How We Began
Autism Response Team was founded 17 years ago by Dr Ali Sadeghi and Dr Leili Zarbakhsh. Dr Ali Sadeghi was a phenomenal clinical psychologist, whom brought the approach of overall family care to ABA. The idea is to focus on the care and support for the full family unit in order to ensure long term success of ABA treatment for the child. Dr Zarbakhsh has over 30 years of experience as an Educational Diagnostician in the school districts, and combined her commitment to effective education with the science of ABA. She received a second PhD in 2018 in Applied Behavior Analysis. They began the agency with a vision to provide the highest quality of care involving consultation across all specialties. Lisa Mousselli, Dr Sadeghi, and Dr Zarbakhsh began Autism Response Team Texas 5 years ago in East Texas. Lisa Mousselli has worked in the field of ABA for 15 years, and came to Texas with the vision of bringing this collaborative ABA model to her home state. This agency has now expanded across North Texas and East Texas due to the high demand for effective and efficient services. Autism Response Team Texas began in order to fill a growing need and demand for individualized ABA treatment designed to impact the patient and their families. Our goal is to provide treatment to all ages with fast results, so the family may continue to flourish and attain all goals set forth even after ABA has graduated the patient.
Coordinated Management of Care
Autism Response Team Texas Model of ABA-Coordinated Management of Care (ART-CMC) involves a concerted effort to integrate the work of general physicians, developmental pediatrics, pediatricians, psychologists, psychiatrists, occupational therapists and speech therapists as well as teachers. Patient’s care is viewed as a multidisciplinary work.
Patients generally receive an initial assessment from a developmental pediatrician or clinical psychologist to rule in/out the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (DSM-IV TR). Individuals with severe behaviors will receive a functional analysis to determine the function of their behaviors and develop a function-base intervention. These individuals will also receive an evaluation from their psychiatrist for psychiatric assessment and intervention.
With the above model in mind, what will be presented in the following pages is the protocol of applied behavior analysis practiced by Autism Response Team ABA services. This protocol is intended to demonstrate the mechanism of clinical quality control of care provided by ART.
“SEE” as a Model Guiding ART ABA program
“SEE” is an acronym for safety, efficacy, and efficiency.
Autism Response Team is committed to ensure the safety of each patient who may come to its service delivery attention. Direct care staff staff and their supervisors are trained to be aware of their “mandate to report” responsibility. Direct care staff staff and their supervisors are further trained in the techniques of NCPI to ensure that in the events that a patient becomes physically aggressive manage the patient and themselves as safely as possible.
Efficacy stands for treatments that is effective and will enable the patient to move toward independence. Supervisors and direct care staffs are trained and monitored to ensure the programs they develop and implement for each patient is appropriate and produces the utmost effect in terms of outcome.
Efficiency stands for treatments that are enabling the patients to reach their goals as quickly as it is possible. Supervisors and direct care staff staff are mindful that services provided to each patient are not only effective
Meet the Team
Dr. Leili Zarbakhsh,
PhD, LEP, LMFT, BCBA-D
About Dr. Zarbakhsh
Leili Zarbakhsh, PhD, LEP, LMFT, BCBA-D, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Board-Certified Behavioral Analyst and Licensed Educational Psychologist. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from the University of Southern California and earned her doctorate from the Chicago School’s Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program, where she focused on applied behavioral analysis (ABA).
Dr. Zarbakhsh has worked in the field of psychology for more than 35 years, spending the first third of her career as a school psychologist, and marriage and family therapist. In 1997, Dr. Zarbakhsh co-founded one of Southern California’s first comprehensive ABA agencies with the vision of offering high-quality ABA and respite care services to clients and families affected by autism.
Dr. Zarbakhsh is a member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and California Association for Applied Behavior Analysis.
We started ABA Therapy with ART a little over two years ago. We were out of options and just completely exhausted as parents when a friend suggested ABA therapy for our son. Our son at the time was 9 years old, not able to read/write, in a self-contained “Life Skills” classroom and his behavior was out of control at home. He was so aggressive and physical with us on a daily basis including his younger brother. We were out of options as well as his team of Doctors and we felt like “bad” parents. We were not able to go to public places as a family for fear of how our son would behave. He would scream, hit, bite, punch, spit, kick, pull hair, choke, etc. to any of his family members.
ABA started and we were taught a different way of parenting. Having therapist to stand beside you and almost “co-parent” with you was a feeling I can’t describe. We felt empowered, relieved, validated and hopeful just to name a few. We have learned so much from ART and can’t begin to describe what they have done for our family. I am proud to say my son is currently reading, in a resource classroom and fully included in all general education classes. My son has not physically assaulted a family member or therapist in over a year. We have been blessed with an amazing team at ART that has given us a chance to be a “family” again. We go places now that we never imagined we would be able to go with my oldest son. My family often comments on how far our son has come since starting ART and they are just amazed. We can’t even begin to describe just how life changing ART has been for our family. My son wouldn’t be who he is today without ART and we can’t imagine the path we would of taken had they not stepped in.