With a recently finished behavioral analysis certification under her belt and more than 25 years of experience working with children with disabilities, Blaine resident Faiza Ehsan has now started at-home behavioral services for Whatcom County youth.
“All special children are the purest form of human expression,” Ehsan said. “They are genuine, loving, caring children and most of them have a great sense of humor. It is hard not to fall in love with them.”
Ehsan works part-time at Sendan Center, an adolescent behavioral health clinic in Bellingham. After working there as a registered behavior technician trainee for 2.5 years, Ehsan became certified as a behavioral analyst in October 2020.
Applied behavioral analysis is a therapy focused on understanding behavior in situations and using positive reinforcement to help a person with skills such as communication, social, motor and learning.
This summer, she started in-home applied behavioral analysis services for toddlers to young adults who are either on the autism spectrum, have Down syndrome, learning deficits, cognitive delays and communication disorders. Currently, she works with children in Blaine, Bellingham, Ferndale and Lynden.
The class structure depends on the client’s needs, which can range from social to environmental connections, Ehsan said. For example, she worked with one child having behavior issues at school to understand his sensory needs, do a personal assessment and work on new skills with him. “It makes a task into a smaller, teachable thing that’s easier to learn,” she said.
Ehsan, who is a verbal behavioral specialist, said communication is a key element for behavior management. “If you can teach them how to communicate, half the problem is solved,” she said.
Ehsan earned two master’s degrees in special education and language art from the University of Punjab in Lahore, Pakistan before becoming director of Communication Disorders Clinic in Lahore in 1997. During that time, she also worked as the program coordinator of the Child Guidance School, where she worked with children on the autism spectrum and led parent support groups. She went on to work as a special education teacher in Kuwait, Qatar and Portland, Oregon.
Sessions are typically a few hours and Ehsan works with clients from one to a few times per week. Ehsan accepts Medicaid, Molina, Premera, Regence, Atena and First Choice Health, among other insurances. To contact Ehsan, call 206/751-6155 or email email@example.com.
“Early intervention is the key,” Ehsan said. “If parents think their child is different, rather than prolonging the process, they can go in for the assessment and then it’s easier to handle.”