On April 3, 2020 Great Heights CEO, Dr. Amy Cooper McComas wrote this letter to the families we serve:
Dear Parents and Caregivers,
I hope this message finds you well, and finding ways to enjoy the sunshine! As you may have heard, Governor Holcomb has extended Indiana’s stay-at-home order until April 20, 2020. Until that time, only essential businesses may maintain on-site/in-person operations. As I have continued to monitor the description of essential businesses and continue to evaluate all of the relevant information on this matter, I am currently maintaining Great Heights operations as an essential business. As I previously shared, this may look different for each patient as we consider each patient’s unique needs. I strongly encourage you to stay in communication with your child’s Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) to determine what supports will be best for your child and your family at this time.
If it is helpful for you to know, I rely heavily on the information made available from the state of Indiana on www.in.gov. More specific information on determining what is an essential service can be found at https://coronavirus.in.gov/249.... While ABA services are not specifically named, I do understand the ABA services that Great Heights provides to fall under a variety of areas listed, such as
Excerpt from Indiana Executive Order 20 - 08 (March 23, 2020)
For the purposes of this Executive Order, the phrase “Essential Businesses and Operations” means Healthcare and Public Health Operations, Human Services Operations, Essential Governmental Functions, and Essential Infrastructure, as well as the following:
Organizations That Provide Charitable and Social Services
Businesses and religious and secular non-profit organizations, including food banks, when providing food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.
Home- Based Care and Services
Home-based care for adults, seniors, children, and/or people with developmental disabilities, intellectual disabilities, substance use disorders, and/or mental illness, including caregivers such as nannies who may travel to the child’s home to provide care, and other in-home services including meal delivery.
Again, we want to emphasize that we are here to support your child, you, and your family in whatever way we can through this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please feel free to contact me, or any of our Leadership Team, if you have any questions or would like to discuss this matter further. Also, I encourage you to follow Great Heights on Facebook or Instagram for messages of HOPE, support, and community resources.
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.