On March 23, 2020 Great Heights CEO, Dr. Amy Cooper McComas wrote this letter to our families:
Hello! I hope this message finds you well and finding ways to care for yourself, especially during this challenging time. Please know that we are here to encourage and support you in whatever way we can. We encourage you to maintain regular communication with your child’s BCBA, and to follow us on social media. We are working to increase our communications and connectivity through this time of social distancing. Please consider following us on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter to find messages of hope and community resources.
Each day, I continue to actively monitor information from our state and local governments and healthcare authorities. In accordance with some of the information from the CDC, Great Heights has revised our wellness policy to include the following:
• You have had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers) AND
• other symptoms have improved AND
• at least 7 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared
Additionally, if your child receives in-home services, Great Heights staff will need a designated primary treatment area in your home, and will implement additional cleaning protocol upon arrival and departure in that room, as well as with materials. Please remember to reschedule if your child or anyone in the home does not meet the Great Heights wellness protocol. Community based treatment interventions will be limited at this time to comply with the stay at home order. Your child’s Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will communicate with you about specifics for your child.
As I carefully weigh all of the considerations to determine if Great Heights should continue operations during the stay at home order, at this time, I have determined that our services fall under essential business. As we move through this time, I will continue to consider all of the information available to me to make an on-going determination. I will continue to reach out to you as I make additional decisions on this matter.
Please feel free to contact me, our Hope Leadership Team or your child's BCBA directly should you have any questions or would like to discuss things further. I encourage you to take time each day for activities that you and your family enjoy, and to take care of yourself along the way.
Amy B. Cooper McComas,
EdD, BCBA CEO & Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. (National Institutes of Health)
It is a complex neurobehavioral disorder characterized by impairment in reciprocal social interaction, impairment in communication and the presence of repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behaviors, interests and activities. (Association for Science in Autism Treatment)
Autism is diagnosed through developmental screenings and comprehensive diagnostic evaluations. (CDC) Children are often diagnosed as early as 18 months through a medical diagnosis or educational determination.
A medical diagnosis is made by a physician, typically a psychiatrist, psychologist, pediatric neurologist or developmental pediatrician, based on an assessment of symptoms and diagnostic tests. An educational determination is made by a multidisciplinary team of educators based on observation of abilities and behaviors. (Autism Society)
First, know that you are not alone. There are many resources that can help throughout your journey. It is often most helpful to begin by reviewing educational challenges and developmental milestones with your child’s educators.
Then schedule an appointment with a licensed child psychiatrist or psychologist, pediatric neurologist or developmental pediatrician who can perform an evaluation and discuss your concerns to determine if your child has autism. (Mayo Clinic)
A child with autism can grow into a productive, independent adult. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is recommended by the U.S. Surgeon General as an evidence-based best practice for the safe and effective treatment of autism.
ABA therapy is based on the science of learning and behaviors. It is structured, measures progress through data collection and provides positive strategies for changing responses and behaviors.
The number of hours depend on the specific needs of each child. After an initial assessment with one of our therapists, we will identify your child’s needs and develop a plan of action, including a recommendation on the number of hours of therapy needed each week.
Yes. For children diagnosed with autism, the Indiana Autism Insurance Mandate requires insurance companies to provide coverage for ABA therapy. At Great Heights, we accept many insurance plans. Feel free to contact us with any specific questions about insurance coverage.
Yes, we highly encourage parents and caregivers to be trained in ABA therapy. We know treatment is most effective when consistently reinforced with children.
We train parents and caregivers to utilize ABA therapy techniques. This allows for improved consistency and communication about your child’s progress. (Association for Science in Autism Treatment-Parent Training)
Give us a call at (260) 255-3665 or fill out our contact form. We look forward to meeting you and your child.