Case Study: Helping Autism Therapists


Dr. Joel Hundert is one of the founders of the Behavior Institute (the other is his wife, Dr. Nicole Walton-Allen), a faculty member at McMaster University  and author of Inclusion of Students with Autism: Using ABA-based and school-based supports in General Education.  His company has provided in-home services to children on the autism spectrum for the past two decades.

Lacking Direction

Dr. Hundert commented that in the beginning, therapists either “made up their own curriculum or selected whatever they thought might work from a variety of sources”. He suggested that the results were not always as great as hoped for because at least a portion of the curriculum was unsuitable for his clients.

Discovering The Maloney Method

In 1999, Dr Hundert became reacquainted with Michael Maloney at an International Association for Behavior Analysis conference and invited Michael to submit his material for the consideration of his staff. The materials were checked against a list of criteria and a set of other possible choices. Michael was then asked to train the Behavior Institute’s staff in a train-the-trainer model.

Results: Back to Grade-Level

Dr. Hundert indicates that now the Behavior Institute has a curriculum that works, and a system for training its therapists. The system includes a data-keeping component that tracks progress and/or problems and adds to the consistency of the treatment model.

He notes that as a result of the Maloney Method a number of students have now gone from non-readers to students at or near grade-level. Staff at the Behavior Institute find the materials well-designed, with carefully laid out instructional sequences which are easy to use.

As a behavioral psychologist, Joel Hundert insists that materials be well-documented in studies in applied research to create desired outcomes for the students.  The Maloney Method materials consistently meet this challenge and provide consistent results in line with the behavioral treatment philosophy of the Behavior Institute.


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