Appled Behavioral Analysis (aba) Therapy for Autism
AUTISM DOES NOT FIT INTO A
Presented By: Jamie Lynn Juarez, M.S. LMFT, PPSC, CWA
MULTIFACETED DYNAMICS IMPACTING
CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
Variations in Family Dynamics
Variations in Behavioral Symptomology
Variations in Co-morbidity
Variations in Medical Symptomology
Variations in Treatment Methods
VARIATIONS IN FAMILY DYNAMICS
Different parenting styles: Authoritative (balanced),
Authoritarian (strict), Indulgent (lenient), Neglectful
Array of coping strategies used by parents of
children with autism: Fight, Flight, Frozen.
Diverse familial structure: Married, Divorced, and
VARIATIONS IN BEHAVIORAL SYMPTOMOLOGY
(Established DSM and ICD)
Restricted Interest and Repetitive Movements
Mukhopadhyay; Juarez, 2009
(Considerations to add Sub Categorical Types in DSM)
Far Away Starring
Up Closing Starring
Items Going Up
Items Going Down
Items Going Straight
Items Going Sideways
Volume on TV
Volume on Stereo
Variety of Fabrics
Holding a Pencil
KINESTHETIC AND OLFACTORY
VARIATIONS IN CO-MORBIDITY
Autism is often accompanied by other symptoms
warranting consideration of a dual diagnosis.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Central Auditory Processing Disorder
Sensory Integration Disorder
VARIATIONS IN MEDICAL SYMPTOMOLOGY
National Institute of Health:
Unusual Sensory Experiences
Gastrointestinal (GI) Disorders
Neurological / Genetic / Metabolic Conditions
VARIATIONS IN TREATMENT METHODOLOGIES
CHILDREN WITH AUTISM OFTEN RECEIVE :
EVIDENCE BASED VS. EXPERIMENTAL
Evidence Based: Medical (SSRI, Antipsychotic,
Antivirals, Antifungals, Chelation)
Non-evidence Based: Biomedical (GFCF Diet,
Vitamins, HBOT, Cranial Sacral, Laser, etc.)
Evidence Based: Therapies (Speech and Language
Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy,
Educational Therapy, Behavioral Therapy)
M.D’s, D.O’s, N.D’s, D.C’s, H.D’s, etc… typically
treat children with autism. Each have their own
Medical doctor’s using AMA guidelines to medically
treat autism and those that are not using AMA
guidelines to medically treat autism.
FDA approved medications for autism:
Antipsychotic and SSRI
Off Label: SNRI, SNDRI, Antivirals, Antifungals,
Blood Pressure Medications for example.
1. The "DAN! Protocol". The DAN! Protocol is not a clear and explicit protocol, per se, but
rather a general approach to treating children that is being followed by a group of Doctors
known as DAN!, or Defeat Autism Now!, Doctors. The best book to get a background in the
DAN! approach is the book Children with Starving Brains, written by Jaquelyn McCandless,
M.D., a DAN! Doctor. A complete list of DAN! Doctors is available here. DAN! is sponsored by
the Autism Research Institute and DAN Conferences are held for parents twice a year. Yahoo
discussion groups that include many parents working with DAN! Doctors include ChelatingKids2
and ABMD. 2. The "Cutler Protocol". Andy Cutler is a scientist who developed a protocol for
removing heavy metals from the body. His protocol is detailed in his book, Amalgam Illness,
and through the Yahoo discussion group Autism-Mercury. Note that many of the parents using
the Cutler Protocol to remove toxins from their child’s body are also using a DAN! Doctor and
many of the Dan! approaches to treatment. 3. Dr. Amy Yasko. Dr. Yasko's approach to treating
children with NDs has many similarities to DAN!, but focuses treatment on the specific genes of
the child, providing a roadmap that some parents believe is more customized. Her approach is
also more focused on the removal of viruses and bacteria from the child's body. Learn more
through her website, Holistic Health, her parent discussion group, and her book, The Puzzle of
Autism: Putting it all Together. 4. Michael Lang's Natural Detoxification Program. Michael
Lang is the founder of Brainchild Nutritionals, a supplement company serving children with NDs.
