One of the Best Mental Health Facilities In Irvine, Yorba Linda CA, and Chatham, New Jersey

Despite their harsh setbacks in life, Stepping Forward Counseling Center (SFCC) loves all children. With three convenient locations, we are one of the best mental health facilities based in Irvine, Yorba Linda, California, and Chatham, New Jersey. It is our ultimate goal to better the lives of children and young adults who display mental and intellectual disabilities—Anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, ADHD, ADD, OCD, ODD, conduct disorder, etc. We offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs to guide our clients through life by teaching them important life skills. Our team of compassionate and experienced mental health specialists understands the extensive tactics needed to help change our clients’ lives in a positive manner. From school to home, SFCC strives to be involved and build close ties in every aspect of our client’s life. Our diverse assortment of programs is customized to suit each child’s needs. With SFCC, we are your child’s home away from home. For more detailed information in regards to our Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program, continue reading below. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Stepping Forward Counseling Center.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Program

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs are designed for children and adolescents exhibiting problem behaviors and skill deficits. These programs teach social, motor, and verbal behaviors through the use of behavioral observation, positive reinforcement, strategic prompting, and the use of data collection systems. Programs include Early Intervention, Social Skills Training, 1:1 discrete trial training, community outings, in-home behavior training, individual parent training, and parent workshops. Hours and times are customized depending on the needs of the individual and the individual’s family. ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective behavioral treatment for individuals with behavioral challenges from ages 18 months to 21 years.

Early Intervention

Our ABA Early Intervention day program offers 1:1 intensive behavioral services starting at 18 months of age. Children who display intellectual and developmental disabilities are assessed using the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS). The ABLLS is a commonly used skills-tracking system that facilitates the use of language and critical learner skills for children with Autism and other developmental disabilities.
Based on a child’s performance during the assessment, measurable goals and objectives are created, as well as individualized programs to promote skill acquisition and decrease problematic behaviors. Through discrete trial training, data is continuously taken to monitor progress made and to determine if changes in programming need to be adjusted. Once age-appropriate skills are acquired, children are paired with other peers in preparation for our social skills group.

Discrete Trial Teaching

Discrete-trial teaching (DTT) is an instructional approach used to teach skills in a hierarchical manner. Each trial has a definitive beginning and end, and targeted skills are based on the child’s individual needs. Skills taught include creating developmentally appropriate behaviors as well as decreasing challenging behaviors such as tantrums and noncompliance.

The use of antecedents and consequences is carefully planned and implemented, and the mastery of skills is based on a numerical criterion, such as a percentage. During DTT, skills are broken down into smaller, attainable tasks. Positive reinforcement is used systematically to encourage desired skills and behaviors, while ignoring or redirecting is used to discourage inappropriate behaviors.

Data is taken as the child’s performance is analyzed for each program implemented, and progress is closely monitored. Learned skills are practiced in progressively less structured settings and more natural situations to help generalize the skills taught.

In-Home Behavior Therapy

Home behavior therapy is an ABA program designed to maximize the potential of the individual within the home environment. Trained professionals assist the family in fostering appropriate skills in the home, such as social interactions between siblings and compliance with home-based routines. Depending on the needs of the individual, our behaviorists may also utilize more structured ABA principles, such as discrete trial training, in order to facilitate the learning of desired skills and behaviors. In-home behavior therapy is provided on an as-needed basis.

Social Skills

The Social Skills program for children and adolescents is designed to support the individual needs of our clients. Clients are placed in groups based on age and skill level and are taught age-appropriate relating, play, and conversation skills. In order to ensure that skills are acquired, maintained, and demonstrated in a variety of settings, this program makes use of highly structured ABA procedures (i.e., Discrete Trial Training, Task Analysis) as well as procedures designed to promote generalization (i.e., Natural Environment Teaching, Pivotal Response Training). Our Social Skills program also makes use of cutting-edge, research-based procedures, such as Video and Peer Modeling. With this technique, the group is shown a video of a desired social behavior. This behavior (or sequence of behaviors) is then practiced by the group, Bandura, Albert (1970), and opportunities for real-life applications are provided by the ABA professionals to ascertain mastery.

To help generalize the skills taught during our Social Skills program, our clients participate in community outings in a variety of settings. The goal of our community outings is to take the social skills taught in the structure of SFCC and have the children practice them in a natural environment, such as a park or museum.

Sibling Support Groups

Sibling Support Groups allow children an opportunity to discuss opportunities and concerns with other siblings of children with special needs, such as anxiety, depression, addictions, ADD/ADHD, ODD, Asperger’s, autism, and other emotional and mental disorders.

Within the family, except for the mother, siblings will likely spend more time with the child with special needs than any other person. Because the sibling relationship is generally the longest-lasting relationship in the family, brothers and sisters are likely to experience these concerns for a long period of time.

Sibling Support Groups can minimize a sibling’s concerns and maximize their opportunities by providing them with age-appropriate information about their brother’s or sister’s disability. This may also encourage interaction with other siblings of children with special needs. Sibling Support Groups are completed in a safe, fun, and relaxed environment.

Stepping Forward Counseling Center’s Sibling Support Groups’ Goals Include

  • Providing an opportunity to meet others with special needs siblings
  • Discussing common joys and concerns
  • Learning how others handle situations
  • Learning more about the implications of their sibling’s special needs
A yellow apple sitting on top of a table.