Facts about the Helping Hands Centre

 The Helping Hands Centre specialises in the scientifically validated methods of Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) to attain lasting improvements in a child’s behaviour, communication, cognition, motor skills, independent living skills, play and social interaction. We use ABA principles of positive reinforcement, shaping, prompting, chaining, extinction and discrimination. Our centre follows a structured program designed and collaborated by and with case managers, leading psychologists (from ASOPS) and speech pathologists.

Helping Hands offers parents one on one centre based and in-home therapy. Centre based therapy provides parents respite while their child has ABA sessions. We also encourage parents to have at least one in home ABA session to help with generalising concepts and planning for their individual goals.

The Helping Hands Case Managers provide practical strategies and training for parents to manage problem behaviours, such as sleeping, tantrums, eating difficulties and toilet training issues. For this reason, we work very closely with the needs of the family and target their concerns. We encourage parents to be partners in the ABA process and to take an active part in the child’s therapy.

Each ABA program at Helping Hands ASD Intervention is tailored and highly individualised, covering all areas of the child’s development. We aim to create a program explicit to the child’s unique configuration of strengths and weakness and allowing the child to make the best possible progress. Each individualised ABA program is overseen by a qualified and experienced Case Manager. It is a prerequisite of Helping Hands to have at least one session per fortnight with a Case Manager to ensure the program is kept up to date, running effectively and goals are being attained. Additional hours of therapy are covered by junior therapists, who are supervised by their Case Managers. Weekly meetings are held with the therapists in relation to each client to determine progress.

During ABA sessions, data is recorded by all therapists to make the reviewing process accurate. Case Managers provide mastery lists (targets and goals achieved by a child) and generalisation lists (targets and objectives for parents to work on within the family home) to parents. Regular meetings to review ABA programs are held with family members, Case Managers and psychologists.

The Helping Hands Centre runs a social skill group where children are matched through age and ability. Curriculum is created to address individual needs. The social skills program can include making and maintaining friendships, various types of play, following directions, responding and interacting appropriately with peers and conversational skills. We also offer play dates within our one on one ABA sessions at home to teach socialisation and reciprocal forms of play with siblings and specific friends from kindergartens and schools.

Generalisation is often difficult for children with an ASD. For this reason, we provide one on one excursions to various shops, such as butchers, libraries, bookshops and the bakery to promote environmental maths, appropriate behaviour and strategies coping with a variety of situations and scenarios.

The Helping Hands Centre provides experienced therapists to attend kindergartens and schools, supporting, guiding and teaching vital social and academic skills to their client. Case Managers are on hand to speak to relevant school staff and provide strategies for the child’s on going needs. The staff at Helping Hands places a high emphasis on life skills. Through ABA techniques we teach children with developmental delays and ASD, a range of these skills from dressing, cooking and independent living.

Our Case Managers travel to rural areas to provide ABA training and consultations to remote areas that may not have access to services. Helping Hands works closely with Pam Langford from ASOPS. The majority of our clients have a psychologist from ASOPS as their program psychologist. The directors have worked with Pam for many years and her experience and that of her follow colleagues from ASOPS is invaluable.

We run a ‘Dance for Fun’ class for those interested in extending their child’s interest and enjoyment in this area. The class is run by a qualified dance teacher who is also an experienced ABA therapist. Each class runs for one hour and is supported by other ABA Therapists.

The Helping Hands Centre offers a school holiday program to help parents who work full time and feel a mainstream school holiday program may not meet the needs of our clients. We have conducted excursions to movies, the beach and ten pin bowling. The children have enjoyed being in social surroundings and are encouraged to interact with each other as the opportunity arises. At Helping Hands we aim to provide a range of services to help families cope with day to day situations.

We conduct information nights, addressing concerns and providing meaningful strategies for communication, behaviour and life skills. Helping Hands has created a mother’s support group and our mum’s meet regularly, chat, and debrief with each other over dinner and drinks.

Helping Hands ASD Intervention has a centre that consists of fourteen rooms dedicated to Applied Behavioural Analysis. Additionally there is a large recreation area for the children to play and relax. The area is filled with educational and imaginative play toys. We provide all centre based therapy materials, minimising the out of pockets expenses for parents.