Jumpstart Developmental Services, a new center for children who may need help with communicating or with their behaviors, has opened in Miami Lakes.
The town has become a hub of schools and therapy centers for families whose members have special needs. There are at least 10 facilities available, as well as a town-funded board of volunteers who advise officials and police on ways to include and accommodate residents with neurological illnesses or disabilities, among other goals.
Jumpstart Developmental Services was founded by two women who have longtime ties to Miami Lakes: Alexandra Socorro, 25, and Karoline Garcia, 31. Garcia is the clinical director and a behavior analyst, certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. Socorro is a registered behavior technician and also certified by the board.
Christina Montoto is chief executive officer.
The business uses Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA Therapy, said the co-founders.
“We noticed there was a need for an ABA center in the town, we haven’t seen any ABA locations in Miami Lakes,” said Socorro, who is a registered behavior technician and also certified by the board. “We grew up here and have always lived here,” Socorro said. “There was no better place for us.”
Socorro says the goals of their method are to use positive reinforcement to obtain results in a way that can be measured, and for children to become more independent.
The company strives to help children with behaviors and delays associated with Autism, according to its website.
“When you see kids not reaching certain milestones, those are signs they may need some assistance,” Socorro said.
Although the center sees children up to age 18, the founders say they focus on youngsters who are preschool age.
Once children enroll in kindergarten, it may be found they need help, according to Socorro.
ABA therapy breaks down tasks into multiple steps, e.g., to wash hands, a child would learn eight actions from approaching the sink to drying their hands. Each step would be taught separately, Socorro said.
Caregivers and parents are also included in therapy and sessions.
Jumpstart Developmental Services offers therapy at home, during school visits or at their facility, at 5979 NW 151st St., unit 102-1.
It has received preliminary accreditation from the Behavorial Health Center of Excellence and expects to be fully accredited in November.
It is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., and Saturdays by appointment.
For more information visit https://jumpstartdevelopmentalservices.com.