We are an early intervention program for children with autism. To qualify for the Meredith Autism Program, your child must start our program by 4 years of age (unless it is a time when exceptions are being made) AND you must live 25 miles or less from the Meredith College campus.
MAP provides an average of 35 hours of one-on-one intensive behavior modification training sessions and 2:1 small group generalization sessions per week for each child, conducted by undergraduate students. The majority of these teaching sessions is one-on-one discrete trial teaching. The teaching sessions are conducted in the MAP lab. The full-time consultant assigned to each case provides all training and quality control of students. MAP staff are responsible for all administrative duties of the intervention, including scheduling, cancellations, training and conducting meetings.
All children must enter the program with an independent diagnosis of autism or pervasive developmental disorder (PDD). Children must begin the intervention no later than four years of age. Families must live within a 25 mile radius of Meredith College. Occasionally, prior to acceptance, children are given a battery of tests to determine if the child meets the minimum developmental age requirements for research. All children who begin the intervention at 42 months of age or less will be regularly given standardized assessments. Children with a developmental age below the given requirements also typically have a diagnosis of mental retardation in the profound range and will most likely make minimal gains with this intervention. Children are typically involved in the intervention for two to four years. All children receive standardized assessments before intervention begins and every succeeding year until the age of seven.
The goal of the program is to individualize principles of applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and discrete trial teaching to allow any child served to reach his/her maximum potential in all areas of deficit. The initial goal for every child is to fully mainstream into regular education. However, at least half of all children completing the intervention will not independently mainstream. The goals for these children are significant skill gains, an improved classroom placement, and the child’s ability to function independently. Skill gains are measured though annual standardized assessments, developmental checklists, annual goals, and overall quality of life.
Once a child has learned basic skills necessary for classroom participation and has demonstrated the ability to learn from a group environment and socialize with peers, their consultant will help the family find a small group setting such as a private preschool for the child to attend a specified amount of time each week. These costs are additional to the family though MAP staff assists in finding scholarships. The child will begin attending this setting with a shadow from the program who will assist them in their ability to learn from this environment. The eventual goal is for the shadow to fade out of the setting and the child to participate independently.
The MAP intervention includes assistance in transition to a typical classroom or special education classroom placement.
Previous research (Lovaas, 1987) has shown that children whose families receive training and who participate in the intervention make maximum skill gains and maintain those gains. Therefore, parents participating in the program are required to attend bi-weekly team meetings and parent training sessions conducted with the program director as needed. Parents are required to maintain consistency in behavior protocol by following protocol implemented at the MAP.
All skills taught must be generalized in order to become functional. This means that the child must be able to demonstrate the mastered skill across different people, in a variety of places, given a variety of instructions, using a variety of materials (if applicable) and with increased levels of distractibility. Parents are also responsible for helping the child generalize skills across these areas. Skills are not considered mastered until the child demonstrates complete and consistent generalization.
MAP is in-network with the following insurance providers: Aetna, BlueCross BlueShield, Cigna, and United Behavioral Health. Being in-network with these insurance providers does not guarantee that they will cover ABA/Autism services; each carrier and employer is different. With your approval, our administrative staff will verify your benefits before you complete the intake process and provide information on your plan’s coverage. All families are required to maintain a 35 hour per week program and if their insurance company authorizes less than 35 hours a week, those families will private pay for the remaining hours.
For those families who have no insurance coverage and are privately paying, The Meredith Autism Program (MAP) will bill them at a monthly private pay rate. Please contact us for our current private pay rate. Monthly rates are subject to change with 60 days written notice. Fees may increase 2-5% annually. MAP only offers full-time services at 35 hours per week; part-time services are not offered. MAP does not provide staff for families that are conducting their own home-based programs.
Scholarship applications are available annually at the beginning of the summer for any family who wants to apply. Those families who have the most need will receive the greatest scholarship awards from the independent scholarship committee. Applications will be reviewed by deadline provided with application and families will be notified of scholarships that will begin in August and run for 12 calendar months.
The Meredith Autism Program is an early intervention program serving children who are diagnosed on the autism spectrum.