As the only not-for-profit organization in the Pacific Northwest dedicated to providing evidence-based services, NBA prides itself on the individual attention each child and family receives from highly qualified staff. Northwest Behavioral Associates (NBA) was founded to 1) provide quality educational and behavioral support for children with autism and related disorders and their families, 2) create a pool of well-trained home tutors and school personnel that serve children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), 3) increase community awareness about ASD and applied behavior analysis (ABA).
In September of 1999, five young women with a passion for children and a commitment to the science of ABA poured themselves into creating a not-for-profit organization that could provide state of the art individualized intervention for children with ASD. NBA’s original staff members were Allison Lowy Apple, Wendy Knowles, Erin Rosenthal, Stacey Shook, and Heather Wilson. Within a year of opening our doors, we were joined by Manya Vaupel and Dana Salinger and soon after, Amy Barnhill. As services expanded in 2001 Amy Shriver and Allyson Moore joined the organization. 2002 saw the addition of Stacy Barton and Graydon Agar. Melissa Liotti, Kelly Ferris, Christina Sutyak, and Jane Shively were hired in 2003. In addition, more dedicated parents with children with autism came together as the Board of Directors of NBA in 1999, and several parents continue to serve on the Board today. This group raised the funds (through individual donations) to open the organization’s doors and hire its first staff. NBA also has an Advisory Board that includes educators and researchers, cutting edge practitioners in interventions for ASD, who are designing innovative methods to break through ASD’s wall, and reach the human child within.
Initially serving approximately 30 families, the addition of new Program Managers as well as the consistent expansion of the Outreach Program has allowed NBA to more than quadruple the number of children and families served throughout Washington, Oregon, central California, and abroad. There is a tremendous demand for qualified individuals to provide educational and behavioral support to children with ASD and their families. All too often, families seeking intensive intervention for their children are confronted with professionals whose fees far outweigh their experience and the quality and effectiveness of the services they provide. We are proud of our direct intervention staff members who are certified behavior analysts, and today, serve over 150 families.
NBA serves an incredibly wide range of children on the autism spectrum, ages 2 – 14. While there is a general recommended service delivery model, the kinds of individualized services now provided include direct intervention from masters and doctoral level behavior analysts; school, home, and community consultation; individualized curriculum development and preparation; parent and home tutor training; in-home tutor services, and small group instruction.
Our Training Program, initiated in the fall of 2000 with the help of a generous grant from the Gates Foundation has evolved from a purely home tutor based focus to include trainings for school district personnel, parent training courses and on-going training and support for tutors. In addition, in June 2009, NBA began hiring its own tutors to serve our families and their children in their homes. To date, we have provided training, both theoretical and hands on, to over 600 parents, home tutors, and school personnel since the program’s inception.
NBA is committed to the delivery of sound, innovative services to the children we already serve and to the many who are on our waiting lists. We look forward to providing much needed scholarships to families for whom the financial strain of raising a child with ASD is too great. We are excited about the collaborative relationships we have formed with school districts and related service providers, and hope these relationships only foster a better understanding of ASD and ABA in the wider community.