Knoxville Center for Autism
Helping Children Reach Their Full Potential
9051 Executive Park Drive, Suite 302, Knoxville, TN 37923
Services We Offer

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Services

As part of the ABA program, we develop very individualized programs for each child.  Each program typically includes behavior management and communication.  Some children have issues related to sensory type activities such as eating, potty training, getting haircuts, and going to doctor and dentist appointments.   When appropriate, we are able to work with the child to teach them appropriate ways to tolerate each of these activities. 

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is directly involved with each child’s program.  Each therapist brings their experience and expertise in certain areas, such as education, parenting, research, and behavior to reach each child individually at their level.

The research shows that anyone of any age can benefit from ABA.  However, KCA currently serves children from 18 months to 12 years of age. We work with children who are diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, who are delayed in reaching their milestones, and who are exhibiting behavioral issues.  Children do not need a diagnosis to receive or benefit from our services. 

ABA is the most comprehensive and most effective approach to improving your child’s quality of life. It is a well-documented and researched therapy that has proven to be very effective for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is supported by the Surgeon General, American Academy of Pediatrics, and by the National Autism Center’s National Standards Report. The research states that an intensity of 25-30 hours per week shows the best long term outcomes. 

1-on-1 ABA-VB Therapy (ages 0-12)

An ABA program is very individualized to each child's abilities and interests.  An initial assessment will be completed, typically either the ABLLS-R or VB-MAPP and a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) if necessary.  These assessments are used to find your child's current skill set, complete your child's individual programming, and track your child's progress.  Program goals are then established and therapy begins.  Data is recorded and graphed for each of your child’s sessions, which are represented on graphs; your child's ABA program is 100% data driven.     

Following best practice and research based therapies, KCA follows an ABA- VB (Verbal Behavior) program.  The VB program focuses on the implementation of behavioral intervention procedures (decreasing negative behaviors while increasing positive behaviors) and communication, including some social skills with other peers, if appropriate.  Depending on each child’s needs, we may also aid in working on toilet training, or other specialized programs such as hair cutting, finger and toe nail cutting, doctor or dentist visits, community outings, riding in the car with seatbelt on, and eating programs, just to name a few. 

1-on-1 therapy can vary from 2-5 sessions per week, each session typically lasts 1.5 – 3 hours, all depending on the child’s needs and availability.  

Social Skill Groups (ages 6-15)

We currently have multiple social skill groups available at KCA.  To have your child join one of our social skill groups, we require that parents fill out a social skills profile to help us understand your child’s current skill set and goals to work on with your child.  Each group is arranged according to your child’s skill set and age level. 

Social Outings (all current families at KCA)

We have recently begun to organize social outings.  During the summer we are offering an outing every Monday afternoon.  During the school year, we will be offering an outing once per month.  These outings are open to all current KCA families.  Families must sign up and pay ahead of time for these outings.  KCA provides therapists to whom also attend the outings to aid in social interaction with other peers, aid families in leaning strategies to use with their child in similar settings, and provide families a comfort level of being surrounded with other similar families without the fear of being judged.  (Social outings are only available to families who attend therapies on a regular basis at KCA.

Lil' Buds & Big Buds Preschool Program

The goal of this program is to prepare children on the Autism Spectrum to be able to enter into the school system with their typically developing peers.  This program is set up to mimic a typical preschool day, but is based on ABA principles and procedures.  Both programs run year around.  Each child must meet certain specific requirements for enrollment into each of the programs.  These skill sets are assessed using the VB-MAPP.  If a child does not meet the minimum requirements, specific therapies will be suggested to help the child meet the requirements.  These recommendations are to aid the child to gain the necessary skills to be enrolled into the preschool readiness program.  Once those skills are learned, the child may be enrolled into the appropriate program.  
After acceptance in the appropriate program, each child is set up with an individualized program to meet his or her needs.  Both programs are currently taught by a licensed special education teacher.
Both the Lil' Buds & Big Buds Programs Include:
- Communication based program (ABA: Verbal Behavior)
- Social Skills
- Academics
- Behavior Intervention (changing behaviors, aid in transitions, etc.)
- Specialized Programs (potty training, feeding therapy, etc.)
- Low ratio of child to teacher/ aide
- Parent Training
- Typical peers may be mixed into the program
- Community outings with the class (if appropriate, may include parent involvement)
- Tuition based programs
Communication with Caregivers:
- Daily report from teacher
- Quarterly report from teacher on progress
Parents are responsible for:
- Child's lunch & snacks
- Child's diapers, wipes, extra outfits
Lil' Buds Program Includes:
- 1 to 2 ratio
- 2 hours per day typically between 9a-1p (this may change, please contact KCA directly for current times)
Additional hours per day may be added for individual therapy (ABA, SLP, OT) at the regular therapy fee
- Must attend at least 2 days per week

Big Buds Program Includes:
- 1 to 3 + ratio
- 9am-12pm (3 hours per day) (this may change, please contact KCA directly for current times)
- Additional therapy may be added during the school day (ABA, SLP, OT) at the regular therapy fee
- Must attend at least 2 days per week
- A cap of 5 children pre day are allowed into the program
** Please note, both the Lil' Buds and Big Buds Programs are tuition based.  This means that the cost of the program has been spread out into equal monthly installments.  Tuition is determined by the days and hours the class meets during the year divided by equal monthly payments.  You are not paying for scheduled holidays.**  Please contact our office for additional information.

