Serving Alexandria, VA

Accepting Clients Ages 1-6

Little Leaves has a powerful social mission: to help children with autism grow and succeed.

Serving Alexandria, VA

Accepting Clients Ages 1-6

“Before starting with Little Leaves my child did not speak and had daily meltdowns. We just celebrated our first year working with Little Leaves with our child and he now talks and his behaviors have tremendously improved! I thank Little Leaves staff every day for how well they work with my child. They have become family! I couldn’t recommend a better place for a child with ABA service needs than coming to Little Leaves.”

-Feedback from a Little Leaves parent

9.4/10 average rating “how likely are you to refer a family or friend to Little Leaves?”

– Based on recent parent survey data

4.9/5 average rating “The ABA services provided by Little Leaves are improving my child’s quality of life.”

– Based on recent parent survey data

“Little Leaves is appreciated by the communities they serve. They clearly provide the standard for best practice.”

– Polly J. Panitz, MD, FAAP (retired)

Little Leaves was recently awarded the highest level of accreditation by the BHCOE for leader in high-quality, center-based early intervention resources for young children with autism.

– Behavioral Health Center of Excellence® (BHCOE®)

Our Center

Alexandria
1600 North Beauregard Street Suite 100
Alexandria, VA 22311

Insurance Support

Little Leaves is currently in network with:

  • Aetna
  • Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Cigna
  • HSCSN
  • John Hopkins Employer Health Programs (EHP)
  • Kaiser Permanente
  • United Behavioral Health/Optum

Our Approach

Little Leaves offers center-based, high-quality ABA therapy for children ages 1-6. Accredited by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE), you can be assured your child is receiving the gold standard of treatment. Our extensive program includes:

  • School Preparedness
  • 1:1 Client-to-Clinician Ratio
  • Full-Time Program
  • Individualized Therapy Plan
  • Preschool-Like Setting

Contact Us ▼ or Call (202) 420-8359

Little Leaves Behavioral Services provides high-quality ABA therapy to children ages 1-6 with an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis in a preschool-like, center-based setting. Please submit the form below and a member of our Family Support team will contact you within 24-48 hours.

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Accepted Insurance

& John Hopkins Employer Health Programs (EHP)

Our Team

Our program is supervised by master’s- and doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and delivered by expertly trained therapists. Within Little Leaves, we have created a model for our professionals to collaborate on treatment approaches, share best practices, and continuously learn from each other. Your child will be supported not just by his or her immediate team, but also by the decades of experience and expertise of all of our clinicians, many of whom have studied and trained in the finest ABA programs in the world. Little Leaves knows that providing the highest-quality services to your child requires a team effort, and that is how we work. You, your children’s families and caregivers–are also integral member of the treatment team, so we make sure you’re highly involved every step of the way as well.

Center Photos

Virtual Tour

FAQs

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is based on the science of how people learn and can be used to change behaviors.  Behavior is anything that we can see a person do – talking, playing, getting dressed, cooking dinner, etc.  Behavior change can include learning a new behavior, strengthening a behavior we already do, or decreasing a behavior we want to do less often.  One way that ABA can teach or strengthen behaviors is through reinforcement.  When someone’s actions are reinforced (something good happens), they are more likely to do the same thing again.  For example, if your exercise routine is paying off, you are more likely to keep at it!

ABA uses a systematic approach to applying the principles of learning to help people change their behaviors.  It can be used both for increasing socially desirable behaviors (e.g., finishing chores, talking, or playing with a peer), and also for decreasing behaviors that are less desirable (e.g., smoking, tantrums, aggression).

There are many strategies that fall under the ABA umbrella, such as Natural Environment Training, Incidental Teaching, Discrete Trial Instruction, Verbal Behavior, and Pivotal Response Training.  At Little Leaves, we will individualize the strategies and approach we use for each child based on his/her needs.

If your child is experiencing developmental delays, his/her physician may have referred you to ABA. In particular, if your child was diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), then ABA was likely prescribed.  ABA is considered the gold-standard treatment for autism, and there are decades of published research demonstrating its efficacy.  It has been endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Academies of Science, and the Surgeon General as the best practice for individuals with autism.  You can learn more at https://asatonline.org/.

Interventions based on ABA can be applied in many areas to help your child, such as (but not limited to) increasing language and communication, improving social and play skills, increasing adaptive skills such as toileting, dressing, and feeding, and reducing unwanted behaviors such as tantrums, aggression, or other dangerous behaviors.  Research has shown that early, intensive treatment with ABA can have a very significant impact on the course of a child’s development for those diagnosed with ASD or other developmental delays.

Research in the field of ABA has shown that an intensive treatment of 30-40 hours per week for at least two years yields the best long-term outcomes for young children diagnosed with autism.

When engaging in ABA therapy, children are busy learning new skills and practicing them until they are happening automatically.  Both of those things take a lot of time and practice!  Remember the last time you tried to learn a new challenging skill that wasn’t in your repertoire yet?  The more the practice, the sooner the skill is mastered!  For children with delays, the goal is to use as much of their time practicing and learning new skills as possible to help them approach developmental parity.

While 30-40 hours per week of ABA may seem like a lot of time, remember that typically developing children are playing and learning from the world around them every waking moment of the day.  An intensive ABA program will help a child with developmental delays do the same.

Professionals who have degrees and training in psychology, education, and related fields can become trained and credentialed in ABA as well.  The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) offers a range of credentials for clinicians in the field of ABA.  Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) are masters- and doctoral-level clinicians with extensive training in ABA methodology and procedures who are certified to deliver and oversee ABA treatments.  At Little Leaves, your child will have a BCBA who develops and manages his/her care.

Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) have been certified by the BACB to deliver the treatment that a BCBA has designed.  An RBT credential is earned through a combination of coursework, on-the-job experience, and passing an exam. All Little Leaves Behavior Technicians have earned their RBT credential or are working toward doing it.  All Little Leaves Behavior Technicians are also college educated.

Little Leaves primarily offers center-based services for young children with autism which are run in a preschool-like setting.  At the center, each client works one-on-one with a trained behavior technician on individualized goals with a focus on social communication, social interactions, and school readiness skills.

Our program runs Monday through Friday from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.  During the day, children have the opportunity to participate in individual therapy time, small group activities with peers, and activities of daily living.  While many clients are at our centers for the full day, an individualized schedule is developed for each child based on his/her therapeutic needs.

Little Leaves also works with clients in their homes, daycares, and preschools, most frequently when clients are ready to transition from a Little Leaves center into community setting.