Standards Committee Guidelines
The ACQ Standards Committee is charged with developing accreditation standards that are:
Designed to promote quality and rigor for healthcare organizations providing ABA services to individuals with ASD.
Informed and valued by multiple stakeholders representing the various parties impacted by services.
Based in evidence when possible and logically considered when the evidence is unknown.
Capable of accommodating various organization types, sizes, settings, and treatment models.
Reasonable and feasible for organizations to achieve, maintain, and document.
Flexible to accommodate innovations and differing pathways to deliver effective services to patients.
ACQ Standards Committee (2022-2023)
Eric Larsson, PhD, LP, BCBA-D (Chair)
Executive Director, Clinical Services, Lovaas Institute Midwest
Dr. Larsson is the Executive Director of Clinical Services at the Lovaas Institute Midwest, where he implements and researches the renowned program of intensive early intervention services with families of children who suffer from autism. He is a Licensed Psychologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral. Dr. Larsson is the current President of the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Fundación Lovaas in Barcelona. He has served on the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and as Associate Research Director of the NIMH Multi-site Replication Study of the UCLA Young Autism Project. Dr. Larsson actively supports advocacy efforts to increase access to ABA services for autism and consults internationally on clinical programming and evaluation. In 2013 he received the Provider of the Year Award from Autism Speaks in Washington, DC, and the Leadership Award from the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA), in Anaheim, CA.
Eileen Mendes, BA (Vice Chair)
Vice President Compliance and Quality, Autism Care Partners
Eileen has worked in the human services field for the last 22 years. She spent half her career working in various capacities serving children and adolescents with severe and complex trauma histories in residential programs before transitioning to organizations that provide ABA to individuals with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental disabilities, brain injury and neurobehavioral disorders, and other special needs. In 2017, Eileen became a founding member and director on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts Coalition of ABA Providers (MassCAP). MassCAP merged with BABAT (Massachusetts Professionals in Behavior Analysis, where she serves as an Assistant Director of the Professional Practice Committee. Ms. Mendes continues to hold leadership positions in both nonprofit and for profit agencies overseeing and consulting on compliance, quality, licensing, accreditation, risk management, and related performance improvement initiatives.
Leila Allen, MA, BCBA, LBA
Chief Clinical Officer, Lighthouse Autism Center
Leila has worked in the ABA field for over 15 years professionally. Her passion for the autism community started as a child with a very personal connection. Starting out as a direct therapist with a child with autism in college, her career has expanded, working with a wide variety of clients in several different settings, including adults, young children, in schools, group homes, day and psychiatric programs and center-based programs. In 2012, Ms. Allen went back to her center-based ABA roots when she joined an upstart program in Northern Indiana, Lighthouse Autism Center. Over the last 10 years, she has been a part of growing and developing this organization and functioning as the Chief Clinical and Compliance Officer for the last few years. In the last 2 years, Leila’s passion for advocacy, compliance, and regulatory impacts has grown, leading towards roles on Indiana’s Licensure Committee and involvement in several groups working towards better access to care and high-quality outcomes.
Matthew Busick, PhD, BCBA, LBA
Consultant, Fast Slow Motion
Dr. Matthew Busick is a Consultant for Fast Slow Motion, where he combines principles and strategies of Organizational Behavior Management (OBM) with technology solutions, partners with business clients to manage projects on their behalf, and guides clients toward realizing their unique digital transformation goals and organizational change management initiatives. Prior to his work as a business consultant, Matthew devoted 20 years of clinical practice – 16 years as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst – to ABA autism services, specializing in evidence-based early intervention. His most recent autism services work included launching an outpatient clinic program for a nonprofit organization in Alabama. Serving in an administrator role as Statewide Director, he oversaw the growth of the clinic program from startup to 5 locations across the state providing ABA therapy and parent coaching services to over 50 active patients and their families, over 80% of whom were funded by Alabama Medicaid. He continues to pursue his passions for equitable access to patient and family support services, ethical standards of organizational practice, and advancement of high-quality ABA with meaningful outcomes through voluntary committee work with state- and national-level nonprofit organizations dedicated to such missions.
