Amaze Behavior Therapy helping autistic children
by WILLIAM WRIGHT, Lifestyles Editor
Jan 18, 2013 | 2108 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Amaze Behavior Therapy
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Since no two people with autism will display the same set of symptoms, a program that treats every child as unique — and is geared to an individual approach based on their specific needs and strengths — is vital.

Amaze Behavior Therapy, a company created to help meet the growing need for applied behavior analytic therapy services for young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the Cleveland area, is prepared to help your child fulfill his/her highest potential at home, school and in the community.

Owner and clinical director Carrie Walls, a behavior analyst/therapist, has nearly a decade of experience in the field of changing behaviors through intervention and management, with more than half of those years doing ABA therapy with children diagnosed with autism, Asperger’s syndrome, pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) and developmental delays.

“We have a strong belief in walking together with those who have been affected by autism to help bring understanding, support, encouragement, hope and peace into their lives,” Walls said. “At Amaze Behavior Therapy, we believe every child is unique and therefore needs an individualized approach based on their specific needs and strengths. As such, we offer an array of behavior therapy components, all based upon the concepts and principles of applied behavior analysis.”

That includes, but is not limited to, discrete trial training, a one-to-one instructional approach used to teach skills in a planned, controlled and systematic manner, natural environment training, incidental teaching, pivotal response training and the verbal behavior approach.

“We specialize in early intervention — from birth through 5 years old,” Walls explained, “Although we will do consultation and trainings for children up to 8 years old. We also offer assistance with toilet training for neuro-typical children in addition to those with specialized needs.”

Walls, an independent contractor with the Tennessee Early Intervention System which assists in providing services for children under age 3, has experience in behavior therapy working in an adolescent residential psychiatric hospital, several school-based pre-kindergarten settings, an ABA clinic, a day care center, churches, and a number of homes with private ABA programs, including two utilizing the CARD program.

“When I worked in a clinic in Chattanooga and worked as an independent contractor, I saw there was such a need for this,” Walls said. “There are no services like this from Chattanooga to Knoxville — there’s nothing. So families that I worked with had to drive from Athens to Chattanooga or from Cleveland to Knoxville. Most people will go to Nashville or Atlanta to get these specialized services, and Cleveland has such a great need. Opening an office here was such a great middle of the road.”

The Ohio native, who graduated from Lee University and has been in Cleveland for nearly 15 years, said consultation and training for schools, churches, day cares or other professional staff are also available. After an initial intake and assessment, emphases within the program will be determined by the greatest areas of skill deficit, as well as the primary goals of the parents and caregivers.

“We believe there is great value in providing individualized instruction in the child’s natural settings — including the home, school and community — as well as in a clinical setting,” Walls said.

The benefit of therapy in natural settings eliminates the need for a transfer of instruction into these environments, according to Walls, who added that instruction in a highly structured clinical setting, free of prior learning history, also has its advantages.

“Therefore, we schedule the child’s therapy sessions in both settings, alternating between the home and clinic, and can include sessions in other settings as the need arises and caregivers request this,” she said.

In addition to one-on-one instruction with the child, parents will also be given individualized training on issues specific to the child and family. This includes handling problem behaviors, increasing their communication skills, using motivation to increase desired behaviors, encouraging socialization, working with feeding issues and much more.

The Amaze Behavior Therapy clinic is located at 3505 Adkisson Drive N.W., Suite 208, in the Cleveland/Bradley Business Incubator on the campus of Cleveland State Community College. For more information, call 423-322-8796. Clinic hours are by appointment only. Allow 24 to 48 hours to receive a response due to client appointments throughout the week.