Everyone loves a butterfly. They are as beautiful and graceful as they are aerodynamic and brilliantly engineered. They are symbols of love and rebirth, harbingers of good luck and metamorphosis.
For those reasons alone, we are proud to be represented by the butterfly, but like our agency, the meaning of our name runs deep with thought and purpose.
At Butterfly Effects, we work with individuals who are challenged by a wide variety of difficulties including Autism, learning disabilities, developmental disabilities, behavioral issues, Cerebral Palsy, communication deficits, and Alzheimer's.
What is the butterfly effect?Our name, Butterfly Effects is derived from a principle of cause and effect applied in chaos theory. More than just an esoteric science, chaos theory works off the concept that the relation between any two things is rarely linear in nature, that any reaction is usually the result of an accumulation of causative factors small and large, intentional and accidental.
Our national healthcare and service delivery systems provide a very real and unfortunate example of chaos theory in action. Services today are subject to a host of regulations, contingencies, and limitations that tend to leave them fragmented and ineffective.
While valiant efforts have been made to improve the delivery of services, those solutions fall short as they tend to be piecemeal and not flexible enough to take into account all the little incidental factors as well as the more obvious ones. In their failure, most models remain fragmented and are segmented according to boundaries that have little to do with real people and real situations.
The butterfly effect teaches us that there are in fact no little factors; that even the smallest action can set off a chain of actions that can lead to a huge difference. Often this is talked about as how a butterfly flapping its wings in Tanzania can create a breeze that may set off a continuous series of actions that ultimately lead to a hurricane in Texas. ... But a butterfly effect doesn't have to be accidental.
We consciously initiate butterfly effects of the positive kind.
If we intervene to correct a small behavior in a three-year old exhibiting autistic behaviors, we may occur the breakthrough needed to change that child's entire capacity for learning and development; so that instead of being an individual forever dependent on others, he or she goes on to realize a life of self-reliance and fulfillment.
Give a six-year old with severe speech impairment an iPad, and suddenly that incommunicative reclusive child begins demonstrating vast amounts of previously unrealized creativity and intelligence that allows him or her to build a bridge to the real everyday world. More generally, we believe that the sooner your start a person on the right path, the more likely that person will find his or her way.
How it all startedRecognizing just how fragmented and chaotic services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders were in South Florida, Butterfly Effects founders set out to build a network of providers committed to accountability and collaboration, first locally, then across Florida, and then across the United States, and now across the world. Applying technology to make universal connections, while never forgetting the importance of developing cooperative local communities, they were able to enlist the help of some very dedicated individuals across a number of fields. Since it was first founded in 2004, Butterfly Effects has grown to become a company of over 500 dedicated employees, with new team members joining each day.
At Butterfly Effects, we are committed to providing services that make sense and make a real in differences in the lives of all populations needing special services, including infants, children, teens, adults, and seniors, as well as all of their families. We see ourselves as caregivers not caretakers, and look to promote functional skills and behaviors rather than promote dependence.
We recognize that due to the complex and multiple needs of our clients, it's important that they access services from a number of specialists and providers. But this doesn't have to lead to any sort of confusion and contradictions. At Butterfly Effects, we charge our case managers with the responsibility of creating a plan that incorporates every relevant resource and overseeing the delivery of services that are as seamless as they are comprehensive. How an infant transitions into childhood and a child into adulthood is gradual and is not arbitrarily determined by the passing of birthdays. That's why we provide continuous uninterrupted case management services over the client's entire lifetime.
Butterfly Effects applies a litmus test to all of its practices and services.
This litmus test consists of adherence to those core values developed and shared by all our stakeholders, including therapists, educators, clinicians, caregivers, clients, and client families. We hire those compassionate empathic individuals who not only understand the importance of these values, but also allow those values to inform every decision they make, every action they take.