Amanda Davidson, MS, BCBA
Chief Executive Officer, Anchors Aweigh ABA LLC
Amanda is originally from Philadelphia, PA and currently resides in the Jacksonville, FL area. She graduated from Auburn University in 2009 with her Master of Science in Psychology with a Concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis in Developmental Disabilities. She became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst in 2009. She has worked with young children, adolescents, and adults with Autism and Developmental Disabilities. Amanda has experience working across clinic, in home, community, and school settings. Prior to opening Anchors Aweigh ABA LLC, she served as a Clinical Director providing early intensive behavior analytic therapy, supervision, and parent training. Her areas of expertise include sleeping interventions, problem behavior reduction, treating food selectivity, and functional communication training.
Daniela Fazzio, PhD, BCBA-D
Director, Center for Autism, Alpine Learning Group
Dr. Daniela Fazzio is a clinician with 25 years of experience working with children and families on the autism spectrum. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst-Doctoral, she has coordinated and directed high quality early intensive behavioral intervention programs in Canada and the United States. Dr. Fazzio is also an adjunct professor of graduate studies in behavior analysis, has published several peer reviewed articles, and serves as an invited reviewer for the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis and other journals. Dr. Fazzio is committed to values- and evidence-based interventions for best outcomes and client experience.
Arzu Forough, BS, BA
President & CEO, Washington Autism Alliance
Ms. Forough brings over 20 years of experience in training and development to her position, including leadership development, government relations and non-profit management.In 2007 she founded Washington Autism Alliance and developed the “Autism IEP supplement: Best Practice Guidelines for educating students with autism”. Her IEP supplement as well as guidelines for training teachers was legally adopted by the Washington State legislature in 2008 and became the requirement for all teachers working with learners with Autism Spectrum Disorders statewide. Arzu introduced Shayan’s Law, Autism Insurance Parity to the Washington State legislature, petitioned the state Health technology Assessment of evidence based treatment of autism and ignited multiple legal actions that have clarified state and federal laws mandating insurance benefits for those with autism and other developmental disabilities.
Gina Green, PhD, BCBA-D
Gina Green, PhD, BCBA-D has been a faculty member in Behavior Analysis and Therapy at Southern Illinois University; Director of Research at the New England Center for Children; Associate Scientist at the E.K. Shriver Center for Mental Retardation; a Lecturer in Public Health and Special Education at San Diego State University; and CEO of the Association of Professional Behavior Analysts. She has authored numerous publications in experimental and applied behavior analysis and served on the editorial boards of several professional journals. Dr. Green has held leadership positions in several behavior analysis organizations. Her work has garnered awards from numerous state, regional, national, and international organizations. Dr. Green lectures and consults widely on behavioral research, effective interventions for people diagnosed with autism and related disorders, and public policies affecting the practice of ABA.
Naa Garrido, MS, BCBA, LBS
Founder/CEO, Galena Autism and Behavioral Services (GABS)
Naa Ameley Garrido is the founder and CEO of GABS and GABS Academy, serving neurodiverse children and their families with compassionate evidence based care. Located in Bucks County, PA, both her companies provide Applied Behavior Analysis and educational services, through intensive early intervention services, private state licensed special education, school district consultation, caregiver training, and clinic-based, home-bases, and community-based services. Her experiences as a Ghanian immigrant informs her mission for equitable access to health for all children regardless of what family they were born to, or where they live. Her passion for building supportive relationships and community drives her enthusiasm for the Autism and ABA community. As a mother to three incredible children, she finds joy in sharing in their curiosity for the world around us.
Pablo Juárez, M.Ed., BCBA/LBA
Director of TRIAD & Director of Behavior Analysis, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center & Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Pablo Juárez, M.Ed., LBA (TN), BCBA serves as Director of Behavior Analysis at Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) and Division of Developmental Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, as well as Co-Director of VKC’s autism institute, TRIAD. He has served people with disabilities since high school, attending University of North Texas (B.S.) and Vanderbilt University (M.Ed.) where he specialized in applied behavior analysis and special education. Juárez has been a behavior analyst for over two decades, recently focusing on developing community-informed and community-assessed practice models, in which service delivery is guided and assessed by the communities practitioners directly impact. He has held or holds state and national leadership positions, including two current boards of director positions at The Arc US and Association of University Centers on Disabilities.
