ABA therapist is here to help kids with autism
February 5, 2020
PLANTATION KEY — Applied behavior analysis is a type of therapy focused on improving social, communication and learning skills through positive reinforcement. Shine Bright Therapy uses the science-based approach to help children who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
“ABA therapists are like scientists,” said Shine Bright Therapy owner Jennifer Borr. “ABA is the science of human behavior in a specific setting. If we can observe it and we can measure responses, we have the ability to act on it. We use reinforcement to increase behavior. We change the dimension of behaviors.”
Borr, armed with a master’s degree in science and a board-certification, has been helping children with autism for 16 years as the sole proprietor of her company. She’s now extending her services at her new Indian Mound office.
“There is such a need for this service in the area,” Borr said. “I’ve heard of parents having to drive their child up to Miami a few times a week. That in itself is a full-time job and can be prohibitive. If these kids aren’t getting the therapy that they need, then where does this leave them?”
In 2018 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that approximately 1 in 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, with boys being four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls. The developmental disorder impairs the ability to communicate and interact.
Applied behavior analysis and therapies are the most commonly used behavioral interventions for autism. All ABA therapy programs are individualized and may be at times intensive, according to Borr.
“I help set goals with the whole family. We want everyone to be in a happy home, so this is a long-term and comprehensive approach. We focus on the child’s parents, the child’s school, the teachers and community so they can uphold what they’ve learned from us,” she said.
“We are helpful with kids who have tantrums or may be engaging in aggressive behaviors toward themselves or toward others. It’s likely there are communication problems and the child just isn’t able to get their needs met. If the parents don’t want to play the guessing game, that’s where we come in.”
Shine Bright Therapy also helps in non-critical situations like if parents wish their children to become more independent.
Borr has been working with a child for the past seven years and takes him out to lunch every Wednesday.
“He has to be accountable with his wallet, his money and for ordering his own meals. This is something he needs to practice so that he can be a little more independent in life,” Borr said.
Early intervention with autism affords the best opportunity to support healthy development and deliver benefits across the lifespan, according to Autism Speaks.
Shine Bright Therapy is planning to offer speech and occupational therapy in the future.
“I will eventually offer those so that we’ll have a one-stop therapies shop. For now, I’m focusing on ABA and am happy to be here and a part of the community,” Borr said.
An evaluation with the parents is the initial step in signing up a child with Shine Bright Therapy.
Shine Bright Therapy is located at 89240 Overseas Highway, Suite 5. Office hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Most insurances are accepted. For more information, follow Shine Bright Therapy on Instagram, visit shinebrighttherapy.com or call the office at 305-854-2462.