Frequently Asked Questions
About the School
Who will conduct the programmes and direct the school?
Dr Anton James has completed his undergraduate study in Canada in psychology and postgraduate study in the US in Applied Behaviour Analysis. His passion is in educating autistic children. To further his studies, he moved to the UK and completed two more master’s degree in education and a doctorate in autism-related disorders.
He is a Board Certified Behaviour Analyst® (BCBA®) from the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board® for over ten years in the US. He is also recognised as an International Affiliate of the American Psychological Association.
In the UK, he is a Chartered Psychologist and associate fellow from the British Psychological Society. He is also a member of the
Division of Teachers and Researchers.
Division of Clinical Psychology with the British
In Ireland, he is a chartered psychologist and also a full member of the Division of Applied Behaviour Analysis with the Irish Psychological Society.
In the UK, he worked privately as a consultant for children with autism, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Order. Parents and schools consulted him on his expertise in these disorders. He also provides consultation for schools in the UK, Canada, United Arabic Emirates, and Sri Lanka on classroom behaviour management in mainstream and special needs schools.
Five years ago, when he visited Sri Lanka, he realised there is a lack of educational resources for autistic children on the island based on scientific research. It is then that he decided to move to Sri Lanka and open a school for autistic children.
What are the criteria for the admission of children to The Tree House International?
The Tree House International is dedicated to children with ASD, ADHD, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Conduct Disorder and more.
The school will admit children from the age of 2 to 18. Due to the limited availability of spaces, we encourage you to express your interest as soon as possible.
What is the medium of instruction at The Tree House International?
The school implements child-centred, individualised curricula, with the primary medium of instruction being in English. If a child has a deficit in communication or has limited English ability the school will work with the child’s existing linguistic repertoire. This may include instructions in Sinhala or Tamil to some students. Parents' aspirations are always taken into consideration.
What types of special needs students are accommodated at The Tree House International?
The Tree House International will accommodate students with the following conditions:
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Global Developmental Delay
Speech Sound Disorder
Developmental Coordination Disorder
Stereotypic Movement Disorder
Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder
Children with other problem behaviours may also be accommodated at The Tree House International based on Dr Anton James's approval.
My child has mild Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I am concerned about sending my child to a special needs school.
The Tree House International's objective is for the child to be independent. The school will consider the aspirations of parents, the diagnoses of the child, and the child's ability to create customised programmes for each child.
If the child has mild ASD, we will prepare the child with prerequisite skills to attend a mainstream school through a mainstream transition programme (MTP). Once the child has attained the necessary prerequisite skills, the school will gradually facilitate integration into a mainstream school. This delicate process will be based on the parents' aspirations and the long term welfare of the child.
About the RBT
What is a Registered Behaviour Technician® (RBT®)?
The Registered Behaviour Technician® (RBT®) is a paraprofessional certification in behaviour analysis. For more information, please click here for the BACB ® website: www.bacb.com
What are the prospects of an RBT®?
RBT® is typically employed in clinical settings such as children with learning difficulties, addiction and rehabilitation. Some choose to work for large organisations. There is a considerable demand for RBT® in the Middle East, US and Europe. Upon successful completion of RBT® qualification, candidates can choose to join The Tree House International family. Qualified RBT® will be given preference to work at The Tree House International as a behaviour therapist if they wish to be part of The Tree House International family.
RBT® who do not wish to be employed by The Tree House International will be given support to get their desired employment locally or internationally. Candidates who wish to immigrate to the US or Europe as an RBT® will be provided assistance in obtaining appropriate employment.
What are the requirements to become a Registered Behaviour Technician®?
A complete list of requirements can be found on the BACB® Website. Click here to be directed to the BACB® website for the comprehensive list of requirements.
What is the cost of the Behaviour Technician programme?
