Autism Care for Toddlers (ACT) Clinic

Autism Care for Toddlers (ACT) Clinic in the Psychology department at MMI

What is the ACT Clinic?

The Autism Care for Toddlers (ACT) Clinic is a community outreach program located in the Autism Center of Nebraska at the intersection of 90th and Q streets. The clinic provides early intervention services using applied behavior analysis (ABA), which is the only research-supported treatment for autism spectrum disorders. The clinic offers one-on-one services for toddlers with autism and a caregiver-training program.

Who benefits from services at the ACT clinic?  

Toddlers diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder benefit from services at the ACT Clinic. Toddlers are eligible for services at the clinic until the fall following their fourth birthday, at which point a transition plan is developed.

Who provides the services?  

Services are provided by undergraduate- and graduate-level behavioral therapists in various disciplines (e.g., speech-language pathology, psychology, special education). Therapists are either Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) or are working toward RBT certification. The majority of the clinic's direct care staff are members of AmeriCorps, a national service organization.

Training and ongoing supervision is provided by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and/or Licensed Mental Health Practitioners (LMHP) with expertise in ABA.

What skills are targeted?  

Programming is individualized based on each child’s strengths and areas of need. The Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP) is used to assess skill level upon entry to the clinic and every six months thereafter. VB-MAPP assessments are used to identify areas in need of intervention, which may include skills in the areas of receptive and expressive language, adaptive behavior (e.g., self-help skills), pre-academics, social interactions or play.

What does a typical session look like?  

Each child works one-on-one with a behavioral therapist. Therapeutic activities rotate every 15 minutes and include highly structured learning opportunities via discrete-trial teaching (DTT) and naturalistic instruction in small-group activities (e.g., circle time, arts and crafts) and play settings.

What support is available for parents and caregivers?  

The ACT Clinic offers a caregiver-training program that teaches the skills required to increase language, decrease challenging behaviors and promote generalization of skills to home and community settings. Instructional information is delivered in a group format during which behavioral techniques are described and modeled by BCBAs. Each caregiver then attends a follow-up session with his/her child in which skills are practiced and feedback is delivered.

Outside of the caregiver training program, caregivers are encouraged to regularly attend parts of their children’s sessions to participate in the therapeutic process. Supervising BCBAs also work with caregivers to problem-solve concerns that arise outside of the clinic setting.

What is the cost?  

Many insurance providers provide benefits for services, but it is your responsibility to check with your provider to confirm coverage.

Is there a waiting list?  

To inquire about accessing community services available for young children with ASD through the Autism Care for Toddlers Clinic, please contact Lisa Nelson at 402-559-4223. For more information about the Clinic, see our brochure.

How can I get involved?  

To learn more about AmeriCorps or other opportunities available at the ACT Clinic, please contact Hanna Beck.