Child’s Play + Autism

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?

Also known as Adaptive Behavior Treatment when categorized in a medical model, ABA is most widely used in the mainstream as a method of identifying the specific needs of a patient in order to develop individualized instruction geared towards improving the symptoms of autism. This process has been proven to work as it assesses what skills the patient is lacking and initiates how they can be improved for the better. Today, ABA is widely recognized as a safe and effective treatment for autism. It has been endorsed by a number of state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Surgeon General. Over the last decade, the nation has seen a particularly dramatic increase in the use of ABA to help persons with autism live happy and productive lives. In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective.

By its very nature, human behavior is complex. So is ASD, which affects individuals in a myriad of different ways. Behavior analysis is a natural science whose subject matter is individual behavior interacting dynamically with the physical and social environment. Research in basic and applied behavior analysis conducted over several decades has produced a very large array of procedures for improving socially important behaviors by changing environmental events. Designing and implementing effective ABA interventions for people with ASD therefore involves many variables. Although the Guidelines reference some quantitative treatment parameters that have been derived from research and expert opinion, they state repeatedly that all aspects of ABA interventions must be customized to the strengths, needs, preferences, and environmental circumstances of each individual patient and their caregivers, and must be flexible so as to accommodate changes that occur over the course of treatment.

Your ABA Clinical Team

Laci Boxell

Laci Boxell, BCBA

Supervising Consultant, Jefferson Park

Laci joined Child’s Play in 2015, coming from the human services field. Laci earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and religious studies from Indiana University in Bloomington, IN and went on to complete her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University.

Mindy Fairchild

Mindy Fairchild, BCBA

Supervising Consultant, Huntington

Mindy is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and earned her Masters degree from Ball State University, with undergraduate work from Huntington University. She is responsible the implementation of patients’ programming plans and assisting patient-assigned clinicians as a caseload assistant and Behavior Analyst.

She is the consulting provider for patient caseloads at her clinical location at Jefferson Park, overseeing direct care of the patients served there.

Jordyn Furnish

Jordyn Furnish, BCBA

Clinical Consultant, Glenbrook

As Clinical Care Manager, Jordyn ensures Child’s Play’s operational standards of practice are driven to excellence at the Huntington clinic’s local level. Jordyn works alongside the location’s Clinical Consultant on behavior analysis caseload as well as serving as the head of Child’s Play Plus’ various services coordination, staffing, facilities, client family needs and insurance coordination at Huntington. Jordyn is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and earned her Masters degree from Ball State University and her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Indiana University.

Rachael Hope

Rachael Hope, BCBA

Clinical Consultant, Huntington

As Clinical Care Manager, Rachael ensures Child’s Play’s operational standards of practice are driven to excellence at the Glenbrook clinic’s local level. Rachael works alongside the location’s Clinical Consultant on behavior analysis caseload as well as serving as the head of Child’s Play Plus’ various services coordination, staffing, facilities, client family needs and insurance coordination at Glenbrook. Rachael is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and earned her Masters degree from Ball State University and her bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Huntington University. Rachael also assists as one of Child’s Play’s certified Safe Crisis Management (SCM) instructors.

Rachael has been with Child’s Play since 2016.

Brianna McClellan

Brianna McClellan, BCBA

Clinical Consultant, Jefferson Park

Brianna is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and earned her master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University, and a bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Franklin College.

She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, consulting on patient caseloads at her clinical location in Huntington, overseeing direct care of the patients served there.

Brianna joined Child’s Play in 2018.

Tiffany Shaw

Tiffany Shaw, BCBA

Clinical Director - Behavior Analysis

Tiffany joined Child’s Play Plus at its founding as one of the original therapists. As a seasoned BCBA, she now works with the ABA clinical teams across all locations to oversee and consult with our clinicians and help train staff as needed. Tiffany specializes in consulting on early learners and verbal behavior acquisition. Her expertise in increasing the speed of new skill development with young clientele is evident as patients see exceptional outcomes!

Tiffany earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Ball State University and then her master’s degree in Special Education, concentrating in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

David Sober

David Sober, BCBA

Supervising Consultant, Glenbrook

David joined Child’s Play at its founding in 2014 as one of the original therapists. David earned a bachelors degree in speech pathology from Ball State University and earned his master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from Ball State University.

He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, consulting on patient caseloads at his clinical location at our Fort Wayne Glenbrook location, overseeing direct care of the patients served there.

What kind of progress can be expected?

Competently delivered ABA intervention can help learners with autism make meaningful changes in many areas. However, changes do not typically occur quickly. Rather, most learners require intensive and ongoing instruction that builds on their step-by-step progress. Moreover, the rate of progress – like the goals of intervention – varies considerably from person to person depending on age, level of functioning, family goals and other factors.

Some learners do acquire skills quickly. But typically, this rapid progress happens in just one or two particular skill areas such as reading, while much more instruction and practice is needed to master another skill area such as interacting with peers.

When should my child begin treatment?

It is very important to provide early intervention in your child’s development in order to make the most dramatic positive impact. Since young brains are the most flexible and make the most progress, early intervention is a crucial aspect of the developmental process and might even reduce the need for any intensive care later. Child’s Play + Autism welcomes children from toddlers to teens and encourages beginning therapy as early as possible.

Want to get started?

