What should I do if I think my child has autism?
If you think your child has autism, we recommend that you view our resource center where you can find symptoms and relevant statistics regarding autism. You will also find local and national resources that may be able to provide you with more answers. There is also a list of recommended professionals that can provide you with testing and diagnoses.
What are the symptoms of autism?
Click here to view our Resource Center where you will find a list of common symptoms.
Where can I go to get my child diagnosed?
A diagnosis for autism should be completed by a licensed neurologist or psychologist. At times, pediatricians and child psychiatrists can also perform diagnoses. A list of recommended professionals is available in our resource center; you can also speak with your child’s pediatrician for more information.
What area does Fresh Start provide therapy?
We are currently accepting clients from as far South as Marathon Key up to Boca Raton.
What age group do you provide therapy for?
Our programs are created based on the client's individual characteristics and behaviors. Therefore, we treat a wide range of ages- anywhere from first diagnosis (a little over a year old) to adolescence.
Can you cure my child?
There is currently no cure for autism. Research has concluded, however, that intensive ABA therapy programs (like ours!) can greatly reduce the maladaptive behaviors associated with autism and increase the individual’s quality of life significantly. Every child is different, and we are committed to taking each child to their highest potential.
What type of qualifications do your therapists have?
No matter the level of certification, every Breakthrough Team member has graduated or is currently enrolled in a university and completes our intensive (FS) Training Program
Do you only provide services in my home?
We provide in-home therapy. It can be your home or the home of another caretaker, but it must be consistent for the child and the therapist- the home environment and early intervention go hand-in-hand with success rates.
What forms of payment do yo offer?
We accept cash, personal checks, credit cards, group insurance and private insurance.
What if my insurance changes? Will that affect my therapy?
If your insurance changes, you just need to let us know as soon as possible so we can receive a new authorization from your new insurance company. If, for any reason, the authorization is pending, we will continue therapy with your consent until we receive the new approval.
Do I have to present for therapy?
You don’t necessarily have to be present, but an approved adult caretaker must be in the house during therapy. They don’t have to be in the same room as the therapy- in fact, they don’t need to be involved in any way, but they must be there.
How many hours a week?
Typical early intervention programs require anywhere from twenty to forty hours of therapy a week. This is determined by one of our Breakthrough Leaders on a case-by-case basis, but expect a number in that range.
Why so many hours?
Research shows that intensive programs with more hours show better, faster results. Since our goal is to increase the quality of life for your child and reduce the amount of care in their future, we follow these guidelines. Visit our resource centerto see published research regarding the recommended amount of hours.
Will I have one therapist for my child?
Your child will have one Breakthrough Team member assigned to them and one Breakthrough Leader. The team member will conduct your on-going therapy, and your Breakthrough Leader will update the behavior plan, perform assessments, and be available for you whenever you feel it is necessary. In case of sickness or an emergency, an on-call Breakthrough Team member will fill in for your regular one, with your approval.
How easy will it be to start a program?
Starting an intensive, in-home ABA program is a huge change to your child’s life, your life and your family’s routine. Just like any other large change, it will take time to get accustomed to the program, but after a few months, you will be inviting us to stay for dinner! These programs will slowly become part of your daily routine, and eventually, the only change you will have to deal with is saying goodbye to your Breakthrough Team when the therapy is no longer necessary (don’t worry, we’ll still be around).
Will my child need to keep getting therapy forever?
Depending on the case, your child will most likely need some sort of maintenance to their program to keep them on track as they grow. This may include shadowing in school classrooms, weekly therapy sessions, or other, different types of therapy.
My family and I speak Spanish at home, can the therapy be in Spanish?
Although your Breakthrough Leader may communicate with you in Spanish, this is solely for your comfort. Therapy sessions will be performed in English because this is the primary language spoken in schools.
Can I have the therapy at nights or on the weekend?
Yes- when scheduling therapies, we will attempt to match your desired times for therapies with the availability of our Breakthrough Team members. This includes scheduling sessions at night and on weekends. Flexibility will be required on both sides.
Can you take my child to the park or the mall?
Unfortunately, our Breakthrough Team members are not authorized to take your child anywhere in their cars. They can, however, meet you at a location close to your home in their own car. They can also go for walks or to nearby parks, with your consent, to work on specific skillsets.
Do you provide materials for the therapy sessions or will I have to buy them?
We will provide most of the materials for therapy, but we may have some suggestions for great birthday presents! If your specific case requires some sort of material that is unique, we may ask you to purchase it. We do request, however, that materials used during therapy remain in a specified container and are used only during therapy. We may also occasionally use household items from around your home.
If there is an emergency, do you have an emergency plan?
Yes- all of our Breakthrough Team members are well-versed in our emergency plans.
Will you go around my entire home for therapy?
We will determine areas that will be beneficial for conducting therapy at the initial consultation. We will ask you where you do not want us to go, and we will remain out of those areas of your home. If, for any reason, a Breakthrough Team member feels the need to enter an area you have instructed them to remain out of, they will only do so with your consent.
How can I help my child when the therapist is not here?
Following each session, your Breakthrough Team member will discuss ways to incorporate lessons being taught in therapy into your everyday life. This is part of our commitment to parent training, and will increase the effectiveness and speed of the program. These generalization tips will also be available online through your Breakthrough Journal.