Last updated 03.28.2022

Our Mission, Vision, and Goal

Potential engages children and adults with autism in personalized programs that help them realize their full potential.

Our Vision

A world where every person with autism can lead a successful life of value.

Our Goal

To provide the highest quality interventions for individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities. We utilize current research in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) which includes an analysis of Verbal Behavior (VB) to improve communication, behavior, toileting, social skills, and more. 

Our Values

At Potential, we have respect for people and show compassion through teamwork and integrity.

Respect – High regard for others’ feelings, rights, and cultural traditions  

Compassion – Demonstrate empathy and support for co-workers, clients, and their families  

Teamwork – Supporting each other at all times in order to achieve a common goal  

Integrity – Acting in an honest and ethical manner 

Why Choose Potential

When it comes to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), parents often feel overwhelmed and are unsure where to turn for help. While there are plenty of opinions to be found, all experts agree that intervention at an early age is vital. 

We understand the emotions that accompany an initial diagnosis and want to work with families to help participants (infancy-adulthood) learn to achieve their full potential. “One of the first things I tell every parent I meet with is that, while there is no cure, there is treatment.” Kristine Quinby, Founder, President & CEO. 

We have seen a wide array of techniques used and believe that Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a well-rounded approach to helping individuals with ASD grow socially, cognitively, and emotionally. 

Potential serves the Autism and Developmental Disabilities community ages 1-64. Since our inception in 2006, we have served hundreds of individuals. Our therapists are trained in up-to-date treatments using applied behavior analysis, and services may be delivered at home, our center, a school, or in the community. Each participant’s strengths and weaknesses are assessed to design a comprehensive program unique to their specific needs. 

Potential also utilizes an experienced, licensed, and ASHA-certified speech-language pathologist, and licensed Occupational Therapists to provide evaluation and treatment. Potential’s vocational program for adults is ACRE-certified. Parent training is offered for the generalization of skills and support. 

Person-Centered Approach

Here at Potential, we use a person-centered approach. This means that we work with the individual and their support system, consulting directly with them to determine their views and aspirations that inform the decision-making process. Rather than being a medical model where the individual passively receives services or is referred to by their diagnosis (e.g., “autistic”), we embrace the person-centered approach, referring to our participants as “individuals with autism,” and then using the principles, helping them acquire new skills to allow them to live more independently in society rather than being isolated from it. 

Potential provides services and programs that are person-centered and designed to help the individual achieve greater independence in a variety of tasks that utilize a host of different skill sets (e.g., social, emotional, vocational). 

Each of our participants’ needs, abilities, and interests are taken into consideration to ensure learning experiences are appropriate, relevant, and in line with the goals stated in the individual’s treatment plan or that have been expressed by the participant or their family and caregivers.

Program Overview

Potential’s Springtime School is an ideal option for elementary and secondary-aged children on the autism spectrum who have not been successful in other programs, have a challenging behavior, or who have an additional medical diagnosis that affects learning. A Licensed Private School, we provide a comprehensive educational program tailored to the individual needs of the child and family. This program is provided on-site in Newtown Monday through Friday during typical school hours.

Potential provides Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) which support children, youth, and young adults with mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs. IBHS offers a wide array of services that meet the needs of these individuals in their homes, schools, and communities, as well as in our center and is based on individual schedules. Center-based services are provided on-site in Newtown.

Potential offers four different services for adults twenty-one up to age 64. An adult may participate in one or a combination of these services depending upon their goals. Service hours can vary from 2 – 45 hours each week, and all services are covered under the Adult Autism Waiver. This program primarily supports individuals in the community, but may provide support in our center, and is based on individual schedules. Center-based support is provided on-site in Newtown.

Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS)

Potential provides Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) which support children, youth, and young adults with mental, emotional, and behavioral health needs. IBHS offers a wide array of services that meet the needs of these individuals in their homes, schools, and communities.

To find more information regarding IBHS and the Chapter 5240 regulations that outline the requirements, please follow this link to the Department of Human Services. 

We adhere to the CASSP Principles, which are as follows:

Child-centered: Services are planned to meet the individual needs of the child, rather than to fit the child into an existing service. Services consider the child’s family and community contexts, are developmentally appropriate and child-specific, and build on the strengths of the child and family to meet the mental health, social and physical needs of the child.

