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Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disorders characterized by:

  • Impaired social interaction
  • Impaired communication skills
  • Restricted/repetitive patterns of behavior

Symptoms vary individually per child, however, all children diagnosed with ASD will present with some combination of symptoms.

ABOUT FSU Early Childhood Autism Program (ECAP)

ECAP is a non-profit (501(c) 3) early intervention and community outreach program.

Our mission is to provide effective Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children in the local community.

We are the only ABA program in the Panhandle to provide in-home and in-clinic services.

ECAP serves children diagnosed with (or presenting symptoms of) developmental delays or disabilities, including: ASD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Intellectual Disabilities.

Our program has an approved practicum placement for graduate students enrolled in the Florida State University Master’s Program in Applied Behavior Analysis.


  • Campus-based Autism Clinic that opened in August 2012 at FSU Panama City
  • Provides quiet, controlled setting for therapy
  • Parents can choose to have services provided in the clinic or in their home


R. Wagner & Child 02-06-13
  • Individualized ABA therapy under supervision of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs)
  • Direct one-on-one teaching
  • Functional analyses of problem behaviors
  • Ongoing data collection to evaluate treatment effects
  • Continuous program monitoring
  • Parent training/consultations
  • Workshops

Each child’s program is individually developed using the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised/Verbal Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (ABLLS-R/VB-MAPP) and implemented using discrete-trial training, natural environment training, and Skinner’s analysis of verbal behavior.

ABA and Autism

More than 40 years of research support the use of ABA to teach children with developmental disabilities. Additionally, it is now widely acknowledged that ABA is the treatment of choice for children with ASD.

We recognize that each child is unique and that different techniques work for different children. We pride ourselves in developing individualized, research-based programs for each client.

About ECAP Staff

BCBA Supervisors — oversee all ABA therapy and treatment plan implementation and provide direct supervision and consultation with each child/family.

Case Managers — develop and implement evidence-based treatment plans under the supervision of a BCBA.

Behavior Therapists — trained personnel who provide direct 1:1 therapy and teaching.

Directed Study Individual — undergraduate student at Florida State University who assists the behavior therapist in ABA sessions.

“My very favorite part of ECAP is seeing the children learn a variety of skills, and watching the therapists enjoy teaching them. Seeing the breakthrough moments with the children [and the therapists who make them happen] make this program just incredibly rewarding.”

— ECAP Clinical Director, Rachel Wagner


Kassi Vander Ploeg, MS, BCBA
Clinical Director

Amy Polick, PhD, BCBA-D
Program Director

Florida State University
Panama City
4750 Collegiate Drive
Panama City, Florida 32405-1099

850.770.2272 (ECAP Office)