Monthly Archives: January 2013
A Saturday morning social. Behavioral Concepts, Inc., a child autism services company, adds weekend social skills groups to its offerings.
Having a child with autism can present many challenges. One of them is finding programs that can teach your child developmental and social skills. The second is finding programs that your health insurance covers. Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts, recently launched a Saturday morning social skills program that’s covered by all the insurance carriers who work with the Worcester-based firm.
“We’re delighted to have a program like our Saturday morning social skills program that provides the children with the training needed, but in an environment where they can interact with peers and develop those skills,” said Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, BCI founder and director. “That our insurance carriers see the value in the program and want to make it available to their customers is just icing on the cake.”
BCI accepts Harvard-Pilgrim, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Behavioral Health, Tufts, Aetna, Fallon and coverage from other major health care providers for the social skills program.
The social skills program is a three-hour session on Saturday mornings, from 9:30 to 12:30. In addition to instruction from BCI clinicians, the sessions include interaction with other children who serve as role models for BCI students involved in the social skills program.
“The role model students provide a critical element to the social skills program. They give our students a chance to see appropriate behaviors—waiting your turn, raising your hand—in an activity-based setting,” said Robinson. “The other critical part is that we have a very high instructor to student ratio, typically three students per instructor. That gives instructors the chance to utilize the peer models for appropriate skills and reinforce the good behaviors.”
There is no age limit for the social skills program. BCI accepts all major insurance companies or private pay at a rate of $35-$50 per hour depending on the student/staff ratio your child needs. Parents or guardians interested in this program for their students can call (508) 363-0200. For complete information on BCI, visit http://bciaba.org.
About Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI)
Founded in 2002, BCI provides educational, behavioral, consultative and assessment services to children with autism and their families. These services are based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and are tailored to the unique needs of the individuals BCI works with. It’s BCI’s goal to maximize student potential, increase independence and enhance our clients’ quality of life within their home, school and community.
BCI’s main care center is located at 170 Goddard Memorial Drive, in Worcester, Massachusetts. BCI operates its BASICS services at 100 Hartwell Street in West Boylston, Mass. The BASICS program is a sub-contract arrangement between Behavioral Concepts, Inc. and the Central Massachusetts Special Education Collaborative. BASICS provides services to children aged 7-22 with autism and maladaptive behaviors. BCI’s Corporate Offices are located in Mansfield, Mass.
For complete information, visit http://bciaba.org or to arrange a consultation with a BCI clinician, please call (508) 363-0200.
Mansfield resident and president of Behavioral Concepts Inc. Dr. Jeffrey Robinson said he has developed a passion for working to help children affected by autism spectrum disorders.
When Robinson was in college, he said originally that was not where he saw himself.
“Originally I was going to go to law school,” he said. “I was a political science major.”
Originally, Robinson said he started working with autistic children in Boston at the Behavioral Institute in 1978. He said he has worked with affected children and adults of all ages, and it was there when it hit him that this was what he wanted to do. Now, he’s been in the field for over 30 years, and has worked in Worcester, Cambridge and Providence.
“It just clicked for me,” he said. “At the end of the day I just want to be able to help people. In my profession, it’s families and kids affected by autism.”
Robinson said that throughout the years he and the companies he’s worked for has helped many children to grow up to lead productive and healthy lives. He added that, as president of BCI, he’s employed two affected children hired at his company that he used to consult.
“They were students in the Worcester public schools,” he said. “When my intervention and that of some of my staff, we helped shape much more positive behavior to the point where both of them became employable in our company.”
Based in Worcester, Mass and with offices Mansfield and West Boylston, Mass., BCI provides services to children with autism and their parents. The process begins with an assessment by a behavior analyst.
Once an assessment has been made, BCI staff develop a treatment plan that decreases behavioral challenges and teaches new skills and replacement behaviors. The company works with health providers to grant services to children in need of treatment Massachusetts.
Robinson said the types of treatment he and his staff use are based on positive reinforcement, using a token system as it were. When a student makes a positive response to a question or follows directions, they get a visual representation of positive action, such as another coin (almost like a life bar in a video game). They loose coins for negative behavior. But Robinson said it’s not a one-size-fits-all treatment method in regards to autism.
“There’s such variability in presentation [of the disorder] that makes it a little more challenging to be as efficient as possible in resources,” he said. “One child may require extremely intensive intervention and one child might need minimal intervention. And then you have everything in between.”
Robinson said that he is talking with Mansfield schools director of special education Bernadette Conroy about helping to fund a social connections program in the district.
“It basically involves developing a mentorship between a nuerotypical student and a child with autism to connect them socially,” he said. “That’s something I would like to support financially in the High School.”
Robinson said he believes the program may be instituted in the 2012-2013 school year.