Family-focused: The family is the primary support system for the child, and it is important to help empower the family to advocate for themselves. The family participates as a full partner in all stages of the decision-making and treatment planning process including implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. A family may include biological, adoptive, and foster parents, siblings, grandparents, other relatives, and other adults who are committed to the child. The development of mental health policy at state and local levels includes family representation.

Community-based: Whenever possible, services are delivered in the child’s home community, drawing on formal and informal resources to promote the child’s successful participation in the community. Community resources include not only mental health professionals and provider agencies but also social, religious, cultural organizations and other natural community support networks.

Multi-system: Services are planned in collaboration with all the child-serving systems involved in the child’s life. Representatives from all these systems and the family collaborate to define the goals for the child, develop a service plan, develop the necessary resources to implement the plan, provide appropriate support to the child and family, and evaluate progress.

Culturally competent: Culture determines our worldview and provides a general design for living and patterns for interpreting reality that is reflected in our behavior. Therefore, culturally competent services are provided by individuals who have the skills to recognize and respect the behavior, ideas, attitudes, values, beliefs, customs, language, rituals, ceremonies, and practices characteristic of a particular group of people.

Least restrictive/least intrusive: Services take place in settings that are the most appropriate and natural for the child and family and are the least restrictive and intrusive available to meet the needs of the child and family.

Potential’s IBHS Annual Quality Report may be requested by a youth, young adult or parent, legal guardian or caregiver of a child, youth, or young adult upon admission to services or at any time.

General Policies

Communication   

We encourage all families to utilize Central Reach as a primary method of communication and alerts. As part of this system, you can sign up for text message notifications that include a link to any new messages you receive. To set this up you would click on the circle in the top left of your Central Reach page and click “notification settings”. Here you could verify a mobile number and checkmark notifications for new messages via SMS. For your convenience, you may also visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/potentialinc in addition to our website at http://potentialinc.org/

The company also utilizes an announcement texting system where we text the primary number on file for clients in Central Reach in the case that we need to alert all participants. That text will come from 215-579-0670 our main number.

Food and Drink 

Potential does not provide lunches or snacks. Please send a lunch and a drink each day when applicable to services as scheduled. Also, participants may bring individual snacks each day. If allergic to particular foods, or on a special diet, please inform our team immediately. 

Nut-Aware Facility 

Potential seeks to provide a Nut Aware Facility within our waiting areas, classrooms, and throughout our center. To be Nut Aware is to be careful or avoid eating nuts while in public areas. We believe that this policy will help ensure that our school and spaces are safe learning environments for all. 

To improve nut awareness, we must clarify that this applies to all nuts, not just peanuts. For many with allergies, simply coming into contact with a small piece of a tree nut or peanut, or the oily residue that these nuts may leave behind can be fatal.

We realize that this transition may be difficult at first. However, to a child who is allergic to peanuts or other nuts, strict avoidance of these products is often the only way to prevent a life-threatening allergic reaction. If you do engage in eating peanuts, peanut butter, or other nuts be sure to thoroughly wash your hands afterward. 

Tables or other surfaces regularly touched by staff and clients will be thoroughly cleaned after client snack time or lunch, as well as after sessions have concluded. 

Therapeutic Relationships  

Dual or multiple relationships exist between a behavior analyst or technician and a participant when multiple roles exist between the two, such as if the participant is also a student, friend, family member, employee, or business associate of the analyst. Multiple relationships could impair the objectivity, competence, or effectiveness of the behavior analyst or technician. Due to the potentially harmful effects of multiple relationships, employees at Potential refrain from interacting with participants outside of the workplace. Outside interactions include personal relationships, email, and social media (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter). 

These guidelines exist to protect the confidentiality of participants and their families, as well as employees. If our employees find that, due to unforeseen factors, multiple relationships have arisen, they seek to resolve it. They recognize and inform participants about the potentially harmful effects of such relationships. 

Toilet Training  

We welcome the opportunity to work on toilet training. Our toilet training intake, along with a phone interview, will help us determine if the time to start this process is now. Please discuss this with the Program Coordinator or Clinical Manager. Our goal is to make toilet training fun and easy, not frustrating. 

If the child wears diapers, please send a supply of diapers and wipes with them, clearly labeled. Additionally, please send at least one extra pair of labeled clothing to be kept at Potential in case of accidents. Soiled or wet clothes will be sent home in a plastic bag. 

