The Mission of the ACNM is to provide hope, support, and empowerment to persons at all levels of the Autism Spectrum and their families through the science of Applied Behavior Analysis.
Autism Center of North Mississippi (ACNM) is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization that has served children with the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental delays in North Mississippi for the last decade. The organization relies on fundraising in addition to fees in order to provide well-trained providers in the area and to serve families who might not otherwise be able to afford or access services.
ACNM has attempted to grow and develop services, including family involvement in treatment, to address the demands for services created by the significant increase in the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorders. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are a group of neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by difficulties in social interaction, impaired communication (both verbal and nonverbal), and repetitive, restrictive behaviors that present in early childhood. Autism is a disorder that impacts effected differently and therefore requires individualized programming. Current estimates are that 1 in 59 children are identified as having an Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Reference: Center on for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Data and Statistics. Washington, DC: cdc.gov.
The ACNM is governed by a Board of Directors who are responsible for the overall property and business management of the organization. The Executive Director is responsible for the daily operations of the ACNM including clinical services, development, facility oversight, community outreach, fundraising, and staff management. The Executive Director is supervised by the Board of Directors and may request to receive advice and/or direction from the Board.
Administrative Staff: ACNM administrative staff include all Director positions within the organization including Clinical Director and Education Director. Administrative staff also include office support staff.
Clinical Director: This position is responsible for the overseeing of clinic-based services along with supporting the Education Director with oversight of school-based services. This position assures quality of services and provision of appropriate training to all staff providing services. This position is responsible for program and staff growth, along with assisting with recruiting and hiring staff for target areas. This position is also responsible for oversight of parent programming, including parent support, parent education, and parent training.
Education Director: This position is responsible for overseeing school-based services and training offered to school-districts seeking services. This position assures quality of services and provision of appropriate training to all staff providing services in the school-based setting. This position is responsible for program and staff growth, along with assisting with recruiting and hiring staff for school-based needs.
Office Manager: This position is responsible for all insurance related tasks, including credentialing providers, interfacing with insurance companies, service authorizations, and billing. This person also helps oversee payroll with the Executive Director.
Front Desk Receptionist: This position is responsible for answering phones, checking in clients, scheduling of clients, working to assist the Office Manager, and interfacing with other administrative staff and clinical staff to meet the needs of those contacting the ACNM.
Clinical Staff: ACNM offers clinical services via ABA programming and mental health interventions. All clinical staff working at the ACNM have strong knowledge and understanding of behavioral principles and utilized evidence-based interventions.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Clinical Staff: ACNM clinical staff involved in ABA programming include all Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) responsible for provision of ABA services (see below) and parent training for specific clients.
Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs): These individuals have extensive training in the science of Applied Behavior Analysis and are licensed to practice Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the State of Mississippi (i.e., are Licensed Behavior Analysts). The BCBA is responsible for conducting and oversight of all skills-based assessments and programming for clients of the ACNM on his/her caseload. The BCBA is furthermore responsible for the monitoring of client progress, parent training, and supervision of all Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT) provide direct services to clients on his/her caseload. In such, they are responsible for conducting team meetings, assessing response to intervention, and ensuring clients on his/her caseload continue to acquire skills. The BCBA is responsible for team training and being available to the Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) for any client-specific, family-specific, or team-related questions.
Registered Behavior Technicians: These individuals have received certification (via intensive 40-hour training and testing process) to provide Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services under the supervision of a BCBA licensed in the State of Mississippi. These individuals are responsible for conducting client programming as outlined in the treatment plan, collecting data, and communicating with the rest of the team and families in a positive manner.
Clinical Staff- Mental Health: ACNM clinical staff involved in provision of Mental Health Services include Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Professional Counseling responsible for services which fall under the umbrella of mental health.
Clinical Psychologist: These individuals have extensive diagnostic and therapeutic training and are licensed to practice psychology in the State of Mississippi (i.e., are a Licensed Psychologist). These individuals conduct diagnostic interviews, diagnostic assessment, individual therapy (including, but not limited to, impulse regulation, behavior skills development, problem behavior management, emotion regulation, etc.) and group therapy (including, but not limited to, social skills training, safety-awareness training, etc.).
Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC): These individuals have therapeutic training and are licensed to practice psychology in the State of Mississippi (i.e., are a Licensed Professional Counselor). These individuals conduct therapeutic interviews, individual therapy (including, but not limited to, impulse regulation, behavior skills development, problem behavior management, emotion regulation, etc.) and group therapy (including, but not limited to, social skills training, safety-awareness training, etc.).
Undergraduate Student and Graduate Student Placements– Due to the intense need for competent professional to address the high prevalence of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, the ACNM strives to provide training opportunities to undergraduate students and graduate students. Opportunities include field placements, practicum placements, and internship placements. Students in these placements function only under the close supervision of the licensed professionals at the ACNM. These students will be required to undergo HIPPA training along with understanding the ethical responsibilities associated with their field of study.
Description of Services
The ACNM provides an array of services as we strive to meet our Mission.
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the principles of the science of Behavior Analysis for skill development and to produce meaningful changes in behavior that foster increases in independent functioning across all settings. This therapy is data-driven and based on evidence-based practices. This therapy is usually intensive in terms of number of hours per week (i.e., 8 to 20 hours per week at ACNM). This number of hours of service per week is determined by individual client needs after a comprehensive skills-based assessment.
Individual Therapy: Individual therapy addresses needs of clients who require assistance in some area of social communication, socialization, behavioral issues, or emotional issues to a lesser intensity those requiring ABA-services. Those receiving ABA-services may transition to an individual therapy intervention as his/her progress dictates.
Group Therapy: Group therapy addresses the needs of client who require assistance in some area of social communication, socialization, behavioral issues and who would benefit from the learning and applying skills in these areas in a peer-based therapeutic environment.
Parent Training: Training sessions for parents in the methods used in ABA sessions, Individual Therapy sessions, or Group Therapy sessions to help facilitate carry-over of these interventions to the home and other environments. This programming is open to parents/caregivers with children receiving services from ACNM.
Parent Education Group: A group offered every other month to offer an educational experience on a certain topic(s) to parent/caregivers and families responsible for the care of a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. This group is open to all members of the community.
Parent Support Group: A group offered every other month to offer support to parent/caregivers and families responsible for the care of a person with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis. This group is open to all members of the community.
School-based Services: Services provided in the schools range from Staff Development Training, conducting Functional Assessments (i.e., assessments to assist with the development of Behavior Support Plans), social skills training, intensive behavior intervention, ABA services, and diagnostic assessments.
We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit agency, so all our funds go directly back to supporting our mission. We earn half our funds from insurance revenue, sliding scale fees and school contracts; the rest comes from fundraisers, donations and grants. By raising funds through fundraisers and donations, we are able to accept Medicaid reimbursements. As Medicaid’s rates do not cover the full cost of providing services, we offset the gap with fundraising income and donations. We have been blessed with overwhelming community support, and for that we are immensely thankful.
*Insurance coverage depends on the beneficiary’s plan.
Learn more about how you can support our mission.