Fairport Day Services offers a wide variety of services and supports for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We have a multidisciplinary team of clinicians available on-site. There is a full-time Speech-Language Pathologist and Occupational Therapist, as well as a Behavior Intervention Specialist and Behavior Technician. We work together, along with the rest of a person’s team, to address social/communication deficits, sensory needs, and behavioral excesses and deficits.
Structure of support
The downstairs portion of the building is our “Specialized Autism Program.” It consists of two rooms that were designed specifically to support the needs of those on the spectrum. There are covers over the fluorescent lights, less people per room, a designated sensory area, and a higher staffing ratio. These rooms are highly structured. Many people have individualized schedules that have been tailored to meet their specific needs. For example, we have one person who uses a picture schedule that shows only two activities at a time. Another person has just a template of a schedule; they physically write in the day’s activities. We also utilize Social Stories, augmentative communication devices, picture symbols, and a variety of visual supports.
Focus on independence
Our main focus is on teaching skills to help the people we support become more independent. For the people we support with ASD, we work on increasing flexibility and tolerating change. This might involve slowly changing a person’s schedule to become less specific, or moving from an individualized schedule to following the room schedule, which is less predictable.
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Casey Mazzola is the Behavior Intervention Specialist at the Arc of Monroe’s Fairport Day Services. She has a Master of Science in Experimental Psychology from RIT and is currently working on an advanced certificate in applied behavior analysis at the University of Rochester.