New behavior analyst takes treatment to highest level

WHEELING — Dr. Shelby Haines has brought her expertise in treating autism spectrum disorder to Wheeling Hosptial’s Center for Pediatrics.

Wheeling Hospital’s Center for Pediatrics has taken its treatment of autism to the highest level with the recent addition of Dr. Shelby Haines, a board-certified behavior analyst.

Haines, who also is the director of special education for Marshall County Schools, is specially trained in the use of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder. ABA has a number of clinical and delivery components that make it unique among evidence-based behavioral health treatments.

“I am honored to be part of the team at Wheeling Hospital’s Center for Pediatrics. Our work in ABA will assist many children and families in the region,” Haines said.

Sheila Archer, speech-language pathologist and coordinator of Pediatric Rehabilitation at the Center for Pediatrics, said, “Dr. Haines will evaluate the current state of our patients and customize their treatment based on the results of her direct observation and data from a range of other assessments.

She will also obtain and integrate information from the patients and family members, and coordinate the care with our other specialists.”

Archer said having Haines’ expertise in behavior and intervention provides the “next step in evidence-based autism treatment.”

ABA therapy is used to increase language and communication skills. It also is used to improve attention, focus, social skills, memory and academics. ABA also can be used to help decrease problem behaviors.

“The use of positive reinforcement strategies is a main focus of ABA,” Archer said. “It can help children who are having difficulty learning or acquiring new skills. It can also help address problem behaviors that interfere with functioning.”

Haines earned her bachelor’s degree from Bethany College and her master’s degree in specific learning disabilities from West Virginia University.

She has an Ed.S in school psychology from Marshall University and earned her doctorate in special education and educational leadership from WVU. In 2011,

Haines earned a graduate certificate as a board-certified behavior analyst from Penn State, and became board certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board in 2012. She holds additional certifications in autism, mental impairment and behavior disorders.

The team of highly trained and experienced therapists at Wheeling Hospital’s Pediatric Rehabilitation Center help children diagnosed with: autism spectrum disorders; Down syndrome; cerebral palsy; orthopedic conditions; prematurity; spina bifida; muscular dystrophy; genetic abnormalities; visual perceptual deficits; sensory integration dysfunction; global development delays; apraxia; auditory processing disorders; and receptive and expressive language disorders.

Patients are seen at the Stratford Center on Warden Run Road, Wheeling.

For more information, call 304-243-8310.