Senior Consultant, New England Health Partners
Mr. Kane has over 40 years of experience in developing and managing psychiatric and addiction treatment programs, most recently as CEO of multistate Summit Behavioral Health. He began his career as a Developmental Skills Counselor for developmentally delayed youth. He has worked as a supervisor of vocational councilors and as Executive Director of child, adolescent, adult and geriatric psychiatric treatment programs. Mr. Kane has developed innovative behavioral health programing, including the incorporation of Native American Healers into inpatient programing, DNA testing for mental health treatment of patients on pain and psychiatric medications and intuitive smart phone recovery in aftercare programming. Mr. Kane has presented outcomes studies from these modalities at national educational forums, conferences and on numerous talk shows including Bloomberg Economic News. Mr. Kane co-founded the National Football Leagues Players Assistance Program, has served on the board of F.C.D. Educational Services, Open Incorporated, National Association of Treatment Providers and Rotary International. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Illinois, with post graduate work at University of Minnesota and Hamline University. Mr. Kane resides in Massachusetts with his wife, he has two grown sons and three grandchildren, one of which is on the Autism Spectrum.
Junie Lazo-Pearson, PhD., BCBA-D
Chief Clinical Officer, Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc.
Dr. Lazo-Pearson serves as the Chief Clinical Officer for Advanced Behavioral Health, Inc. She provides oversight and leadership to the core clinical team. She is responsible for fostering superior quality patient care, standardizing clinical protocols, developing clinical strategic goals and program expansion and contributing to the recruitment and retention of clinical staff. She promotes inter-departmental collaboration working closely with the CEO and director of operations. She has served as a member of the board directors for the California Association for Behavior Analysis in various positions. She was selected as the Chair to the Insurance Workgroup of the Orange County Autism Task Force under the Senate Select Committee for Autism Spectrum Disorders. Currently, she is the Behavioral Health Representative on the Provider Advisory Committee for CalOptima and Chair of Behavioral Services for Regional Center of Orange County. She is passionate about community service which is demonstrated by her many volunteer positions.
Linda Leblanc, PhD., BCBA-D
Founder and President, LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting
Linda A. LeBlanc, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Licensed Psychologist is the President of LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting and the past Editor in Chief of the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis. Her 25 year career has included academic positions at Claremont McKenna College, Western Michigan University and Auburn University as well leadership positions in human services organizations. She established LeBlanc Behavioral Consulting in 2017 and consults to technology companies, universities, and behavior analytic human service organizations. Her professional interests include behavioral treatments, supervision and mentoring, and ethics. She is a Fellow of ABAI and is the 2016 recipient of the APA Nathan H. Azrin Award for Distinguished Contribution in Applied Behavior Analysis.
Matisse Lovett, MA, BCBA
Lead Clinical Supervisor, Center for Applied Behavior Analysis
Matisse Lovett began working in Applied Behavior Analysis in 2013, obtained her RBT credential in 2015, attended California State University Fresno’s ABA master’s program from 2018 to 2021, and gained her BCBA credential in 2021. Matisse is currently a Lead Clinical Supervisor at the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis (CABA). In this position, she oversees and mentors clinical team members pursuing fieldwork experience as well as maintaining a client load. In her personal life, Matisse has a long history of self-advocacy, she was diagnosed with autistic disorder in the fifth grade, and has had the opportunity to translate that into serval advocacy projects in her professional life. Matisse cares deeply about promoting continuous improvement in the quality of ABA services and having all consumers receive services that are effective, ethical, and provide demonstrated improvements in their quality of life.
Steven Merahn, MD, FAAP
Medical Director, Partnership Solutions
Steven Merahn MD FAAP is the Medical Director for Care Design NY, a Care Coordination Organization/Health Home (CCO/HH) and Partners Health Plan, a FIDA-IDD demonstration project in New York State, both non-profits exclusively serving individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) and those who care for them. He is the former Chief Medical Officer for a national autism services provider, and for a 14-state primary care network delivering home-based primary care to homebound medically complex/disabled patients based on a continuum of care model. He sits on the Primary Care Subcommittee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics and is a vocal advocate for closer collaboration between the behavior analytic and pediatric communities. Long dedicated to the needs of disadvantaged and vulnerable communities Dr. Merahn is an established thought leader on “whole-person/community-centered” models of care and is the author of Care Evolution: Essays on Health Care as a Social Imperative.
