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Getting Started with a Behavioral Program

1. If the child hasn’t already received an Autism Evaluation by the Education System, call Early Intervention or Referral and Evaluation Agency at (503) 378-3600 x2337 or see or see

2. Obtain a computer, an email account, and an internet connection.

3. Build your own network of support by joining local and national ABA listserves, support groups, and informational groups like:
• AutismOregon listserve -
• AutismOregon forum –
• Me-List listserve -
• DTT-NET list -
• VerbalBehavior list -

4. Get a copy of The Verbal Behavior Approach by Mary Barbera, Teaching Language to Children with Autism or Other Developmental Disabilities by Mark Sundberg and James Partington, and Behavioral Intervention for Young Children with Autism by Catherine Maurice. Some are available in your public library.

5. Go observe a home program. By joining various email lists you can find local people that have sessions that you can view.

6. Begin learning about special education law (see back of book). Contact Developmental Disabilities Office, Oregon Parent Training Institute (Oregon PTI) or a local advocate for help on IFSP/IEP goals and services.

7. Contact and interview ABA providers in order to determine which program is best suited for you and your child’s needs.

8. Recruit, interview, and hire program therapists. Join the poac-or list at or post requests at to find potential therapists or referrals.

9. Be completely involved in your home program in every aspect, as much as it is possible for you. Detailed knowledge of your child can make a huge difference.

10. Keep learning. Try to not become overly confident or stagnant in your knowledge. Continue to attend conferences to remind you of the foundational principles of ABA.

11. Understand child developmental milestones. You can track your child’s past and current skills by completing The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills (ABLLS). This assessment is highly recommended.