• What Is Autism?

    Chid looking at soap bubbles

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a category of developmental disabilities that cause a wide range of symptoms that can vary in severity. In recent years, scientists have identified multiple factors that may contribute to the development of autism. It is believed that some gene mutations may cause autism. However, many individuals are believed to develop autism due to a combination of gene mutations and environmental factors, including maternal illness during pregnancy, fetal oxygen deprivation, and advanced parental age at conception.

    Children with ASD face varying challenges. ASD can involve motor skill deficits and communication impairment, for example. One child with autism may be entirely nonverbal, while another may struggle with the social context of language. Other challenges associated with autism include poor social skills, behavioral difficulties, and physical health concerns such as sleep disturbances.

    If your child was diagnosed with autism, you can find the resources you need to help him or her thrive at The Behavior Exchange. Call our location near Dallas at (972) 312-8733 to discuss how our behavior classes may help your little one.

  • Exploring the Benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy

    Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) deal with a range of challenges, including speech and language difficulties. While some children may struggle to maintain the flow of a conversation, others may only be able to speak a few words, or not speak at all. If your child has communication difficulties, they may benefit from communication training with an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist.

    Mother and son on the carpet with toys

    Alternative Communication
    One of the ways an ABA therapist can help your child with autism is by teaching him or her to use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) devices. These devices are helpful for children who are non-verbal and those who speak very little. They can greatly reduce frustration for your child and for your entire family by enabling your child to communicate his or her needs and wants. AAC devices may be high-tech or low-tech tools. For example, your child might learn to use an AAC device that speaks the words your child types into it. Electronic devices are also available that display pictures your child can select. For example, if your child selects a picture of an apple, the device will speak that word. Other alternative methods of communication include signing and the use of picture boards. All of these devices can pave the way for improvements in functional communication.

    Conversational Skills
    ABA therapists can also help children with autism develop better conversational skills. Your child may learn to ask for help, answer questions, and learn when to start and stop a conversation. Additionally, speech therapists can help children with autism learn when it is socially appropriate to communicate an idea. For example, your child might learn to greet others when they walk into the room.

    The team at The Behavior Exchange provides one-on-one therapy sessions for children with autism. Our therapists use the clinically proven techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to help children improve skills including language, instruction following, compliance, and sibling relationships. Families in Plano and Dallas can reach out to our autism therapy team by calling (972) 312-8733.

  • A Look at Crises & Schools

    When a crisis occurs at school, the school staff has several important responsibilities. Staff members must first ensure the safety of the child with autism. They must also contact the parents, develop an incident report, and evaluate the student’s behavior intervention plan to determine if his or her needs are being met.

    Parents of children with autism can hear more about crises at schools by watching this video presented by Autism Speaks. This expert answers some common questions from parents, such as whether it’s possible for a child to be expelled from school for disruptive behavior. He also discusses some options for parents in the event that the school isn’t doing enough to help the student.

    The autism therapists at The Behavioral Exchange are dedicated to helping children with autism succeed at school and at home. Parents throughout Dallas can call us at (972) 312-8733, and ask us about our school advocacy services and behavior classes.

  • Identifying the Signs and Symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome

    Asperger’s syndrome is a neurodevelopmental disorder which falls on the autism spectrum . Children with Asperger’s generally have a fairly high level of functioning, however, these children can experience challenges across several areas of development including the impairment of social skills. If your child has Asperger’s syndrome, you can find the help your family needs at an autism therapy center.

    Motor Delays
    Some children with Asperger’s display delays in motor skill development . You may have noticed that your child has trouble with gross motor skills, such as when he or she runs or rides a bike. Or, they may struggle with fine motor skills, such as using silverware and gripping a pencil.

    Children Showing Their Painted Hands

    Communication Impairment
    This autism spectrum disorder is often characterized by communication impairment. Children with Asperger’s may have a well-developed vocabulary; however, they may not understand figures of speech or sarcasm. They may have trouble interpreting changes in pitch and tone, and they may struggle to start or maintain a conversation. When they do engage in conversation, it is typically a one-sided conversation. Children with Asperger’s often talk at length about a narrow subject of interest and they typically do not perceive social cues that indicate the other person is trying to change the topic of conversation.

    Social Difficulties
    Social skills are sometimes difficult for children with Asperger’s to master. They may have trouble interpreting another person’s body language and facial expressions, which can lead to misunderstandings when interacting with peers. They may stare at others inappropriately or avoid eye contact. In addition, children with this autism spectrum disorder may have trouble showing empathy for others.

    Here at The Behavior Exchange , we believe that every child on the spectrum can reach his or her full potential. Our autism therapists apply the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis in our behavior classes to help children overcome their challenges. Parents throughout Dallas and Plano can reach our autism therapy center by calling (972) 312-8733.