Southwest Human Development:
SACE service at Level I, facilitated through Southwest Human Development (SWHD), is an extremely important area in the lifespan continuum of care as intervention is more effective when initiated as early as possible. SWHD accepts referrals, conducts evaluations, and provides early intervention services for Birth to Five members. SWHD has a blended model that includes mental health, medical, and developmental approaches and is reflective of the needs of the autism population.
SWHD uses a developmental and relationship-based approach to assessment, treatment, planning, and intervention with children with ASD. The approach - Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship Based (DIR) - is comprehensive in nature and attends to each child's skills and capacities in all areas of development. These include cognition, social/emotional, communication, sensory, and motor skills. DIR/Floortime® is an evidence based intervention which focuses on the core deficits of autism that are most common in young children. These are: difficulties engaging and relating through reciprocal interactions, delays in communication, poor social skills, and challenges with joint attention. DIR/Floortime® providers partner with other providers (for example, speech/language pathologists, occupational therapists, special educators, and mental health counselors) to offer coordinated and integrated treatment. DIR/Floortime® focuses on caregiver interactive capacities such as sensitivity, responsivity, effectiveness, and inventiveness. It is a dyadic, parent-mediated approach.
The team is comprised of a pediatrician, psychologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech/language pathologists, a dietitian, developmental specialists, assistive technology specialists, and care coordinators.
SWHD has extensive experience providing direct services to children from birth to five children with developmental disorders and their families through a wide range of programs including: The Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP); Healthy Families, Early Head Start; the Newborn Intensive Care Program; Nurse Family Partnership, Fussy Baby and the Birth-Five Helpline.