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Wraparound Services

Tammi Reynolds, BA & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D., edited by Kathryn Patricelli, MA

Wraparound is a temporary, physician prescribed service that brings therapy directly to families in need. It is delivered by an agency specializing in providing wraparound services. The family meets with an interdisciplinary wraparound team in preparation for wraparound therapy. The team collaborates to determine the child's strengths and needs. The child is then given hours with a behavior specialist and a therapeutic staff support. The behavior specialist creates an individualized treatment program that may include Applied Behavior Analysis, Discrete Trials, Sensory Integration, Floortime and other treatment approaches relevant to children's needs. The treatment plan includes objectives, goals, specific interventions and a crisis plan. The child works one-on-one with a therapeutic staff support worker who works toward short-term and long-term goals outlined in the treatment plan. Actual therapy may take place in the child's home, school or in the community.

Wraparound services are used to help children with autism spectrum disorder work towards independence. They provide families with the resources, techniques and interventions necessary to help children reach desired independence goals. When children have met treatment goals, the wraparound staff begins implementing a fade plan that helps the family gradually decrease its dependence on wraparound services and transition to a more sustainable program.

Wraparound often serves as a means for helping children to function better in the community and in school settings. Wraparound services are relatively brief when presented in classroom setting. Interventions are as unobtrusive as possible. As children advance towards meeting their treatment goals, interventions are slowly decreased and gradually faded. In some cases, the process takes years, while in others only a few months are necessary.