FAQs

Flinders Early Intervention Program

Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is based on operant conditioning theory. At the most basic level, the behaviour is broken down into three parts:

  • A – antecedent (the instruction presented to a child eg. sit down, or clap hands),
  • B – the behaviour (response to instruction), and then
  • C – a consequence (a reinforcer) based on the child’s response.

Please note here that this program works on positive reinforcement as the reinforcement targets positive behaviours to increase the frequency of their occurrence.

A teaching session involves many trials, with each trial having a distinct beginning and end. Thus, ABA based programs are often referred to as discrete trial teaching. Each skill is broken down into parts and each part of the skill is mastered before more information is presented. In discrete trial teaching, a very small unit of information is presented and the student’s response is immediately sought. Discrete trial teaching ensures that learning is an active process.

While all children learn by breaking skills and information down into smaller parts, children with autism do not typically absorb information simply through passive exposure. As a result their teaching needs to be more structured and explicit.

Learn more in our Inclusive Directions Flinders Early Intervention Program: Parents and Families’ Manual.

This intervention follows the Structured Program for Early Childhood Therapists working with Autism (SPECTRA; Young, Partington & Goren, 2009) which is based on sound learning theory. This theory is known as Operant Conditioning.

The SPECTRA exercises are implemented using behavioural modification techniques often referred to as Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). At the most basic level, operant conditioning involves presenting a stimulus (antecedent) to a child (eg. sit down, or clap hands), and then providing a consequence (reinforcer) based on the child’s response.

The program is unique in that it targets the early behaviours associated with autism that are operationalised in the ADEC. At the entry level, the behaviours targeted include: cuddling, eye contact, social smiling, anticipation of others’ social approaches, response to name, receptive and expressive language skills, pre-academic skills (e.g. matching, counting), self-help skills, turn-taking and imitation.

Modification of negative behaviours is achieved by a structured prompt fading process. That is, the intervention staff initially prompts the desired behaviour and the child is reinforced/rewarded. Prompts are gradually faded and the reward frequency decreased. These skills are taught within an incidental framework, where opportunities to teach the behaviours being targeted are contrived within a structured but fun environment. This approach not only facilitates the generalisation of learned behaviours, but also makes the therapy more appealing for the children.

An important part of this therapy is for the parents to use the same prompts and rewards as the therapists, and to require the same standards of behaviour as the therapists. Some atypical behaviours are also targeted, such as bizarre reactions to household sounds. Developing and encouraging responses that are appropriate to the stimulus and the adoption of more adaptive behaviours will reduce these behaviours.

Learn more in our Inclusive Directions Flinders Early Intervention Program: Parents and Families’ Manual.

Funded Supports

As we know, each child is unique and so there is no easy answer to this question.

Our staff will conduct assessments and observations, to gather key information regarding the triggers and potential functions of behaviours.

We will also speak with parents and carers to identi- fy key goals and potential strategies for achieving these goals, before developing a plan for addressing the behaviour.

As each plan is tailored to the individual child and family, each support will look different from one situation to the next.

We are consistent, however, in our approach to sup- port and our processes for building plans of support.

Our staff will take the time to meet with parents and families to discuss the goals they wish to achieve, the timeframes for each goal and the resources that may be required.

Once this plan is developed, the implementation of that plan is guided by the parents’ and families’ schedules, with recommendations from our staff as required.

We understand that behavioural challenges cannot be viewed outside the context of the whole family.

We have experience working with families who have a number of members transitioning into the NDIS at different times. We also have established networks within the education, early childhood education and community sectors to ensure consistency across the participant’s daily experiences.

From time to time, families may commence a pro- gram and, after a few sessions, realise that their child or the family generally is simply not in a posi- tion to carry on with the intervention at that time.

At all stages of support we are flexible and respon- sive to the needs of the child, parents and family. We can work with families to deliver supports based on their timeframes and when they feel they are ready.

NDIS

The NDIS provides support at three different levels, or tiers. Persons who are assessed as eligible for the scheme fall into Tier 3, which means they have a personalised package of supports developed (called their plan) and funding allocated to implement their plan.

Those who are deemed ineligible fall into Tiers 1 or 2. Under the scheme, a range of initiative will be implemented over time to target the needs of these tiers, specifically, to build community awareness of disability issues (Tier 1 participants) and basic information and referral advice for people with a disability, their families and carers (Tier 2 participants).

Preparation for your planning meeting is essential to ensure you understand the planning processes and language used and how to articulate your wants and needs to your planner.

Put simply, the planning process will involve the consideration of a series of important questions, including:

  • What are your (or your child’s) goals and aspirations for the life you (or they) want to live?
  • What support do you need/want for daily living and participation?
  • In view of your support needs, what is reasonable and necessary to achieve progress towards your (or your child’s) goals?

We can assist families to prepare for the planning process, to ensure they receive the maximum benefit from their NDIS experience. For further information about how we can assist you to prepare for your NDIS planning meeting, send us an enquiry or contact us on 08 8165 2900.

We know that each child is unique and that there is no easy answer to this question. Our staff will speak with parents and carers and observe the child prior to tailoring a set of interventions for the problem behaviour. Typically, we find between ten and thirty hours sufficient to identify issues, develop a plan, provide training to parents and implement the plan.

We understand that behavioural challenges cannot be viewed outside the context of the whole family. We have experience working with families who have a number of members transitioning into the NDIS at different times. We also have established networks within the education, early childhood education and community sectors to ensure consistency across the participant’s daily experiences.

Of course! At Inclusive Directions, our vision is to support and empower communities towards an inclusive future. This means that we will work with any person or family who is experiencing barriers to inclusion in order to address and overcome these.

All services delivered by Inclusive Directions can be provided on a fee-for-service basis. Please send us an enquiry or contact us on 08 8165 2900, should you wish to discuss how we can assist you or your family.

Learn more at www.ndis.gov.au