Day Care Centers for Children with Autism
Research shows that early and intensive intervention is immensely effective in advancing the functioning of children on the autism spectrum. Autism can be diagnosed today as early as 12-18 months old. It is, therefore, important to create rehabilitation day care centers for infants, where they can be enrolled immediately after diagnosis.
ALUT establishes rehabilitation day care centers (“Alutafs”) for toddlers at the ages of 18 months to 3 years old, in order to fulfill two basic needs: The need for early intervention; and the need for consolidation of resources, both as to knowledge and a multidisciplinary staff. The main goals of the Alutafs are to advance each child up to his/her potential functioning level, to facilitate inclusion of our children in the general educational system and to provide the necessary special education schools for those children that may not be able to assimilate in the general educational system.
The average Alutaf class holds 8-12 children. Each one of them follows an individual program, as well as group activities. The ratio of professional staff to children is 1 to 1. Each Alutaf follows one of two approaches: Behaviorist (ABA) or Developmental.
The developmental approach focuses not only on the developing child and his/her evolving needs, but also to the family members and their needs at each stage of the child’s development. Staff members include clinical, developmental and educational psychologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, art and music therapists, animal therapists and educators specializing in developing behavior therapy programs.
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Method:
This program is implemented by giving young children with autism at least 40 hours per week of behavioral therapy for at least two years, teaching the children social, language, cognitive, and self-care skills. This is individualized treatment based upon a child’s particular strengths and needs and breaking skills down into smaller components typically using tangible rewards. Applied Behavioral Analysis at this age is nearly always implemented 1 to 1.
ALUT operates 14 ALUTAFS throughout Israel.