If you live in Houston and are affected by autism, have a loved one affected by autism or work with individuals with autism you need to know about FEAT-Houston! FEAT-Houston (Families for Effective Autism Treatment) is a non-profit organization whose mission is
To improve the quality of life of those affected by developmental disabilities by increasing resources and providing information about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – FEAT-Houston
FEAT-Houston was created in 1995 by families with children on the autism spectrum as a way to share information regarding ABA programs and support for people with autism. Today, FEAT-Houston serves the community by distributing information, providing training for families and professionals, sharing resources, and creating community partnerships.
FEAT-Houston has a monthly newsletter that is chock-full of information regarding events and trainings going on in and around Houston. Including Kids displays events and workshops in this newsletter as do other ABA clinics. The newsletter also includes information about participating in research studies as well as a classified section for job opportunities for working with individuals with autism. What’s even better about this newsletter? It’s free, and you can sign up by visiting their website.
Understanding insurance coverage can be daunting (CPT codes, in network, letters of agreement…huh?). FEAT-Houston has excellent information on their website regarding insurance coverage for ABA services. One useful thing to know is that your child must have a diagnosis of Autism for insurance to cover services (if it is in the plan that insurance will cover ABA services). FEAT’s website has information on self-funded versus fully-funded plans as well as Medicaid Waiver programs.
FEAT has a section on their website dedicated to helping parents find ABA providers for their child such as schools, day clinics, and in-home providers. There is also information regarding public school and how to advocate for your child as well as information regarding residential options for older individuals. FEAT even includes “Consumer Guidelines” in a parent-friendly format for evaluating and selecting behavior analysts to work with your child.
FEAT regularly hosts valuable workshops for parents and professionals to learn about ABA and strategies for working with individuals with autism. They regularly host the ABCs of ABA workshop, and they also offer it in DVD format, free of charge, in both English and Spanish. In addition to workshops hosted by FEAT, FEAT-Houston also sends out information regarding workshops in and around Houston in their newsletter.
These are just some of the many resources FEAT-Houston offers the Houston autism community. Please take the time to visit their website, make a donation so that they can continue their important work and I highly encourage you to attend a FEAT workshop or event!
Nichole ODonnell is a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst and serves as the Community Outreach Director for Including Kids. Since beginning her work at Including Kids in 2007, Nichole has worked with children, adolescents and adults as a direct-care therapist, inclusion shadow, Case Supervisor, Reading Specialist, Project Manager, and Community Outreach Director. Nichole has a passion for teaching social skills and executive functioning skills and for sharing her knowledge with parents, staff and the community.