Pacific Learning Center

Website: www.pacificlearningcenter.org

Azabu House 1F
2-13-8 Moto-Azabu, Minato-ku, Tokyo Japan, 106-0046 The Pacific Learning Center is located near Summerhill International Pre-school, 2-13-8 Moto-Azabu, Minato-ku. 

Phone: 03-5440-7441 Fax: 03-6805-9565

History: In 2006 April, Laura Cook opened the Pacific Learning Center in Minato-ku. Many families were turning to the Pacific Autism Center in Hawaii, when the center began to provide consulting in Japan by sending therapists. The Pacific Learning Center grew out of that consulting service.

The center offers:

Intensive ABA [Applied Behavioral Analysis] programs for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other related disorders. The aim is to improve the areas of deficits (language or motor skills) and decrease the areas that are excesses (like tantrums, excessive rituals, etc.) to make it possible for the child to move toward being in a typical classroom.

Over 80 percent of the programs are in English, but they can also be implemented fully in Japanese.

The curriculum from the PLC website:

A partner with the Center for Autism Related Disorders (CARD), one of the worlds’ leading organizations effectively treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). PLC has contracted with CARD to provide program consultation and on-going staff training. PLC selected CARD because of their strong history in the field of ASD, their experienced and educated staff, and their reputable curriculum that, when implemented effectively, leads to long-term successes and in some cases recovery.

Following the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a scientifically researched and empirically validated treatment method, CARD will work with PAC to develop individualized treatment plans. These plans will cover two areas, Behavior Management and Skill Repertoire Building, the blend of which allows clients to continuously progress and add new abilities as appropriate behaviors are acquired.

While each plan is tailored to the child’s needs, it usually starts with teaching basics skills including language/communication, play, self help, motor and school skills. Building from this foundation, more advanced skills are taught including theory of mind, social skills, and executive functioning. CARD’s comprehensive curriculum approach ensures that relevant academic and socialization needs are met providing children the best chance for complete educational mainstreaming.

Each child entering the program will be at a different level. Based on the level and the child’s particular needs, determinations will be made concerning the number of inclusion and group skills to be worked on vs. their needs for 1:1 therapy. The early intervention plan typically consists of intensive treatment in which basic skills are taught in the first years and advanced social and language skills are taught in the final years
For those interested, parents and guardians should go into the center for a meeting. An initial workshop of one and a half days of working with the child will be set up, developing an individualized program and educating the parents. A team of therapists will then be brought in to start implementing the program.

Other activities:

The center also conducts seminars or workshops on various topics such as the latest research on autism. PLC is preparing to offer afterschool and weekend social skills classes beginning in October 2009.

Read the Metropolis’ interview with Laura Cook, founder of the center here.

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