Spring Edition | 2022

“Spring Into Spring!” | A Message From Our CEO

by Kathleen Stengel, MS, BCBA, LBA
CEO of NeurAbilities Healthcare
Can you believe it’s spring? People seem as if they are awakening from hibernation after a long winter. As the days now are getting longer and the weather gets warmer, I am reminded of what spring is all about: growth. Each year we enjoy the flowers blooming, the birds chirping and new life developing. It seems only fitting, then, to announce several new initiatives, clinic openings, and employee growth opportunities in this spring newsletter…

A Message From Our CMO

by Mark Mintz, MD
CMO & Founder of NeurAbilities Healthcare
We have encountered many challenges along our shared journey with the patients and families that we serve. Nevertheless, our exponential growth over the years despite these trials and tribulations has been a testament to the value of our “Specialty Care Medical Home®” (SCMH). Thus, it was with great interest that I encountered a recent academic publication that has validated our original vision. These authors emphasize the need for new and innovative health care delivery models that are…

Chicken Nuggets Again??? When Your Child With Autism Refuses to Try New Foods

by Lauren Sivelle, MSEd, BCBA
Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Freehold Clinic
Food selectivity is a common concern among parents of children on the Autism Spectrum. Food selectivity can be more than just “picky eating,” as it often involves a significantly restricted food repertoire, and complete refusal of entire foods or food categories based upon things like taste, texture, color, etcetera. Food selectivity is often very distressing for parents and caregivers of children with Autism, as they often worry about adequate caloric intake, nutrition, and overall good health.

Addressing the Silent Needs of Siblings of Children with an Autism Diagnosis

By Alexandra Back, MA, ATR-BC, LPC
Director of Creative Arts Programs
While it is necessary for us as a community and as service providers to address the needs of children with Autism, it is also important for us to acknowledge and respond to the quieter, sometimes forgotten needs of their siblings. Many children may have questions or strong feelings about their Autistic sibling’s behaviors, needs, and diagnosis. They may feel like their sibling gets more attention from parents, caregivers, or family, and may feel confused about how to play with or engage their sibling. As they become…

A Positive Workplace Culture at NeurAbilities

NeurAbilities employees were recently surveyed by Energage, an independent survey group, to provide feedback about employment at NeurAbilities. We learned about areas in the company where we excel (and areas for improvement) and as a result, we were awarded four Culture Badges! Badges were awarded to companies surveyed by Energage who ranked in the top 25% of similarly sized organizations in a similar industry in the past 12 months. To learn more about a future at NeurAbilities and join our amazing team, visit our Careers Page

July 21 | Open House Center City Treatment Center

July 21 | Open House Center City Treatment Center

Come join us for an Open House at our new Center City Philadelphia ABA Treatment Center! Thursday, July 21st from 12:00-4:00pm. Tour our fun "story book" themed facility, meet our senior staff, and...

Conference Presentations

April 18 – 20
Structuring ABA Operations for Value Based Care

Autism Investor Summit in L.A., California
Interest in value-based care programs is on the rise in all areas of healthcare. Models of care delivery that account for quality care, progress toward outcomes, efficiency, and cost savings are the holy grail for all behavior health programming. Specifically for autism therapy, the goal of VBC models over the last several years has been to define the measures for treatment that can demonstrate progress or overall outcomes. Identifying these measures is only the first aspect. Execution of a VBC model requires methods of data collection across the practice in a systematic manner over time that is easily reportable. Only then can outcomes be truly measured. This talk will discuss a basic framework for assuring administrative and operational structure to collect, track, and analyze data required for VBC payment models for ABA therapy providers.

Kathleen Stengel, MS, BCBA, LBA
April 22
Supporting High Schoolers Executive Function Skills While Preparing Them for College

Learning Disabilities Association of NJ
This presentation will discuss strategies for students struggling in areas of executive dysfunction as it relates to the transition from high school to college. We will talk about what executive dysfunction looks like in real-life, how and when to intervene (e.g., seeking out a neuropsychological evaluation, requesting accommodations, executive function coaching), and strategies for fostering motivation and independence in students during this time. Participants will be provided with relevant resources (e.g., recommended books and websites).

Cristina Sperrazza, PsyD
Leora Haller, Extern Student
April 22
Solving for X: Math Disabilities and Executive Functioning

Learning Disabilities Association of NJ
This workshop will focus on a discussion of math learning disabilities as well as the role of executive functioning in mathematics. Attention will be paid to the different classifications of math learning disabilities and how these issues may present in the classroom. A review of common intervention strategies will also be discussed.

Hilary Murphy, Ph.D.
April 24 – 26
Artificial Intelligence: Impact on Clinical Practice

American Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting: Virtual Experience
The 2022 AAN Annual Meeting is back in person—with the addition of a distinct convenient virtual option, too! Let’s make this the best Annual Meeting yet, by getting back to the unforgettable moments, the friendships and camaraderie, the knowledge sharing, and the opportunities for success we create when we’re together. As always, the meeting will be filled with exclusive neurology science and education for neurology professionals worldwide and applicable for all career stages.