Money and Valuables  

Private property and money brought to Potential should be limited. Potential will not be held responsible for any lost or broken items brought into the facility. 

Television and Video Viewing 

Supervised TV and video viewing are only permitted when it is included in the participant’s program for reinforcement and will be limited. 

Lost and Found 

Participants should have their names on all clothing and other items brought to Potential.

Transportation

Transportation is not provided to individuals receiving home and/or center services.

Destruction of Property

Items sent with the individual to our services may become damaged or broken during services. We ask that you do not send in items or take proper precautions in doing so. Potential does not accept responsibility for the destruction of private property due to participant behavior when reasonable attempts were made to safeguard it. If there is repeated damage to facility property due to participant behaviors, a team meeting to review the treatment plan will be coordinated. Modifications may need to occur to limit the damage.

Field Trips/Non-Center Activities

Children attending non-center activities will be required to have written permission from the parent before engaging in activities at another location.

Filing a Complaint

General complaints or concerns should be first brought to the attention of the individual that the issue concerns. If the problem is not resolved, please report the issue to the supervisor of the individual whom the problem concerns. The assistance should be sought by escalating through the chain of command (Clinical Director, Operations Manager, CEO) until the problem is resolved. Contact information is provided in the Resources for Families Section. 

Discontinuation of Service

We ask that if you choose to no longer engage in our services that you provide 30 days’ notice. Doing so will help to ensure: a consistent level of care for the participant; maintenance of prior learned targets; and transition of materials and data to assist in future success. 

Emergency Preparation

Staff and participants will practice exiting the building in the event of an emergency. Additionally, we practice securing the facility in the event of a potentially dangerous situation. The Operations Manager will contact the parents/guardians in the case of an emergency. Please keep emergency contact information up to date in Central Reach at all times. You may also inform us in writing of a contact change. 

Participant Supervision

Every participant is assigned to a staff member. The staff member is responsible for supervising that individual at all times. 

Drop off and Pick up 

Upon arrival, please call 215-579-0670, hit 0 for Newtown or 0 for Warminster to let us know you are here. Staff may not arrive at your car until 5 minutes before the scheduled session starts. If the staff is running late, we will ask you to wait in your car until their arrival. Please be prepared with activities as feasible to keep your child occupied while waiting. 

Check-In/Check-Out

Our facility maintains a daily sign-in/sign-out sheet for all participants and staff members. This enables us to complete a roll call in the event of an emergency evacuation. Be sure to sign your participant in and out every day. 

Accessing Central Reach and Policies

­­­­­­­­­­­Central Reach is an Electronic Health Record System that allows us to communicate to the family in a HIPAA compliant way and provides you with all documentation produced during services and access to information about who has access to your child’s information or is scheduled for services with them.

The following table helps to explain accessing the system and the YouTube training.

Main Site URLhttps://members.centralreach.com/
Quick Link to unsigned documentationhttps://www.potentialinc.org/notes
YouTube Playlist of Training on the systemhttps://www.potentialinc.org/CRtraining

The following policy links require you to sign into Central Reach. Your Central Reach login is shared with you during the intake process. If you need more assistance in logging in, please reach out to tech@potentialinc.org, your program coordinator, or our mainline.

Attendance Policy

Please click on the following link and it will take you to a new tab where you can select preview or download the current policy for review. After reviewing, close that tab to come back to the handbook and move to the next section.

Participant Attendance Policy

Financial Policy

Please click on the following link and it will take you to a new tab where you can select preview or download the current policy for review. After reviewing close that tab to come back to the handbook and move to the next section.

Participant Financial Policy

Health and Wellness Policy

Please click on the following link and it will take you to a new tab where you can select preview or download the current policy for review. After reviewing close that tab to come back to the handbook and move to the next section.

Participant Health and Wellness Policy

Inclement Weather Policy

Please click on the following link and it will take you to a new tab where you can select preview or download the current policy for review. After reviewing close that tab to come back to the handbook and move to the next section.

Participant Inclement Weather Policy

Restrictive Management Policy

Please click on the following link and it will take you to a new tab where you can select preview or download the current policy for review. After reviewing close that tab to come back to the handbook and move to the next section.

