Autism Speaks recently awarded Cardinal McCloskey Community Services with a grant award of $15,000 to help fund our Registered Behavior Technician Training program as part of our Applied Behavior Analysis treatment model.
CMCS was one of the first agencies to coordinate the Applied Behavior Analysis service model across our daily service programs and adapt it into our residential settings. Behavior analysis focuses on the principles of how learning takes place. Though time and resource intensive, this “all-in” approach to learning has shown to be a guiding force of positive and meaningful change.
Our adults with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) have made great strides in their ability to communicate their needs through the use of iPads and other technical devices, and improving on living and social skills, helping them become more independent.
The primary challenge we face is that our Applied Behavior Analysis program is funded entirely through private donations.
As stated on the Autism Speaks website, the need for expansion of options at the federal and state levels for adults with autism to gain the supports they need to live as independently in the community as possible through appropriate housing, supports and employment is critical. Currently, more than 300,000 individuals are on waiting lists to receive critical support services.
This important funding will enhance the skills of our frontline ABA staff by providing them with training which leads to their certification as Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs).
In 2011, we opened the first of 3 new homes for young adults with autism. At the time this home was the first of its kind in the region and has proven to be very successful with dramatic decreases in challenging behavior.
The success of this program has also resulted in the expansion of the supported employment and day services programs. CMCS is very grateful to Autism Speaks for their partnering with us to serve our adults with special needs and work in conjunction with their families.