Jessica Alvarez, Ph.D.

I am a licensed psychologist and board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) whose main areas of interest are working with parents, caregivers, and families on challenging behaviors with their children. My approach is a collaborative one, in which I support, guide, and empower caregivers to work on decreasing their child’s challenging behavior and increasing more appropriate behaviors.

I specialize in providing behavioral assessment and treatment services for concerns such as tantrums, aggression, disruptive behaviors, self-injury, noncompliance, elopement (i.e., running away), toileting concerns, sleep concerns, inappropriate sexual behavior and any other behaviors that are negatively impacting an individual or their family’s lives. I have worked extensively with individuals with developmental disabilities and/or autism spectrum disorder, and also typically developing individuals. Some other common concerns that I can provide assistance with are difficulties with getting through a morning routine, noncompliance with homework, noncompliance with bedtime, problem behavior in the community, and other inappropriate behaviors. My therapeutic approach is to help caregivers identify the problem there are experiencing, understand why the problem behavior is occurring, develop treatment recommendations and provide caregiver training. I believe it is important to continue to assist caregivers through the initial stages of the treatment process as well as help them become independent in setting and achieving future goals. In addition, through my graduate and clinical training I have also gained experience advocating for children’s rights in the school system in regards to behavior intervention plans (BIP) and individualized education plans (IEP).

I received my PhD in School Psychology from Louisiana State University and my Bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa. I completed my internship training at the Marcus Autism Center, in which I did rotations across the Severe Behavior, Language and Learning, and Feeding Disorder Departments. My post-doctoral fellowship training was completed through the Emory School of Medicine where I worked again in the Marcus Autism Center’s Severe Behavior Program. During my postdoctoral fellowship I worked across the Severe Behavior Department’s Intensive Day Treatment Clinic, Outpatient Program, and Intake Program.

I believe that deciding to seek out help for behavioral concerns is a deeply personal decision. Parents may often feel unsure if they are doing the right thing, or feel like they have already tried everything to address their child’s problem behavior.   I also commonly work with caregivers that say their parenting approach worked great for one child but seems to not be effective for another. I can help caregivers navigate these concerns and decisions to find the best approach for working with your individual child. If you have any questions regarding what types of concerns or issues we can work on together please feel free to contact me. I look forward to talking with you.

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