and on consequences (what happens after the behaviour) – ABC of behaviour.

ABA attempts to affect behaviour by first assessing the functional relationship between a targeted behaviour and the environment. Further, the approach often seeks to develop socially acceptable alternatives for aberrant behaviours and equip individuals with functional skills in their life. 

Boys with toys

What ABA looks like

ABA is such a broad approach that it is difficult to define what a typical program will look like. The amount of intervention and level of parental involvement varies, depending on specific needs of the child.

The first few days are all about paring – establishing a rapport with the child and building instructional control (https://knospe-aba.com/cms/us/aba-info/aba-articles/the-7-steps.html). After the child is comfortable with their new therapists / tutors then they can start working on the specific goals set up by the initial assessment.

Most of the time ABA would include both discrete trial teaching (DTT) and incidental / natural environment teaching (NET). While skills training programs are usually implemented by behaviour therapists/tutors throughout the week parents learn how to generalise these skills into everyday life. Parents are also often taught how to capture and contrive everyday opportunities to work on a variety of skill (e.g. language, social).


ABA therapy typically includes 15-40 hours/week of ABA delivered by professionals and regular team meetings every 4-6 weeks when the progress is monitored and objectives updated.

EARLY START DENVER MODEL

 
Smiling Baby

What is ESDM

At the heart of the ESDM is the empirical knowledge-base of infant-toddler learning and development and the effects of early autism.  ESDM intervention is provided in the home by trained therapists and parents during natural play and daily routines.  ESDM is a relationship-based intervention, and involves the parents and families; An Early Start for your Child with Autism, is a parent's guide to using everyday activities to help kids connect, communicate, and learn.  The aim of ESDM is to increase the rates of the development in all domains for children with ASD as it simultaneously aims to decrease the symptoms of autism.  In particular, this intervention focuses on boosting children’s social-emotional, cognitive, and language, as development in these domains is particularly affected by autism.  ESDM also uses a data based approach and empirically supported teaching practices that have been found effective from research in applied behaviour analysis. ESDM fuses behavioural, relationship-based, and a developmental, play-based approach into an integrated whole that is completely individualissd and yet standardised (source: https://www.esdm.co/).

Playing in Nursery

What ESDM looks like

ESDM therapy looks like play. It’s fun! The session is set up in a way that the child just loves to stay in. In order to make sessions fun and engaging, the environment is organised with developmentally appropriate activities following the child’s motivation and interests. The therapist works throughout the session to ensure the child’s arousal levels are regulated, the child is paying attention and most importantly that the child is learning. The goal of the session is to provide a learning opportunity every 10 seconds.

The ESDM addresses the need for social learning by facilitating joint engagement and participation in social exchanges, so that the brain can receive the input that is needed during the critical period of infancy and toddlerhood.

INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENTS

Curious Girl

ESDM

The Early Start Denver Model Curriculum Checklist for Young Children with Autism is used to comprehensively assess the skills of toddlers and preschoolers with autism spectrum disorder across multiple developmental domains and to establish individualised teaching objectives. It is an essential component of the intervention program described in the authoritative manual, Early Start Denver Model for Young Children with Autism (source: https://www.esdm.co/).

Anna uses ESDM Curriculum checklist to benefit an individualised program for the child she provides her services to. She uses this tool as part of her assessment process and a guide for setting up objectives for children between 12 and 48 months old.

Autism Therapy

VB-MAPP

The Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Program: The VB-MAPP is a criterion-referenced assessment tool, curriculum guide, and skill tracking system that is designed for children with autism, and other individuals who demonstrate language delays. The VB-MAPP is based on B.F. Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behaviour, established developmental milestones, and research from the field of behaviour analysis. 
  
There are five components of the VB-MAPP, and collectively they provide a baseline level of performance, a direction for intervention, a system for tracking skill acquisition, a tool for outcome measures and other language research projects, and a framework for curriculum planning. Each of the skills in the VB-MAPP is not only measurable and developmentally balanced, but they are balanced across the verbal operants and other related skills. For example, many aspects of an intraverbal repertoire are based on an existing tact and listener repertoire. The VB-MAPP balances the curriculum in an attempt to avoid the common trap of developing rote responding due to deficiencies in the related verbal repertoires. 

(source: http://www.marksundberg.com/vb-mapp.htm)

 

SERVICES

What's at the heart

 
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SERVICES

Services include:

- carrying out assessments, designing and monitoring program

- providing training to parents, tutors/therapists and other professionals

- use of Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Natural Environment Training (NET) and Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT) in programs.

-  objectives based on Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) and Verbal Behaviour aimed at increasing skills in all developmental domains (social skills, play skills, cognition, joint attention, language, motor skills, imitation, independent skills)

- providing training in teaching a variety of independent skills including toilet training

- behavioural plans aimed at reducing problem behaviour and strengthening functional communication behaviours

- and more depending on individual  needs of the child

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Consultation

Anna provides consultation services and training to parents/caregivers, tutors and other professionals involved in life of children she works with. She has experience in working within home environment, childminder, nursery and school settings.

She conducts assessments, develops individualised programs, manages and analyses data and conducts team meeting to discuss and monitor progress of her clients.

Family Fun in Field

Parents training

Since parents are often the first to notice differences in their child's development Anna works with parents closely so that they can be equipped with the necessary skills to encourage social interaction, communication and language development of their child.

Most importantly, by working together, the likelihood of successful intervention increases significantly. High quality early interventions include parents’ participation as a way to create sustainable learning opportunities and enhance development. At the end of the day, parents are their child’s first and forever teachers.

More information about parents/carers’ involvement effects on reducing the severity of autism symptoms can be found here:

https://mrc.ukri.org/news/browse/parent-led-early-intervention-reduces-autism-symptoms/

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)31229-6/abstract

Making Notes

Contact

Uxbridge, London Borough of Hillingdon, UK

0044 7511784591

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