New Alternative Available For Parents Seeking Help For Children On The Autism Spectrum

New Alternative Available For Parents Seeking Help For Children On The Autism Spectrum
Becky Maxedon / 16 Jul 2019 / No Comments » Comments

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Parents of children struggling with Autism Spectrum Disorder are often challenged with finding qualified professionals to provide diagnosis and treatment that leads to improvement in their child’s development.

Playful Beginnings Inc., is excited to announce it will be expanding its service area to include Lake Havasu City.  Playful Beginnings is now enrolling families in the area for services funded either privately or through insurance. The team will begin offering diagnostic and ABA treatment services later this summer.

Playful Beginnings originated in Redlands, Calif., in 2008, founded by Gina Neikirk, PhD, BCBA-D. Dr. Neikirk is a licensed psychologist and board-certified behavior analyst. She is a graduate of Loma Linda University with a doctorate in clinical psychology and a specialty in developmental neuropsychology. She has worked with individuals diagnosed with autism and developmental disabilities since 1994.

Dr. Gina Neikirk . Jillian Danielson/RiverScene

Playful Beginnings is an early intervention program. Intervention is provided to children who experience developmental delays and/or have behavioral needs associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“Getting a diagnostic evaluation is the first step for families who suspect their child has issues with social interaction and communication,” Dr. Neikirk said.

The evaluation of a child’s developmental and behavioral needs is performed on the first visit. A functional analysis of behavior is performed in order to obtain an understanding of the child’s behavior and to assist in developing an intervention plan.

According to Playful Beginnings’ website, “One-to-one intervention matched to the child’s development, behavioral and sensory needs is provided. The primary intervention used to promote back and forth social interaction and language development is Pivotal Response Training (PRT).

PRT involves the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a naturalistic setting in order to bring the child’s developmental trajectory closer to that which would be expected for his/her age.”

The team has a focus on providing a playful approach to learning by using items of the child’s interest to keep them interested and engaged.

Behavioral therapists provide individualized intervention services in the family’s home. Developmental activities are provided to children in the areas of cognitive, social, language and self-help skill development.

For information about Playful Beginnings, call 909-583-4040, email  or visit its website at



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