Autism is one of the most devastating disorders of early childhood, typically causing life long impairment in every aspect of a young person's development. Over 40 years of research has resulted in a treatment that radically changes that outcome for the better. These applied behavioral analytic techniques are not yet available to most children with autism. The KcATC promotes these state-of-the-art services and provides them to Kansas City area children and their families.
KcATC provides treatment to children between two and a half and twelve years of age (age of twelve years on or before the first day of September of any school year) with a minimum of 20 hours per week or a maximum of 35 hours per week of one-to-one instruction for 49 weeks per year. Initially, treatment consists of discrete trial sessions separated by short play breaks. During work sessions, the providers follow highly detailed procedures and record the child’s responses on each presented trial. During play breaks the children are taught play skills and encouraged to interact with their peers and staff members.
Depending on the child and the family lifestyle, treatment hours may be divided between the child’s home and the Kansas City Autism Training Center. Children may be treated in their own homes at least part time in order to promote generalization of their skills to the home environment and to facilitate involvement of the family in treatment.
Parents are involved in direct treatment to the extent that their own schedules and family life allow. They are taught the discrete trial procedures by staff and follow the same written programs. Typically, family members are responsible for no more than three or four of the full forty hours of treatment each week. More commonly, parents extend and complement the formal work sessions by requiring their child to use the new skills in more natural situations (e.g., during dinner, play).