The course will cover training for RBT® qualification, assessment per BACB® standards for RBT® certification, help with exam preparation, and assistance in applying to the BACB®. At the end of the course, candidates will be provided with a diploma in Behaviour Technician. Upon passing the BACB® exam, candidates will receive their Registered Behaviour Technician® certificate and their names will be entered in the international directory of Registered Behaviour Technician®.
Course Fees: USD 280.00 OR LKR 50,000
(Optional payment plan available)
Does an RBT® need a supervisor to practice?
Yes RBT® need a supervisor to practice. You can get the supervisory and maintenance requirements for RBT® certification by clicking here.
Where can I find more information about RBT®?
RBT® handbook https://www.bacb.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/RBTHandbook_2007013.pdf has comprehensive information about the RBT® programme and maintaining the qualification. It is mandatory to read this handbook before you register for the RBT® programme.
About the treatment and Pedagogy
What is Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA)?
Behaviour analysis is the science of behaviour, with a history extending back to the early 20th century. Its guiding philosophy is behaviourism, which is based on the premise that attempts to improve the human condition through behaviour change (e.g., education, behavioural health treatment) will be most effective if behaviour itself is the primary focus.
To date, behaviour analytic scientists have conducted thousands of studies to identify the laws of behaviour—the predictable ways in which behaviour is learned and how it changes over time. The underlying theme of much of this work has been that behaviour is a product of its circumstances, particularly the events that immediately follow the behaviour. Behaviour analysts have used this information to develop numerous techniques and treatment approaches for analysing and changing behaviour, and ultimately, to improve lives. Because this approach—applied behaviour analysis (ABA)—is largely based on behaviour and its consequences, techniques generally involve teaching individuals more effective ways of behaving and working to change the social consequences of existing behaviour (BACB®).
What is the relationship between Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) and disorders associated with problem behaviours?
Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) is a specific psychological treatment dating back to the early 20th century. It is best known for its success in treating individuals with ASD and other developmental disabilities (e.g., Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities). Decades of research have shown that intensive ABA treatment is the most successful approach for children with autism, it is widely recognised by several sources, including the U.S Surgeon General, the American Academy of Paediatrics, and the National Institute of Mental Health (BACB®).
Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) is a similar approach to Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA), with some distinctions. In the UK, the British Psychological Society endorses PBS as a best practice approach to the treatment of ASD. Also, UK’s National Health Service recommends both ABA and PBS as the most effective treatment for autism.
Similarly, the Psychological Society of Ireland and the Australian Psychological Society also recognises ABA.
What is the approach to pedagogy at The Tree House International?
Students will either have an individualised curriculum or a UK curriculum based on the child's ability. All curricula would be implemented using a hybrid American and British approach, choosing the best from each country.
Each teacher at the school will be a Registered Behaviour Technician® (RBT®), an American qualification with an emphasis on Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA).
Additionally, we use a Multi-Component Framework as recommended by the UK's NICE guidelines. These curricula include other therapies such as Positive Behaviour Support, Speech and Language Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Mindfulness and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).
How is the ASD diagnosis at The Tree House International different to other diagnostic services provided in Sri Lanka?
Under the American Psychiatric Association guidelines, the criteria for diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has recently changed significantly in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). The Tree House International uses these latest diagnostic criteria in their diagnosis.
In addition to using the DSM-5 for the diagnosis of ASD, The Tree House International also adopts the UK's National Health Service's (NHS) guidelines, developed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)
Some of the NICE guidelines for ASD diagnosis include:
1. Multiple professionals being involved in the diagnosis.
2. ASD Screening
3. ASD Diagnosis
This approach to diagnosis is endorsed by the British Psychological Society and the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
As part of the diagnosis, we use multiple tools for screening, diagnosing and assessment, including ADI-R. This tool is known to be the gold standard for the diagnosis of ASD. In addition to providing a clinical diagnosis, this tool allows psychologists to pinpoint any area of skill deficits in a child. This information will help develop any subsequent interventions for the child.
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