Understanding Autism Research and How to Use it to Advocate for Your Child

BY: Hanna Rue, PhD, BCBA-D

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InformaciĆ³n general sobre el autismo

BY: Angela Montes

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The Premack Principle (or First: Then Rule), A Positive Reinforcement Strategy

BY: Chisato Komatsu

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Ronit M. Molko, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Dr. Ronit M. Molko is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and licensed clinical psychologist specializing in the treatment of children with autism.  She has a Master’s degree in Applied Developmental Psychology and a Doctorate degree in Human Development and Family Life.  Dr. Molko completed a post-Doctoral fellowship at UCLA, focusing on behavioral assessment and intervention, treatment planning, individual and group therapy for individuals with autism and genetic disorders.  She has taught graduate-level courses on classroom-based positive behavioral support and comprehensive programming.  She has presented papers at workshops at local and national professional conferences. 

In early 2001, she co-founded Autism Spectrum Therapies (AST) with William Frea, BCBA-D.  Dr. Molko was the co-chair of the Insurance Workgroup of the North Los Angeles County Regional Task Force (NLAART) of the California Senate Select Committee on Autism & Related Disorders.  The Insurance Workgroup focused on expanding private insurance coverage for evidence-based autism therapies.  Dr. Molko is a recipient of the 2012 Enterprising Women of the Year award, an annual tribute to the top international women entrepreneurs.  In 2011, she received the Smart Leader award, recognizing her innovative contributions to the business community and autism services.  

Ronit Molko founded AST while working from her dining room table. Her journey from Psychologist to CEO was been fueled by her passion to serve the autism community and to touch as many lives as possible. 

At my first job teaching children with developmental disabilities in an after school program, I had the opportunity to work with a young girl with autism.  I was so inspired by the spirit of that girl and the strength of her family.  Together we experienced many emotional moments as we overcame challenges and experienced many triumphs.  

When I entered this field, I was amazed at how little was known about the origin of the disorder and how best to serve the community of individuals with autism—I wanted to be part of the answer.  That quest, and the desire to provide superior services that make a meaningful difference in the lives of families affected by autism, has driven the last (20) years of my life and led to the creation of Autism Spectrum Therapies.  

AST was founded on the principles of teaching in the natural environment with a focus on the family and centering on functional skills that foster independence.  Bottom line, services need to work with and for the family. 

Our team has grown, our families have grown and we continue to go where excellent services are needed.  Each new community we have become a part of has taught us and expanded how we offer services.  Through our Facebook page and other social sites as well as Autism Spectrum Radio, we now touch families across the US and beyond.   

I am still regularly moved to tears by the amazing accomplishments of our kids and their families, and the incredible dedication and hard work of our AST team members.  I feel so blessed to have been able to share my life and my work with this extraordinary community.