Rather than a rigid approach, we provide individual therapy plans centred around the child’s specific requirements. Working with the Care Coordinator, families are able to identify the services they require to match their child’s unique needs from the outset (see Family Needs Coordinator section). For children with Autism (ASD), we currently offer programs that combine ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis), SLP (Speech-Language Pathology) and OT (Occupational Therapy) services (see Our Services section).
Papillon Family Health takes an interdisciplinary approach with input from professionals from different backgrounds. This interdisciplinary approach is widely accepted as one of the most effective techniques in the treatment of ASD (see What is Interdisciplinary Therapy?).
Communication and Collaboration
When a family is first introduced to Papillon Family Health, we collaborate to create an interdisciplinary strategy for each child. Furthermore, we emphasize communication and collaboration with each family to ensure that needs are met by the specific therapy services we offer.
This is a flexible approach and as the child progresses on their learning journey, our Care Coordinator is on hand to continually ensure the care plan is the most effective treatment. As a child develops in skill and education, their program can be adapted to fit their growing needs.
Ongoing Dialogue with Families
We are proud to consider our centre a support network for families caring for children with ASD. Our collaborative approach means that parents play an active role in the therapy process and are welcome to engage with our staff to ask questions or discuss their hopes, fears and goals.
Our services currently include:
- ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis) – A safe and effective treatment that helps children with ASD to develop the skills they need to make progress. ABA techniques can help to increase language and communication skills, improve attention and memory, encourage social skills, assist academic learning and decrease behaviours that interfere with learning.
- SLP (Speech-Language Pathology) – Children with ASD can often experience speech and language delays and difficulties. A Speech-Language Pathologist is trained to work with children refining their spoken language, improving non-verbal communication, or introducing new communication methods such as sign language, picture communication, or adaptive devices.
- Occupational Therapy – Children with ASD often have a variety of unique needs, involving limited mobility, sensory issues and behavioural challenges. An Occupational Therapist (OT) is a qualified specialist trained to assess each individual child’s development and interaction with their environment. Occupational Therapy (OT) assists with skill-building to enhance the child’s abilities and independence.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, is a developmental disorder that affects communication and behaviour. It is usually detected early in life (most commonly from the age of 2) but may not be fully diagnosed until adulthood. It occurs in all ethnic, racial and socio-economic groups.
Autism is known as a spectrum disorder because there is wide variation in the effects that people experience. No two children are the same making individualized treatment especially important. This spectrum can vary and change during different stages in life too.
How does ASD affect a child?
Children with ASD may experience the following:
- Difficulty communicating and interacting with other people
- Difficulty understanding how others think and feel
- Becoming anxious or upset in unfamiliar surroundings
- Finding bright lights or loud noises upsetting or stressful
- Repeating certain words or actions such as rocking
- Having poor eye contact and lacking facial expression
- Resisting cuddling and holding and preferring to play alone
- Developing specific routines and rituals and upset by change
- Having specific food preferences, such as refusing foods of a certain texture
ASD is often associated with additional medical conditions such as epilepsy, sleep disorders, gastrointestinal and immune dysregulation. Mental health issues such as anxiety and depression can be common too.
Our specialists assess not just the child’s needs in terms of their ASD diagnosis, but their overall physical and mental health and every other relevant aspect of their lives. This informs the individually designed therapy programs that provide the help children need to achieve success.
What is Interdisciplinary Therapy?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex set of conditions, requiring services from professionals of several different disciplines including Applied Behavioural Therapists, psychologists, physical therapists (PT), occupational therapists (OT) and speech/language pathologists (SLP).
Rather than working solely within their own practice (referred to as a single disciplinary or mono-disciplinary approach), different professionals at Papillon Family Health work together to achieve a common goal. Our model, known as Interdisciplinary Therapy, is widely regarded as the most effective type of approach in the treatment of ASD. By integrating disciplines in this way, the individual will often see greater benefits than they would with other types of team set-ups.
Family Needs Coordinator
Feeling confused or stressed? You’re not alone. Often, the families we serve require assistance navigating the support and services that are available. This is where the Care Coordinator is able to help. The first point of support for parents, the Care Coordinator is able to match specific services to meet the child’s individual needs and help put together a unique plan for each child and their family. As well as identifying any funding which is available for the child, they are also able to help parents fill in any forms that are required as well as liaise with other organizations so they feel less overwhelmed after receiving an ASD Diagnosis.