Teens and adults with autism may have behaviors that can hurt themselves, appear threatening to others and prevent them--and their families--from taking part in everyday activities. Project HOPE Foundation offers individualized support to address these problem behaviors through our Hope Alive program. Using Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), we work to identify the reasons why people engage in these behaviors and teach them more positive ways to access what they want and need. These "Behavior Support Services" are funded primarily by the Intellectual Disability/Related Disabilities (ID/RD) and Community Supports waivers through SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (SC DDSN).
There are four main components to the Behavior Supports process:
- Initial assessment. The Behavior Supports Consultant typically interviews family members and/or key staff and observes to determine the need for Behavior Support Services.
- Functional Assessment. Through direct observation, interviews, record reviews, and collecting data, the Behavior Supports Consultant determines what specific behaviors should be decreased (including a determination of why the problematic behavior is happening) and what skills should be taught.
- Behavioral Intervention. The Behavior Supports Consultant uses the information gathered in the initial and functional assessments to develop a Behavior Support Plan to address all the areas of need. The plan includes detailed definitions of all targeted behaviors, specific responses to problematic behaviors, and methods of teaching new skills. The plan includes a method of data collection. The Behavior Supports Consultant trains all key staff and/or family members to implement the plan.
- Follow-Up. The Behavior Supports Consultant conducts frequent follow-up visits to ensure that the plan is working, analyzes the data that are collected, and makes any needed changes to the plan.
To access this service, contact your service coordinator or visit the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs website.