Lipton Early Assistance Program


The Lipton Early Assistance Program (LEAP) is a specialized, home-based instruction program for children ages one to three who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).  Treating autism early can greatly reduce ASD symptoms and increase a child’s ability to learn new skills.

LEAP’s individualized services are designed to:
•    Promote the development of communication skills, social skills, and daily living activities
•    Support parents and caregivers in managing challenging behavior that interferes with learning

Treatment Approach
The Lipton Early Assistance Program (LEAP) uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the standard of care and best researched therapy for ASD. ABA builds new skills, such as learning to speak and play, by reducing tasks into smaller steps and providing positive reinforcement for a child’s effort. Through an understanding of a child’s strengths, weaknesses, and needs, LEAP designs an individualized program that will teach important functional skills and reduce barriers to learning. Ongoing assessments and data analysis ensure that this therapy is tailored to the unique needs and learning style of each child.

Comprehensive Services
Community Healthlink’s Lipton Early Intervention program has provided family-centered, community-based services for generations of infants, toddlers, and families since 1973. In 2005, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) authorized the program to become a Specialty Service Provider for young children with ASD. Since then, LEAP has successfully served hundreds of children and families in Northern Worcester County.

LEAP services include:
•    Highly structured, individualized treatment programs in natural settings (e.g., home, childcare, play groups)
•    Coordination and integration of services with Early Intervention Programs (EIP)
•    State-of-the-art assessment measures:  the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) and the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales
•    Home visits by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and ABA Paraprofessional
•    Data collection and analysis
•    Support with school transitions

Clinical Excellence
Services are provided by a team of professionals who respect the child’s family as important and valued members of the team.  A parent/guardian must be present in the home during an ABA session and family members are welcome to participate in the process.  LEAP team members include a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and skilled ABA Paraprofessional who work very closely with the EIP to ensure high quality and consistency of service across multiple settings.

Compassionate Care
LEAP specialists are caring and dedicated individuals who incorporate the following core values into their professional practice: respect for the unique qualities of individuals and cultures, individualization of services for each family, family-centered decision-making, community spirit, team collaboration, and life-long learning.

Eligibility and Referrals
Children enrolled in an EIP who receive a diagnosis on the autism spectrum are eligible for Specialty Service Programs for children with ASD. Intensive intervention may not begin before the written diagnosis is received and the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed.
When a referral is received, an intake appointment will be scheduled to discuss the program. If LEAP is selected to provide specialty services, subsequent steps will include:
•    An assessment period with the BCBA to identify baseline skills and goals
•    A meeting with the BCBA and EIP Service Coordinator to discuss the results of the assessment process and to determine IFSP goals
•    A meeting with an ABA Paraprofessional to schedule service times that work best for you and your family
•    Meetings with the service team on a regular basis to review progress and determine new goals

Payment for Services
There are no additional fees associated with Specialty Services for children enrolled in the EI system. DPH, Mass Health, and some health insurance and health maintenance organizations may pay for Specialty Services. DPH pays all costs that are not covered by insurance and for eligible children who have no insurance.

Lipton Early Assistance Program                                                                                                               
Community Healthlink/Lipton Early Intervention Program                                                                              
100 Erdman Way                                                                                                                                              
Leominster, MA 01453                                                                                                                                                   
Phone: 978-840-9354                                                                                                                                               
Fax: 978-840-9389
This program is available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except for major holidays.

The Communities We Serve
Ashby, Ayer, Berlin, Bolton, Clinton, Devens, Fitchburg, Groton, Harvard, Lancaster, Leominster, Lunenburg, Pepperell, Shirley, Sterling, Townsend

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