Complex Behavior Program

Nationwide Children's Hospital's Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders Complex Behavior Program provides caregivers and providers with effective strategies to help children reduce their dangerous or problematic behavior patterns and build coping skills.

Children served include individuals who are ages 2-22 and diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and/or other developmental disabilities.

We offer services in office, at home, within community settings and by telehealth.

Our program aims to:

  • Assess problem behaviors and strengths of the child
  • Develop goals based on the family’s priorities
  • Create an individualized treatment plan, emphasizing skill building
  • Provide direct intervention to the child and/or training to caregivers and providers
  • Ensure skills learned in treatment transfer to other situations and other people
  • Teach safety management strategies to caregivers and providers

Services We Offer

Depending on the needs of your child and family, you will be referred to one of the following services:

Complex Behavior Consultation
  • Provides community-based behavior consultation services
  • Focuses on services to caregivers and other providers, with the child present
  • Consists of 2-hour sessions for 6 months, starting weekly and decreasing in frequency over time
  • Appropriate for children who:
    • Demonstrate moderate to severe problem behavior
    • Require consultation in the school or community setting
Day Treatment
  • Provides intensive clinic-based service with community-based follow-up
  • Consists of 4 weeks of daily 3-hour in-office sessions and 4 months of follow-up sessions in the home, school, and community settings
  • Focuses on direct intervention with the child, along with training and support of caregivers and providers
  • Appropriate for children who:
    • Demonstrate severe problem behavior
    • May cause significant injury to self or others
    • Have had recent hospitalization or residential care
    • Have required the use of “hands-on” procedures to be safe at home or school
Comprehensive Family Intervention
  • Provides care that blends mental health approaches with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to treat problem behavior
  • Consists of weekly sessions for 6 months, implemented 1-3 times per week
  • Focuses on services to caregivers and other providers, with the child present, and may include co-treatment with mental health counselors
  • Appropriate for children who:
    • Have been diagnosed with additional mental health diagnoses
    • Have not been diagnosed with an intellectual disability
    • Often engage in suicidal and/or homicidal ideation, threats or attempts, as well as mild to moderate problem behavior
Additional Supports
  • Community Trainings: Education and training regarding significant problem behavior and effective strategies for community providers and school teams
  • School Consultation: Support for school systems and their services for students with complex behavioral needs

Crisis Support

If you have concerns about serious injury to your child or others, call 911. Please review the "Crisis Information" tab here for mental health crisis support resources.