Intensive Behavioral Health Services & ABA Services

Children's Service Center's Intensive Behavioral Health Services provide clinical services to eligible children and adolescents with mental health diagnoses. Services are provided to children and their families to assist them in developing new skills and coping mechanisms.

Children's Service Center offers services specifically centered around the needs of children and adolescents diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The autism program includes staff who are specially trained in FBA (Functional Behavior Analysis), BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analysis), and ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis).

Population Served: The program serves children and adolescents who have been evaluated by a psychologist with medical necessity established and the clinical recommendation for participation in this level of care. BHRS serves upper Luzerne County (not including Hazleton) and Wyoming County. In addtion to Luzerne and Wyoming counties, the Autism Program also serves Danville, Hazleton and Scranton.

Services: Services are provided to both the youth and his or her caretakers with families expected to be active participants in the treatment process. Services are individualized and treatment interventions are based on a treatment plan developed by team members consisting of family, child, school and behavioral health staff. Care is provided in the home, school or community setting with a child-centered and family focus.

Treatment Team: The team may be composed of, but is not limited to, the following:

  • The client and his or her family
  • Psychologists
  • Behavioral Consultants(BC)
  • Master's level clinicians (MT)
  • Bachelor's level Behavioral Health Technicians (BHT)
  • Case managers
  • Collaborative agencies
  • Educational staff

Treatment Locations: Services are provided in the child's home, school setting, or community.

Hours of Operation: This flexible service can be provided to the client during times and on days most convenient in order to meet treatment needs. The daily schedule of interventions is incorporated into the treatment plan that is developed by the team and can be revised according to need.

IBHS Direct Contact

Carolanne Jones-Leco, Vice President of Programs
Phone: 570-825-6425 x345

What is Autism?

Autism has been called the epidemic of our time. One in 88 children are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). More children will be diagnosed with ASD this year than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined.

Autism is a complex developmental disability. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it includes a large range of symptoms and behaviors, along with difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions and play activities. Some behavioral characteristics might be visible in infancy (6 to 24 months), while others become more obvious during early childhood (24 months to 6 years).

Red flags can include:

  • Not initiating or responding to cuddling as an infant
  • No big smiles or joyful expressions by 9 months
  • Not responding to name by 9 months
  • No babbling by 12 months
  • No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months
  • No words by 16 months
  • No two-word phrases by 24 months
  • Any loss of language or social skills at any age.

Autism is treatable

If concerns exist, it is essential to identify the presence of the disorder as soon as possible. Research indicates that early diagnosis and intervention are associated with dramatically better treatment outcomes.

This is especially true in the case of infants and toddlers. Research shows that interventions before the age of 6 are the most effective. Also, the newest research suggests it might be possible to reverse ASD symptoms in children in this age range. This is due to the incredibly malleable nature of the brain during this time. A delay in diagnosis can jeopardize this opportunity.

Behavioral gains can also be made during later years, as well. Research shows improvements in social competence, peer relationships, and emotional development in school-age children and teens receiving treatment.

Not sure where to start?

If you notice several of the red flags on a consistent basis over time and would like more information, please contact a pediatrician, primary care doctor, your local school district, or Children's Service Center (CSC).

Where to get help

Children's Service Center is committed to providing services that identify and treat ASD. Identification of ASD occurs through an evaluation consisting of diagnostic interviewing and psychological testing. Parents/caregivers are asked for developmental history and to identify the presence/absence of behaviors associated with ASD. Also, the Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale 2 (ADOS-2) might be used. The ADOS-2 has been identified as the "gold standard" in the behavioral assessment of ASD. Results from the ADOS-2 provide important information about behaviors associated with ASD, which is integral in diagnosing and planning treatment for individuals with ASD.

CSC has a treatment program specifically designed to meet the needs of children and adolescents with ASD. Our ABA program is offered in several counties throughout Pennsylvania. We work very closely with all local school districts, doctors and psychologists.

For more information on CSC's ABA services, please contact Shelley Loughney, Director of ABA, at 570-825-6425, ext. 646 or

ABA Direct Contact

Shelley Loughney, Director of ABA
Phone: 570-825-6425 x646