Any Baby Can’s Autism Services Program is designed specifically for families who have a child diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, to provide parent education and support through a variety of services such as parent training, counseling and education groups.
The director of the program taught in the classroom for many years and is a Speech and Language Pathologist. She is also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and an Advanced TEACCH Consultant.
Select services are offered in Bexar, Comal and Kendall County locations. Please search these pages for more information on programs offered at no cost to you. Please click here to get started now.
Meet the Director
Tisha Gonzalez holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders and a Master of Arts in Special Education. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, licensed speech pathologist, holds an Advanced TEACCH Certification, Early Childhood Teacher Certification and a Special Education Teacher Certification.
Tisha has 35 years of experience in the autism field and was a special education teacher and autism specialist for SAISD for 20 years, where she received the Texas Education Agency reommendation for Model Autism Program.
She has presented at Texas and various other state conferences on autism support, teaching academics to students with autism, behavior support and communication training. Tisha is also no stranger to international presentations for she has presented at conferences in Europe, Ireland and South Africa.
As the author of “Task Bonanza – Teaching Tasks for Students with ASD”, “Print It Teach It Academic and Behavior CDs” and “Task Tracker – Student Data Tool”, calling Tisha an expert is an understatement. She has done amazing things for autism communities all over the world, not to mention, she authored parent education at Any Baby Can and developed our Blue Cat PIES educational product line.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a range of complex neurodevelopmental disorders, characterized by social impairments, communication difficulties and restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior that typically appear during the first three years of life. Autism Spectrum Disorder is considered to be a “spectrum disorder” because it can significantly vary with each individual in character and severity. We know that ASD occurs in all ethnic and socioeconomic groups in the United States and around the world. The CDC estimates that 1 in 68 children, 8 years of age, in the U.S. currently carry the diagnosis. Approximately 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls are affected.
Common Signs of Autism
The most obvious signs of autism include impaired social interaction and communication delay. Many parents of identified children with ASD report that they noticed their differences in the child during infancy. Many parents stated the child displayed the following behaviors:
– Unresponsive to people
– Focused on a particular item with a high level of intensity
– Withdrew from interaction and become indifferent to social engagement
– Failed to respond to their name, avoided contact and lacked empathy
– Engaged in repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling
– Obvious language and communication delay
The cause of autism is still unknown, but scientists agree that genetics and environment may be factors contributing to the onset of ASD.
Early signs which require evaluation by an expert include:
– No babbling by age 1
– No single words by 16 months
– No two-word phrases by age 2
– Poor eye contact
– No response to name
– Limited or loss of language
– Limited or loss of social skills
– No smiling or social responsiveness
Signs seen at a later age include:
– Stereotyped, repetitive or unusual use of language
– Preoccupation with certain objects or subject matter
– Inability to make friends with peers
– Impaired ability to initiate or sustain conversation with others
– Inflexible adherence to specific routines or rituals
How can I help my child with autism?
Currently there is no cure for autism spectrum disorder; however children with the diagnosis can make tremendous gains in the areas of communication and social development. Most professionals agree that early intervention is very important to help your child acquire language and communication skills along with the ability to interact positively with others.
Educational and behavioral interventions:
One of the most effective interventions is the use of procedures and strategies as defined in applied behavioral analysis (ABA). This intervention assists in maximizing the child’s learning and development through systematic treatments used to enhance skill development and language.
Parents play a key role in their child’s skill development and progress. Learning how to support their child’s communication and behavioral needs is important for everyone involved with the child. Parents and family members should access parent training and support groups offered in the community. (See parent training services offered through Any Baby Can.)