Participant Restrictive Management Policy

Nondiscrimination of Services Policy

Please click on the following link and it will take you to a new tab where you can select preview or download the current policy for review. After reviewing close that tab to come back to the handbook and move to the next section.

Nondiscrimination of Services Policy

Notice of Privacy Practices

THIS NOTICE INVOLVES YOUR PRIVACY RIGHTS AND DESCRIBES HOW INFORMATION ABOUT YOU OR YOUR CHILD MAY BE DISCLOSED, AND HOW YOU CAN OBTAIN ACCESS TO THIS INFORMATION. PLEASE REVIEW IT CAREFULLY. 

1. Confidentiality:
Uses and Disclosures of Information Requiring Your Authorization or Consent

As a rule, Potential, Inc. will disclose no information about any participant without prior written consent. Participant records describe the services provided to each participant and contain the dates of sessions; participant medical and treatment diagnoses; reports regarding functional status, symptoms, prognosis, and progress; and any psychological testing reports. Healthcare providers are legally allowed to use or disclose records or information for treatment, payment, and healthcare operations purposes. However, Potential, Inc. does not routinely disclose information in such circumstances, and will require your permission in advance, either through your consent at the onset of our relationship (by signing the Information Release form), or through your written authorization at the time the need for disclosure arises. You may revoke your permission, in writing, at any time, by contacting Kristine Quinby. 

2. “Limits of Confidentiality:”
Possible Uses and Disclosures of Mental Health Records without Consent or Authorization

There are some important exceptions to this rule of confidentiality – some exceptions created voluntarily at the discretion of the Executive Director (some because of Potential, Inc. policies, and some required by law). If you wish to receive mental health services from Potential, Inc., you must sign the attached form indicating that you understand and consent to accept the policies about confidentiality and its limits. We will discuss these issues now, but you may reopen the conversation at any time during our work together. 

Potential, Inc. may use or disclose records or other information about a participant without his/her consent or authorization in the following circumstances, either by policy, or because legally required: 

  • Emergency: If a participant is involved in a life-threatening emergency and Potential, Inc. staff cannot ask his/her permission or readily access consent forms from the participant’s file, information will be shared if the staff member believes that the participant would have wanted him/her to do so, or if s/he believes it will be helpful to the participant. 
  • Child Abuse Reporting: If a Potential, Inc. employee has reason to suspect that a child is abused or neglected, s/he is required by Pennsylvania law to report the matter immediately to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare (Pa.C.S. 6311). 
  • Adult Abuse Reporting: If a Potential, Inc. employee has reason to suspect that an elderly or incapacitated adult is abused, neglected, or exploited, s/he is required by Pennsylvania law to immediately make a report and provide relevant information to the Pennsylvania Department of Aging and Adult Protective Services (Pa. Code § 15.158). 
  • Health Oversight: As a mental health provider, Potential, Inc. is required to report misconduct by a mental healthcare provider. 
  • Court Proceedings: If a participant is involved in a court preceding and a request is made for information about his/her diagnosis and treatment and the records thereof, such information is privileged under state law, and Potential, Inc. will not release information unless written authorization is provided, or a judge issues a court order (§ 5100.355100.32). If a subpoena for records or testimony is received, Potential, Inc. will notify the participant so that s/he (or an attorney, or the Executive Director) can file a motion to quash the subpoena and can give reasons why records should be protected from disclosure. However, while awaiting the judge’s decision, the company is required to place said records in a sealed envelope and provide them to the Clerk of Court. 
  • Serious Threat to Health or Safety: Under Pennsylvania law, if an employee of Potential, Inc. notes, during the course of care, a specific and immediate threat to cause serious bodily injury or death, to an identified or to an identifiable person, and it is believed that a participant has the intent and ability to carry out that threat immediately or imminently, Potential, Inc. is legally required to take steps to protect third parties (§ 7101). These precautions may include: 
    • warning the potential victim(s), or the parent or guardian of the potential victim(s), if under eighteen, 
    • notifying a law enforcement officer, or 
    • seeking the participant’s hospitalization
  • Records of Minors: Per Pennsylvania law and HIPAA regulations, parents, regardless of custody, may not be denied access to their child’s records. Full discussion of minors’ confidentiality rights are not explained in this document, but families should note that these rights may affect divorced parents’ right to seek mental health services for their child, or other such situations. 

Other uses and disclosures of information not covered by this notice or by the laws that apply to Potential, Inc. will be made only with a participant’s written permission. 

