Location

Alexandria, VA – Landmark


Hours

8am - 7pm, M-F Center-based and in-home services available.

5500 Cherokee Avenue
Suite 120
Alexandria, Virginia 22312

(703) 832-4954 New Clients

(844) 854-1116 Administration

Directions

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Our 10-Day Promise

Most parents are anxious to begin helping their child — now.

Here's the Acorn Health promise: For our early intervention program, you will have an opportunity to meet with one of our clinical team members for a free consultation within 10 days from calling admissions.

It's the first big step to starting treatment. Start now. (703) 832-4954

Welcome

A network of providers, one shared vision

Acorn Health is setting the standard of ABA therapy with best practices, pioneering next practices, and a Clinical Advisory Board of leaders in the field.

Mari Patereau, BCBA
Clinical Director

From our Alexandria - Landmark Directors

Mari is a licensed and board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA). Since 2012 Mari has worked in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) providing behavioral therapy for children diagnosed with autism and other developmental delays. Her passion is to serve children by combining behavioral interventions with a comprehensive knowledge of best practice as well as individualized treatment. She is extremely passionate about helping children learn in their own unique way and enriching the lives of clients and their families.  

Mari holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of The Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas and a Master of Arts degree in ABA from the University of Florida Institute of Technology.  

When Mari isn’t working in the ABA field she enjoys being outdoors with her family, repurposing old antique furniture, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. Mari lives in Alexandria, Virginia with her husband, 6-year-old son, and 2-year-old daughter.    

We are an officially recognized Behavioral Health Center of Excellence

Acorn Health has been named a Behavioral Center of Excellence, a distinction which reflects our commitment to setting new standards in ABA treatment.

Our Services

Everyone repeats behavior that produces a valued reward

This very simple, human inclination is central to ABA therapy. Your child’s Acorn Board-Certified therapist identifies a goal behavior for your child. When your child displays the behavior we want to see, he or she receives something personally meaningful (and you’ll help us identify ideas.

We’ll also learn what precedes your child’s challenging behaviors

We call them “antecedents.” They’re things that happen immediately before the behavior we’re trying to change. An antecedent can be a request, like “clean up your room”; a feeling or reaction; a specific object; bright lights or a noisy crowd. ABA therapy looks for these antecedents and finds alternatives that influence your child’s reaction.

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Assessment

Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts conducts skills assessments to understand your child’s specific needs: his or her language development, practical life skills, ability to generalize learning, and more. We also conduct functional behavior assessments and analyses for children with challenging behaviors.

Custom Therapy Plan

With all this data, we draft a custom therapy plan and share our clinical recommendations with parents and caregivers. Therapy plans are developed only after we understand your family’s goals and preferences. We also openly collaborate with your child’s school and other therapists (for example, speech language pathologists or occupational therapists). Consistency and a team approach lead to optimal outcomes.

Skill Building

Acorn Health focuses first on the child’s activities of daily living. We begin with improving communication and social skills. Then, we address activities like mealtime challenges, and intensive toilet training. Where appropriate, we also develop vocational skills.

Family education and training is an integral part of each therapy plan. Consistency helps children acquire skills, then maintain and generalize the learning for new situations.

Behavior Reduction

Children with challenging behaviors benefit from function-based behavior reduction plans. These plans often include eliminating triggers and providing opportunities for the child to demonstrate the replacement behavior.

We have protocols for managing these behaviors and functional alternatives (e.g., asking for a break rather than engaging in problem behavior to achieve that break). Here, too, collaboration matters. Consistency at home, school, and other environments creates lasting progress.

ABA therapy is typically covered by insurance

Insurance requires a doctor’s referral and a formal diagnosis of autism. We accept most health insurance plans for assessment and ongoing treatment.


Please contact us with any insurance related questions at
(703) 832-4954

    National resources

  • Autism Now

    The Arc is the largest national community-based organization advocating for and serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The organization encompass all ages and all spectrums from autism, Down syndrome, Fragile X and various other developmental disabilities. With more than 140,000 members and approximately 700 state and local chapters nationwide, The Arc is on the front lines to ensure that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families have the support they need to be members of the community.

    Visit Site
  • National Standards Project

    The National Standards Project – Phase 1 and Phase 2 – answers one of the most pressing public health questions of our time — how do we effectively treat individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)?

    Visit Site
  • The BHCOE

    We are an international accrediting body created to meet accreditation needs specific to the delivery of behavior analysis. We develop and measure voluntary consensus standards for autism and Applied Behavior Analysis service providers.

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  • The BACB

    The Behavior Analyst Certification Board, Inc.® (BACB®) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services.

    Visit Site
  • ABAI

    Since 1974, the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) has been the primary membership organization for those interested in the philosophy, science, application, and teaching of behavior analysis. ABAI provides many services to its members and the field

    Visit Site