Behavior Therapy

Behavior therapy has been shown to be effective in teaching skills across all domains to typically developing children, as well as children with developmental delays. Behavior management strategies work to reduce inappropriate behaviors and increase appropriate behaviors in a variety of settings.

Our Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will complete a functional behavior assessment to evaluate your child’s needs and develop an individualized plan for your child and family. Our BCBA will work with you, your family and your child’s teachers and other therapists to implement the behavior plan into everyday activities to bring about meaningful and positive changes in behavior.

Behavior Therapy requires a prescription from your child’s doctor (PhD or MD) and the wording must be on the doctor’s letterhead and include the following:

Referring organization/physician
Specific behaviors that are needing treatments. Examples include:  
  • Difficulty understanding social situations and peer interactions, which limit participation in the community.
  • Difficulty with communication in relating to peers.
  • Elopement (running off), hitting, biting, throwing objects, destroying materials, self-injury, hitting self in the face, will not follow instructions, knocking over furniture, tantrums that are disruptive to the home environment, etc.
  • Behaviors are severe enough that the child is not able to participate fully in the community with family or severe challenging behaviors that are inhibiting progress in other therapies (SLP, PT, OT) and the child will likely be discharged as a result.
Orders request a functional behavioral assessment and ABA services and therapy at (list all locations, i.e., home, SRVS Kids, school, etc.) Those words specifically must be on the order or it will be denied.
Diagnosis: autism only (or developmental/intellectual disability for TennCare)
(must be some form of autism, PDD, developmental or intellectual disability for TennCare)   
ICD-10 diagnosis code(s) with severity listed (See Severity Rating Chart below)
Signature of the prescribing physician or PhD.  We cannot accept a referral or signature from a nurse practitioner, unfortunately.
Severity level Social Communication Restricted, Receptive behaviors

Level 3

"Requiring very substanial support"

Severe deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills cause severe impairments in functioning, very limited initiation of social interactions, and minimal response to social overtures from others. For example, a person with few words of intelligible speech who rarely initiates interaction and, when he or she does, makes unusual approaches to meet needs only and responds to only very direct social approaches.

Inflexibility of behavior, extreme difficulty coping with change, or other restricted/repetitive behaviors markedly interfere with functioning in all spheres. Great distress/difficulty changing focus or action.

Level 2

"Requiring substantial support"

Marked deficits in verbal and nonverbal social communication skills; social impairments apparent even with supports in place; limited initiation of social interactions; and reduced or abnormal responses to social overtures from others. For example, a person who speaks simple sentences, whose interaction is limited to narrow special interests, and who has markedly odd nonverbal communication.

Inflexibility of behavior, difficulty coping with change, or other restricted/repetitive behaviors appear frequently enough to be obvious to the casual observer and interfere with functioning in a variety of contexts. Distress and/or difficulty changing focus or action.

Level 1

"Requiring support"

Without supports in place, deficits in social communication cause noticeable impairments. Difficulty initiating social interactions, and clear examples of atypical or unsuccessful responses to social overtures of others. May appear to have decreased interest in social interactions. For example, a person who is able to speak in full sentences and engages in communication but whose to-and-fro conversation with others fails, and whose attempts to make friends are odd and typically unsuccessful.

Inflexibility of behavior causes significant interference with functioning in one or more contexts. Difficulty switching between activities. Problems of organization and planning hamper independence.