parenting children with autism

How to prepare your ASD child for middle school

WORCESTER, MA…

For children leaving grade school, entering middle school can be a very trying time and a difficult adjustment. For children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), that transition poses more challenges than the average student could imagine.

“For children with ASDs, going to school is a habit. When it’s time to move on to a new school, that means the habit needs to be altered and that’s not as easy as explaining to them that this year they will be going to a new school,” said Dr. Jeff Robinson, Ph.D., founder of Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts. “The process of transitioning children with ASDs really needs to begin well before the school year.”

Robinson recommends several steps to help parents of children with ASDs help their middle school-age children make the transition to their new school:

  • Write a social story or series of stories to help the student prepare for the change
  • Allow the student to have as many visits to the new school as needed
  • Practice a walking route to classes and opening and closing their locker
  • Identify important areas such as: bus stop, homeroom, bathrooms, cafeteria, gym, etc.
  • Review the yearbook to familiarize with faculty and school activities during the year
  • Take the student to parent-teacher orientation
  • Practice scripts so the child knows where to get help and requesting for a quiet place to calm down (practice routes)
  • Prepare the student that each teacher has different rules and procedures

“While preparing your child is one thing, it’s important to communicate to administration and faculty at the new school that you have an ASD child attending middle school next year and would like to set up a time to meet and go over some things,” said Dr. Robinson. “That’s actually one of the reasons we formed BCI 10 years ago was to work with schools to ease the transition of ASD students at all grade levels.”

Based in Worcester, Mass and with offices in Mansfield and West Boylston, Mass., BCI provides much needed services to children with autism and their families. BCI instructional programs are delivered using discrete trial training, task analysis, and systematic prompting procedures implemented by ABA therapists who have successfully completed pre-service training, on-site, and quarterly evaluations by their clinical supervisors.

Instruction is provided across a variety of domains, included by not limited to: Activities of daily living, functional and augmentative communication, functional academics and community outings and safety awareness. Social skills groups with peer models are also offered as part of BCI’s services. A heavy emphasis is placed on generalization and maintenance of skills, in addition to family training, so that families may implement the supports and carry-over skills in the home.

BCI accepts Harvard-Pilgrim, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Behavioral Health, Tufts, Aetna and coverage from other major health care providers.

For complete information, visit http://bciaba.org or to arrange a consultation with a BCI clinician, please call (508) 363-0200.

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.

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI) celebrates 10 years of caring for children with autism and autism spectrum disorders

WORCESTER, MA…

Think about how things have changed since 2003. The hybrid automobile had not yet hit the mainstream market. The “Curse of the Bambino” was alive and well with the Red Sox not having won the World Series since 1918. And one in 150 children was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). It was under those conditions that Dr. Jeffrey Robinson opened Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts.

Robinson started the firm with one clinical therapists and a staff of four. Today, BCI has a staff of 163. And, unfortunately, it’s been reported that one in every 88 children is diagnosed with an ASD.

“In 2003, we saw a genuine need for families with children diagnosed with an ASD, both from a care standpoint and from an information perspective so parents knew what programs were available through the school system,” said Robinson. “BCI has experienced incredible growth over the years, particularly since insurance companies started covering services for children with ASDs in 2011 and as more and more children are diagnosed.”

In addition to its growth from a staff perspective, BCI has also grown in terms of its offerings. Within the last year, BCI’s Board Certified Behavior Analysts designed and implemented a social skills group on Saturday mornings. Beyond instruction from BCI clinicians, the social skills sessions include interaction with other children who serve as role models for BCI students involved in the social skills program.

“The beauty of the social skills class is not only the broad range of topics we cover—topics like teamwork, bullying, appropriate play, sportsmanship, initiating and reciprocating peer interaction—but that it’s covered by most major insurances,” said Robinson. “We try to keep the price fairly affordable, typically between $35 to $50, but the insurance can make a huge difference. In fact, we’re one of the few firms around that has a social skills that’s accepted by most major insurance companies.”

BCI currently offers a summer social skills program with classes scheduled during the week as well as on Saturday. For complete information, you can visit the BCI website at www.bciaba.org or call 508-363-0200.

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.

A summer social. Behavioral Concepts, Inc., a child autism services company, announces summer social skills groups.

WORCESTER, MA…

Parents of children within the autism spectrum face a different challenge in the summer. While you want to let your child have a little down time, you also want to keep developing the skills they have honed during the school year. That’s why Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts, recently announced the summer schedule for its social skills program.

