What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability  that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. There is often nothing about how people with ASD look that sets them apart from other people, but people with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in ways that are different from most other people. The learning, thinking, and problem-solving abilities of people with ASD can range from gifted to severely challenged. Some people with ASD need a lot of help in their daily lives; others need less.

Signs & Symptoms

People with ASD often have problems with social, emotional, and communication skills. They might repeat certain behaviors and might not want change in their daily activities. Many people with ASD also have different ways of learning, paying attention, or reacting to things. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and typically last throughout a person’s life.

Children or adults with ASD might:

  • not point at objects to show interest (for example, not point at an airplane flying over)
  • not look at objects when another person points at them
  • have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
  • avoid eye contact and want to be alone
  • have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
  • prefer not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
  • appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
  • be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
  • repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
  • have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
  • not play “pretend” games (for example, not pretend to “feed” a doll)
  • repeat actions over and over again
  • have trouble adapting when a routine changes
  • have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
  • lose skills they once had (for example, stop saying words they were using)

About Genesis

Genesis ABA Therapy Sacramento holding hands

Genesis Behavior Center, Inc. was founded in response to the continuing need for effective, research-based services for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and various behaviors. Dr. Romena Kiryakous of Genesis Behavior Center is committed to providing the highest quality of behavioral intervention for children and families living with autism.

Dr. Romena Kiryakous is the founder and CEO of Genesis Behavior Centers, a behavioral pediatric clinic dedicated to treating children with all needs especially treating those very complex diagnoses.  Founded more than 20 years ago, the clinics celebrate many success stories and outstanding outcomes. Dr. Kiryakous earned her master’s degree in psychology and both a Ph.D. and a Doctor of Psychology, with a specific specialty in treating children with difficult cases.

Dr. Kiryakous developed FirstPath, a comprehensive behavioral health software that addresses the clinical and administrative needs of organizations providing care to clients with behavioral developmental conditions.  Dr. Kiryakous serves as the vice-chair of the First Behavioral Health Urgent Care Center in Central Valley.

Intervention is based on principles of Applied Behavior Analysis and utilizes technology based on the research of Lovaas, Sundberg & Partington, and others

Primary methods used are Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Natural Environment Training (NET), Verbal Behavior procedures, and functional analysis of behaviors. Each child’s current functioning level is assessed and an individualized program developed to meet his/her needs in the areas of functional communication, social skills, self-help skills, pre-academic skills, and maladaptive behaviors. Services are available in home and at public or private school sites. The mission of Genesis Behavior Center is to give each child and family the tools needed for independence and success in daily life, in the least restrictive environment possible.

All Insurance & Medi-Cal accepted

Genesis Behavior Center Inc. provides behavioral intervention and treatment in different forms depending upon each child’s and family’s needs. Funding for these programs is most often provided by health insurance, local school districts, SELPAs, and/or regional centers.

Check with your provider and plan for specific coverage and benefits eligibility. Genesis is currently accepting most insurance plans. For any insurance questions, please call 877-828-8476 and we will happy to help you with your insurance questions.


What parents say about us

Lani Willey

Lani talks about the diagnosis and treatment experience with her adopted son, Mathew.

Shirley Nutt

Shirley talks about the treatment of her son, Wyatt, who was diagnosed at age 5.

The Genesis Behavior Center program has enabled my son to become the most loving child. People are able to see what a great person he is. He is now able to go out in the world and be happy with himself.

Terrie Baker
Terrie BakerMom

When I think about my son and his participation in Genesis Behavior Center, I cannot fathom where he would be without them.

Nikko De Paz
Nikko De PazDad

I would definitely, 1,000 percent recommend Genesis Behavior Center without hesitation. And I would do it again for my son, and I still use the techniques I’ve learned.

Shirley Nutt
Shirley NuttMom

Center Based Site

behavior management image

Genesis Behavior Center, Inc. is pleased to provide a center-based option for programs. At this time, the center-based option is available only for families whose children are enrolled in Early Intensive Behavior Treatment (EIBT) programs (see “Our Services” page for more information)

The Genesis center is located on the grounds of Turlock Learning Center (TLC), a preschool, kindergarten, and after-school care facility located in Turlock, California. Children receiving EIBT therapy at the center receive the same 1:1 intervention format as in the home, but also have readily available opportunities for assisted interaction with typically developing peers (as appropriate, and as determined by each child’s IEP team). In addition, when the child’s IEP team deems it appropriate for the child to begin integration into a classroom environment, TLC is one option available to the team for the child’s preschool and kindergarten needs.

Center-based programs offer a great option for dual-income families, who do not have an adult at home during the day to facilitate a home-based EIBT program. The pros and cons of home-based versus center-based programming should be evaluated and determined on an individual basis, with each child’s and family’s needs in mind. It is Genesis’ hope that the provision of a center-based option allows greater access to intervention for children who would not otherwise be able to receive it.