Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Clinic Notes: ABA and other Neuropsychological Disorders

Approximately half of the children who come to my clinic now are diagnosed with one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders, such as Rhett’s Disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, Asperger's or just plain Autism. And that is not surprising. Autism is in the news now reportedly increasing at epidemic rates. The rest of the children who come to my clinic have some other neuropsychological disorder,sometimes a rare disorders such as Aarskog Syndrome or Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood (see More commonly, a child comes in who has obvious neurological problems, but no diagnosis can be made. No matter what the diagnosis or lack of, most of these children have compliance problems when they first come in and parents and other caregivers do not know which behaviors are related to the syndromes and which behaviors are simply noncompliant behaviors. In order to deal with the behaviors related to the syndromes, it is usually necessary to first manage the behaviors having to do with compliance. The first ABA programs we run in our clinic almost always have to do with compliance issues, such as making eye contact, following directions consistently, and eliminating behaviors that interfere with compliance, such as tantrums, aggressive behavior, or self-injurious behavior. Then ABA programs dealing with specific problems, such as attention deficits, etc., are implemented. Having your child compliant and under verbal control is also important so other therapists can work effectively with your child.
Additional information and ABA programs for the behavioral problems and an online ABA course for caregivers can be found at

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