Start planning your first visit by entering your information here. One of our staff members will then contact you to confirm your appointment. Together, we can make the most of your child’s life. Better care is just the beginning.

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Types of Therapists at Child’s Play

The field of ABA has many levels of certification and education/experience requirements:

  • Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are educated at a Master’s Level in Applied Behavior Analysis, supervised concentration during training for many hundreds of hours, and must pass a certification exam and maintain continuing education in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. The majority of insurance companies use a BCBA’s credentials as medical professionals for network services and contract directly with providers on this level. At Child’s Play, while each client officially has an assigned BCBA heading their case, our clinicians lead each child’s protocols in concert. Each of our Consultants specialize in separate and overlapping areas of learning. Whatever your family’s needs, Child’s Play strives to have you covered. As your needs change; well, we’ve got that too.
  • Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts (BCaBA) are required to have a Bachelor’s Degree in an approved field, meeting the required concentration hours of the certification and supervision in their program, and also must pass a certification exam and maintain continuing education in the field of ABA. BCaBAs must work with the oversight of a BCBA, and are generally used to support and increase the number of patients a BCBA can ethically oversee at any given time. It is not uncommon to have BCaBAs providing direct care of necessary cases.
  • The Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) level is a newer certification in our field, only rolled out in the late 2010s. RBT Certification requires a High School education (although many autism centers utilize staff who are college graduates in non-ABA fields) and RBTs can only work in the field when constantly overseen and supervised by a BCBA. RBTs are trained by their BCBA, fulfilling a certification credential and must pass a certification examination. RBTs cannot operate on limited supervision or on their own. Moving forward, many insurers will likely be requiring all therapist-level positions to be RBT certified, and some already do; Child’s Play is working to remain ahead of that requirement with our ongoing certification and training program at the center-based location level of care.

Success Stories

  • When looking for a school or center for a child with autism, the resources are limited when a typical school environment is not functional for your child. We came upon Child’s Play Autism Center and immediately fell in love with the one-on-one interaction for our daughter. Not only does she get one-on-one ABA therapy in her own private therapy room, she also has the opportunity to interact with other students. There are so many areas for her to “play” and learn. There is a music area, pretend play area, gross motor area, sensory area, kitchen area and so much more. She gets the chance to go shopping at the grocery store to work on social behaviors as well as takes trips to the mall. And she goes out to lunch to work on her social and public goals. All of the staff is amazing and is in constant communication as to how my daughter is doing. They are all so supportive! My daughter has excelled greatly since beginning at Child’s Play Autism Center!!! I am so thankful they are here in Ft. Wayne!

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • As a parent it is hard to watch your child struggle and not make progress in normal child development areas such as verbal, social, emotional and academic skills. As a family we were at a level of deep frustration and didn’t know where to turn to get help. Thankfully, you made a commitment to our community to provide ABA therapy services.

    Child’s Play has provided us with an opportunity to address all of the issues our son has with a program that is comprehensive and customized. Other programs we’ve utilized only address speech when it is the allotted speech time, etc. At Child’s Play Autism Center, they formulate a unique plan for each individual child and work on deficient skills with a precise calculated strategy so your child can attain multiple goals with the completion of one task.

    More than just the therapeutic processes provided, the staff genuinely care for my child and his progress. ABA therapy has been a blessing in our life. We have a long way to go but every week we see some sort of progress in speech or behavior. Child’s Play is making a difference in our entire family’s life for the better and they are a great community asset.

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • Child’s Play Autism Centers has been coordinating with the Bowen Center on behalf of children and families in Huntington since they began in 2013. The staff are very dedicated to providing individualized treatment, explaining benefits of ABA therapy, and making every child and family who walk through the door feel comfortable. We are pleased to see the tremendous progress in the children who we referred.

    -Shelly Snyder, Director of the Huntington Bowen Center
  • My confidence in their ability to help my patients has yet to wane. Child’s Play is an amazing resource to our community.

    -Dr. Duane Hougendobler, Regional Clinical Medical Director for Parkview Pediatrics
  • Hope…. hope is the word that best sums up what Child’s Play has given not just (our son) but our whole family. A year ago things were feeling pretty hopeless. It has been so uplifting to see the progress in (his)’s level of independence, self care, independent living skills, and emotional control. Making the decision to send him to Child’s Play is one we will never regret.

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • They are amazing!! So happy that there is a place for my daughter to go and be challenged to meet her potential!!

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • They are a blessing. They have done so much for my son. Couldn’t ask for anything better. You guys rock.

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • Our son has grown leaps and bounds under Rebecca’s supervision. He engages with his peers, has had a huge decrease in meltdowns and works daily on his difficulties on transitions. We are more than pleased with his progress and he loves being there with all his friends!

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • They are the best! I couldn’t ask for a better place for (my son) to go to…. He went from barely being able to walk with a walk to walking independently in a matter of five months. His therapist’s Rock!!!!!!

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • I feel incredibly blessed by my child’s support team. I pinch myself everyday when I think about how lucky we are to have found Child’s Play. My child is loved, supported, and encouraged every step of the way, and it shows–he is thriving!

    -Caregiver Review, Online
  • We love this place. We could not be any happier with the results and the huge improvement with our son. They always go more and beyond to help him. I highly recommend this place to anybody who is looking for ABA services.

    -Caregiver Review, Online