The Star Academy focuses on Applied Behavioral Analysis as an intervention to treat Autism Spectrum Disorder in children and adolescents. Developed by Ivar Lovaas, Applied Behavioral Analysis, more commonly known as ABA therapy, focuses on decreasing negative social behaviors and increasing, or building on, a child’s social and adaptive skills in order to achieve positive social interaction and community integration. ABA is taught through what Lovaas termed discrete trail training, meaning the environment and interactions of the child are controlled by the therapist in order to achieve interactive learning and to facilitate appropriate social interaction. This is done by placing a variety of instructions and then highly reinforcing all appropriate and correct responses. The Star Academy focuses on 8 domains which include, Social, Language, Adaptive, Academic, Motor, Play, Cognition and Executive Function curriculums. In addition to this, Facilitated Communication and Alternative and Augmentative Communication is a strong component of treatment at Star, specifically for children and adolescents who have vocal limitations.
The Star Academy also advocates a collaborative approach concerning autism treatments, as research has shown that the severity of the symptomology of this disorder resides in one’s gut. Various Biomedical Interventions as treatments for Autism form part of a tailor-made therapy plan for each child. Anti- fungal and Anti- yeast treatments involve mediations that rid the body of yeast infections and as well as processed sugars. There are various diets that serve to ‘clean’ the gut, such as the use of vitamin and supplement therapy have also shown promising results as treatments for Autism. Chelation therapy as a treatment for Autism is one of the more rigorous forms of treatment, by using chelating agents to remove heavy metals from the body such as mercury, arsenic and lead. The importance of collaborating with a certified biomedical practitioner cannot be overemphasised. These treatments are not to be embarked on without the close supervision of a certified medical practitioner.
In its collaborative approach Applied Behavioural Analysis is fully supported by research, it finds strength as the most empirically supported of all autism treatment, as it uses data to support its effectiveness, concerning both behavioural interventions and planned learning. As described above there are various interventions and autism treatments, ABA therapy has been designed for long term treatment, preferably starting between the ages of 2-4 years and with a minimum of 40 hours for at least 2 years. Research has proved that 88% of children who have been a placed in ABA therapy have retained skills learnt as much as 8 years later, marking its effectives as superior in comparison to others.