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 individuals with autism and their families. All too often, families seeking intensive intervention for their learners 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 learners and families than are currently served, and 2) to create a pool of highly qualified individuals who can provide appropriate educational services for learners 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.

What services will NBA provide?

  • Direct Intervention
  • Home, School, and Community Consultation Services
  • Individualized Curriculum and Program Development
  • Parent Coaching and Support
  • On-going Behavior Technician Training
  • On-going Assessment and Evaluation of Learner Progress
  • Formal Training Workshops for the Community
  • Sibling Support

Where will these services be provided?

Services will be delivered across all the environments in which a learner participates. Direct intervention and many consultation services will be provided at the NBA center located in Bellevue, WA. Direct intervention occurs in learners’ home and community environments and NBA service providers will be available to observe school programs on a regularly scheduled basis.

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

Each learner’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 learner as well as information collected throughout service provision. Each learner 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. Team meetings and clinics are held on a rotating basis in lieu of sessions. The Program Supervisor attends each learner’s meetings and clinics. For learners’ programs for which the Assistant Director and other Program Supervisor(s) supervise, the Director will attend meetings on a pre-determined schedule.

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

NBA treats each learners’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 learner. 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 learner receives after being accepted at NBA?

Program Managers consult with parents and the Director and/or Assistant Director or other Program Supervisor(s) regularly about their short term and long-term priorities for their learner. It is the responsibility of the Program Manager to design the scope and sequence of each learner’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 Behavior Technician?

Behavior Technicians must be licensed in Washington state in order to deliver behavior analytic services. As such, we do not generally hire parents as Behavior Technicians at NBA.

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 a Director who is a certified BCBA-D. She is responsible for overseeing all aspects of each learner’s program as well as managing the activities of the Assistant Director, and the Program Managers. Some Program Managers have additional roles at the center, including the Training Coordinator, Small Group Intervention Coordinator, and Community-Based Instruction Program Coordinator.

May I select a specific Program Manager?

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

What is the role of Behavior Technicians within the program?

Behavior Technicians will receive training from the NBA Training Coordinator and Program Managers in order to effectively and efficiently deliver intervention. NBA’s Behavior Technicians are state licensed Certified Behavior Technicians and receive intensive training and on going supervision as part of their employment. Behavior Technicians are responsible for implementing their learners’ individualized programs, collecting program data, and reporting results to their respective Program Managers.

Is it a requirement to have Behavior Technicians for the program?

In determining the number of suggested hours for a learner to make meaningful progress, the NBA team will also make recommendations about the structure of a home program, which can include a number of Behavior Technicians, 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 learner’s program in mind and the overall structure of the program is periodically reviewed for effectiveness; however NBA cannot require additional services.

How can I support NBA?

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

  • Donate money and/or materials to support the on-going success of the organization
  • Add NBA as your charity of choice on
  • Contact NBA if you know people who may be interested in partnering with or assisting NBA
  • Donate your services or talents (e.g. printing services, computer skills, accounting, curriculum creation, fundraising experience, etc)
  • Provide your input to the organization. The more feedback we receive, the better we can serve you and your learners.
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