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Severe Behavior Program

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Who we serve

The Severe Behavior Program serves children and adolescents, up to age 21, that engage in severe forms of challenging behavior. Common diagnoses and challenging behaviors treated at the SBP include:


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Developmental delay
  • Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders
  • Intellectual disability
  • Intermittent explosive disorder
  • Oppositional defiant disorder
  • Stereotypic movement disorder with self-injurious behavior
  • Trisomy 21 (Down syndrome)

Challenging Behaviors:

  • Aggression
  • Disruptive behavior
  • Elopement
  • Non-compliance
  • Self-injury
  • Pica
  • Property destruction
  • Stereotypy

Children appropriate for these services are those whose behavior puts them or their family at serious risk for diminished health and/or the child is at risk for a change in their home or school placement.

Our Treatment Approach:

A team of Licensed Psychologists, Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), and direct-care staff assist families with understanding the purpose behind their child's challenging behavior and develop individualized treatments that focus on the prevention of challenging behavior. We work to address five main goals during admission:

  1. To assess the child’s challenging behavior by identifying the situations that are likely to produce it and the consequences that are likely to maintain it. This functional approach to assessment is most helpful by identifying the key events in the environment that can be modified to suppress challenging behavior and promote appropriate behavior during treatment.
  2. To teach the child to engage in socially-appropriate replacement behavior that serves the same purpose as challenging behavior.
  3. To develop strategies to help the child learn to better tolerate difficult situations. That is, we aim to teach our patients new ways to respond and deal with the difficult situations that have occasioned challenging behavior in the past.
  4. To train caregivers (i.e., parents, teachers, paraprofessionals) to implement treatment procedures specific to their child's challenging behavior.
  5. To ensure treatment gains carryover into the child’s natural environment (e.g., home, school, community). To do so, a combination of telehealth, in-home visits, and/or behavioral consultation will be offered for follow-up care.