DANA LASKEY OF
2013 PRAECEPTOR AWARD WINNER
and recipient of $5,000 cash prize
From left to right, ESE Gen. Dir. Maryann Parks, Cindy Helton of Suncoast Schools, Dana Laskey, and
Nicole Smith-Pellegatti of Human Development Center
Founded in 1978, the Human Development Center (HDC), Inc. is a private, non-profit state designated Intensive Behavior Facility dedicated to providing the highest quality of services and rehabilitation to adults who have been diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, autism and mental health disorders. We provide services in the least restrictive environments possible, and assist our clients in achieving their goals, maintaining stable behavior, and living happy lives.
HDC is proud to offer a comprehensive set of services to individuals with a history of engaging in challenging behaviors. Our integrated team of professionals provides essential services such as: behavior analysis, supported living coaching, residential habilitation, and adult day training. Clients receive individualized training and support to help them meet goals in all areas of their lives. Training in the areas of anger management, social skills, healthy living, relaxation techniques, budgeting, leisure time planning, employment preparation, and daily living skills are offered on a regular basis.
Clients are referred to HDC by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD), and may have had previous encounters with the legal system.
It is HDC’s goal to empower, educate, and protect our clients and the community at all times. HDC strives to educate our clients in all facets of life, so they are able to make informed and safe decisions.
At HDC, we are continuously improving both our clinical program and facilities. Home makeovers have occurred at each facility, and our clients enjoyed participating in the redecorating process. In fact, HDC recently purchased a beautiful, spacious home to replace a rental property. HDC currently operates eight group homes and offers services to supported living clients in their homes.
Treatment at HDC is based on best practices in the field of behavior analysis. Behavior analysis is a science concerned with how people behave and recognizes that behavior is largely a product of its immediate environment. Behavior analysts observe and measure behavior with the goal of changing the environment to promote positive behavioral change.
All treatment programs at HDC include specific behaviors targeted for increase or decrease, and identify clear expectations. Data is collected to measure success, and programs are revised and individualized based on the data. Providing a consistent and positive learning environment are key contributors to success.
Promoting independence and teaching new behaviors are important aspects of treatment. All behavior serves a function. Our goal is to help each person identify and learn new behaviors that will serve the same function as the target behaviors, and allow for goals to be met in more socially acceptable ways. Research has shown that the best way to reduce the inappropriate or challenging behavior is to reinforce appropriate replacement behaviors. Teaching and reinforcing new behaviors is an effective and positive approach that provides clients with the tools necessary to live a successful life.