During the school year, the social skills program takes place on Saturday mornings from 9:30am to 12:30pm. Starting June 26, the social skills program will be available during the week, Monday through Friday as well. Morning and afternoon sessions are available and the program will run from June 26 to August 26. For the complete summer schedule, visit http://bciaba.com/social-skill-services/.

Hours for the Saturday morning program will remain 9:30am to 12:30pm.

“We’re pleased to be able to offer this very successful program on weekdays during the summer,” said Dr. Jeffrey Robinson, BCI founder and director. “Not only does this program provide the children with the training needed, but it does so in an environment where they can interact with peers and develop those skills. Better yet, most major health care providers will cover this program, an added bonus for parents.”

In addition to instruction from BCI clinicians, the social skills sessions include interaction with other children who serve as role models for BCI students involved in the social skills program.

Topics covered include:

  • Teamwork
  • Eye Contact
  • Transitions
  • Bullying
  • Emotions
  • Appropriate Play
  • Teen Relationships
  • Sportsmanship
  • Food Tolerance
  • Language Building
  • Role Playing Social Scenarios
  • Initiating and Reciprocating Peer Interaction

“The social skills program features a role model element that gives 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.”

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.

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, including the summer social skills calendar, 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.

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI) raises $500 for Autism Resource Center

BCI’s Brittany Curran and helpers at Autism Walk for the Autism Resource Center

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts, raised $500 in donations during the recent Autism Resource Center 2013 5K Run and Walk for Autism Awareness. The run/walk took place on April 28 at DCR’s Lake Park in Worcester.

“I can’t think of a better way to end Autism Awareness month—April—than taking part in the Resource Center’s annual 5k and walk,” said Dr. Jeff Robinson, BCI founder and director. “While clearly you want to raise as much money as possible, the attention and education the walk/run brings to the issue of autism and autism spectrum disorders brings to the general public benefits our cause just as much. That the Resource Center receives much needed funding is icing on the cake.”

The Autism Resource Center of Central Massachusetts is located at 71 Sterling Street in West Boylston, Massachusetts (508-835-4278). The non-profit Resource Center serves as an information and referral service for children and families affected by disorders within the Autism Spectrum; Autism, PDD NOS and Asperger’s.

In addition to being a co-sponsor of the run/walk, BCI was represented by more than 100 people (staff/families) at the walk/run. BCI also had a table with informational brochures and hosted several fun activities before, during and after the race.

“The Resource Center is just that, an incredible and invaluable resource to children with autism and their families,” said Robinson. “We are delighted to do all we can to help such a worthy cause.” 

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.

BCI Job openings: Board Certified Behavior Analyst and ABA Therapist

Here at Behavioral Concepts, Inc., we continue to grow. Presently, we have openings for a part-time Board Certified Behavior Analyst and a part-time ABA Therapist. The descriptions for both positions are below.

If you are interested, please forward your resume to jobs@bciaba.org.

Board Certified Behavior Analyst Board

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI) continues to seek Board Certified Behavior Analysts who want an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children affected by autism. We are an expanding organization who values the involvement of staff in the growth of the company. Our current need is for part-time (after school) BCBA’s to provide consultation and program development/staff supervision with our insurance program clients. We believe in child centered behavior analysis and low caseloads (10-12). Our BCBA’s are responsible for assessment, program development, and analysis. They are liaisons to school staff and families of the children we support. Our BCBA’s provide direct supervision to our ABA therapists.

 

ABA Therapist

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI) is recruiting part-time experienced ABA home therapists to work with children with autism under the supervision of BCBA or Master’s level clinician. Currently we are looking to fulfill afternoon sessions with days beginning at 3:00, 3:30, and 4:00pm. BCI is growing so if you’re interested in being part of an evolving organization please send your resume to jobs@bciaba.org

BCI to participate in Autism Awareness fair at UMass Medical Center on April 2

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts, announced it will host a booth at the upcoming Autism Awareness fair to be held at the UMass Medical Center on April 2 in the school’s Faculty Conference Center. The fair takes place on World Autism Awareness Day.

WORCESTER, MA…

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts, recently announced it will host a booth at the upcoming Autism Awareness fair to be held at the UMass Medical Center on April 2 in the school’s Faculty Conference Center. The fair takes place on World Autism Awareness Day.

“The cases of autism have increased dramatically over the past 10 years. That means more people need answers and services that can help their children. The Fair not increases awareness of the autism spectrum but provides real help to these families,” said Dr. Jeff Robinson, BCI founder and director.

