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Successful Collaboration with Your Child’s Agencies

Our team is dedicated to providing the highest level of clinical expertise to facilitate significant and sustainable improvement for the individuals and families we serve. In order to be as thorough and effective as possible, our teams take an interdisciplinary approach to your child’s care. This means that different therapies such as Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and/or Physical Therapy are provided in a purposefully coordinated manner. 

Your child may receive support from either of the therapies listed in addition to their ABA program. Effective communication across all areas is of the utmost importance for your child, your family, and your providers. To better understand the importance of and, more importantly, how to achieve successful communication, we’ll take you step by step through the process.

Main Pillars of Interdisciplinary Care

To begin, let’s review the main pillars of interdisciplinary care:

  • It values all disciplines and recognizes the unique perspective that each brings to the table
  • It pulls from evidenced-based practices across multiple disciplines, ensures decisions and course corrections are data-driven, and provides consistent treatment as a team, to provide the highest possible care for each child.
  • It offers interdisciplinary communication, collaboration, and consultation

There are four types of therapy that your child may receive at ALP: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy. The principal areas that each of these therapies address are as follows:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

ABA can address any behavior. These services are provided in the clinic/home/community setting and include a functional behavior assessment. This can include:

  • Learning readiness
  • Functional communication skills
  • Cognitive development
  • Social emotional development
  • Play/leisure skills
  • Self care/adaptive skills
  • Behavior management

Occupational Therapy

At ALP, these services are provided in the clinic setting and include assessment, direct treatment, and consultations. This can include:

  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Oral motor/feeding
  • Visual motor integration
  • Development of coordination, motor planning, self-care, and sensory processing
  • Adaptive skills

Speech Therapy

At ALP, these services are provided in the clinic setting and include assessment, direct treatment, and consultations. This can include:

  • Receptive/expressive language skills
  • Articulation/phonology/motor speech
  • Fluency
  • Voice
  • Functional communication
  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • Social communication/social cognitive skills
  • Cognition/cognitive play skills

Physical Therapy

These services are provided in the clinic/home setting and include assessment, direct treatment and consultations. This can include:

  • Functional mobility
  • Gait
  • Gross motor development
  • Motor skill performance
  • Postural control and alignment
  • Strength, endurance, balance, and coordination
  • Motor control, learning, flexibility, and muscle tone

Now that you’re familiar with each of these therapies, we’ve broken down how to get started with services:

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

  • Most insurances will cover the best practice level of care
  • A diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is required for most insurance funding
  • Referral or diagnostic evaluation is needed
  • Clinical Prescription: Ranges from 10 to 30+ hours per week

Speech Therapy/Occupational Therapy/Physical Therapy

  • Does not require a diagnosis of ASD
  • Referral is likely needed
  • Clinical Prescription: Ranges from 30 minutes to 2 hours per week

Once the therapies needed have been determined, there are two pathways to accessing interdisciplinary care: receiving multiple services with one agency or receiving multiple services from multiple agencies. The differences between the two are as follows:

Multiple Services with One Agency

  • Emails, phone calls and Zoom meetings can consistently overlap
  • Communication can occur on a regular basis between team members via patient file communication logs, emails, phone calls, and in-person meetings
  • Collaboration can occur on all comprehensive program assessments and treatment plans, as well as staff training and development, and related clinical projects
  • Consultation of another discipline may occur with ease of coordination following the clinical recommendation of a treating clinician

Multiple Services from Multiple Agencies

  • Emails, phone calls and Zoom meetings may occasionally overlap
  • Requires a high level of coordination between different disciplines and providers due to separation of providers
  • Sharing of treatment plans and reports from one provider to another takes additional time and steps
  • Availability to coordinate care may be limited due to differing provider guidelines, schedules, availability, etc.

As a leader in the treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder, ALP understands the value that successful collaboration has in providing the best treatment for your child. A comprehensive plan that is communicated and reinforced across all disciplines will allow for the most significant impact and development. At ALP, each team member is committed to working together alongside other service providers, your child and family, to make a remarkable difference in your child’s life.

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