Monthly Archives: April 2015

ABS California

Alternative Behavior Strategies‘ (ABS) mission is to provide the most effective treatment possible for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. To achieve this, we respond to the goals set forth by the parents, as well as the treatment team, and then tailor a program to help the child attain these goals. We strive to provide the most effective treatment by using a variety of methods empirically proven to be effective through clinical research, offering Behavior Alternatives to Open New Opportunities.



Alternative Behavior Strategies, Inc. has been in operation for several years with great success and is expanding services into the state of California.  ABS has created features that have set standards above and beyond traditional requirements. Such features have opened access to clients in other regions, reaching beyond urban areas in Salt Lake and Utah Counties, and into rural areas of Utah and California:

San Bernardino County Riverside County High Desert &Mountain Region Other Areas
Section 1: Metro Section 1: Metro Section 2: Outreach Section 2: Outreach
Available for immediate enrollment Available for immediate enrollment Minimum of 3 referrals required within a 20-mile radius of each other to effectively service these communities and develop a local team of staff.  Minimum of 3 referrals required within a 20-mile radius to effectively service these communities and develop a local team of staff. 
Alta Loma Calimesa Adelanto Banning 
Bloomington Corona Apple Valley Beaumont
Bryn Mawr Eastvale Barstow Canyon Lake
Chino Glen Avon Hesperia Cathedral City
Chino Hills Jurupa Valley Lucerne Valley Coachella
Colton Mira Loma Twentynine Palms Desert Hot Springs
Etiwanda Moreno Valley Yucca Valley Hemet
Fontana Norco Victorville Homeland
Grand Terrace Riverside Big Bear City Indian Wells
Highland Rubidoux Big Bear Lake Indio
Loma Linda Bluejay Lake Elsinore
Mentone Crestline La Quinta
Montclair Fawnskin Menifee
Ontario Lake Arrowhead Murrieta
Rancho Cucamonga Running Springs Palm Desert
Redlands Palm Springs
Rialto Perris
San Bernardino Rancho Mirage
Upland San Jacinto
Yucaipa Sun City

Program Features

Alternative Behavior Strategies, Inc (ABS) is a consultation based service provider that focuses on the use of Applied Behavior Analysis to help ameliorate deficits and excesses attributable to a Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Social Emotional Disorder. ABS utilizes a variety of ABA techniques that incorporate motivation and function based teaching into the curriculum of family/community dynamic. These techniques vary from Verbal Behavior, Pivotal Response Training, Natural Environment Teaching and Positive Behavior Supports to more intense teaching methodologies such as Discrete Trial Training. Behavior change strategies focus on the development of alternative behaviors and establishment of skill sets that can replace maladaptive behavior. Programming and behavior plans are individualized to meet the needs of each client and are developed from research based assessment tools. Data sheets, behavior plans, past baselines, progress graphs and notes are all accessed LIVE through  ABPathfinder Autism Software.

Program Integration for Multiple Therapies

The additional service goals, such as: speech therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills are implemented into ABA programs. This allows for full integration of all skills to be applied on a consistent basis and in all environments. ABS skilled staff work together, within ABPathfinder (a HIPPA Compliant system) in order to view clinical data and notes in order to have a collaborative integration of all therapies.

Professionally Trained Staff

The ABS training model is extensive and exceeds BACB requirements for RBT training and oversight. Employees are able to enroll in Applied Behavior Analysis online coursework with a skilled ABS instructor, along with a collaborative ABS staff cohort (through the University of West Florida)  in conjunction  with a promotion to Lead Interventionist. This model has proven to provide clients with skilled technicians fully enveloped in ABA concepts.

Areas of Need Treated by Outpatient Pediatric Occupational Therapists

Areas of Need Treated by Outpatient Pediatric Occupational Therapists

   (by Victoria Kochanek)

Occupational therapists often receive numerous questions from other professionals and parents about how we can help their children. Occupational Therapy has such a wide range of treatment options, many people are not aware of the vast services I can provide and may not understand how they differ from services other healthcare professionals offer. It is so gratifying that there are a variety of services I can offer to help children and young adults develop skills and overcome obstacles. I’ve always enjoyed outpatient occupational therapy somewhat more than other practice settings because I feel there are more options in which I can help children and their families. It is so rewarding to work in areas of sensory integration, feeding dysfunction and/or neural motor limitations in order to help a child overcome their anxieties or traumatic experiences that we would consider common place or enjoyable.

In my opinion, outpatient therapy activities are extremely fun-filled and engaging for children. This is the main focus of my therapy, to make the experience as fun as possible for the kid while I challenge what they can do or tolerate. I use various Ayres sensory equipment to assist a child with tolerating different debilitating conditions such as gravitational insecurity or tactile defensiveness. I can also use this theory and other similar occupational therapy evidence to utilize proprioceptive, vestibular, or deep pressure as a means of modifying how they experience various treatment activities. I also use graded obstacle courses to help calm a child’s sensory seeking or hyperactive behavior. I can also use occupations and equipment to assist a child with improving their motor, social, emotional and/or cognitive skills so they can have a greater childhood experience with play, academic/sports and other tasks. These are only a few of many services I provide to help the child enjoy themselves as their sensory-neural systems are re-programming or they are developing the base performance skills required to successfully perform and participate in their daily lives.