Recently, he published a helpful guide with his own recommendations for how to detoxify a child
with an ND safely and effectively. 5. Methyl B12 and Valtrex. A number of parents have
experienced particular success using a combination of Methyl B12 (a vitamin) and Valtrex (a
prescription drug that suppresses viruses). This approach has been spelled out by a parent who
recovered his son from autism, Stan Kurtz. His discussion group dedicated to discussing this
approach can be found here: mb12valtrex. 6. Homeopathy. Many parents report great results
using homeopathy, the best description of which is available in the book by a parent, The
Impossible Cure. Also, check out this discussion group run by the Homeopathy Center of
Houston serving children with NDs. Adopted from Generation Rescue.
Speech and Language Therapy
Co-Morbidity Associated with Autism: Dyspraxia,
Apraxia, Expressive Receptive Disorders, Auditory
Processing Disorders, etc.
Methodologies: ASL, PECS, NLP, Augmentative
Devices, Facilitated Communication, Rosemary
Johnson, Linda Mood Bell, etc.
Provider: Licensed Speech Pathologist
Co-Morbidity Associated with Autism: Fine Motor and
Gross Motor Processing Skills Deficit, Activities of
Daily Living Skills, Living Skills Deficit, etc.
Methodologies: Sensory Integration, Handwriting
without Tears, Money Math, Miller Method, etc.
Provider: Licensed Occupational Therapist
Co-Morbidity Associated with Autism: Attention Deficit Disorder,
Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Mental Retardation, Expressive
Receptive Disorder, Sensory Integration Disorder, Obsessive
Compulsive Disorder, etc..
Methodologies: Typically referred to as Applied Behavioral Analysis
(ABA). Functional behavioral assessments,” and approaches
such as “Positive Behavioral Support,” “Discrete Trial Learning,”
“Verbal Behavior Training,” “Pivotal Response Training,”
“Fluency-based instruction,” “Shaping or Chaining,” and
“independent work schedules/token economies,” and many
variances of “Behavior Therapy.”
Provider: Licensed Psychotherapist and, in some cases, Board
Certified Behavior Analyst.
All interventions for autism are provided by
Common practice among current agencies
providing ABA to our children is having uneducated,
nonprofessionals facilitate therapeutic interventions.
Problematic on so many levels, especially
considering the multifaceted dynamics impacting
children with autism requiring such specialized
standards of care.
WHO SHOULD PROVIDE ABA?
The field of behavior analysis is a scientific, evidence based methodology falling
under the overall embarking scope of psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is the
treatment of mental and emotional disorders through the use of psychological
techniques designed to encourage communication of conflicts and insight into
problems, with the goal being relief of symptoms, changes in behavior leading to
improved social and vocational functioning, and personality growth (American
Quality psychotherapy is provided by psychotherapist comprised of Doctoral and
Master’s level behavioral health professionals. Skilled psychotherapists typically
acknowledged are Psychiatrists, Clinical Psychologist, Marriage and Family
Therapists, Professional Counselors, and Social Workers. All of these disciplines
have gone through an extensive post-graduate training period to learn the many
complex skills involved in practicing various psychotherapy methodologies.
Current state laws included behavioral analysis as a licensed practitioner’s scope
of practice. Insurance companies recognize these three professional licenses as
an acceptable psychotherapy provider for behavioral health services to individuals
with mental health disorders. Most insurance companies and professional boards
do not acknowledge other professionals.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT ABA IS PROVIDED BY A
Doctoral and Master’s level clinicians must and should be the DIRECT provider of
therapy. Hiring non-licensed, non-certified individuals to provide psychotherapy to
children is illegal and unethical under clinical licensure laws for so many reasons.
Other interventions like Speech therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical
Therapy are not provided by inexperienced professionals. ABA must not be either!
State licensure is highly superior to certification for many reasons: quality of
services, wider knowledge base, standards of practice, and legal and ethical
accountability. This is why insurance companies will reimburse professionals.
