Chaza Attar M.ADS, BCBA
Masters in Applied Disability Studies
Founder of Autism Therapy & Training since 2010
Like most university students, I needed a job and managed to land myself a position in a daycare centre. I was majoring in linguistics and thought of one day becoming a speech therapist. But we don’t choose our careers… often our career chooses us.
My pivotal moment began with a little boy. I met him at this daycare. Multiple teachers had quit on him and the staff had labelled him “too difficult”. When I walked into the room for the first time and couldn’t find him, they directed me to the rug in the corner. His favourite spot. This little guy didn’t join circle time, tantrumed if he didn’t get his way and diaper changes seemed almost impossible. He didn’t talk or communicate in any meaningful way.
It was compassion that drove me to research and read so that I could teach myself ways to engage him, play with him and include him in that social setting. The idea of a young child being isolated and alone was heartbreaking… and I knew there must be a way.
Keep in mind, I had no previous experience with Autism, or any training in ABA (Applied Behaviour Analysis). I was purely working out of passion, compassion and an insatiable appetite to make a difference in this one little boy’s life. There were no lifelong plans or dreams. It was only about him at that moment.
Day after day, I would slowly engage him and pull out his favourite toys and get him to come out from under the rug. I built the trust I needed to start teaching him. I introduced him to sign language and made his world a little easier, a little less demanding, and a lot more fun. Within just a few months, he began talking and participating in group activities.
It was then that I knew that teaching children who were unique and learned differently was the role I was meant to fulfill. I founded Autism Therapy & Training in 2010 and opened the first centre in Woodbridge, Ontario in 2011.
- Founder and clinical director of Autism Therapy and Training.
- Over 10 years experience working with children with special needs.
- Provided both centre and home-based teaching
- Completed her honours degree at York University in linguistics and psychology. Her honours thesis examined non-verbal communication with and without speech in typically developing adults.
- Received her Masters in Applied Disability Studies (M.ADS) with a specialization in Applied Behaviour Analysis at Brock University
- Board Certified Behavior Analyst and member of ONTABA
I bring a wealth of knowledge in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Autism, developmental disabilities, ADHD and effective programming for young children to my role at AutismTT.
I am also well versed in Verbal Behavior, Discrete Trial Teaching, Natural Environment Teaching (NET), and the use of bother the Assessment of Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R) and Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment Placement Program (VB–MAPP).
Not only do I focus on therapy, but I work hard to expand and improve the most important part of the therapy process: the instructor therapists. Without trained staff, quality treatment is put at risk. For over eight years, I have been implementing my HandsON training program, which is a hands-on approach with a step by step guide, to turn a psychology graduate into an instructor therapist.
Over the past ten years, I have been establishing therapy teams, training instructor therapists, and supporting daycares and schools. In 2011, I launched the first HandsON training program that was made available to individuals who were interested in becoming therapists, providing trainees with the skills needed to succeed as a therapist.
In 2014, I designed and launched the Registered Behaviour Technician (RBT) Program, in accordance with the BACBs requirements. I focused on training my staff to ensure high quality practice and understanding. I am currently in the process of launching the online RBT program for those in need of training around the globe.