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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Comprehensive Behavior Supports (CBS) has expanded its services to the Bergen County area. Located in Paramus, CBS works with children with autism from birth to adolescence on all levels of the spectrum. Through the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, a scientific based learning program, therapists at CBS are able to treat children with autism according to their individual level of need.

ABA therapy teaches children to learn through repetition and reward. When a behavior is rewarded through praise, a child will associate that behavior with something good, causing him or her to want to repeat that learned behavior more frequently. ABA is a teaching strategy that helps all children, not just those diagnosed with autism. CBS believes that children with learning disabilities and social skills issues can also benefit from this approach.

Adeena Jacobson, clinical director at CBS, describes the focus of the therapy as behavior modification through positive reinforcement. “We see a wide range of children and young adults who have been diagnosed with autism,” she said. Whether it be to transition a child into a mainstream lifestyle or create a lifelong treatment plan, she sees ABA therapy as an effective mode of treatment for most clients.

Each case is child specific and therefore requires an intense evaluation to determine the correct form of treatment. A highly trained BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) will conduct a detailed assessment of the child in his or her natural environments, including home and school. The BCBA will then design a course of intervention for an ABA therapist who will work one-on-one with the child. The original BCBA trains the ABA therapist and supervises this process.

CBS started three and half years ago doing home based ABA. The agency has since expanded and currently offers social skills groups in both the Paramus and Brooklyn locations. They service children throughout the New York and New Jersey area and are slowly moving into Pennsylvania as well. Some kids come to the agency for therapy or to participate in social skills groups, while others are treated at home in their own environment. The ratio of therapist to child in a social skills group is one to three and is therefore typically catered to a higher functioning learner.

The core values of the agency are based on three guiding principles: care, compassion and collaboration. These three principles enable therapists at CBS to facilitate child development and personal growth within each client. Therapists sincerely understand that raising a child with challenges can be difficult on parents and other family members. Therapists offer training sessions to educate parents and siblings about the new learning style created for the child, enabling them to partner in the child’s treatment. At CBS the mission is to create an inclusive structure, facilitating parents, teachers and professionals to work together to ensure the most successful outcome for the child. To learn more, please visit: http://cbsupports.org/

 By Andrea Nissel