Marcus's Melmark Story: A Rewarding Outcome

Marcus with a Melmark staff member
Marcus with a Melmark staff member

“Melmark has given us back the son we longed for and even exceeded our expectations”.

A great testament to a unique Melmark success story.  

Marcus, a then 10 year-old New York resident, came to Melmark in January, 2007. He was diagnosed with Autism, Landau-Kleffner Syndrome and complex challenging behaviors. Marcus’s behaviors included physical aggression towards others, self-injurious behaviors, inappropriate personal hygiene issues and darting (running from a room/location without regard to personal safety). After meeting Melmark’s staff and touring the programs and services, Marcus’s family was convinced that Melmark offered the best program for their son and the support he needed.

Upon admission, Melmark’s behavior analysts and residential and educational staff assessed Marcus’s behaviors to develop an individual support plan. The goal was to help this young boy gain the skills he needed to return to a community-based environment closer to his family. Melmark’s staff implemented ongoing Functional Behavior Assessments (FBA) to determine/confirm the function of Marcus’s challenging behaviors. With an emphasis on antecedent management interventions and other behavioral procedures, Melmark’s staff worked with Marcus and responded to his challenging behaviors.

Melmark’s 24/7 Applied Behavior Analysis Learning Model proved successful in addressing Marcus’s needs. The intensity and frequency of his aggressive behaviors decreased drastically during his time at Melmark. Marcus demonstrated significant improvement in his self-care, communication and community integration skills. Reflecting Melmark’s commitment to a partnership in care, Marcus’s family actively took part in treatment planning and training programs.

After seven years at Melmark, Marcus recently returned to New York and a community-based program that is closer to his family. Melmark’s staff was particularly pleased with Marcus’s growth and progress, demonstrating what can be accomplished with support, patience and continuously focusing on a person’s abilities.

Melmark is a not-for-profit provider of comprehensive residential, educational, vocational, and healthcare services for children and adults with autism spectrum disorders, intellectual disabilities, brain injury, other neurological and genetic disorders, and related challenging behaviors. Programs are offered in Berwyn, Pennsylvania (a Philadelphia suburb) and Andover, Massachusetts (a Boston suburb), with all programs offered in the least restrictive environment possible. 

For more information about Melmark, visit www.melmark.org .

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