Wawa House Services
Opened in 1992, Wawa House is home to Eden’s Infant and Toddler Program – the first in the nation to offer early intervention programming in specialized autism services. The facility is named in honor of major funding support provided by Wawa, Inc. and customers in the chain’s several hundred New Jersey food markets.
Wawa House Services employs highly trained therapists with degrees in education, psychology, or related fields. Certified Speech and Language Pathologists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts are also available to provide services as needed. All receive extensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis on a regular basis.
Wawa House services include:
Early Intervention Services: Infant and Toddler Programs
The Infant and Toddler Program is designed to provide children under the age of 3 with individualized early intervention services. This program is grounded in the techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and comprises a combination of therapies, including behavioral, sensory integration, and speech and language. An Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) serves as the basis for each child’s program and is intended to reflect the family’s needs as well as those of the child. Each IFSP also establishes whether services are provided at home, daycare, preschool, or in a combination of settings.
A child-initiated, adult-directed approach that capitalizes on the child’s interests and motivations is used to develop age appropriate skills. Through this approach, the therapist builds rapport with the child and establishes beginning language, play, imitation, and social interaction skills. Behavior Plans are also developed as needed to address challenging behavior patterns.
Individualized goals for each child focus on learning readiness, play, and cognitive skills, communication and speech development, self-care and motor skills. To ensure steady progress, objective measures are collected and evaluated daily. Each child’s progress is summarized in a comprehensive report on a quarterly basis.
Eden believes that one of the strongest predictors of a child’s progress is the strength of the parents’ conviction that they can be effective facilitators in their child’s development. Therefore, parent training, support, and advocacy services are critical components of the Infant and Toddler Program. At Wawa House, parents receive individual and group training, home programming, and guidance in how to be effective advocates for their children. Parent education workshops and support groups are also offered.
Supplemental Clinic Services
As a clinic, Wawa House Services offers therapy to children age 3 and above as a supplement to their school programming. All sessions are provided on a 1:1 basis.
Children receiving supplemental services may have sessions at a variety of locations including Wawa House, in their own homes, or community settings. Strategies are adapted in each setting to teach social, play, self-care, and communication skills, as well as appropriate behavior. In-home therapy also serves to guide the family in developing therapeutic techniques to be used at home regularly.
Behavioral therapy uses focused, individualized goals to develop skills in the areas of play, social interaction, receptive and expressive language concepts, pre-academics, academics, and self-care. Behavior Plans are developed as appropriate to address challenging behaviors.
Speech and language therapy sessions begin with an assessment of each child’s present level of communication, followed by the development of specific communication goals. While emphasis is placed on verbal speech, augmentative systems may also be taught to aid a child in his or her individual communication efforts.
Therapy sessions are generally for one hour, which includes time at the conclusion for therapist and parent to confer. As time and space permit, families of children receiving clinic therapy are also encouraged to participate in relevant parent training and support activities of the Infant and Toddler Program.