Below is a list of general services an occupational therapist would work with a child in an outpatient setting.

Self Care and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living:

  • Bathing and hygiene tasks
  • Toileting and toilet hygiene
  • Dressing and manipulating clothing fasteners
  • Eating and being able to feed themselves, ex: use of eating utensils
  • Functional mobility as it pertains to occupations/tasks in their daily lives
  • Instrumental or higher level tasks include but are not limited to:
    • Management of chores and homework, light meal preparation and safety/young adulthood skills.

Sensory and Behavioral-Based Feeding:

  • Use of a variety of evidence-based sensory feeding and behavioral approaches to increase the variety of textures and foods a child can tolerate eating.

Fine Motor and Gross Motor Development for Occupations and Play:

  • Being able demonstrate improved fine motor abilities for finger isolation, bilateral integration, crossing midline, developing a dominant hand for various tool use, etc.
  • Gross motor examples include but not limited to:
    • Reaching developmental milestones through gross motor play. Being able to kick and throw a ball, ride a bicycle, use and explore playground equipment.

Sensory Integration and Sensory Processing:

  • Provide Ayres certified Sensory Integration to increase tolerance of sensory information from various tasks and the child’s environment.
  • Provide other evidence-base models of sensory treatment to further increase tolerance/processing/modulation and increase participation in various play and necessary self-help/developmental tasks.

Occupation-Based Social and Cognitive Skills Development:

  • Use of the child’s variety of roles and tasks/occupations they participate in or would like to achieve to increase social interactions, friendships and sibling bonding.
  • Through performance of necessary and favorable occupations, occupational therapy can work on a child’s attention, executive functioning, organization, emotional regulation and other cognitive processes.

Services Provided:

  • Individual direct occupational therapy as well as consultation.
  • Development of a family and client-tailored home program to carry over success of skills and goals at home.
  • Screenings and assessments.

Outpatient Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Outpatient Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Alternative Behavior Strategies is very excited to have Victoria Kochanek, OTR/L, a licensed, pediatric occupational therapist working with us on a part time basis now, to soon see patients on a full time availability this Fall. To schedule her services, please call 801 935-4171 or email:


Victoria holds a Masters Degree of Occupational Therapy from The University of Utah. She obtained her official recognition to practice occupational therapy from the National Board of Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and is licensed by the Utah Occupational Therapy State Licensing Board.

She has great passion for working with of children of all ages, who have specialized needs or disabilities. She has worked with children who have disabilities since she was in high school. Her work has been recognized through several philanthropy and volunteer awards including The Utah Philanthropy Day Award for her services with the National Ability Center. Victoria’s mission is to provide the best, individualized and evidence-based practice for children with disabilities and their families.

Victoria has worked with, including but not limited to: Children who have Autism, Down syndrome, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, Cerebral Palsy, and Developmental delay. Her passion is to assist children and their families with obtaining the highest functional level of participation in their daily lives. She is Ayres Sensory Integration certified and has experience with Neuro-developmental Treatment (NDT), Constraint Induced Movement therapy (CIMT), sensory/behavioral-based feeding programs. She also provides services to address fine/gross motor and self-help skills acquisition to help children reach developmental milestones and client-centered goals. Victoria believes strongly in communicating and collaborating with clients, their families and all team members involved in the child’s progress to ensure a successful, client-centered process of care.

ASD Services Public Meeting: March 31, 2015

In July 2014, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the federal agency that oversees state Medicaid programs, provided an informational bulletin to Medicaid agencies throughout the nation. The bulletin informed state Medicaid agencies that they must begin providing autism spectrum disorder (ASD)-related services to children under 21 through the general Medicaid benefit. This is a significant change from previous CMS guidance. (A copy of the July 2014 CMS Informational Bulletin, Clarification of Medicaid Coverage of Services to Children with Autism is here: CIB-07-07-14).

Through a home and community based waiver program, Utah Medicaid currently offers ASD-related services to a limited population (children ages 2 through 6). Under the recent CMS guidance, Medicaid will be required to serve any Medicaid eligible client under 21.

Over the past few months, the Medicaid agency has been developing draft ASD services policy. Throughout the initial development, Utah Medicaid sought the advice and guidance of experts from Primary Children’s Medical Center, the University of Utah and Utah State University.

At this point, we would like to discuss the CMS guidance, Utah Medicaid’s draft policy, and the impact the new policy will have on the current Medicaid Autism Waiver with a broader group of families, providers and other stakeholders. To facilitate this discussion, a meeting has been scheduled on:

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM
at the
Utah Department of Health
Cannon Building, Room 125
288 North 1460 West
Salt Lake City.


Lots of information was shared; however,  it is still in draft status.

A few highlights: