Learn about Intensive Behavioral Intervention (IBI)


The IBI program is a comprehensive treatment for children with autism using applied behavior analysis (ABA). This autism treatment is evidence-based and recommended by the Association for Science in Autism and the Surgeon General. It is an intensive approach that has been empirically demonstrated to remediate the core symptoms of autism to a greater extent than any other treatment.  Intensity is a critical factor in reaching the greatest outcome and typically 35-40 hours per week is prescribed.  This intensive autism service takes place entirely in the child’s home. A team of staff will be assigned to each child to provide direct one-to-one instruction focused on language, social, and behavioral development.


Applied behavior analysis techniques are specifically taught to all of our staff so their interactions with the child increases language and social skills while decreasing difficult or problematic behavior. Our staff are trained to manage non-compliance, aggressive, destructive, self-injurious, and stereotypic behavior often exhibited by children with autism. Additional clinical resources are provided by experienced supervisors, Board Certified Behavior Analysts and Licensed Psychologists to immediately address and remediate behavioral concerns.


The success of the IBI autism treatment relies on the skillful use of positive reinforcement procedures. Staff will use things to eat, things to drink, things to watch, and things to play with, in combination with social interactions to motivate the child to produce independent language skills. The family will work with the supervisor to identify reinforcers specifically for the program. Skills that the child had not learned in other environments will carefully be taught and reinforced before moving on to more advanced skills. Our emphasis on fun and success is obvious when watching our staff work with a child. We strive for “no tears” in our sessions and feel that working with a happy, successful, and motivated child produces learning outcomes often never seen before.




The first skills we teach are those that lay a foundation for learning any new skill. Learning-to-learn skills will be taught first using a high rate of reinforcement. Coming to work independently, paying attention, and choosing what reinforcer to work for are very important skills to master if the child is to master complex language. Our Language Curriculum consists of over 120 programs.   The IBI program teaches the skill domains of Learning to Learn, Social and Independent Play, Imitation, Receptive language, Social language, and Expressive language. The scope and sequence of the programs ensure that concepts are thoroughly learned with the child being successful each step of the way.


A significant factor in the child’s success is family skills training where parents first learn to generalize skills learned in sessions with the therapist, and then learn to use specific strategies to obtain and maintain low rates of problem behavior and high rates of compliance.


If the family is interested in additional training BDI provides a series of trainings on specific parenting strategies called General Interaction Strategies (GIS).  The series of trainings teach the family about reinforcement, responding to requests, offering choices, giving instructions, redirection, and responding to upsets.  Once the family completes GIS, BDI can also provide assistance with toilet training, sleep disorders, feeding disorders, outings, and social skills training.


Common questions about the IBI program: 

Who should receive these services?

Children with a diagnosis of autism who display significant delays in development as well as severe behavior disorders are appropriately treated with the IBI model. The disorder may be so severe that the children may be unlikely to function safely in the home or community; attain normal developmental milestones; or succeed in a regular classroom without substantial one-to-one support.


The IBI model is only appropriate for children for whom the goal of treatment is to restore normal functioning as much as possible, and who demonstrate strong response to treatment on objective quantitative measures. Services are typically most appropriate for children under the age of 5.  BDI’s existing data suggest response to treatment can be evaluated after nine months of treatment.


What is the time commitment?  The child must be available Monday through Friday, every day for two 3-3.5 hour shifts for a minimum of 35 hours per week. We are only able to alter the schedule for a child who still requires naps. Additional weekday and weekend hours are available after the initial 35 hours are scheduled.


What is the length of service?  The length of service is typically 2 – 4 years.


Where do the services take place? The service occurs in the child’s home and a caregiver must be present at all times.


What type of participation is required by the family?  The family is required to meet with the Senior Therapist weekly to discuss the child’s progress.


If you are interested in receiving services, please complete the intake packet. 


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