• Spotlight on Our Initial Consultation and Assessment Processes

    Parents in the Dallas area who feel that their children need extra help or intensive intervention are encouraged to turn to our skillful experts at The Behavior Exchange. When you and your child visit us, we will conduct an initial consultation. We will discuss your child’s development and the challenges he or she faces, and we will also talk about the short and long term goals that you have for your child.

    Happy child with painted hands

    Next, our experts will perform a comprehensive assessment to determine your child’s unique needs across multiple areas of development. From language to motor skills, academics to self-help, our assessment yields important information that allows us to tailor a program that meets your child’s unique needs and propels them forward. We also can observe your child in his or her school environment to assess any developmental or behavioral issues that are impeding their learning and ability to be successful. Using our findings, our team will devise a customized program to address your child’s individual needs that will significantly change their life, and yours.

    To schedule a consultation and assessment for your child, please call The Behavior Exchange of Dallas at (972) 312-8733. Our therapy techniques are based on the scientifically proven methods of  Applied Behavior Analysis  (ABA).

    Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA

  • Spotlight on Precision Teaching

    Parents often bring their children to The Behavior Exchange because they are concerned about them falling behind in school or struggling with behavioral issues. Our therapists use precision teaching to help children master the fundamentals of important academic skills. In specially designed one-on-one therapy sessions, your child will learn how to expand those basic skills to improve his or her understanding of reading, writing and math.

    Children's pleasure

    At The Behavior Exchange, our program extends beyond our center’s walls. We will work with your child’s school and share effective applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques that can be implemented in the classroom to ensure success. To help your child reach his or her full potential, we also encourage parent involvement.  Working together as a team across environments sets your child up for success.

    Parents in the Dallas area can learn more about evidence-based practices for autism and behavior issues by visiting us on the Web . You can also call (972) 312-8733 today to speak with a friendly staff member at The Behavior Exchange.

    Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA

  • Language Development In Children With Autism

    Many children with autism experience difficulty in language development . Many children that we work with begin therapy and are non-verbal.  Others have some language, but may not use it functionally. Others may be fully verbal but unable to relate to others and interact socially.  Our team is well trained across the spectrum of language development and we tailor individualized programming specific to your child’s needs. From getting children to learn to make sounds and shaping those sounds over time into words, to working on the pragmatics of language, early intervention is critical for children with autism to avoid the behavioral issues that can arise when communication deficits are prevalent. 

    Behavior Exchange on a Mission - behaviorexchange.com

    Children with autism usually go through a period where they will repeat what they hear.  This is called  echolalia . During this time, children will repeat words that were just spoken to them, or words that they hear often, and engage in scripting of their favorite movies, etc. Although echolalia can be frustrating for both the child and the family, the child is practicing language and when intervention is targeted and delivered by highly trained therapists, echolalia will decrease and meaningful speech will replace it.

    Even if your child has difficulties with communication and language, it is essential that they, and every individual,  develop communication skills that allow them to meet their basic needs and wants. As a parent, it’s important to reinforce behaviors that promote independent communication. At The Behavior Exchange, we focus on verbal language with supports and can teach you valuable ways to facilitate language development, all day, as part of your child’s natural routine. Find out how we can help your family learn these techniques by  visiting our website  or calling us today at (972) 312-8733.

    Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA

  • What Are Language Delays?

    Many children with autism and other developmental disorders exhibit signs of language delays. A language delay occurs when a child falls behind the rate of language development that is typical of his or her age range. Delays are not the same as disorders, however. A speech or language disorder refers to atypical language development. Children with autism and other challenges who struggle with language delays have been known to “catch up” with their peer groups after working with an autism therapist .

    Conversation together

    Understanding Typical Milestones
    Developmental milestones provide a basis of comparison for parents and professionals to determine whether a child is on target for his or her age range. However, they are not set in stone; each child is unique and develops at his or her own pace. If a child is significantly behind a developmental milestone; however, it could be time to seek help from experts in behavioral and developmental issues. Generally, by the time a child turns one year old, he or she should say at least one word. By the second birthday, a child should generally speak at least 50 to 100 words and say a few two-word phrases.

    Observing Potential Indicators
    Autism experts note that children who fail to interact appropriately with others could be exhibiting signs of autism, which may be accompanied by a language delay. For example, if your child is not using gestures by 12 months or understanding simple requests by 18 months, it could be time to seek intervention. Likewise, a child who cannot follow simple directions, use verbalizations to express needs, or produce words spontaneously (rather than in an imitated fashion) by two years of age, may benefit from communication training with a behavior therapist.

    Deciding to Seek Help
    Seeking early intervention for your child  can be one of the most important decisions you can make.  The cost-benefit of early intervention is significant and is scientifically proven to improve outcomes and therefore, lives. Therapy sessions for children consist of embedding targeting goals into fun activities within a stimulating environment. In addition to developing language skills, your child can work on his or her social, behavioral, and academic skills.

