Family-Centered Autism Program
Touchstone Health Services Family-Centered Autism Program (FCAP) provides integrated and comprehensive treatment services, in the natural environment, to children, and their families, affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and other developmental disabilities.
The goal is improving the lives of both children with autism and their family members. This goal is achieved by focusing on functional skills with the use of evidence-based behavior analytic procedures, such as positive reinforcement to increase or decrease significant behaviors. The program emphasis is a family-based intervention protocol (Family Therapy) that centers on building family communication and developing relationships. We recognize the key role that parents/guardians play in a child’s development and encourage family involvement throughout treatment. When appropriate we take into consideration the Trans-generational trauma cycles and sensory sensitivity commonly observed among youths diagnosed with ASD. FCAP treatment services can involve a trauma-centered approach to helping youths build resiliency as they develop emotional self-regulation skills. Higher functioning youths and young adults on the spectrum will also learn how to take control of their behavioral and physical health through integrative behavioral health care.
Our team is comprised of Therapist’s, Social Skills Specialists and Behavior Technicians to provide a well-rounded approach when caring for our program members and their families.
Our therapists have various backgrounds, including trauma and sand tray therapy. We provide therapy services in the home, office, or community setting. Our Therapist’s work with children and family on various things such as self-esteem, healthy relationships, communication skills, expressing emotions appropriately, social skills, and much more. Our therapy program includes a Social Skills Specialist, in which clients can transition to after therapy completion. While working with a Social Skills Specialist, children work in small groups to generalize skills built in therapy, while in a natural setting.
Group Therapy takes place once a week for 12 weeks total. Currently, we have three different curriculums to best meet the client’s needs, which are offered at all 4 of Touchstone Health Services locations.
Pre Social Skills group works with clients ages 4-6 years old. Group facilitators work with clients on adapting and learning social environments, as well as learning expected behavior in group settings.
Social Skills group focuses on clients learning expressive and receptive communication, as well as identifying and expressing emotions appropriately. Groups are established per age groups, ranging from age 7 to 17.
Teen Social Skills group works with youth to identify and respond appropriately to complex conversations. Youth also learn to develop positive and healthy relationships.
Our Behavior Technician’s offer direct intervention services in the most appropriate setting. Behavior Technicians work with the child and family one on one. The Behavior Technicians teach and implement skills to increase positive behavior in brief interventions with the family. During this time, Behavior Technicians provide psycho-education and help instill strategies for behavioral change in the family’s natural setting.
Once a month, FCAP offers a workshop for siblings of children with special needs, with a focus on Autism. This offers opportunities for siblings to obtain peer support and education within a recreational context.
Some of the objectives for our AuSome Siblings Workshop include:
Enabling siblings to engage in fun activities while connecting with others who share similar life experiences.
Improvement of the sibling relationship
Increased understanding about sibling’s developmental needs
Our Family-Centered Autism Program currently partners with six schools throughout the valley to work with youth on social skills in their natural setting. The child must be enrolled in any of the six schools in order to participate in this service. FCAP currently offers Playground Partners at the following schools:
Kachina Elementary School
Granada East School
Marshall Ranch Elementary School
Paseo Verde Elementary School
Catalina Ventura School
Desert Springs Preparatory Elementary School