Program Spotlight: Neurodevelopmental Services (NDS)
The Neurodevelopmental Services program (NDS), previously known as Specialty Applied Behavior Analysis (sABA) program, supports neurodiverse individuals diagnosed with autism, ADHD, OCD, sensory processing and behavior difficulties, language and social communication challenges, learning disabilities, trauma, and other cognitive, motor and developmental impairments.
Nine years ago, the sABA program was developed to provide intensive behavior management services for children diagnosed on the autism spectrum. From 5 children served to now more than 200 clients of all ages statewide, the program has evolved to provide more than just ABA therapy and serve a larger population.
Autism is only one of several neurodevelopmental differences that require specialized treatment. The NDS program is committed to expanding services to include all neurodiverse individuals and be active contributors in the field to improve and enhance public knowledge about neurodiversity. The new program name better reflects the services offered and the individuals served.
Neurodiversity is NOT a Disability
Neurodiversity represents the diversity of human minds, understanding that every person has a unique brain with different skills and abilities. Brain differences are normal, not deficits and have unique and valuable contributions to society.
Neurodivergent individuals experience, interact with and interpret the world in unique ways, and their distinctive qualities can help shape their identity and how others perceive them. While this can sometimes create challenges, it can also lead to creative problem-solving and the formation of new or innovative ideas.
Acceptance, Understanding and Compassionate Care
Neurodiverse individuals may experience significant distress in social settings and overstimulating environments. Therapies, school environments and even employers struggle to understand the needs of this population and demand that neurodiverse individuals “deal with” the environment as it is today. They are expected to adapt without accommodations provided for them. A large part of supporting neurodivergent individuals include recognizing their exceptional strengths, understanding challenges faced, and providing environmental adaptations to make navigating their lives easier. Additionally, increasing community awareness can better shape the community’s social behavior expectations and create a sense of belonging for everyone.
The NDS team has significantly impacted many clients’ lives by welcoming them into a safe space to be themselves in an environment that supports their development and skills rather than trying to “fix” their deficits. There is a difference.
For more information, you may call (800) 906-0862.