    The behavioral and developmental experts at The Behavior Exchange of Dallas believe that every child can reach his or her full potential. We offer intensive therapy based on scientifically proven Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) techniques. Parents are invited to call us today at (972) 312-8733 for  more information  about our one-on-one therapy sessions and behavior interventions.

    Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA

  • Nutritional Tips for Children with Autism

    Children with autism often have food aversions. Some individuals might insist on eating only foods with a smooth texture, for example, or they may refuse green foods. This can escalate behavior issues which can complicate matters at mealtimes. It is possible for a child to overcome these behavioral challenges and learn to eat a variety of foods, with the help of a behavior analyst.

    Picky Eater

    Problems Associated with Food Issues
    Every parent of a very picky eater knows the frustration that mealtime can cause. Unfortunately, food aversions may also create nutritional deficiencies, which can affect the overall health of your child. Researchers have found that children with autism are much more likely to eat a diet that has  inadequate amounts of calcium and protein . They have also noted that these food issues may possibly contribute to social skill deficits and delayed academic achievements.

    Management of Food-Refusal
    Although food aversions can be frustrating, it’s important to maintain a positive attitude toward trying new food. Avoid trying to force your child to try a new food. Instead, use creativity and introduce a new food gradually. Make a log of what your child will eat and another list of what you would LIKE them to eat.  How can you begin with the foods they currently eat and gradually move towards the foods you would LIKE for them to eat?  If they eat crackers alone and cheese alone and you want them to eventually eat a sandwich, your first step could be getting them to eat the cheese on a cracker.  The second step could be the cheese in between 2 crackers, like a sandwich.  You could then work on eating a tiny bite of bread.  Then bread with cheese and finally cheese between 2 pieces of bread.  If you take small, well planned steps, you can minimize refusal and increase the amount and type of food your child will eat, using positive reinforcement along the way.

    Encouragement of Variation
    Children like to be in control of their own choices. You can encourage your child to eat a more varied diet by presenting choices and allowing him or her to make a selection. For example, place dishes with three different vegetables on the table and have your child make selections. This gives your child greater control within acceptable parameters.

    Do you struggle to convince your child to try new foods? At  The Behavior Exchange , our autism experts can help children increase the foods they will eat. Schedule a consultation today by calling our Dallas facility at (972) 312-8733.

    Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA

  • An Overview of The Behavior Exchange’s Programs and Services

    Here at The Behavior Exchange, our behavioral experts believe that we can help children overcome their challenges and reach their goals through a collaborative approach that involves families, teachers, and related professionals. We implement evidence-based practices utilizing applied behavior analysis (ABA) in all of our programs, including the following:

    behavior exchange

    Early-Start Program
    The Behavior Exchange Early-Start Program (B.E.E.S.) was designed specifically for children at the preschool age. Our behavioral experts will help your child develop school readiness and prepare for academic success! Your child will learn valuable social skills, academic skills, behavior skills, and much more in a fun, stimulating environment. We offer a three-to-one child-to therapist ratio to give your child the individualized attention he or she needs.

    Social Skills Groups
    Many children have difficulty with appropriate social interactions, including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), language deficits, and learning differences. At a social skills group at The Behavior Exchange, your child can practice interacting with his or her peers in a safe, carefully supervised environment. Our therapists will help your child learn how to make new friends and work on collaborative activities. Our unique curriculum will also help your child grow in self-confidence.

    One-on-One Therapy
    Many of our clients benefit from a combined approach that includes group and individual sessions. At The Behavior Exchange, a therapist will work one-on-one with your child. Our Leadership Team will design and implement a program customized to your little one’s unique needs, based on his or her assessment and ongoing observations. Your child’s program may include work on academic skills , behavior skills, language usage, and self-help skills.

    If you feel that your child needs extra help, please schedule a consultation with one of our behavioral disorder and autism experts today. The Behavior Exchange will provide a comprehensive evaluation of your child’s unique needs. You can reach our Dallas location by calling (972) 312-8733.

    Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA

  • Don’t forget to “Fall Back” this Sunday!

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  • Behavioral Intervention for Children with Autism

    There are several different types of intervention for children with autism that engage in problem behavior. Behavior Analysts will match the type of intervention with the level of severity of the problem behavior. The first line of behavioral intervention is to be proactive and teach new skills; this may include altering the environment, teaching effective communication and choice making skills, and teaching the child how to protest appropriately. A higher level of intervention can include a more formal behavioral assessment to understand the variables in a child’s environment that may be motivating the behavior. For more information on behavior intervention, watch this HealthCentral video featuring Dr. Louis Hagopian, clinical psychologist and behavior analyst at Kennedy Krieger.

    The Behavior Exchange of Dallas is dedicated to using applied behavior analysis in both one-on-one and group formats, to help children and parents successfully navigate behavior challenges and to reach their full potential. Call us today at (972) 312-8733 to learn more about our  group therapy  and one-on-one sessions. 

    Written By Tammy Cline-Soza, MS, BCBA