Mark Mintz, MD
October 20 – 24
A Physician’s Perspective on Using ABA Data to Guide Medical Treatment

40th Anniversary Autism NJ Conference
We are actively planning an in-person event and exploring hybrid elements for attendees to join virtually. We expect attendance to exceed 1,000 as it has every year for decades. Look for more details soon! No matter your connection, our conference is for you.

Mark Mintz, MD
Kaori Nepo, PhD, BCBA-D
October 20 – 24
Value Based Care for ABA providers: What is the fuss about? And how can I get in?

40th Anniversary Autism NJ Conference
We are actively planning an in-person event and exploring hybrid elements for attendees to join virtually. We expect attendance to exceed 1,000 as it has every year for decades. Look for more details soon! No matter your connection, our conference is for you.

Kathleen Stengel, MS, BCBA, LBA

Community Presentations

April 27
The Relationship Between Autism and Epilepsy: The Role of Neuropsychology

Hosted by the Family Resource Network
Medical research indicates that epilepsy and autism commonly co-occur, which warrants a multifaceted approach to assessment and treatment. In this webinar Dr. Murphy will highlight the relationship between autism and epilepsy and explain the importance of conducting a neuropsychological assessment for patients with this comorbid condition. Dr. Murphy will further explain how a neuropsychological evaluation can assist in diagnosis and treatment planning, particularly for children and adolescents. Participants will learn how evaluation results can assist in tailoring interventions for home, life, and school.

Hilary Murphy, PhD
April 28
Autism: Navigating the Journey

Hosted by NeurAbilities Healthcare
Autism is a spectrum disorder, presenting differently in each person and requiring an interdisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment throughout an individuals’ life. In this presentation, our panel of specialists will provide insights for parents and professionals into identifying signs of autism and who to speak with about those concerns and what to expect along the way through a child’s development. Attendees will also learn about the subtle differences of autism symptoms between the sexes and how neuropsychological testing can best inform treatment decisions for each individual child, including the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Our Board Certified Behavior Analyst will review the benefits of ABA for children at different stages of their lives and how it can inform treatment decisions. This presentation will be helpful to families and other professionals caring for children with autism of any age.

Lisa Alberts, DNP, PMHNP-BC
Azlen Theobald, PsyD
Erin O’Brien, LDT-C, BCBA
May 4
Medication Management of Tourette’s Syndromes and Co-Occurring Conditions

Hosted by New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome (NJCTS)
Many individuals living with Tourette Syndrome will require medication to control symptoms of the disease. A subset of those living with Tourette Syndrome will also experience conditions such as anxiety, autism, ADHD, obsessive compulsive disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder and require varied medication and treatment options. In this presentation, Dr. Takijah Heard will review the recommended medication treatments and side effects for treating Tourette’s syndrome along with other neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions that can co-occur.

Takijah Heard, MD
June 1
Attentional Difficulties and Cognitive Functioning in Individuals with Epilepsy

Hosted by New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome
This webinar will focus on a review of the common cognitive and attentional difficulties faced by individuals with epilepsy. Information will be provided about how epilepsy can impact the brain and behavior. Additional focus will be given to a review of the role of neuropsychological assessment in guiding academic and behavioral treatments.

Hilary Murphy, PhD

Completed Presentations

The Benefits of a Neuropsychological Evaluation (hosted by NJTCS)
Cristina Sperrazza, PsyD
Is Co-sleeping becoming a pain in your neck?
Erin O’Brien, LDT-C, BCBA
Whining, Crying, and Screaming: Oh My!
Tori Perko, BCBA
Transitioning from ABA to School Services
Erin O’Brien, LDT-C, BCBA
What Does Autism Have to Do with Epilepsy
Mark Mintz, MD

Recent Publications

Alberts, Lisa (2022). Preliminary Development and Testing of the Risk Assessment Checklist for Self-Injury in Autism-Medical (RACSA-M) Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice, Volume 15, Number 1, 2022 © 2022 Springer Publishing Company

Lisa Alberts, DNP, PMHNP-BC

Mintz, Mark. “Care Model Case Study: Patient and Family-centered Specialty Care Medical Home.” American Academy of Neurology, January 2022, pp. 1-3.

Mark Mintz, MD
Omri Bar. Rapid Nucleic Acid Reaction Circuits for Point-Of-Care Diseases Diagnosis. Approved for publication in “Current Topics in Medicinal Chemistry” Journal.
Omri Bar

Upcoming Community Exhibits

April 24
Autism Society of Greater Philadelphia – Philadelphia Zoo
May 7
CIACC – Monmouth County Children’s Mental Health Awareness Day
June 11
POAC Walk for Autism

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