The knowledge base and experience of a licensed clinician is much broader.
Licensed clinicians have a minimum of a Master’s Degree and a minimum of three
thousand post-grad supervised hours in multiple methodologies. Incorporating
other psychotherapy methods when an ABA procedure isn’t working or
supplementing an additional therapy to ensure better and faster results can only be
done by a licensed professional.
More stringent legal and ethical accountability applies to licensed clinicians when
ABA therapy is being received by an individual. The consumer is protected from
harm related to practice standards, appropriate diagnosis and required therapy
hours are regulated, consumer and trade boundaries are established, and quality
of services are ensured.
CONCERNS ABOUT CHANGE IN STANDARDS?
The bigger concern is not changing the current standards of practice. Accountability is
non-existent regarding a variety of issues: quality assurance, legal, ethical, consumer
and trade, wasteful spending of governmental money, and intra-governmental deceit with
contracted vendors to mention a few. All of these issues are rectified when licensure
boards are overseeing providers of behavioral health. Consumers incomprehensively
If it continues on the way it is now, consumers will continue to benefit at substandard
rates! The bottom line is change towards higher standards equates to higher benefits the
consumer receives. Higher consumer success rates within the family, school, social, and
occupational environment are achieved.
What will happen to consumers if better regulation standards occur? There are only
approximately 4500 BCBA Certified individuals in our country as opposed to
approximately hundreds of thousands licensed or working towards licensure behavioral
health specialist. There are enough service providers to go around. My personal belief is
BCBA clinicians are competent enough to provide ABA services (not other psychotherapy
methods, however). The big emphasis here is BCBA clinicians should be the provider
and NOT BCBA clinicians hiring ill equipped personnel to do their job! Remedying this
aspect is the missing piece to the puzzle…
Many consumers currently rely on governmental funding that is exponentially dwindling to
provide ABA therapy. Licensure regulations allows private sectors to be held
accountable. Licensure boards are historical entities with heavy lobbying clout. This
benefits the autism community immensely on so many levels!
WHY AUTISM DOES NOT FIT INTO A BOX
Comparative analysis against other disorders that do, so
to speak, fit into a box; Inherited genetic disorders such
as Down Syndrome or genetically predisposed with an
environmental influence disorders such as Major
Autism’s behavioral and medical symptoms excessively
The multitude of evidence based medical, biomedical,
and therapeutic methods improve autism’s
symptomology at varying degrees.
With all the above considered, Autism Does Not Fit Into
HOPE COUNSELING AND FAMILY THERAPY, INC. OFFICE: (909) 561-5466
Jamie Lynn Juarez is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Credentialed School
Counselor, and Psychophysiologist. She is a respected, national lecturer for organizations
striving to cure our world’s autism epidemic. Jamie is President of Hope Counseling and
Family Therapy, Inc. (Hope, Inc) located in Ontario, California.
Hope, Inc. is composed of a Clinical Psychologist, School Psychologist, MFTs, a
Credentialed Special Education Teacher, and a Special Education Advocate. The clinic
offers Neuropsychological Assessments, Family Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy,
Behavioral Therapy including ABA, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
(EMDR), Biofeedback, Neurofeedback, Brainmapping (QEEG), Special Education Advocacy
and Educational Therapy. Many of these services are covered by insurance.
Jamie has been happily married to her husband Salvador Juarez, a Los Angeles Police
Officer, for eleven years. They have four beautiful children: Danielle (10), Dominic (9), Devin
(5), and Daliah (4). Their second oldest son, Dominic, is severely autistic.
Together they own a non-profit Hope for Healthy Families. Their non-profit educates other
local Medical, Educational, Legal and Behavioral Health entities about autism and other
special needs disorders. The book “Changing the Course of Autism” by Dr. Bryan Jepson is
donated to these agencies along with other peer-reviewed literature about causes,
therapies, and potential cures for childhood disorders.
For more information on how to help, please visit www.hopecounselingtherapist.com