BCI and other local autism care providers will be available from 5pm to 6pm. The program for the event also includes a short speaking program at 6 p.m. leading into the showing of the movie “The Black Balloon,” a 2008 award-winning Australian film about of a family coping with autism.

The pinnacle event of the evening will occur from 7:30pm to 9:30 pm when the front of the Medical School building will be lit with blue spotlights, as will hundreds of iconic landmarks around the world, as part of the non-profit Autism Speaks’ effort to help shine a light on autism.

“While cases of autism have increased over the last several years, the methods with how we work with children and adults with autism have vastly improved,” said Robinson. “An event like this can bring to light these advances and how autism is not an end but a workable obstacle.”

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.

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI) offers internship opportunities for college students for fall 2013

Dr. Jeff Robinson, founder and director of Behavioral Concepts, Inc.

WORCESTER, MA…

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts, recently announced the expansion of its fellowship program with Worcester State University. Starting March 26, BCI will be accepting applications for students looking to intern during the fall of 2013.

“We’re in the business of teaching very important skills to children with autism. Yet the learning is certainly not limited to our students. I think as instructors and clinicians, we learn every bit as much from our students as they do from us,” said BCI Founder and Director Dr. Jeffrey Robinson. “For a college student who wants to be in that kind of environment, I can promise you will get quite a bit more out of this experience than course credits.”

Adds Robinston,”We’ve had a great relationship with Worcester State University in bringing over interns to work with our students but we certainly welcome applicants from other universities looking to earn course credit while gaining invaluable work experience in an extremely rewarding field.”

BCI interns typically are college students with aspirations of being a clinical coordinator or therapists. BCI interns have typically been psychology, education, special education and criminal justice, though all majors are welcome to apply. Students must receive course credit to participate in BCI’s internship program.

Interested applicants can stop by BCI’s booth at Worcester State University’s Career Fair on March 26. The fair takes place on Worcester State’s campus at 486 Chandler Street in Worcester. After March 26, interested applicants can also send a cover letter and resume to info@bciaba.org or by snail mail to: Behavioral Concepts, Inc., 170 Goddard Memorial Drive, Worcester, MA  01603, ATTN: Dr. Jeffrey Robinson.

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.

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI) hires Dracut resident Michael Karanja as clinical coordinator

BCI’s Michael Karanja

WORCESTER, MA…

Behavioral Concepts, Inc. (BCI), a company of behavioral clinicians specializing in the care of children with autism in Central Massachusetts, recently hired Michael Karanja as a clinical coordinator. Karanja has previously worked in a similar capacity at Melmark New England.

As a clinical coordinator at BCI, Karanja will write programs for skills development, behavioral support programs and other developmental services for more than a dozen BCI clients in Central Massachusetts who are living with autism. Those programs can consist of social skills, community safety skills, academic and pre-academic skills, classroom participation, health and ADL skills.

“As a growing company, it’s important to not only fill the positions where we have need but do so wisely with talented and experienced individuals. Michael certainly fits that bill and will be a tremendous asset in helping our students develop the skills they need, both in the home and in the classroom,” said BCI Founder and Director Dr. Jeff Robinson.

Originally from Kenya and now a Dracut, Mass. resident, Karanja holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Salem State University (he did his undergraduate work in his native Kenya). He holds a Board Certification in Behavior Analysis (BCBA) and is a licensed special education teacher in the state of Massachusetts.

“I had friends who knew people who worked at BCI and they spoke very highly of the company and the high quality of care and teaching they provide. After being here a few weeks, I can honestly say Dr. Robinson and our staff have certainly lived up to that high praise and then some,” said Karanja.

Based in Worcester, Mass and with offices in Mansfield and West Boylston, Mass., BCI provides much needed services to children with autism and their families. BCI instructional programs are delivered using discrete trial training, task analysis, and systematic prompting procedures implemented by ABA therapists who have successfully completed pre-service training, on-site, and quarterly evaluations by their clinical supervisors. Instruction is provided across a variety of domains, included by not limited to: Activities of daily living, functional and augmentative communication, functional academics and community outings and safety awareness. Social skills groups with peer models are also offered as part of BCI’s services. A heavy emphasis is placed on generalization and maintenance of skills, in addition to family training, so that families may implement the supports and carry-over skills in the home.

BCI accepts Harvard-Pilgrim, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Behavioral Health, Tufts, Aetna and coverage from other major health care providers.

For complete information, visit http://bciaba.org or to arrange a consultation with a BCI clinician, please call (508) 363-0200.

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.