3. Patient’s Rights and Provider’s Duties: 

  • Right to Request Restrictions – Participants have the right to request restrictions on certain uses and disclosures of their Protected Health Information (PHI). They also have the right to request a limit on the medical information disclosed about them to someone who is involved in their care or the payment for care. To request restrictions, Potential, Inc. must have the participant’s request in writing, and know: 
    • what information the participant wants to limit
    • whether the participant wants to limit use of services, disclosure, or both
    • to whom the participant wants the limits to apply. 
  • Right to Receive Confidential Communications by Alternative Means and at Alternative Locations –Participants have the right to request and receive confidential communications of PHI by alternative means and at alternative locations. (For example, requests for invoices for service to be sent to a different address, or requests to use a particular means of communication when leaving messages.) To request alternative communication, Potential, Inc. must have the request in writing, specifying how or where the participant wishes to be contacted. 
  • Right to an Accounting of Disclosures – Participants generally have the right to receive an accounting of disclosures of PHI for which they have neither provided consent nor authorization (as described in section III of this Notice). Upon written request, the Director will discuss the details of the accounting process with the participant. 
  • Right to Inspect and Copy – In most cases, participants have the right to inspect and copy their medical and billing records. To do this, Potential, Inc. must receive a request in writing. If a copy of the information is requested, Potential, Inc. may charge a fee for costs of copying and mailing. Potential, Inc. may deny requests to inspect and copy in some circumstances. Additionally, Potential, Inc. may refuse to provide a participant access to certain psychotherapy notes or to information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil criminal, or administrative proceeding. 
  • Right to Amend – If a participant feels that PHI is incorrect or incomplete, s/he may ask Potential, Inc. to amend the information. To request an amendment, the request must be made in writing, and submitted to the Director. In addition, the participant must provide a reason that supports his/her request. Potential, Inc. may deny a request if the request is to amend information that: 
    • Was not created by Potential, Inc. (the request will be added to the information record)
    • Is not part of the medical information kept by Potential, Inc. 
    • Is not part of the information which the participant would be permitted to inspect and copy
    • is accurate and complete
  • Right to a copy of this notice – Participants have the right to a paper copy of this notice, and may request a copy at any time. Changes to this notice: Potential, Inc. reserves the right to change policies and/or to change this notice, and to make the changed notice effective for medical information already on file, as well as any information received in the future. The notice will contain the effective date. A new copy will be given to participants or posted in the waiting room. Potential, Inc. will have copies of the current notice available on request. 

Complaints: If a participant believes that his/her privacy rights have been violated, s/he may file a complaint. To do this, the complaint must be submitted in writing to this office. Participants may also send a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

Potential Calendar and Closures

Potential is closed for most major holidays and in some instances for their federally observed dates.

https://potentialinc.org/events/

Patient’s Bill of Rights

As a person receiving services at Potential, Inc., you have the right to: 

  • Be treated with dignity and respect in a clean and safe environment. 
  • Choose the services or programs in which you participate based upon information about rules, treatment procedures, costs, risks, rights, and responsibilities. 
  • Ask questions and get answers about services. 
  • Participate fully in all decisions about treatment or services, including discharge procedures from treatment. 
  • Request changes in treatment or services. 
  • Refuse treatment or service, to the extent permitted by law, and to be informed of the medical consequences of this action. 
  • Have your family involved in your treatment and have access to educational resources. 
  • Privacy while working with an ABA therapist, BCBA, or paraprofessional, and confidentiality of all information and records regarding your care. 
  • Not be subjected to verbal, physical, sexual, emotional, or financial abuse; harsh or unfair treatment. 
  • Make complaints, have them heard, get a prompt response, and not receive any threats or mistreatments as a result. 
  • File a grievance if you are not satisfied with the response to a complaint. 
  • Be assisted by an advocate of your choice – ex. family, friends, case manager, member of a consumer advocacy committee or organization, etc. 
  • Review your record, with two exceptions. 
  • Limited portions of your records can be withheld from you if your treatment team leader has written that seeing specific information would: 
  • Be harmful to your treatment 
  • Reveal the identity or break the trust of someone who has provided information in confidence. 
  • Decide who else can see your records, with several exceptions:
    • Those who do not need to ask your permission are people involved in your mental health treatment or to whom you are referred for treatment, 
    • People providing emergency medical care, 
    • An attorney representing you at a commitment hearing, 
    • A court, 
    • People conducting a program or utilization reviews, 
    • Third-party payers (those who pay for your treatment). These people may only see as much information as they need for the specific purpose requested. 
  • Receive an itemized bill and an explanation of all charges. 
  • Receive treatment without discrimination as to race, age, sex, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or marital status. 

