Emily Hull Bellaci, LBA, BCBA
People to Watch Class of 2014
JEFFERY JOHNSTON PHOTOGRAPH
Founder & Executive Director, Within Reach – Center for Autism; Licensed Behavior Analyst
The sad reality is that New Orleans families with children diagnosed with autism or other developmental delays often face a challenge finding accessible, quality services.
“Upon diagnosis, parents are told ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy is a must and intervention is key,” Hull says. “It is hard enough for a parent to hear that their 3-year-old child has been diagnosed with autism, but then add to that the hardship once they pursue this therapy and are told to wait.”
In 2011 Emily Hull Bellaci, a native New Orleanian, sought to address this lack of services by opening Within Reach – Center for Autism. Located off Veterans Boulevard and Cleary Avenue in Metairie, the center provides ABA therapy to children age 2 through 6.
“I am very proud that, upon opening several years ago, I was able to provide one of the first clinic-based therapy treatments in the area,” she says.
Bellaci oversees all the daily operations of the center, as well as serves as the Licensed Behavior Analyst, which means she creating and updating treatment plans addressing language, social, play, academic, behavioral and self-help skills.
As chair of the Louisiana Behavior Analyst Board, Bellaci is also continually looking beyond her own center to increase ABA services and quality statewide.