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Comprehensive Approach to Working with Individuals with Autism

Families and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders receive an endless bombardment of information pertaining to various therapies and approaches to address their complex needs. Navigating these therapies can be extremely confusing and for many it has become something comparable to a full time job. Given the unique needs of individuals with ASDs, when seeking services and support, it is essential to work with professionals that specialize in the area of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

For over 10 years, the Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities has been a provider of services for children and adults with Autism and other Developmental Disabilities. The Lindner Center is a center of excellence that provides comprehensive assessment, treatment, school consultation, psychopharmacology, advocacy and resource information for the tri-state area and nationally.

Individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities experience impairments across a range of areas including cognitive, social, communication, adaptive, affective, and behavioral; these areas must be assessed in order to determine a successful treatment plan. Each individual’s treatment plan needs to be tailored to address his or her unique social, behavioral, language, and academic difficulties.

The success of the Lindner Center lies in our unique collaborative approach which is utilized throughout all of the programs which is combined with highly trained and respected specialists in psychiatry, psychology, and speech language pathology.

The services provided at the Lindner Center include:

 

Diagnostic Testing – The Center’s team meets prior to each assessment to review the individual’s history and to plan and individualize an effective assessment strategy. Our team includes: psychologists, psychiatrists, and speech-language pathologists. Our team is highly trained in the use of the gold standard diagnostic instruments including the ADOS and the ADI-R, but state-of-the art assessment tools are used for all the evaluation options.

 

Psychopharmacology – The Lindner Center’s Board Certified Psychiatrists in Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry specialize in working with individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. Psychiatric services include consultation, evaluation and treatment for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, including identification of comorbid neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders and participation in the development of a comprehensive integrated interdisciplinary treatment plan.

 

Psychological and Psychosocial Services – Each individual’s treatment plan is tailored to address his or her unique social, behavioral, language, and academic difficulties. Since other disorders commonly co-occur with ASDs, which include depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders and ADHD, the specialty team treats each individual according to his/her needs. Treatment includes: cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT), social skills intervention (both group and individual), parent training, family training, parent support groups and transitional life planning.

 

Speech and Language Services – The speech pathologists at the Lindner Center are keenly aware of the specific language deficits that accompany an ASD diagnosis. The therapists are specially trained in evaluating and providing treatment to individuals with various speech and language deficits, including those with pragmatic and semantic disorders across the age span. Therapy is provided both individually and within small social language groups. Groups are often used to target real time social communication and perspective taking deficits amongst peers.

 

School Consultation Services – The Lindner Center works with children,  adolescents and families and their schools to promote each child’s opportunity to meet his or her maximum potential by working closely with school-based personnel. The Lindner Center is able to build multidisciplinary teams that can develop and implement effective learning programs tailored to meet the needs of each child with a concentration in the areas of social skills, academics and behavioral planning.

 

Social Skills Groups – The Lindner Center provides ongoing weekly, social skills groups for tweens, teens and adults. These groups are run by a specially trained psychologist or speech pathologist in the area of social skills. Each session targets a specific social language skill and activities selected to best facilitate carry-over of the new skill.

 

Social and Recreational Programming Services – The Lindner Center holds socials for tweens, teens, young adults and adults in order to provide an opportunity for individuals with ASDs to meet, socialize and network. Previous socials have included but limited to: holiday parties, cooking, art projects and game activities. Most socials consist of a theme and all participants are encouraged to actively participate in all activities.

Furthermore the Lindner Center provides holiday and school break programs when school is closed. These programs integrate specific social skills training and friendship skills while participating in fun, age appropriate recreational programming and life skills training.

 

Peer Mentorship Program – Peer mentors are an integral component of all of the social skills groups, as well as the social and recreational programming services, in order to model appropriate peer interactions. Each peer mentor has been trained in autism spectrum disorders and effective techniques to facilitate conversation and social interactions.

 

Life Skills Services – The Lindner Center offers a weekly life skills program which focuses on ADLs while further fostering friendships and appropriate social skills.

 

The Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism and Development Disabilities offers an extensive range of vital services for individuals of all ages with ASDs. What makes the Lindner Center truly a center of excellence is the comprehensive and collaborative approach that is used within all the programs and services by highly trained and respected professionals in the field of autism.

In order to address the complex needs of individuals with ASDs, when identifying and selecting services, it is essential to look for a program that is both current in the latest research and understands the individual needs of persons with autism. Moreover, when choosing programs that provide a collaborative approach to the various services provided, there is a more holistic, integrative style to assessment and intervention, which maximizes communicative, cognitive and behavioral success.

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