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2285 Victory Blvd.
Staten Island, NY 10314
917-722-3986
center@eden2.org

Meet Your Director: An Interview with Geoff DeBery, MA, BCBA

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Meet Your Director: An Interview with Geoff DeBery, MA, BCBA
 

Debery-151x179Geoff DeBery is currently the Director of Eden II’s Diagnostic & Outreach Center on Staten Island. He began working for Eden II Programs in 2007. Mr. DeBery received his Master’s Degree in Psychology (Behavior Analysis Program) from Western Michigan University. He is a Licensed and Board Certified Behavior Analyst, and has presented research at a number of national and local conferences. He is also a member of multiple professional organizations that are devoted to the advancement of Applied Behavior Analysis.

Question: What was your strongest motivation for working with individuals with autism?

Answer: I would have to say my strongest motivation was a commitment to the science and practice of behavioral analysis. I was so interested in the field, and that’s where I knew I wanted to be. It’s really a powerful science. It makes such a tremendous difference for so many individuals with autism.

Q: What sets Eden II’s Diagnostic Center apart from other autism centers?

A: Eden II’s Diagnostic Center offers a truly comprehensive clinical program. I think we innovated and pushed the field forward with our programs. All of our clinicians in the ABA program work closely with speech pathologists and psychologists to offer a mix of services. It’s very exciting to see this integration of speech and language approaches. Many of our behavior analysts have worked in special education, which also provides the center with a strong educational component. We have participants who get directly evaluated by the speech pathologist as part of their ABA program. This allows us to have the most individualized programming as possible. There is collaboration with every aspect of these evaluations. It gives the center a really targeted treatment approach to help improve areas like social skills. 

Q: Where do you envision the Diagnostic Center 5 years from now?

A: I see the center continuing to provide even more up to date methods for children and adults with autism. Behavioral approaches in autism treatments are becoming so refined. I envision the center using the most modern technology to assist us in creating innovative new programs for treatment options. I would like the center to work more closely with public schools and educators to help even more families. 

Q: What do you see as the most important developments in the field since you began working with Eden?

A) Since I began working with Eden, the recent insurance reform on the state level has been so critical. 38 states plus the District of Columbia now require health insurance coverage for ABA. It’s really incredible. It brings this awareness to autism that is really important. It’s necessary for programming, and I think it helps the community to be more accepting. Families face so many hardships when looking for services for their loved ones. This reform makes the process more comfortable. It makes all autism services much more accessible to people who may not have had those options before. 

Q)What has been your proudest moment working at Eden II?

A) I don’t know if I could narrow it down to one specific event. Every time I have a new participant begin treatment and I see their progress, it’s a great feeling. Even if it’s something so small, just knowing you’re making a positive impact is amazing. Having someone get treatment when they never had access to it before is wonderful to see. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience so many proud moments like these.

 

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