Times Staff Report
October 2, 2012
Highlands Center for Autism, Program Director, Shelli Deskins Ph.D, BCBA has been named chair of the Kentucky Applied Behavior Analyst Licensing Board.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a philosophy that involves and systematic application of methods based upon behavioral principles. Importantly, it has been effective when applied to working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The intervention process is focused on setting up the environment, reducing behavioral symptoms, and increasing functional replacement skills.
The board consists of seven members chosen by Gov. Steve Beshear. Chair is the highest appointed honor. The purpose of the Board is to administer and enforce the statutory authority and to monitor the needs of the public. The board examines and licenses all eligible candidates for entry into the profession as a behavior analyst. It recommends appropriate changes in the law to assure fairness and equality.
Highlands Health System began consulting with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Autism (CCCA) to open a year round day treatment center for children with ASD in September of 2008. Dr. Deskins joined Highlands in January of 2009. This endeavor resulted in the creation of the Highlands Center for Autism, which opened in August of 2009.
The Highlands Center for Autism believes all children deserve the opportunity to laugh and play and become healthy, happy and productive adults. In order for children with ASD to reach these goals, it is important that children and their families have access to specially designed intervention and support, using ABA. The Center treats all children as individuals; hence, programming is tailored to meet each child’s specific needs. Data is taken on every skill taught and analyzed on a daily basis so that programming modifications can be made when indicated. Furthermore, the Center is committed to working closely with other professionals, such as speech language pathologists, educators, and pediatricians in order to provide an optimal level of care.
To learn more about Highlands Center for Autism visit www.highlandsAutism.org