Life Style Approach

PACE Place does not teach a program.  PACE Place teaches a life-style.

Parent-led intervention is the foundation of the family-centered model of PACE.
Guiding families within a home environment and within the community, focusing
on “real-life situations,” allows PACE Place to develop strategies that empower
parents.  The PACE professionals are no longer solely in clinical settings,
removed from the real challenges families face.  They now have experience
sitting with families in restaurants, struggling with kids in the barber’s chair, and
facing tantrums at the zoo.  Despite training in child development, there is no
education like hands-on experience.   It is our goal to empower parents to be the
primary force in their child’s development.  Then parents will be able to share
their expertise of their own child with their support systems.  It is our goal to
support families as they enhance their relationships with each other.   

PACE Place does not provide a program for your child’s development.  We
provide guidance to develop your child’s desire and ability to create and
maintain relationships that will last a lifetime.   Our main goal is for your life and
your child’s life to become easier and more rewarding.  An empowered life is a
fulfilling life.  Empowerment is not an epiphany.  Empowerment is a gradual
process that builds momentum as it grows.  That is why our program is one
week in length.  A sense of lifelong empowerment comes from close and
trusting relationships.  That is why we have reduced access to technology.
Empowerment for men and women can take different courses.  That is why we
have men and women on our staff.  Opportunities for empowerment do not
follow an hourly schedule.   That is why we spend five hours a day with your
family.  Empowerment does not come from being told what to do. That is why we
start the week with your family’s uniquely created priority list.   Empowerment
comes from taking risks while staying safe.  That is why we spend so much time
with you and your family creating experiences.

PACE Place works because:

  • We empower parents to regain the primary role in the growth and
    development of their child and their family.  
  • We support and guide families, in practical everyday situations, as they
    develop and grow the relationships within their family.
  • We guide the parent-child relationship using typical human development
    as our guide.
  • We guide interactions that create neurological change within the context
    of your family’s everyday relationships.
  • We help families recognize which experiences are related to a diagnosis
    and which are not.


PACE Place works because our approach is grounded in three fundamental
truths.

  1. Children develop within a secure, primary relationship.  Although the
    staff of PACE Place has expertise in child development and clinical
    diagnoses, we will never be experts on your child.  Thus, the parent-child
    relationship is always pivotal to child progress.  Both parents provide
    base relationships that shape the development of an individual
    throughout life.  Early experiences with parents create a foundation of
    trust and security from which the child can explore and discover the world
    around them.  The relationship is vastly more complicated when the 
    child’s style of thinking is shaped by ASD.
  2. Human development is our guide.  Although the staff members of PACE
    have devoted their professional lives to understanding autism and
    related disabilities, their in-depth knowledge of human development
    provides a stronger framework for guiding children and their families.
    Most of the problem areas families describe can be found in typical
    development.  Thus, our knowledge of child development and family
    dynamics guides our thinking and influences our teaching techniques.
    Regulation, organization, and social connectedness are three powerful
    forces in human development.  There are developmental patterns, both
    progressive and debilitating, that unfold within these three areas.
    Individuals with ASD can get stuck in various stages and/or can deviate
    from the typical unfolding of these developmental patterns.  
  3. Parent-led interactions create the foundation of our family-centered
    model.  As with all children, we believe that children are the happiest,
    most secure, and most available for learning when the parent is in the
    lead.  Thus, our approach focuses on fortifying the parent’s resolve to be
    the driving force in the family.  A child should not be in charge of a family.
    A diagnosis should not be in charge of a child.  Our approach strives to
    find an appropriate balance between the needs of each family member.
    We believe that it is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that
    balance.  When the adult leads, the child can explore and discover rather
    than attempt to control and contain it.

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