A Note from Our Founder
Parents and professionals often ask how KGH began. I find myself answering that question like this:
I started working with Johnny, a two-year-old boy diagnosed with autism, my sophomore year in college. I found the job posting on my psychology department bulletin board, excited that it paid more than working in the library. Knowing absolutely nothing about autism other than what I read in my psych books, I knocked on the door of this little boy’s house. Upon entering, this cute little boy, who refused to make eye contact, gave me his teddy bear. His father quickly offered me the job. When I inquired as to the rush of the job offer, he said, “Watch”. He attempted to take Johnny’s teddy bear, the one he just offered me. Johnny began screaming, kicking, hitting, etc. Johnny’s father informed me that Johnny never gives up his teddy bear, and that I was the first person to whom he had ever offered the bear.
Leaving the house with a treatment schedule, I immediately thought, “What am I getting myself into?” Shortly after the start of his in-home Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program, the consultant moved away and the other therapists on his team quit, leaving me as his only therapist. I was forced to quickly learn not only how to teach a child with autism, but also what to teach a child with autism. I worked with Johnny 2 ½ hours a day, six days a week for 3 ½ years. We went through tough times and intense behaviors. I often found myself creating materials from magazines since his family did not have the financial resources to buy the needed teaching materials. We also went through great times, hearing his first words (“shoe” and “ball”) and watching the school bus pick him up for the first day of kindergarten (regular kindergarten, that is!!). Along the way, I learned a great deal about autism, as well as how autism affects the family.
Over the years of working with numerous clients with various learning, developmental and social abilities as well as spending countless hours reading evidence-based research literature, I came to realize that in order to successfully teach, it was my responsibility to learn the various types of teaching approaches and then individualize each child’s treatment based on the specific needs and learning style of that child.
So how did KGH get started? It started with a little boy named Johnny and blossomed into several therapists with similar desires and goals: to do what we can to help our clients achieve their maximum potential!
A warm welcome to KGH! We look forward to supporting your family.
Kim Garvey Hoehne, M.A., BCBA
Board Certified Behavior Analyst
Child Development Specialist
Founder/Owner of KGH