Mike Miller, MBA
CEO, Caravel Autism Health
Mike leads Caravel Autism Health with a focus on building its team of passionate clinicians, investing in results-driven technology, and establishing industry-leading practices to provide better clinical outcomes for children with autism and their families. Mike has more than 20 years of experience working with and evolving growing businesses to be the best in their fields. He earned his bachelor of science degree in marketing from Miami University and his master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Penny Schenkkan, MS, BCBA
Director of Clinical Outcomes, The Stepping Stones Group
Penny began her career in the field of behavior analysis in 2004. She has provided clinical supervision to technicians working with individuals diagnosed with developmental disabilities, and supervised the clinical experience of BCBAs and individuals seeking BACB certification. Currently, she serves as the Director of Clinical Outcomes and Compliance for a multi-state organization providing in-home, clinic-based, and school services. Finally, Penny serves as a BACB Subject Matter Expert, a member of the Autism Commission on Quality Standards Committee, and as the Secretary/Treasurer for the California Association for Behavior Analysis (CalABA).
Sarah Schmitz, CPB, CPC, CMRS-I
President, Comprehensive Billing Consultants
Sarah Schmitz is the Founder and President of Comprehensive Billing Consultants. She has over 15 years experience in Medical Coding and Billing. She started out taking some night classes at a local college to learn this profession and fell in love with it. She finished at the top of all her classes and went on to become a Certified Professional Coder, receiving Magna Cum Laude from the American Academy of Professional Coders. In addition, she is an American Medical Billing Association CMRS Instructor. Sarah’s qualifications include Medical Billing and Coding Specialist Certification, Inpatient Coding Specialist Certification, Certified Medical Reimbursement Specialist, Medical Record Management, Business Management, HCPCS Level I and II Procedure Coding and ICD-9 CM, ICD-10 CM Coding as well as over 15 years of medical billing. Sarah has done everything from front end medical office work all the way to the collections process. To quote Sarah, “Medical Billing and Coding is my passion, not just my career.” Sarah is the co-author of Revenue Cycle Management for ABA Therapy. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, going to the beach, and researching new innovations in the field of ABA and autism.
Jeff Skibitsky, MA, BCBA, LBA
President, ABS Kids
Jeff Skibitsky is the founder and president of ABS, An organization that provides ABA therapy and diagnostic assessments to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. He has been in the field of Autism and Applied Behavior Analysis as a clinician and advocate for over two decades. In the past, Jeff served on the scientific advisory board for an industry leading EHR as well served on the client advisory board at a behavioral health accrediting body. Jeff has volunteered time as chairman of the board at the Utah Parent Center and a governing board member at the Disability Law Center. Jeff is passionate about helping children with autism and their families live their most empowered-lives.
Rebecca Womack, MS, BCBA, LBA
Vice President of Quality Assurance, Verbal Beginnings
Rebecca has been privileged to serve adults and children using applied behavior analysis (ABA) in settings such as facility-based care, group homes, day centers, clinics, and family homes both across the United States and overseas. In addition to her clinical experience, Rebecca is passionate about ABA service delivery aligning with generally accepted standards of care. With an expertise in applying health care documentation requirements and systems of compliance, she recently was the author of a chapter on documentation guidelines for ABA services. Rebecca serves as a member of the Standards Committee for the Autism Commission on Quality, a member of the Council of Autism Service Providers (CASP) Public Policy Committee and has extensive experience with public policy work. Not only is she an experienced presenter at national conferences, she has also won national awards for her role as an advocate and work to support ABA organizations in delivering quality services. Rebecca has also been a Subject Matter Expert for the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). She formed RAW Consulting Solutions as a way to provide education and consultation services to ABA organizations, professionals, and providers of ABA services. Whatever the role, her ultimate goal is to make a significant impact through effective and efficient services utilizing the science of behavior analysis.
Katherine Wooten, MS, LCSW, BCBA
Senior Director – Autism and BDU, New Directions Behavioral Health
Katherine Wooten has over two decades of experience in direct clinical services and managed care leadership in the south, northeast and mid-west. Katherine currently serves as senior director for New Directions Behavioral Health, where she oversees the company’s Autism Resource Program. As a longtime advocate for member experience, she enjoys the challenge of creating innovative solutions to the changing needs of autism treatment. She maintains an active LCSW license in New Jersey and national board certification in Behavior Analysis.