Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)
ABA therapy is an approach that utilises psychological research in order to improve social, motor, communication and self-help skills while simultaneously reducing behaviours that impact learning.
Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC)
AAC systems are communication devices, either low tech or high tech that help to support an individual’s communication. The following are some examples of AAC systems;
Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a low tech AAC device in which an individual uses pictures to communicate with others. Pictures are kept in a folder and can be removed by the individual to form one word or phrases. Visit the website
Pragmatic Organisation Dynamic Display (PODD) is a low tech AAC system, however there is now also a high tech app available, which utilises symbols and words so that both the individual and their communication partners can easily access language. The symbols are organised in a systematic way that allows users to access a wide amount of vocabulary. Visit the website
Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) is an AAC approach that utilises motor learning principles in conjunction with a high tech voice output device, to allow individuals to communicate. LAMP is a pre-programmed system that uses the same motor pathways at all stages, this way an individual does not need to relearn the program as their language grows. Visit the website
Proloquo2Go™ is a symbol based AAC app that provides access to different levels of vocabulary. Vocabulary templates are pre-programmed however it is customisable to allow for individual user requirements. Visit the website
The Hanen Program®
It Takes Two to Talk® is a program for children 0 to 5 years who have been diagnosed with a language delay. It focuses on teaching parents strategies to use in their day to day life to help encourage language growth for their child. Visit the website
Target Word™ is a program designed for children under 3 years of age who are late talkers or have a small vocabulary for their age. Visit the website
The SCERTS Model is an educational approach based off evidence based practice. It focuses on building competence in Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support. Visit the website
DIR is the Developmental, Individual-difference and Relationship-based model that is a framework for intervention. DIR Floortime is the application of the DIR model in therapy, Floortime involves following the childs lead to ensure we are using activities that engage them, while also challenging them to help with growth. Visit the website
The Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique & Oral Tactile Technique
The Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique & Oral Tactile Technique is a technique developed by Occupational Therapist and Psychologist, Patricia Wilbarger. The technique uses a prescriptive brushing protocol to help individuals organise their sensory system and is typically used with individuals with sensory defensiveness or sensory integration difficulties.
PROMPT; Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets
PROMPT; Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets is a technique that uses touch cues on an individual’s articulators (jaw, tongue, lips) to manually guide them through the targeted word, phrase or sentence. The technique helps individual’s with poor motor control to help develop the correct oral muscular movements. Visit the website
Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Child and Adolescent Anxiety - Cool Kids Program
Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Child and Adolescent Anxiety - Cool Kids Program is a program developed at Macquarie University for the treatment of anxiety in children and adolescents. It is a program designed to teach both the child and parents how to deal with anxious thoughts and behaviours. Visit the website
Spalding Method of Literacy Instruction is a program that uses explicit, sequential, systematic and multisensory instruction to teach phonics, spelling, vocabulary, reading, writing and comprehension. Visit the website
Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing® Program for Reading, Spelling, and Speech (LIPS®) is a phonics program that teaches the oral-motor, visual and auditory cues for each phoneme. Visit the website
Visualizing and Verbalizing® Program for Cognitive Developmental, Comprehension and Thinking is a program that develops concept imagery, the ability to create an image in your mind from language. This is a crucial skill for reading comprehension. Visit the website
Seeing Stars® Program for Reading Fluency and Spelling (SI™) is a program that develops symbol imagery, the ability to visualise letters in words. Visit the website
MultiLit® Reading Tutor Program is a reading program developed to teach both phonics (word attack skills) and sight word recognition. Visit the website
PEERS stands for Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills. It is among the only evidence-based social skills interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Developed at the University of California (UCLA), by PEERS Clinic Director, Dr Elizabeth Laugeson, the program has been found to be beneficial for not only those with ASD, but also for motivated teens whose social skills are impacted by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), anxiety, depression, learning difficulties and other socio-emotional problems. The program equips teens with the skills required to make and keep friends.
PEERS works by explicitly teaching the skills that come naturally to socially proficient individuals. During weekly interactive classes, teens along with a parent/caregiver, are taught concrete rules and steps for successful social interactions. The gains made within the intervention period are maintained and generalised because they are reinforced by their parent/caregiver, who essentially becomes their social coach.
The classes are conducted in a fun and relaxed manner which creates a safe environment for all participants. The SociABLE Group uses a Socratic questioning method of teaching, which is an interactive dialogue to draw out ideas from the group, as opposed to a lecture style.
PEERS emphasises the importance of teaching ecologically valid social skills i.e. skills that socially successful people actually use, rather than what adults think young people should do in social situations.
The complete PEERS course teaches the following skills to teens:
- How to choose appropriate friends
- How to use appropriate conversational skills
- How to appropriately use electronic forms of communication
- How to appropriately use humour and assess humour feedback
- How to start, enter and exit conversations between peers
- How to organise successful get-togethers with friends
- How to be a good sport when playing games/sports with friends
- How to handle arguments and disagreements with friends and in relationships
- How to handle rejection, teasing, bullying, rumours/gossip, and cyber bullying
- How to change a bad reputation
LEGO® Therapy is a social development program that uses LEGO-based activities to support the development of social skills, within a group setting. It was developed by US psychologist Daniel Goff.
LEGO Therapy is used to benefit children with a variety of communication and social developmental difficulties, including Autism.
A LEGO Therapy session consists of 3 or 4 children of similar ages and abilities working together to build a LEGO model following a clear diagram.
Each child takes on 1 of 3 specific roles to do this:
- The Engineer is in charge of reading and relaying the instructions. The Engineer must tell the Supplier what pieces to retrieve and tell the Builder how to build the model.
- The Supplier is in charge of finding the correct LEGO pieces. The Supplier must listen to the Engineer and figure out what piece to retrieve, and then gives these pieces to the Builder.
- The Builder is in charge of physically building the model. The Builder must listen to the instructions provided by the Engineer, and receive the pieces that are retrieved by the Supplier.
During the session, each child is provided with an opportunity to practise and develop a wide range of skills, including:
- language skills
- giving and receiving instructions
- turn taking
- collaborative problem solving.
It also encourages children to be self-reflective and give constructive feedback to their peers.