“When one of my relatives was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, he began early intervention therapy,” said Vasuda Bangalore, Owner and Board Certified Behavior Analyst at Inquiring Minds Behavioral and Developmental Services.
“After seeing the positive difference it made in his life, I knew I wanted to dedicate my time and energy to offering the same type of support through Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy.”
Being a part of the growth and success of children on the spectrum is something that has always been near to Vasuda’s heart. When she saw a need for these types of services in Huntsville, it motivated her to open a clinic and become a resource for children who could benefit from ABA.
What Is Inquiring Minds?
Inquiring Minds is a new outpatient clinic that serves the needs of children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and related developmental disabilities. With a goal of helping their clients thrive independently, the clinic offers a wide array of services for both children and their families/caregivers.
“Improving the life of someone on the spectrum can involve many things,” said Vasuda. “Social skills, learning how to dress, communication skills, and potty training—all these fall into our scope of therapy. We want to give our clients the tools to succeed on their own and live a confident, self-sufficient life.”
The needs of individual clients between the ages of 6 months to 21 years can vary. This requires Vasuda and her team to always be on top of their game and maintain continuing education and training.
“All therapists at Inquiring Minds are required to complete a rigorous 40-hour training program, pass an in-house competency test, and complete a competency test that’s credentialed by the Behavior Analysts Certification Board (BACB),” said Vasuda. “This applies to incoming therapists with prior certifications and experience in the field to help maintain accuracy and consistency.”
“We do monthly checks with therapists to make sure therapy is running efficiently,” she said. “I provide ongoing supervision and training weekly, as well.”
Because the team at Inquiring Minds believes therapy should be available to everyone, they offer services not only at the clinic but also in-home and in the community.
“Sometimes we travel up to 30 miles from the clinic to provide our services,” she said. “That includes Arab, Athens, Brownsboro, Decatur, Florence, Gurley, Hampton Cove, Hartselle, Harvest, Hazel Green, Madison, Meridianville, and New Market. If we believe we can make an impact, we will make it happen.”
Opening A Clinic
As a student at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Vasuda was eager to pursue her dream of working in the medical field. She found her calling when she discovered ABA therapy and began working toward her bachelor’s in psychology. This led to her earning a master’s in psychometrics at the University of Louisiana at Monroe and obtaining her board certification as a behavior analyst (BCBA).
After discovering the need for additional ABA therapy in the Huntsville area, Vasuda began the process of opening her own clinic. In June, the doors at Inquiring Minds officially opened at the Crestwood Women’s Center located at 185 Chateau Drive.
“We have grown a lot faster than anyone anticipated,” said Vasuda. “Already, I have hired six additional Registered Behavior Technicians—RBTs for short—and an office manager. Our speedy growth solidified that there is a need for our services in the area, and we are more than thrilled to offer it to the best of our ability.”
As the clinic grows, Vasuda plans to add more staff to ensure additional one-on-one therapy time and attention to individual clients.
“We hire based on enrollment,” said Vasuda. “The typical case load for a consultant is anywhere from 8-15 children max. We are already growing past that. The staff I work with is incredible and everyone is a team player. The passion for what we are trying to accomplish is astounding.”
The business also attracted the attention of a local college, and a unique opportunity was presented to Inquiring Minds upon its opening.
“A partnership with the University of Alabama in Huntsville just kind of fell into my lap,” said Vasuda. “It has allowed us to be yet another option for children looking for therapy and training.”
The team currently offers after-school therapy and consulting for the PALS (Preschool Autism Language & Social Skills) program at the RISE School in addition to their day-to-day operations.
The Inquiring Minds Mission:
“We aim to deliver exceptional, comprehensive, and culturally-sensitive, one-on-one care through education, acceptance, and evidence-based interventions to enhance the well-being and lifestyle of individuals and families living with autism and related developmental disorders.”
Becoming A Resource
More than anything else, Vasuda said that Inquiring Minds wants to be a resource for anyone looking for ABA services.
“Never be afraid to reach out and see how you can help improve the life of your child or loved one,” said Vasuda. “If we can’t provide the appropriate service, we will point you to someone in the area who can. There are many options out there, and we are here to help you find them.”
Contact Vasuda and the team directly by email at email@example.com.
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