Autism Services

Autism Services provides behavioral treatment to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. The treatments provided are based on the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – the only treatment approach with rigorous scientific evidence to support its effectiveness as both comprehensive and focused treatment for people with autism spectrum disorders.

Applied Behavior Analysis involves the application of scientifically-validated behavioral procedures to address issues that are socially important – and the continuous evaluation of treatment progress and clinical decision-making based on direct observation data.

Our ABA technicians implement one-to-one treatment under the close supervision of four Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). Dr. Einar Ingvarsson, a BCBA, has a doctoral degree in behavioral psychology and works in a joint position between the University of North Texas and the Child Study Center. Our other three BCBAs have Master’s Degrees in behavior analysis from the University of North Texas and many years of experience working with children with autism.

Autism Services Program Overview

We provide full day services (9:00 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.). Frequency of attendance ranges from 2 to 5 days per week. When children are initially admitted to our program, they undergo a comprehensive skill assessment based on our curriculum. We use the assessment results to guide the selection of individualized treatment goals. Each child's instruction typically consists of discrete trial teaching, as well as incidental teaching and other naturalistic intervention approaches. We emphasize rapport between tutors and children. We frequently collaborate with the Child Study Center's Jane Justin School in gradually transitioning children to environments with lower teacher-to-student ratio. Our program is partially funded by the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS). We are also an in- network provider with most major insurance companies.

Intervention Goals

The overarching mission of our program is to increase desirable behavior and to decrease problem behavior. Through these changes, we aim to bring about an improvement in all important areas of the child's functioning including: communication, social skills, academic skills, leisure skills, and self-help skills. We place specific emphasis on teaching children appropriate ways to ask for what they want (whether it's an item they want to have or an activity they'd like to do) – and the appropriate way to reject things they don't want. "Mand", or verbal request training, provides the context for expanding on the children's language complexity. Higher-functioning children receive instruction in reading, math, and other academic skills.

Other areas of emphasis include:

  • Food selectivity (picky eating)
  • Compliance with grooming routines (e.g., clipping fingernails, getting a haircut)
  • Toilet training, dressing and other self-help skills
  • Reduction of stereotypy and other problem behavior (e.g., tantrums, aggression)

For children who are likely to need continued support throughout their life-span, targeting self-help skills becomes especially important. We also devise social skills groups for children, in which they learn how to interact appropriately with when playing games and doing other activities.