Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of children attend the Southcoast Autism Center?

Our daytime programs serve children 18 months to 6 years old with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. We also serve youths 6 to 18 years old in our social skills groups.

What are the programs hours at the Center?

  1. The FOUNDATIONS Program: Monday to Friday (8:30am-3:30pm)  
  2. The CONNECTIONS Program: Monday to Friday (9:00am-3:00pm)  
  3. School Aged Social Skills Group (Tuesday, Thursday 4:00-5:30 and Saturday 9:30-12:00)

The last Wednesday of every month, the Center closes at 3:00 pm in order for our therapists and staff to attend a two-hour Professional Development Seminar.

Do you provide transportation?

No. Our families come from all over the Southcoast region and the surrounding area. A carpool list may be provided upon request.

How do families communicate with the center?

Parents are invited to meet on a weekly basis with the Director of Clinical Services. Team meetings may also be arranged on a monthly basis. In the parent handbook there is also a list of email address for each team member, feel free to email any questions/concerns. We are also happy to receive handwritten notes through your child’s communication folder.

How long do children usually stay at the Southcoast Autism Center?

Children enrolled in the daytime center based program may stay with us until the age of 6. At that time, we help the child and family transition into the public/private school setting. Youths enrolled in our social skills group may participate until they are 18 years old.

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is defined as the process of systematically applying interventions based upon the principles of learning theory to improve socially significant behaviors.

How does an Applied Verbal Behavior model differ from a Lovaas or discrete trial model?

A traditional ABA model such as the one pioneered by Dr. Ivaar Lovaas stresses compliance training, imitation skills and building receptive language for young, non-vocal early learners. The AVB model, looks first at what the child wants and then teaches the child how to request. Initiations are the primary focus for early learners. The AVB model is much more child-led. Foundational skills are often taught away from a table and in the natural environment.

What are benefits of a center based ABA program?

Providing ABA services in a center allows the providers to control everyday distractions (I.e toys, pets) that may interfere with each child's learning. The removal of these items allows clinicians to have more control over a child’s attention and motivation. That can equate to more learning opportunities and better outcomes. A center based model allows each child to generalize skills to other people and other settings.

What is the ARICA?

The new autism legislation in Massachusetts is called ARICA – An Act Relative to Insurance Coverage for Autism. It went into effect in Massachusetts on January 1, 2011.This new law requires that insured health plans cover “medically necessary” services for the diagnosis and treatment of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR). ARICA has given many families the opportunity to access intensive ABA services for their child.

How can I get started?

Call our intake coordinator@ 1.508.997.1311 .You may also fill out the online intake form and our intake department will contact you within 24 hours.

How long does it take for the insurance company to authorize ABA services?

The requirement for insurance companies to cover ABA services often varies between carries, so it is difficult to give an accurate timeline. Some insurance companies have provided authorizations for an assessment within a week of inquiry, while others take longer. Our intake department will keep you informed during every step making the process as efficient as possible.