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Behavior Analysis Clinic now treating children as young as 3 years old

Jul. 14, 2008, 4:53 PM

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Behavior Analysis Clinic, which serves families who have a child with an intellectual or other developmental disability and who also engage in challenging behaviors, is now working with children as young as 3 years old.

"Many children and adolescents with disabilities have behavior problems that interfere with typical development and learning," said Nea Houchins-Juarez, clinic coordinator.

"We moved our minimum age from 5 years old to 3 years old to help support families and children when intense challenging behaviors are initially observed after diagnosis of a developmental disability – rather than having a family wait until age 5, which can lead to even more intense challenging behaviors."

Parents, or other care providers, and their child visit the clinic for an initial functional behavior assessment. During a second visit, families work with clinic staff to develop and refine a behavior intervention plan that is individually tailored to the needs of the child. Clinicians then work with the family in their home for the next month, teaching the skills needed to minimize the child’s behavior problems. Typically, the majority of behavior problems are reduced by 90 percent or greater after taking part in the program.

Services are provided by board-certified behavior analysts. The clinic also is a training site for graduate students in the department of special education at Peabody College.

The clinic is a joint venture among the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Peabody College, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

For information on fees and services, call (615) 322-9007, or e-mail

Media Contact:Courtney Taylor, (615) 322-5658

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