Behavioral Intervention Group is a CABAS® accredited learning center. We're a team of dedicated therapists focused on providing the skills, teaching environments and learning opportunities necessary to improve the quality of life for children with autism and other developmental disorders. BIG’s commitment to substantial, lasting improvement in the life of each child we treat – as well as in their family’s life – is a deeply personal one, reflected in our one-on-one, highly individualized approach to therapy and treatment. Through active collaboration and compassionate engagement, we dedicate our efforts to helping parents learn how to help their children learn, giving them the tools needed to achieve steady progress in their son or daughter’s intellectual growth and social development. Ultimately for us, the greatest reward in guiding a child toward unlocking his or her full potential is to see the smiles and happiness that come with that discovery. It’s what makes everyone at BIG so passionate about their work each day.
HOW BIG BECAME BIG
Already friends for a number of years, Cassie Bradford and Renee Guidry first partnered professionally when they were both contacted by a family seeking an in-home ABA line therapist to work with their son who was recently diagnosed with autism. Following this auspicious pairing, the two continued working together, providing 1-to-1 therapy services to several families for a couple of years until they were contacted by a family seeking a team of therapists to work under a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) charged with developing and supervising a program for their daughter. In 2003, Dr. Craig Thomas came to Louisiana from his clinic in Mississippi for the 3-day initial consultation. During this time he provided training to the newly established therapy team and family on the principles and techniques of Applied Behavior Analysis. Although Cassie and Renee had been providing ABA services, this was their introduction to Verbal Behavior and as Cassie recalls, “We were mesmerized. There were words to go with the techniques that we were using and we were very eager to learn more. We both left from the training completely inspired and knew that this was a field in which we wanted to grow.”
Continuing to work as line therapists in several homes, Cassie and Renee both finished school, with each receiving their board certification as behavior analysts. In 2007, they formed Behavioral Intervention Group, or BIG, and began providing ABA consultation and training to south Louisiana families and/or their line therapists. Once the insurance mandate went into effect in 2008 and the number of families inquiring about ABA services drastically increased, it became apparent many families preferred to have a place to bring their children to receive services instead of having people in and out of their homes, buying endless supplies, and acting as de facto business managers for a high turnover team of therapists. In response to these concerns, Cassie and Renee opened the BIG clinic in 2010.
A CABAS® ACCREDITED LEARNING CENTER
In 2016, BIG became CABAS® accredited and is the only CABAS® site in the Gulf South. CABAS®, which stands for Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling, is a research-driven system-wide approach to providing individualized programs for children and young people with disabilities. The CABAS® curriculum focuses on increasing an individual’s communication skills, a critical component to their achieving a higher level of independence. BIG's CABAS® accreditation ensures that the learning center offers a proven, research-based teaching system in which students learn at much faster rates and develop language and social skills quicker than when CABAS® system components are not in place. For students and parents, BIG's CABAS® accreditation ensures:
- A high level of accountability across all aspects of our organization
- The most updated research findings applied to our teaching methods and your child's learning
- Scientifically validated methods used to produce learning outcomes that are four to seven times better than when CABAS® principles are not practiced
- Teachers and staff that are continuously learning and advancing their knowledge and abilities
- Ongoing parent training on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis
- All interactions between teachers and students are measured and analyzed so that decision-making is effective and efficient
- Only evidence-based curricula are used in designing our programs
Cassie and Renee’s enthusiasm for helping children diagnosed with autism and their families is reflected both in the people who make up the BIG team and how each approach their work. Every therapist on BIG’s staff embodies the same degree of dedication and commitment as the founders. Cassie acknowledges how fortunate she and Renee are to have assembled a team of people as passionate about their vocation as they are. “We’re thankful every day for the opportunity to change lives and have fun while we’re doing it.”