Frequently Asked Questions

Why was Northwest Behavioral Associates created?

There is a tremendous demand in the Puget Sound area for qualified individuals to provide educational and behavioral support to children with autism 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.

Northwest Behavioral Associates (NBA), a nonprofit organization, was created: 1) to provide quality educational and behavioral support to more children and families than are currently served, and 2) to create a pool of highly qualified individuals who can provide appropriate educational services for children with autism and related disorders.

What are the teaching strategies under which NBA implements intervention?

NBA implements intervention based on the principles of applied behavior analysis. Behavior analytic intervention for autism focuses on systematically breaking down and teaching small, measurable units of behavior one step at a time. Generally, socially significant behaviors are increased using positive reinforcement procedures while maladaptive behaviors are decreased via the procedures of extinction, punishment, or the replacement of the maladaptive behavior with a more desired behavior. Specific strategies include, but are not limited to, Discrete Trial Instruction, Incidental or Naturalistic Teaching, Fluency Based Instruction, Functional Communication Training, Analysis of Verbal Behavior, Errorless Teaching, Pivotal Response Training (PRT), and Positive Behavior Support (PBS).

What services will NBA provide?

  • Direct Intervention

  • Home, School, and Community Consultation Services

  • Individualized Curriculum and Program Development

  • Parent Education and Training

  • On-going Tutor Training and Workshops

  • On-going Assessment and Evaluation of Child Progress

  • Formal Training Workshops for the Community

  • Family Support

Where will these services be provided?

Services will be delivered across all the environments in which a child participates. Direct intervention and many consultation services will be provided at the NBA center located in Bellevue, WA. Each child's home program will remain intact and the NBA service providers will be available to observe school and community programs on a regularly scheduled basis.

How many hours of direct intervention should/will my child receive?

Each child's Program Supervisor and Program Manager work together to determine a recommended number of intervention hours. This information is based on previous information about the child as well as information collected throughout service provision. Each child will receive weekly hour and a half supervision sessions with their Program Manager with 15 minutes of additional consultation time for parents at the end of the session. These sessions total one hour and forty-five minutes in duration. One time per month, a meeting is held in place of the session. The Program Supervisor attends each child's meetings on a monthly basis. For students' programs for which the Assistant Director supervises, the Executive Director will attend meetings quarterly.

How does NBA decide which skills my child will receive instruction?

NBA treats each child's needs individually. Program Managers review existing reports from outside services providers, districts, physicians, and other professionals. The Program Managers will conduct their own set of assessments upon intake in order to collect additional information they feel may be relevant to the appropriate and individual treatment of the child. In addition, we look to parents as an important source of information for how to direct the interventions programs we design. On-going data collection and analysis allows us to make decisions about continuing and new instruction.

Do I have a choice about the programs and services my child receives after being accepted at NBA?

Program Managers consult with parents and the Executive Director and/or Assistant Director regularly about their short term and long-term priorities for their child. It is the responsibility of the Program Manager to design the scope and sequence of each child's intervention plan. This process involves extensive knowledge about autism, behavior analysis, and is conducted under the ethical guidelines put forth by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

May I, as a parent, be trained as a tutor?

NBA currently provides a six-session parent training workshop series twice per year. We provide beginner tutor training workshops two times per month. Generally, we recommend families to hire additional service providers or tutors, to deliver the intervention program written by the Program Managers. Please discuss specific cases directly with you child's Program Manager or the Executive Director.

How is NBA structured?

NBA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit. There is Board of Directors responsible for NBA as a nonprofit. The center has an Executive Director who is a certified BCBA and has received her Ph.D. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of each child's program as well as managing the activities of the Assistant Director, and the Program Managers. The Program Managers also at times have additional roles at the center, including the Training Coordinator, Small Group Intervention Coordinator, and Direct Instruction Supervisor.

Can I select a specific Program Manager?

The Executive Director will assign Program Managers based on their availability and an assessment of your child and family's needs. We recognize that each child's needs are unique and our goal is to match families with the Program Manager best equipped to meet their needs.

Will NBA find tutors for families?

Recruiting tutors is not a service provided by NBA. However, people interested in working with children often approach Program Managers and the Executive Director about working with children with autism. In those cases, NBA will actively work with interested individuals to provide training and notify families of their availability. NBA provides rigorous and comprehensive training to tutors hired by families.

What is the role of tutors within the program?

Tutors will receive training from NBA Program Managers in order to effectively and efficiently deliver intervention. NBA provides a three-part tutor training workshop at various points throughout the year. After the initial training, tutors implement the instructional programs, collect data, and make within session decisions under the supervision of the Program Manager to ensure each child makes efficient progress. Tutors are also expected to attend the monthly team meetings.

Is it a requirement to have tutors for the program?

In determining the number of suggested hours for a child to make meaningful progress, the NBA team will also make recommendations about the structure of a home program, which can include a number of home tutors, different types of instructional technologies, environmental arrangement for home intervention, materials, suggested related service providers, etc. These recommendations are made with the best interest of the child's program in mind and the overall structure of the program is periodically reviewed for effectiveness; however NBA cannot require additional home tutors.

How can I support NBA?

There are several ways you can support the organization. You can:

  • Take a moment to read through our How Can I Help? section of the web site.
  • Provide your input to the organization. The more feedback we receive, the better we can serve you and your children