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Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of disorders associated with challenges in the areas of social interaction, nonverbal and verbal communication, and repetitive and restricted behaviors or interests. CTC can help you navigate your child's world within the medical boundaries.

While the degree to which a child with ASD may experience challenges in these areas, his or her interactions, communication, play and learning are impacted. Frequently, children with ASD experience related areas of challenge including processing, specifically sensory processing, state and emotional regulation and motor planning/praxis.

 

SANDBOX PICThe Sandbox is a developmental program providing intensive therapeutic programming for children diagnosed with autism. The transdisciplinary program focuses on play, socialization, communication, education and behavioral support for children under age 7 with the medical diagnosis of autism.

The purpose is to provide children diagnosed with autism with the developmental skills and abilities to become integrated into their schools and communities as independent social partners to their peers. The Sandbox uses evidence-based, individualized intervention in 1:1 direct instruction and small groups. It is an intense program, scheduled 5 days a week for 3 hours each day.

Services within the Sandbox include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), speech, occupational and music therapy as well as parent education.  

 

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is proven as an effective, evidence-based way for people with autism and other related disorders to learn a wide variety of skills. In ABA therapy, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) attempts to solve behavior problems by applying behavior principles to everyday situations.  The goal is to change targeted behaviors. ABA does not consist of one type of intervention, but rather is a scientific problem-solving approach. It can help individuals acquire language, self-help and play skills.

 

The P.L.A.Y. Project™ (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) is an early intervention program for young children (ages 18 months to 7 years) diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The program is based on the DIR® (Developmental, Individualized, Relationship-based) theory of Stanley Greenspan, M.D., the practice of which is commonly referred to as "floor time." Parents spend more time with their children than all of their teachers and therapists combined. By training parents to be their child's best P.L.A.Y. partner, the child receives intensive (more hours) quality intervention.

Regardless of whether there is a question of whether a child's areas of challenge would lead to a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), or whether he or she carries that diagnosis, Children's Therapy Corner will direct our focus on your child as an individual throughout evaluation and therapeutic programming. As a pediatric clinic, we will focus on the processes that are impacting a child's communication, interaction, play, independence and behavior (functioning). The treatments and early intervention programming will reflect "best practices" and be consistent with the National Academy of Science's recommendations for the education of young children with autism. Our collaboration with leaders in our state and region who specialize in assessing and directing programming for children with ASD continues.

Services Include:

  • Multidisciplinary evaluation
  • Early intervention programming through the P.L.A.Y. Project
  • Speech-language therapy assessment/treatment
  • Occupational therapy assessment/treatment
  • Physical therapy assessment/treatment
  • Music therapy assessment/treatment
  • Social skills groups
  • Assessment and/or implementation of augmentative communication systems

The following "red flags" may indicate that a child is at risk for an Autism Spectrum Disorder. If your baby shows two or more of these signs, please ask your pediatric health care provider for an immediate evaluation.

Impairment in Social Interaction:

  • Lack of appropriate eye gaze
  • Lack of warm, joyful expressions
  • Lack of sharing interest or enjoyment
  • Lack of response to name

 

 Impairment in Communication:

  • Lack of showing gestures
  • Lack of coordination of nonverbal communication
  • Unusual prosody (little variation in pitch, odd intonation, irregular rhythm, 
unusual voice quality)

 

Repetitive Behaviors & Restricted Interests:

  • Repetitive movements with objects; Restricted interests
  • Repetitive movements or posturing of body, arms, hands or fingers

 

Wetherby, A., Woods, J., Allen, L., Cleary, J., Dickinson, H., & Lord, C. (2004). Early indicators of autism spectrum disorders in the second year of life. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 34, 473-493. Based on research at the Florida State University FIRST WORDS® Project.

Children's Therapy Corner wants you to be informed about the autism insurance legislation. On April 18, 2012, Michigan became the 30th state in the U.S. to sign insurance reform for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. The legislative mandate went into effect October 2012, for State regulated and HMO insurance plans. Self-funded (ERISA) plans are NOT mandated by this legislation and have the option to follow or not follow this legislation. It is imperative that you know which type of insurance plan your employer provides. Details are still being finalized for Medical eligible children under a Medicaid plan.

Although all medical insurances must recognize Autism as a medical condition, each insurance company may interpret the 'letter of the law' with slight variations. The commonalities are:

  • In order for your child to qualify for coverage under your insurance policy, your child must have a MEDICAL diagnosis from a licensed psychologist or physician. There must be a report that documents the diagnosis of ASD.
  • School reports will NOT be accepted, as schools determine eligibility for special education services. A medical diagnosis is required.
  • Your insurance provider may require a standardized test known as the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) or additional comprehensive criteria. PLEASE check with your insurer to know exactly what is needed to ensure coverage.
  • "Therapeutic care" services identified as covered include speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychological and psychiatric therapies.
  • Behavioral Health Treatments, including ABA, are covered as long as specific criteria are met by each insurance provider.
  • Treatments can only be provided by credentialed providers.

We have worked diligently with the major insurance companies in Michigan for over 16 years and have currently met the current standards in order to establish Children's Therapy Corner as an in-network/preferred provider of autism therapeutic services.

Children's Therapy Corner can provide speech-language, occupational and physical therapy services for:

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
  • Priority Health
  • Blue Care Network
  • Aetna
  • HealthPlus
  • Connect Care
  • Cofinity

Some insurance providers many require that you receive your child's medical diagnosis from an Autism Center of Excellence if you want ABA services. A very important aspect is that you DO NOT have to go to a Center of Excellence for the medical diagnosis to receive speech-language, occupational or physical therapy.

We can discuss your individual plan and help you navigate your insurance coverage. We will work directly with your insurance company, verify therapy coverage, submit all invoices and secure payments. If you have any questions, please contact our accounting department at (989) 835-3235.

"Sharing Concerns" at www.firstsigns.org is an excellent resource for families and professionals. Parents can learn how to prepare and talk to their pediatrician regarding their concerns with this resource.

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