Neurodiversity Affirming Practice

We believe in honoring and championing the unique strengths and contributions brought to society through neurodiversity. We believe in supporting all children in developing a healthy personal identity and positive sense of self.

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What is Neurodiversity?

Neurodiversity is the concept of natural differences across the spectrum of human brains. Each person has something unique and valuable to offer the world due to their neurological differences. Neurodiversity can include individuals across the spectrums of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, etc. Historically, neurodivergent people have been (and continue to be) marginalized. This is largely due to the medical model of disability that is so prevalent in society. The medical model emphasizes the capitalistic view that human worth is contingent on what one contributes to society.

Emphasizes the capitalistic view that human worth is contingent on what one contributes to society. In this framework, those with disabilities may not be able to contribute as much as able bodied individuals, due to the level of support they require and therefore, this view lessens their value as human beings.

Shifting Our Perspective

On the contrary, the social model indicates that disability is a social construct, created by poorly designed systems. The world is built for neurotypical, able-bodied people. This limits the opportunities neurodivergent and disabled individuals access throughout their lives. The neurodiversity movement aims to expand rights, equality, access, and inclusion for neurodivergent individuals.

This is quite the endeavor, as it involves shifting our mindset from deficit based intervention to strengths based intervention. That is to say, rather than looking at what a learner cannot do, we assess what they CAN do, and we build on that. The medical model requires us to abide by the requirements put in place by insurance companies, which has us use inherently deficit based assessments. This is something we are actively working to change with funding sources. In the meantime, we view the results of these assessments from a strengths based lens. We use the child’s strengths in one area to help build upon strengths in other areas. We learn where the child thrives, and we connect with them there.

Neurodiversity Affirming Care

As a neurodiversity-affirming practice, we use methods that allow children to exercise their right to bodily autonomy. This means that we listen to both verbal and nonverbal cues (e.g. body language). We reinforce attempts to communicate the need for personal space, breaks, sensory interventions, assistance, etc. We use hand over hand prompting as a last resort, as this is considered an intrusive intervention and we strive to create an environment where children can learn with the least restrictive supports in place. We do not force eye contact, and we do not view goals through a compliance based lense. Statistically, Autistic children are 6-7 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Our mission to reduce physical prompting and teach self advocacy skills and bodily autonomy has a lot to do with keeping every child safe throughout their lives.

We value autistic voices. We are constantly seeking information from autistic adults, in order to identify new ways to best support autistic children. Autistic voices are hugely important in understanding the autistic experience. Their voices help us make positive changes to our practice so that we can continue to abide by the very important ethical obligation to do no harm.

Talk to your child about their neurodivergence. Openly discussing differences and acknowledging that they are normal and beneficial to humanity can help develop a positive sense of self. Additionally, normalizing brain differences contributes to the shift in our collective mentality as a society that all brains are valuable and diversity is an integral part of societal growth.

Instead of focusing on what your child cannot do, make a list of what they CAN do. Lean in to their special interests and preferences. Get on their level and join in on their play, even if you don’t understand it. Autistic play is valuable and provides numerous learning opportunities. It can be hard to overlook the negative light that Autism has been painted in, but autistic humans bring so much to the table. They have incredible capacity to make a positive difference in the world. As support professionals and family members of autistic humans, we need to make room for them to do so.

We also encourage you to acknowledge the rainbow infinity symbol as the emblem representing neurodiversity. The gold infinity symbol specifically represents Autism. The puzzle piece is problematic in that it represents something missing from the individual (among numerous other reasons), and the majority of autstic individuals no longer approve of this to represent them. This is a small gesture of solidarity that we support.

We Are Here to Help You and Your Children

We believe in your child's potential and are ready to help them grow through effective ABA therapy services and treatments.

What Our Clients Say About Us

Elizabeth Walsh
Elizabeth Walsh
2022-10-05
Advanced Behavioral Analysis is a wonderful organization. Nicole our BCBA has matched by son Brandon (6) with the best ABA technicians. Nicole has been a great support to our family and Brandon has progressed so much under their care. I highly recommend this organization they really do care about their clients.
Andrea Bruerton
Andrea Bruerton
2022-08-12
My son Collin (4) was paired up with an AMAZING team. Our BCBA is Jillian and our RBT is Camille. Collin calls them his Jillie and Milk. They have truly been amazing. When we started this journey Collin maybe said 10 words functionally. He is now talking in 3 to 4 word sentences. He can identify emotions in others and is learning how to express his wants, needs, and feelings. He is learning how to play with others and so, so much more. They disguise everything as fun games or activities. Even my 2 older daughters want to join in. Collin received a diagnosis of ASD when he was 2yr old. Our Pediatrician really stressed the importance of ABA therapy. To be honest I was very reluctant as I have heard mixed reviews. After calling about 10 different companies to get information about their programs I found ABA. I was looking for someone that would work with me on how many hours a week he would be required to do. Most places I talked with wanted a minimum of 20 hours a week. At 3yrs old that is to much in my opinion. I also wanted in home and clinic sessions. I want to be involved. They have been willing to work with me on all of the above and so much more. Jillian and Camille are phenomenal at what they do. They truly care and love my little boy. I could not ask for a better team. He looks forward to going to the Clinic (Milks House) and them coming to our home. I can honestly say that I whole heartily trust them and feel so lucky that they are in our lives.
Jerome Braga
Jerome Braga
2021-05-19
We have had and continue to have such a great experience with the whole team at Advanced Behavior Analysis. From the office team, to Leads, to BCBA's and Jr Consultants, everyone seems to genuinely care about the great work they are doing. We have been working with them for about six months now and are very pleased with our progress together. Everyone truly believes in our unified mission. Thank you for always taking time out to answer my questions and help keep us moving forward. We Highly Recommend.
Tara Wackerly
Tara Wackerly
2020-08-06
I love working at Advanced Behavior Analysis. I have worked at 2 other ABA companies and this one has the best interest for clients and staff by far. I feel respected and heard by the entire team!
Jordan & Heather Callister
Jordan & Heather Callister
2020-07-16
They have been so helpful with our son. We appreciate them working with him!
Annie Leon
Annie Leon
2020-05-19
I am an employee at ABA and have been extremely proud to see this business grow. I have been at ABA for almost 5 years. ABA has truly been a wonderful company to work for. Supportive teams, passionate and professional employees. All knowledgeable in their fields and take the time to consider each individual. A great company to work for if you want to make a difference in a child life.

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