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Behavioral Health Works Expands Autism Services

Behavioral Health Works this month opened its first on-site Autism Care & Support Center at its headquarters in Anaheim.

The firm has been providing its services via outpatient support since its start in 2009.

About 20% of Orange County children between the ages of 3 and 22 enrolled in special education programs have been diagnosed with autism, up from about 3% in 2000, the company said.

The new center will offer behavioral analysis, occupational and speech therapy, developmental assessment, social skills groups and parent training. Sibling and family support groups will launch soon.

It provides a wide assortment of services under one roof, whereas typically families need to see at least three providers for autism support, the company said.

“BHW is proud to offer families true 360-degree care for their loved ones,” said Chief Clinical Officer Michael Zhe.

The firm now offers in-home, telehealth and on-site care services.

Pooling Services

Behavioral Health is certified by the California Department of Education and contracts with school districts to provide various services for individuals with autism.

Its service lineup includes a brand of psychology known as applied behavior analysis, which uses certain techniques to change a person’s behavior. The company said applied behavior analysis can be used with autism patients to limit what it calls “challenging behavior,” such as aggression and tantrums.

The firm, which has about 1,700 clients in nine states, expects to open at least three additional on-site care centers in undisclosed locations in 2021, it said.

Expansion plans follow TA Associates’ strategic investment in Behavioral Health in early 2019. TA Associates’ investments typically range from $70 million to $500 million in equity value, according to its website.

Community Efforts

Behavioral Health joins a number of groups tackling autism in OC.

The University of California, Irvine plans to house its Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders in its new $221 million center for advanced care, which is expected to begin construction this year.

The Center for Autism & Neurodevelopmental Disorders got started with a $14 million grant from the William & Nancy Thompson Family Foundation in 2012.

Bill Thompson was the longtime chief executive of Pimco in Newport Beach. He retired in 2008.

The Thompson Family Foundation also gave a $10 million donation to Children’s Hospital of Orange County to launch its autism center.

The Thompson Autism Center, which works with Chapman University to assist families in navigating the education system from preschool to college, opened early last year.

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