Sibling Sessions

Siblings have a special bond that is unique to their relationship.  Sometimes when a child is on the Autism spectrum, it is difficult for a sibling to understand how to interact with their sibling, or there may be more conflict than a typical sibling relationship.  We are able to work with siblings in aiding to build or improve their relationship and improve their interactions while at home.  These sessions are tailored to each individual situation. 

Community Outings

Most children on the Autism spectrum have some level of difficulty when in the community.  Some issues can be dealt with by meeting with a therapist during a parent support session, but sometimes parents need extra support while in the community.  We are able to meet parents in various places in the community to work directly on these issues.  These session are tailored to each individual situation. 

Parent Support

It is not easy being a parent with a child on the Autism spectrum.  When first receiving a diagnosis, there are many questions and concerns such as what direction to go in, what therapies to enroll your child into, and how much therapy is needed.  Concerns continue as questions arise regarding how to handle your child’s behaviors, appropriate discipline, and how to respond to social situations.  All of these and much more can be addressed during a parent support session.  These sessions are typically completed during the child’s therapy session 1-on-1 with our counselor.    

Summer Academic Camps (ages 6-13)

During the summer we offer academic camps to school aged children.  This summer we are offering the camp from 9-1 on Tuesday & Thursday.  We will use the child's IEP to aid in identifying academic skill to work on during the camp.  The camp also focuses on social skills.  Space is limited.  Each child does need to be able to complete some work independently and work in a group setting of 1 to 3.  Please call the office for additional information.


Our Behavior Analyst is available to provide consultations for any child either in clinic, in home, in school, or in the community.  The VB-MAPP or a Function Behavior Assessment (FBA) may also be completed if appropriate.  Consultations include observations and feedback for the parents.  These sessions are individualized to each family’s needs. 

BCBA Supervision

Our Behavior Analyst has been providing supervision to those seeking their BCBA or BCaBA for 7 years.  She is able to provide on-site supervision to those in the Knoxville and surrounding areas.  Please contact her directly at  for more information. 


We are able to offer trainings in any area related to our expertise.  These trainings may be done for parents, support groups, school staff, or other professionals.  We can offer on-site trainings and consultations.  Please contact us directly if you are seeking training in our clinical setting. 

Speech-Language Pathology Services

Speech-Language Evaluations

These evaluations involve a thorough assessment of each child’s receptive language, expressive language, speech sound production, social communication, and play skills. These areas are evaluated using both standardized and criterion referenced measures in order to identify any areas of need.

Individual Therapy

These services focus on improving your child’s speech and language skills including (but not limited to): communicating his/her wants and needs, understanding the language of others, producing accurate speech sounds, engaging in appropriate play, and using appropriate social skills.

 Group Therapy

These services will target the same skills as Individual Therapy, with an additional focus on peer interactions and using skills in multiple environments.

 Speech Language Pathology Parent Training Classes

KCA is excited to offer courses that will provide parent of toddlers and preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorders with strategies for enhancing their child’s socialization, communication, and play! Examples of topics covered include: foundations of speech-language treatment, music and games, communicating wants and needs, fitting therapy into your day, playtime, and functional communication skills. These 5-6 session courses will provide opportunities for parents to practice newly learned skill with their child during each session. Parent trainings are great opportunity for parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders to learn about social communication skills as well as other exciting Speech and language topics.


Psychological Services

Please Note: Dr. Dreke is currently on extended leave. 
Our goal is to provide families with a thorough understanding of their child’s strengths/weaknesses and research-based interventions/recommendations.  Dr. Dreke is willing to accompany parents to school meetings to help convey evaluation results and consult with school staff regarding services that may optimize student performance.  She also consults with and offers support to parents who need help understanding or coping with their child’s diagnosis or managing behavior challenges.


Dr. Dreke specializes in conducting comprehensive psychoeducational evaluations of children, adolescents, and young adults to assess for: autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), learning disorders/dyslexia, intellectual giftedness, intellectual developmental disabilities, emotional/behavioral/social problems, and processing difficulties. 


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