Resources for Families

Potential encourages parents/guardians and other family members to take an active part in their treatment. It is through continued education and a better understanding of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) that families can learn to supplement the work done within our center and continue care at home – all of this helps in making incredible gains and significant accomplishments in their treatment plan. Potential will support families in accessing resources and materials. 

Parent Meeting and Training Expectations

Regular meetings will be set up between families and program coordinators on an individual basis. Also, team meetings are encouraged to involve all organizations and individuals involved in the treatment of the participant. 

Parents/guardians may wish to complete the same training that each of our staff members is required to complete within their first year. If a parent is interested in this online training, the program coordinator (PC) will coordinate through the online training system to begin the lessons.

Additionally, in-person skill training with BCBAs (Board Certified Behavior Analysts) will occur as part of our parent training program. You are an integral part of your child’s treatment, and we require your participation as part of our treatment plans. Individualized goals will be set related to parent training and your program coordinator will meet with you regularly to work on these skills.

Observations

Sessions may be observed as part of the guided observation, in which a family member can view an individual with a behavioral therapist and receive answers to questions from a program coordinator (PC). These observations need to be arranged with a PC at an agreeable time. If an observation session is desired, confidentiality forms must be signed in advance to protect the privacy of all staff and participants. 

Grievances and Complaints

Assistant Clinical Manager

Andrea Bevilacqua

215-579-0670 Ext: 202

andreab@potentialinc.org

Clinical Manager 

Karen Umstead Yosmanovich M.Ed. BCBA LBS 

215-579-0670 Ext: 113 

kareny@potentialinc.org 

Founder and CEO 

Kristine Quinby M.Ed. BCBA LBS 

215-579-0670 Ext: 105 

kquinby@potentialinc.org 

Quality Assurance Manager 

Emily Hammer 

215-579-0607 ext. 102 

Ehammer@potentialinc.org

Magellan Behavioral Health of PA 

Attention: Customer Comment Coordinator 

105 Terry Drive 

Suite 103 

Newtown, PA 18940-0873 

Fax: 1-888-656-2380 

To file your complaint by phone, please call: 

Bucks County: 1-877-769-9784 

Community Behavioral Health (CBH)

To file by phone, contact CBH at 888-545-2600 and speak with your Member Services Representative.

Alternatively, you can write

CBH

801 Market St., 7th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Attn: Provider Network Operations

DHS

http://www.dhs.pa.gov/Feedback/ 

Their contact number is 1-800-692-7462 

24/7 Crisis Support 

Access Crisis is for Montgomery County: 1-855-634-4673 
Lenape Valley Crisis is for Bucks County:1-800-499-7455 
Philadelphia Mobile Crisis: 215-685-6440 

Assessment

All individuals will be assessed to determine their current level of functioning and prioritize their needs. Assessments will be conducted upon intake and at least annually thereafter. Additional assessments may occur if an individual progresses quickly through their program, a parent requests an assessment, or if a new concern arises. 

Types of Assessments:

Intake– The initial assessment occurs during the intake appointment. This is an informal observation and parent interview so that the clinician may gain participant history and a general impression of functioning. The clinician also establishes primary parent concerns and reasons treatment is being sought, discusses treatment options, and recommends additional assessments. Treatment decisions relate to the severity of symptoms and the amount of time needed to reduce or eliminate those symptoms. This is also referred to by your insurer as a medical necessity. If needed, families are referred to other services such as educational, legal, vocational, cultural, and/or spiritual agencies. 

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) – This assessment is conducted by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) when the participant is demonstrating problem behavior. An FBA results in a hypothesis of why the participant is engaging in problem behavior so that a comprehensive behavior plan may be written that matches treatment to the function. (See: Functional Assessment and Program Development for Problem Behavior: A Practical Handbook by Robert E. O’Neill, Robert H. Horner, Richard W. Albin, Keith Storey, Jeffrey R. Sprague) 

Verbal Behavior-Milestones Assessment and Placement Protocol (VB-MAPP) by Mark Sundberg The VB-MAPP is an assessment that covers language and learning to learn skills that are demonstrated by typical children aged 0-48 months of age. It also includes barriers and transition assessments to assist with placement and treatment decisions. This assessment is appropriate for participants 1-8 years in age. It may be used with older participants in conjunction with other assessments if desired. 

Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS) by James Parrington and Michael Mueller 

This set of four assessments is appropriate for participants aged 8-21 years and older. It may also be used with younger participants who have either surpassed the skills in the VB-MAPP or are making limited progress with the VB-MAPP skills. Some or all the assessments may be used, depending upon individual needs. The set includes assessments for Basic Living Skills, Home Skills, and Community Participation Skills Protocols. 

Behavior Support Plans

The Behavior Support Plan is one method of supporting people who engage in challenging behaviors in ways that are fair, safe, humane, and effective in reducing problem behaviors. Positive behavior support is the use of ongoing methods of support that prevent or diminish the use of challenging behaviors by emphasizing the quality of life and teaching skills necessary for success, including self-management, communication, choice, and self-determination. 

Behavior Support Plans help those who support the individual and allow all staff members of Potential, Inc. who work with that individual to know exactly what to do to prevent challenging behaviors from happening, teach new or modified acceptable behaviors, and respond when prevention and teaching strategies do not work.

Purpose of the Behavior Support Plan 

The purpose of the Behavior Support Plan is to: 

  • Make clear the problem behavior(s), including the likely functions served and the context of the behavior. 
  • Provide specific guidance to support people regarding how to change the environment for success. 
  • Enhance accountability and consistency in the strategies used by the support people. 
  • Provide a solid basis for improvements and adjustments through accurate data collection and further understanding
  • Not everyone will need a formal Behavior Support Plan. However, there are certain situations for which Behavior Support Plans are necessary, including: 
  • When a person is taking psychotropic medications for controlling challenging behavior (if a medication is prescribed to treat maladaptive behavior, the Behavior Support Plan should include a plan for social, emotional, and environmental support). 
  • When a person’s quality of life is diminished by behavior and a consistent approach is needed to help the person manage their behavior. 

Behavior Support Plans and the Treatment Plan

At Potential each of our participants is assigned to a team of behavior technicians and a program coordinator (PC) who oversees their plan. It is the PC, a licensed behavior specialist who is also board-certified, who writes the participant’s Behavior Support Plan and ensures that program goals are clearly stated and easily understood by all team members who will be implementing the plan. The plan must also describe the behavior(s) in objective and measurable terms so that data can be collected most efficiently to note the participant’s progress. 

Our PCs design the participant’s Behavior Support Plan to align with information found in the individual’s treatment plan, demonstrating goals that have been expressed as well as describing supports needed to assist them through stressful or demanding situations. 

The treatment plan should include situations that may occur upon the onset of a behavior; why the behavior occurred (both team and individual’s perspectives), the rationale for the need to change the behavior; what has worked and what has not worked in the past to address the behavior(s); and results and interpretation of any assessments completed. 

Behavior Support Plans are reviewed annually as part of the treatment plan process, or more often as deemed necessary. 

Additional Involvement

Since Potential is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization, there are many ways for our staff, families, and the community to help us grow. The following are some ways you can help; however, participation is not required to receive services.

Donations

We appreciatively accept any items to be used for crafts, language activities, free play, and supplies. Please make sure donated items are complete and in good condition. Since these donations may be tax-deductible, please have an estimated value of the goods so we may provide a receipt. 

Fundraising

Various fundraisers are held each year to support Potential’s programs. Please refer to the calendar for specific events. If you would like to contribute to our fundraising efforts either with a donation or as a volunteer, please contact the Donor Relationship Manager at development@potentialinc.org

Volunteer

Throughout the year, we have several opportunities for single-day and ongoing volunteer opportunities including helping with spring and fall cleanup days, planning events, and assisting with various office tasks. If interested in volunteering, please watch for upcoming events on our website. Also, feel free to contact our office at 215-579-0670 to inquire about such opportunities. Clearances will be required.

We highly appreciate any way that you can contribute to enhancing the operations and services of our organization. 

We appreciate your support of these procedures. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to stop by the office or contact us by phone or email.

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