Family Compass’ developmental program is for families with children ages 1 to 6 years old who present with the following:

  • Have noticeable delays in communication skills
  • Show significant tendencies to be self-directed, with difficulty responding to others
  • Have rigid, delayed, or constricted interaction and play skills
  • Have been diagnosed with Autism or Social Communication Disorder

We highly value intervening early in the child’s life, as research and our clinical experience clearly indicate that intervening early makes a real and lasting difference.

We strive to see children as their parents do: a precious gift to be nurtured. We help parents understand their child’s development and clarify the child’s developmental needs alongside their strengths. Recognizing that each child is unique, we aim to provide a clear roadmap of how to support the child’s developmental progress

A Comprehensive Approach

Family Compass is committed to a comprehensive approach to early intervention. We incorporate techniques and methods from the two complementary approaches: the developmental and ABA.

Utilizing developmental approaches (DIR), we teach parents techniques to increase their child’s motivation to engage, share attention, and strengthen in-context communications through interactive therapy, while also assisting the family in developing skills to reduce the child’s anxiety and increase emotional regulation and family well-being.

We utilize ABA to build behavioral and communication skills in a methodical, step-by-step approach, with the support and structure that ABA provides.

Program Description

Assessment & Intervention

Initial Assessment Session:

First, we conduct an evaluation session with the child and family with the participation of the three-person, interdisciplinary program staff. This session aims to determine whether initial intervention should emphasize interactive developmental therapy (DIR), ABA therapy, or both.

Intervention

Following the evaluation, intervention planning is done with the family, and a specific intervention program and schedule is developed. Our intervention team includes a licensed clinical psychologist, a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA), a clinical social work intern experienced in working with children with autism, and an in-home Registered Behavioral Therapist (RBT). Depending on the needs of the child and family, therapy may be conducted in the offices of Family Compass and/or in the family home.

The Developmental Interaction Therapy–DIR (In-office): Weekly parent coaching sessions are scheduled with the parents, caregivers and child. Parents learn specific strategies to address the developmental challenges of the child that can be transferred to the home environment. Updates to the program are made every 4 months.

ABA Therapy (In-Home): An in-home therapy program is designed and implemented for the child by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). A registered behavior technician (RBT) under the supervision of the BCBA conducts one-on-one therapy with the child in the home environment. Updates to the program are made by the BCBA to attune the program to the child’s evolving needs. There will be monthly sessions in home with BCBA to observe work with RBT and consult on program.

Insurance

Insurance

Family Compass does not participate in any insurance network coverage
plans and is considered by health insurance companies as an
“out of network provider.” All bills are to be paid directly to Family Compass,
regardless of coverage or reimbursement. However, upon request and with
information provided by you, Family Compass can submit a copy of your bill
to your insurance carrier, asking the insurance provider to reimburse you.
There is no additional charge for this service.We strongly recommend
that you contact your insurance carrier regarding coverage and
pre-authorization requirements.

Neurodevelopmental Center Professional Team

Moshe Shtuhl, Ph.D.

Licensed Clinical Psychologist
(Clinical Director & Consulting Therapist)
Dr. Moshe Shtuhl is the founder and director of Family Compass since 1996. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Clinical Psychology at George Washington University. Dr. Shtuhl worked as an army psychologist in his native Israel before arriving in the U.S. to pursue doctoral studies in 1987....

Billie Harber, BCBA

Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Ms. Harber is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and is licensed by the Board of Medicine to practice as a Behavior Analyst in the state of Virginia.  She also holds a master’s degree in special education. Ms. Harber received a B.S. in elementary education with a specialization in reading...

Becky O’Neill, Clinical Social Work Intern

Therapist, Developmental Center
Ms. O'Neill received her BS in Social Work from George Mason University in 2001 and is currently completing her final clinical practicum to receive her Master's Degree in Social Work from Simmons College School of Social Work. Her studies have focused on empirically supported interventions for...