AHWI - American Health & Wellness Institute


Therapy & Treatment

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

In keeping with best practices, American Health & Wellness Institute (AHWI) is a proponent of multidisciplinary treatment as the most effective approach to treatment for children, adolescents and adults with ADHD.  Our treatment approach includes multiple disciplines, working together and supporting each other to provide the best possible treatment and outcomes.  Each of the professionals on your Team brings with them specific knowledge and expertise or "modes" of treatment, and, when combined with other professionals’ data, the result is a treatment plan that is holistic, multi-modal, and outcome based.  Your Team will work with you to develop your treatment plan, regularly review your progress with you, make changes to your plan if, or when, necessary, and provide follow-up consultation.

The elements of our multimodal integrated treatment approach may include:

  • Parent and child education about diagnosis and treatment
  • Consultation regarding medication and medication management
  • Specific behavior management techniques including:
    • Direct Contingency Management
    • Clinical Behavior Therapy
    • Social Skills Training
  • Use of Mindfulness-based strategies
  • Educational programs and supports

Working closely with health care providers and school personnel, AHWI’s treatments are tailored to the unique needs of each individual and their needs.


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

AHWI provides state-of-the-art interdisciplinary evaluation and treatment for families and children with autism. Our Team of experts includes specialists in psychology, medicine, speech-language pathology, nutrition, education, physical therapy, and occupational therapy.


Autism Evaluation

AHWI utilizes a specialized, high-level expertise approach for the evaluation of this complex neurodevelopmental disorder. We provide evaluation services to individuals of all ages - toddlers, preschoolers, elementary, middle and high school students as well as young adults. Our assessment protocol routinely includes comprehensive diagnostic and cognitive testing by psychologists, physicians and other experts who specialize in Autism Spectrum Disorders and in the development of individualized treatment plans for each child and family.


Autism Treatment and Therapy Services

AHWI also offers a variety of services for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and their families. Our services include many evidence-based treatments that are personalized to the needs of the individual. Our treatments include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and behavioral interventions that incorporate the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), in addition to others that emphasize naturalistic behavioral intervention approaches. Treatment and therapy services include:

  • Individual therapy
  • Family-based treatment
  • Parent training
  • Behavior programming designed to address each person’s specific needs
  • Academic instruction
  • Occupational and recreational therapy groups
  • Therapeutic groups, including Cognitive Behavioral, Social Skills, and Mindfulness
  • Medication evaluation and intervention

Our treatments are designed to:

  • Minimize co-occurring social, emotional and behavioral concerns (Anxiety, depression)
  • Increase behavioral flexibility (routines, rituals and transition difficulties)
  • Increase non-repetitive behaviors (decrease hand flapping, skin-picking)
  • Increase verbal communication to indicate needs
  • Improve social communication skills (question-asking, conversation skills)
  • Increase play behaviors (asking peers to play)
  • Increase socially acceptable and non-disruptive behaviors (decrease tantrums)
  • Increase or broaden food preferences
  • Increase tolerance to sensory-related phobias
  • Improve daily living skills (personal hygiene)

Based on an assessment of each person’s needs, additional services may include:

  • Speech and language consultation
  • Psychological testing consultation
  • Educational consultation
  • Family therapy

For Parents

AHWI offers parent-assisted social skills group programs for children in elementary school who are having problems making and/or keeping friends. We also offer parent training/behavior modification programs for parents with children (starting at age 2) and early adolescents (ages 12-15).  Our therapy and interventions are focused, time-limited and brief, usually between 4-16 sessions.

We also offer Individual Sessions. A limited number of individual parenting sessions may be available if parents are unable to attend our group programs or have very specific behavioral issues. Parents usually meet with one of our clinicians on a weekly basis for 4-8 one-hour sessions. Please call our office for availability.


For Professionals

We also offer specialized training seminars for professionals/educators interested in implementing our interventions.  In addition our staff may be available for presentations and workshops. To request information about trainings and workshops in your area please contact us at 888.582.2974 or online at ahwi-online@ahwinstitute.com for additional information.


Positive Behavior Support for Individuals (PBS-I)

What is Positive Behavior Support?

AHWI provides Positive Behavior Support, a person-centered, evidence-based approach to treating individuals with inappropriate behaviors by assessing and implementing interventions that reduce or eliminate inappropriate behavior while increasing functional/alternative behavior.  The goal of PBS is to increase the individual’s overall quality of life by increasing skills while promoting the individual’s strengths, preferences, and ability to make choices.

Ideal Candidates for PBST-I Services

  • Individuals who display inappropriate behavior which significantly interferes with their ability to learn or consistently utilize adaptive and/or communication skills, appropriately interact with others, and/or results in a more restrictive environment
  • Individuals with chronic behavioral concerns, a diagnosis of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), neurodevelopmental disorder and developmental delay

Typical Services Provided

Assessment of Behavior:

  • Functional, structural and/or antecedent analysis to identify environmental variables surrounding or maintaining inappropriate behavior

Intervention:

  • Development and implementation of a PBS intervention; training parents, caregivers, relevant family members, and/or school personnel to implement intervention plan and strategies

Follow up:

  • Continued caregiver training; monitoring and adjusting intervention plan based on caregiver data collection and practice in the natural environment; report with recommendations

Key Strategies Used Within PBS-I Programs

  • Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Support
  • Positive Reinforcement, Functional Communication Training, Compliance Training
  • Increasing tolerance to waiting and sharing
  • Generalization of behavior change across people, places, and settings
  • Crisis management

Positive Behavior Support - Training for Systems (PBS-TS)

What is Positive Behavior Support - Training for Systems (PBS-TS)?

