Greenville, SC (PRWEB) April 09, 2014
Project HOPE Foundation’s Hope Reach program provides intensive Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy to over 100 children with autism. The progression of this “best practices” therapy, which is extremely effective, relies extensively on data taken during each therapy session. The Breakthrough Grant from United Way of Greenville County will help equip therapists with iPad mini's and software to track critical data, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of this therapy. According to Mark Knight, Clinical Director of Hope Reach, "This investment will transform our archaic data-taking system, making a direct impact on the children we serve." Currently, therapists track data using pencil and paper, compiling data sheets in 3-ring binders. Funds from this grant will help equip therapists with iPad mini’s and a therapy-specific software that will exponentially increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the therapy. Over time, this project will increase the percentage of children who are able to succeed in mainstream classes and decrease the time that it takes for them to get there.
The effectiveness of ABA therapy depends upon accurately taking, compiling, and sharing data among the ABA therapy team. Each child has a therapy team, consisting of several “line therapists” who work different shifts with the child, a “lead therapist” who oversees the session on a weekly basis, and a “supervisor” who is Board Certified to develop the programming used with the individual child. The therapy is typically done in our clients’ homes. Each line therapist works one-on-one with the child in sessions that last 2-3 hours, following a plan based on the data of the child’s responses. During the therapy session, the line therapist tracks data (for example, the child’s responses, the level of prompting necessary, the level of reinforcement necessary, the problem behaviors exhibited) by writing notes on data sheets that are kept in a huge 3-ring binder that remains in the child’s home. On a weekly basis, the lead therapist travels to the child’s home to compile the data. The child’s supervisor reviews this data with the entire therapy team and child’s family in our monthly “team meetings.”
With this new system, therapists will be able to take data with a touch of a finger. Not only will data-taking be simplified, but this system will also allow the therapist to videotape during the session. This system can immediately share data and videotape to a HIPPA-compliant storage cloud. The child’s therapy program can be regularly updated within 24-48 hours rather than waiting for the monthly team meeting. "Our children with autism have no time to waste," says Mark Knight. "Using the best technology to track and analyze data truly is a breakthrough for our kids."
About Project HOPE Foundation
The Project HOPE Foundation is a non-profit organization that helps those suffering from autism spectrum disorders. The Project HOPE Foundation provides a lifespan of services for the autism community. Primary programs include: Hope Link, an information and training resource; Hope Reach, which provides therapy focusing on language, behavioral, social, and cognitive skills to over 100 children with autism; Hope Academy, an inclusion-based school that has served more than 1,000 children; Hope Alive, providing services to young adults who need ongoing support in academics, life skills, and vocational opportunities; Hope Unleashed, a collaborative program with Vested Partners, teaching youth with autism to train dogs; Virtual Hope, classroom support for diploma-bound teenagers with autism; and Bridging the Gap, transitional classrooms for preschool and elementary students with autism. For more information, visit http://www.projecthopesc.org.