Our Shared Values: Core Principles
- Deliver continuous comprehensive whole-life services that eliminate fragmentation and leave little to chance
- Take and encourage others to take a proactive approach with a relentless emphasis on Early Intervention
- Promote practices and interventions that are evidence-based, supported by valid research as well as our personal experience
- Answer all questions and address all needs in a timely manner
- Practice tolerance and respect in all encounters
- Recognize that we are all pioneers in the field, with the ability to affect dynamic change
When it comes to staff, we recruit only those compassionate empathic individuals who not only understand the importance of these values, but also allow them to inform every decision they make, every action they take.
Our Shared Values: Specific PracticesCooperation and Collaboration
- Encourage two-way communication and collaboration across all involved caregivers, clients, and providers
- Provide state-of-the-art communication opportunities among all stakeholders
- Make referrals as needed, leaving no stone unturned
- Encourage routine and thorough assessments of all children
- Discourage any approach that advocates wait and see
- Promote services that address developmental deficits regardless of an official diagnosis
- Educate healthcare providers and parents on the signs of developmental disabilities
- Promote the use of multiple modalities at an early age including physical, speech, and occupational therapies
- Approach every individual situation as unique
- Differentiate between an individual and a behavior with the understanding that no individual is merely a behavior
- Partner with clients whenever possible to make lasting changes
- Apply all training in a client's natural environment
- Teach skills and behaviors specific to a situation but always with the understanding that they should be generalized and practiced in diverse situations
- Provide intensive one-on-one interventions as they are most effective
- Build on the strengths of clients
- Employ the latest technology to foster communication and open new avenues of discovery, learning, and enrichment
- Educate all caregivers in the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) stressing the use of continuous encouragement and positive reinforcement
- Arrange for and emphasize the importance of caregiver respite
- Teach caregivers to be extremely watchful for and proactive with mental health issues
- Provide the supervision and support all caregivers require
Independence and Integration
- Promote lifestyles that encourage as much independence as possible
- Strive to apply support in the least restrictive environment
- Support community integration
- Promote family involvement and invite family input whenever and however possible
- Promote family health and communication
- Encourage family education and train family caregivers
- Support family advocates
- Recognize that evaluations may be only as current as the day they are written
- Continuously monitor progress and adapt any plan as needed to accommodate successes and address shortcomings
- Provide stakeholders with immediate access to documentation and progress notes
Seamless Whole Life Support
- Implement efficient cost-effective approaches that incorporate long-term planning and anticipate long-range goals as well as transitions
- Make real education with real career goals a top priority
- Hold schools, communities, agencies, and insurance providers to actual realization of their commitments
- Provide continuous unbroken case management through all phases of life
- Never close a case
State-of-Art Networking and Communication
The World Wide Web may be a virtual realization of collective human consciousness. What it certainly provides is a way to foster connection and open communication among all of us, regardless of our physical location. To leverage this opportunity, we now have access to an online platform designed from the ground up for intuitive use and practical purpose of our clients and providers.
Our platform provides 24 / 7 online access to team members, progress notes, documentation, and interactive learning materials. It is already becoming an avenue for supervision and consultation and the means to share the latest advances and ideas in real time. Ultimately it is coming to represent the collective thinking and unified problem-solving capacity of our entire community.
To further improve our reach, we are members of the CentralReach online community - committed to the practice of collaborative, accountable care.
We continue to make the road by walking it. *The only thing we can say for certain about the future for individuals with special needs is that it will look different than it does today.
At Butterfly Effects we can only commit to a continuing belief in the values we've listed. As long as we don't stray from them, we will always work as partners with individuals and their families and never as adversaries.
We chose to define a person by his or her unique strengths rather than by any challenge.
This we believe is the first step to changing the common service delivery paradigm that tends to pigeonhole people and treat them as one of a number of problems that needs to be solved.
It is the inherent job of all stakeholders associated with Butterfly Effects to model and provide example of a world where inclusiveness, integration, and accommodation are practices of habit and expectation - a world where all people are identified by their strengths and character, and where the quality of our communities is measured not just by our compassion but also by the wisdom it takes to appreciate every individual as an integral invaluable asset.
Remember, that while we live in a complex world, even the biggest changes can be initiated with the simple flapping of a butterfly's wings. Never think, that one person doing one right thing doesn't make a difference
* "se hace camino al andar" From the untitled poem by Antonio Machado