Autism Services

Early Identification & Diagnosis

Early identification and access to evidence based intervention is critical if your child is showing signs of developmental delay. The Wellness Centre was the first on-island centre for autism assessment and diagnosis. Our team of psychologists is fully qualified to administer the assessment measures considered the gold standard in autism assessment and diagnosis. An assessment for autism begins with a conversation with one of our psychologists to discuss your concerns. The assessment process involves gathering information from parents, caregivers, teachers, other experts in the area of child development, as well as time spent interacting and observing your child in a natural social and play environment. A final assessment report will provide you with a clear picture of your child’s strengths and needs, along with a road map leading forward to ensure he/she reaches their fullest potential.

Family Support & Transition Planning

Having a child or family member with autism can feel overwhelming. Parents often fail to prioritize their own needs, as an important part of their child’s intervention plan.  At The Wellness Centre we offer a range of family support services, including family therapy, parent education, consultation and training. As children grow it is critical that services take into account their wishes, goals and social needs. Families of persons 16+ are encouraged to participate in Person Centred Planning (PCP), an approach to transition planning that places the individual at the centre of decision making and goal setting.

Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA)

ABA therapy uses the scientific principles of learning and motivation to teach children with autism. ABA uses positive reinforcement to increase positive behaviours and social interactions, while decreasing inappropriate or harmful behaviours which interfere with a child’s ability to learn and engage. ABA is highly individualized and each child’s programme is designed and implemented to ensure their unique needs are being targeted. Our ABA programmes are developed by a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst and implemented by a team of qualified therapists. All of our therapists have a minimum designation as a Registered Behaviour Technician™. Your child will often work with several members of our team to ensure their learning is generalized across individuals and environments.  ABA therapy can help individuals of all ages, but is most effective when started early and intensely.  Research suggests the most effective outcomes occur with 30-40hrs per week.

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

The Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) is an evidence based intervention for children with developmental delay, between 12 to 48 months. ESDM follows a developmental curriculum that defines social, play, communication, cognitive, self-help and motor skills.  It can be delivered in a clinic, home, playground or preschool setting. ESDM integrates a relationship focused developmental model with the well validated teaching practices of ABA. In 2012, we became the first clinic in the Cayman Islands and the Caribbean to offer ESDM services.

Home-school Support

There are many reasons parents of children with autism choose to home-school. A home-school programme should be tailored to meet your child’s unique needs and should ensure that learning is clearly measured and targets effectively developed. This can be an overwhelming task for families, but the good news is that we are an approved home-school provider, can assist in the development of a suitable curriculum, and arrange teacher support to satisfy the Department of Education requirements and ensure the most desirable learning outcomes.

Supportive Outreach Services (SOS)

Supportive Outreach Services (SOS) provide ABA based support in the community for parents and teachers. This practical hands on approach uses the science of ABA to help parents and teachers improve behaviour so that a child’s learning and independence can emerge. SOS services are  individualized and often contain: a functional  behaviour assessment, observations, formation of a positive behaviour support plan, parent/staff training and support, in home/school support  during the implementation of strategies outlined in the support plan, and will also include  maintenance and follow up to ensure success.

Life Skills (Independent/Adaptive Skills) 

Life Skills, or adaptive and independent living skills are vitally important for children, adolescents and adults with autism. These are the skills that allow an individual to live as independently as possible within their community. Life skills include a wide range of skills; and may include social & emotional skills, money & time management, cooking & shopping, public transportation, employment training, independent self-care, personal hygiene, sexual health and employment. Adaptive living skills are assessed, taught and evaluated using the Assessment of Functional Living Skills ® curriculum. Target skills are selected in consultation with parents and the individual. 1:1 and group services are available.

Getting started & putting it all together

Our staff are committed to helping your family navigate what often seems like an overwhelming process. We work in partnership with parents, pediatricians, teachers and specialists to determine which services are most appropriate and which goals are the highest priority. For more information about any of our services contact Sloane Pharr, ABA Programme Manager at spharr@wellnesscentre.ky to schedule a free 30 minute consultation to learn more.