Behavior support program helps developmentally disabled acquire valuable life skills

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Betsey Benson, PhD works with adult patients within the program.

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Luc Lecavalier, PhD, works with young children a part of the Behavior Support Program.

For children and adults with developmental disabilities, learning life skills that can help them transition from childhood to adulthood and then to the workplace is essential.

But these skills don't come naturally to children and adults with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other neuro developmental disabilities, so the Nisonger Center has created programs for children and adults with developmental disabilities who are referred from the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

Led by Luc Lecavalier, PhD and Betsey Benson, PhDthe Nisonger Center Behavior Support Program offers an outpatient treatment program for children and adults of all ages.

The Behavior Support Program staff includes psychologists, full-time behavior specialists and graduate students. The program is largely based on the applied version of studies conducted by the Nisonger Center and greater OSU research community. The center's staff meets with families, service providers, day program, transportation and residential personnel at home or on site to conduct assessments and manage behavior support plans.

Supported by a grant from Franklin County, and made available to residents at no cost, the program serves about 500 Franklin County children and adults each year.