Communication & Life Skills

2 boys playing All of our individualized, child-centered programs place an emphasis on everyday, adaptive life-skills and always include functional language called “Verbal Behavior” skills.  Verbal behavior is the foundation for language skills and individuals learn to use words, pictures, and/or sign language to request items and communicate ideas.  It is imperative that these children learn how to use language functionally to get their needs met in socially appropriate ways.  To this end, they must be able to expressively and receptively demonstrate their understanding of everyday objects, learn how to greet others, engage and maintain conversations of mutual interest, and learn how to read social cues.  Children who are considered non-verbal are taught to communicate their needs through picture systems, sign language or electronic augmentative devices.  Augmentative devices are used when they are provided by the families or school.  The method utilized greatly depends on what system they may have already been introduced to and what system the team believes will yield the best results. Our moto is “use any free or extra time to teach communication.” The more opportunities for practice, the faster the individual will use the behavior to request in place of the maladaptive behavior.

All activities introduced by NHABA’s clinical supervisor and therapists are important life skills and do not just occur at a table or desk.  However, it is best for individual to learn new skills in a quiet, structured environment.  We strive to generalize all skills across therapist(s), family members and novel people.   Everything the therapists are instructed to do with the child have a purpose whether the therapist andcommunication play child are playing with toys on the floor, walking or playing in the back yard, going to stores, restaurants, movies, or participating in recreational activities.  All these activities are socially appropriate and will be supported by data.  We will engage only in activities that are measurable.