PBS-TS provides mobile, location-based training for large institutions and systems of care (schools, day cares, hospitals) in how to implement a system-wide behavior management response that is positive in nature and that does not promote aversive or punishing practices, keeping both individuals and the systems which serve them free from harm.

Ideal Candidates for PBST-S services

  • Facilities which serve 5 or more individuals
  • Facilities that serve individuals with diagnoses of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), neurodevelopmental disorder, developmental delay and chronic behavioral concerns.
  • Facilities that serve individuals who display inappropriate behavior which significantly interferes with their ability to learn or consistently utilize adaptive and/or communication skills, appropriately interact with others, and/or results in a more restrictive environment.

Typical Services Provided

Assessment of System’s Response to Individual Behavior:

  • Developing and enhancing the System to use solely non-aversive practices in response to challenging behaviors

Intervention:

  • Collaborate with the System in providing training to all staff members on how adopt Positive Behavior Support strategies in their interactions with their clients

Follow-up

  • Ensuring that staff maintain the PBS approach over time

Key Strategies Used Within PBST-S Programs

  • Applied Behavior Analysis and Positive Behavior Support
  • Positive Reinforcement, Functional Communication Training, Compliance Training
  • Increasing staff tolerance for trivial behaviors and developing staff ability to successfully reduce problem behaviors.
  • Generalization of behavior change across people, places and settings
  • Short-term crisis management

     

Cogmed Working Memory System- Working Memory Training

The American Health & Wellness Institute is proud to be a provider of Cogmed Working Memory TrainingTM. Cogmed is an evidence-based program for helping children, adolescents, and adults improve their attention by training their working memory. Working memory is the ability to briefly remember information and to use this information in one's thinking and problem solving. In daily life, working memory plays an important role in the capacity to follow multi-step instructions, perform the various steps involved in sequencing a task, and sustain both attention and impulse control.
 
Individuals with working memory challenges may have difficulties:
     • staying focused
     • ignoring distractions
     • starting new tasks
     • completing tasks
     • following multi-step instructions (particularly after a short delay)
     • performing tasks with high sequencing demands (such as getting ready for school).

Studies also show that challenges with working memory often lead to difficulties in school, particularly with regard to reading comprehension and math.

Cogmed is based upon strong scientific research and can be completed in the convenience of one's own home. Studies have shown that Cogmed is effective at improving working memory, with associated improvements in school performance, reading comprehension, math skills, and behavior. Research has also found that Cogmed leads to greater gains than medication alone, and these improvements are sustained over time.

The complete program includes:
     • Initial interview
     • Start-up session
     • Five weeks of training with weekly phone check-ins
     • Wrap-up meeting
     • Six month follow-up interview
     • Cogmed Extension Training (12 months) 

For more information, contact:
888.582.2974
eflaneur@ahwinstitute.com

Cogmed Working Memory Training Fact Sheet 2013 AHWI.pdf

Cogmed Working Memory Training Professional Fact Sheet 2013 AHWI.pdf

Research Bibliography

Beck, S.J., Hanson, C.A., Puffenberger, S.S., Benninger, K.L., & Benninger, W.B. (2010). A controlled trial of working memory training for children and adolescents with ADHD. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 39(6), 825 -836. Summary

Bergman-Nutley, S., Söderqvist, S., Bryde, S., Thorell, L.B., Humphreys, K., & Klingberg, T. (2011). Gains in fluid intelligence after training non-verbal reasoning in 4-year-old children: A controlled, randomized study. Developmental Science, 14(3), 591 -601. Summary

Gibson, B.S., Kronenberger, W.G., Gondoli, D.M., Johnson, A.C., Morrissey, R.A., & Steeger, C.M. (2012). Component analysis of simple span vs. complex span adative working memory exercises: A randomized, controlled trial. Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, 1(3), 179-184. Summary

Grunewaldt, K.H., Løhaugen, G.C.C., Austeng, D.A., Brubakk, A., & Skranes, J. (2013). Working memory training improves cognitive function om VLBW preschoolers. Pediatrics. Advance online publication. Summary

Klingberg, T. (2010). Training and plasticity of working memory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(7), 317 -324. Summary

Söderqvist, S., Nutley, S.B., Ottersen, J., Grill, K.M., Klingberg, T. (2012). Computerized training of non-verbal reasoning and working memory in children with intellectual disability. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 6, 271. Summary


Psychotherapy

AHWI offers a variety of Therapy and Treatment approaches. Each service that we offer is individualized, goal directed, and outcome based. 

Please call 888.582.2974 or email us at: ahwi-online@ahwinstitute.com for more information regarding services available in your area or via online Telemedicine.