Dr. Douk was featured on NBC’s Smart Money Talk Radio yesterday and got to share over the air waves about BHW’s CARES Philosophy, what inspired him to start this organization and how it benefits the families that we serve.
Below are the transcripts of the interview. Stay tuned for the up close and personal video footage.
Behavioral Health Works helps individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential by working collaboratively with families, schools, and their respective professionals. The company’s founder, Dr. Robert Douk, joined us in studio to talk about his inspiration for the business and his recent award from the OC Business Journal.
What is Behavioral Health Works?
We help individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities reach their fullest potential by working collaboratively with families, schools, and their respective professionals. By focusing on ways in which people respond to their environment (behavior), we provide opportunities for our clients to learn in specific and observable ways, which leads to a positive outcome (health).
What is your philosophy and what services do you offer? How do you help families?
We operate from our CARES philosophy. We base our hiring, training, and clinical decisions on the premises of these 5 letters. The C stands for “Compassion”, a key ingredient we use in treatment as we help families. Our entire program and organizational structure is highly “Accountable” as we leverage technology to obtain and monitor data on each client. We utilize “Research-based” methodologies in treatment for our clients. We also take a different approach on “Effectiveness” of our programs: it’s personalized around leveraging the clients’ strengths, gauging their interest level, and focus on teaching new skills and therefore, our programs produce more than just reduce challenging behaviors. Lastly, the S stands for a “Systems approach” where we not only treat the client but also consider the entire family system where we consider how each member plays a vital part in the treatment process. We at BHW operate as a System from a multidisciplinary platform that involves Behavior Analysts, Psychologists, Speech and Occupational therapists. We call this our Total Platform. We utilize this Total Platform of professionals to help families get their lives back. It’s important to design programs that are truly individualized and tailored to each family’s needs (i.e. If it’s important for a family to attend church or go to a local restaurant). We make that our goal and while in therapy, we teach the requisite skills for the client to be successful in those environments so ultimately, the family can enhance their quality of life.
What sets BHW apart from similar organizations?
I believe it’s our people and their commitment to the CARES model. The two letters I find most impressive in my group are the C and the S. We simply have compassionate people where we truly work as a team and we also operate as an organic system. We see this as the best way to help our families.
What kinds of clients or families should seek BHW services?
We specialize in the Treatment of Autism and Related Disorders. We offer evaluations to determine if your child has autism through our Diagnostic clinic and we also provide treatment through ABA Therapy, Speech and Occupational Therapy.
What inspired you to start the company in college?
I saw my first client in 2000, a two-year old boy with Autism. I witnessed first hand how devastated his parents were but how their lives dramatically shifted from hopelessness to one filled with hope through the powerful tool of ABA therapy. It eventually gave them “their life back…” They were able to finally get his behaviors under control and go back to enjoying the life events that they use to partake in.
What were the biggest challenges that you faced when starting BHW?
The first thing I learned very quickly was that the demand was far too great for me to make a dent in this population alone. I initially thought that I could do this as a one-man shop but that was simply not possible as my practice doubled every month in just the first year. So I’ve had to borrow all my lessons learned as an entrepreneur from my parents to manage this growing operation through growing responsibly. I’ve leveraged technology to help me accomplish the growth since the beginning and now have co-founded a software company that helps manage our clinical practice called ClinicSoft.
It is Autism Awareness Month. What is the best way for people to get involved?
I’m encouraged that people are becoming more aware of Autism and that people are recognizing that Autism in one way or another has an effect on us all. I’m thrilled to see movie theaters and other establishments have special events or nights that are reserved for people with Autism to accommodate to them and their families. We here at BHW host an annual “Trunk or Treat” in October to provide a safe place for our clients to go trick or treating from our staffs’ car trunk and enjoy a host of carnival games set up throughout our facility.
What workshops or events do you offer? Are there any coming up?
We offer free monthly workshops throughout the year. It usually takes place on the second Wednesday of every month. We are currently providing a series of workshops that include topics such as: What every parent should know about dealing with behaviors, Toilet Training, and our next workshop will be on Positive Discipline. We also host parent panels, presented by parents who are a little further along their journey with autism, to encourage and provide hope to other parents ranging from one’s that have just received news that their child has Autism to individuals that have recently graduated from our program.
How can people connect with your company? (Website, Social Media, etc.)
To find a location nearest you, please visit our website at BHWCARES.COM. We’re also on all of the primary social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.