Aurora, Colorado

FTF is honored to spotlight Will Martin, a distinguished expert in early intervention and behavior analysis. Will brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our community, joining us from Aurora, Colorado.

In 2014, shortly after achieving his BCBA certification, Will’s experience with Practical Functional Assessment (PFA) and Skill-Based Treatment (SBT) began. The pivotal moment occurred during his attendance at the National Autism Conference in State College, PA, where he participated in a 3-hour workshop led by Dr. Gregory P. Hanley. The workshop focused on assessing and treating severe problem behavior. At that time, Will was working as an in-home ABA provider, and he had faced the challenges of conducting analog functional analyses (FA) in clients’ homes. Unfortunately, these efforts frequently yielded insufficient insights into effective treatment planning, leading to dissatisfaction among clients and their families. Fueled by his newfound enthusiasm for a different approach and armed with an early version of the PFA workbook, he conducted his first IISCA — marking his transition from analog FAs to PFA within his clinical practice.

Now, at Soar Autism Center, Will serves as the Head of Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) Implementation. He directs his expertise towards delivering specialized, ESDM-based early intensive intervention tailored for children aged 1-6. Going beyond traditional early intervention, Will and his team seamlessly integrate the PFA-SBT process, when necessary, effectively addressing challenging behavior and aiding children in reaching their developmental milestones. This unique integration of two powerful processes reflects his dedication to effective and individualized care. Will shares:

“Soar is a clinic-based ABA provider that focuses on serving young children with autism using ESDM-based ABA. In simpler terms, our services are developmentally informed, centered around naturalistic teaching, and designed to meet the unique needs of young children with autism. When considering our approach and clinical philosophy around assessing and treating challenging behavior, Soar aligned on providing training and implementation support of PFA-SBT and Universal Protocol instead of the traditional restraint-focused approach taken by other ABA providers. Now, all Soar BCBAs receive 10+ hours of training on PFA-SBT using FTF’s on-demand course offerings as part of their initial clinician onboarding.

To further build our capacity, in 2022, Soar invited Dr. Hanley to travel to Denver and provide training on the foundational knowledge of PFA-SBT to the entire team of BCBAs, SLPs, OTs, and RBTs. From there, a group of clinicians completed PFA-SBT application exercises via a design workshop hosted by Dr. Hanley, followed by implementation support from Dr. Ghaemmaghami.

At Soar, we feel passionately that PFA-SBT can open doors for all clients, regardless of age and developmental level. Pairing PFA-SBT with ESDM-based goals can ensure we are teaching children developmentally appropriate skills in contexts that make sense for young children with autism. It is possible to train your staff in more ethical, and effective approaches to challenging behavior. Training staff in restraint and seclusion shouldn’t be the norm in ABA in insurance funded community-based clinics.”

In collaboration, Will and Dr. Hanley presented a CEU event, outlining the integration of the PFA-SBT process with ESDM-based goal development to craft comprehensive treatment plans for children with autism and attain socially significant outcomes. The recorded presentation, featuring a compelling case study demonstrating the fusion of PFA/SBT with ESDM-based goals and strategies to achieve socially significant results for young children with autism, is available on Soar’s website via the following link: (

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