Dr. Schnee earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Georgia State University and practices as a board certified behavior analyst, doctoral level. Dr. Schnee is a celebrated expert in Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) with a particular expertise in language programming for children with ASD. He is the former director and founder of Nexus Language Builders, a center-based, full-day, intensive learning program formally in Verona, N.J. Dr. Schnee also directed NAIS Israel and is now, again, based in New Jersey. He has lectured and consulted domestically and internationally, building EIBI programs throughout the US and around the world.
Dr. Schnee has been involved in autism intervention for almost 30 years. With these years comes meticulous attention to detail, a deep understanding of what it takes for children to acquire language and other complex abilities, the ability to pinpoint problems underlying learning challenges, to identify gaps in a youngster's learning and how to fill them in - in relation to each child's capacities.
Dr. Schnee offers consultation to families who wish to add top tier expertise to their existing programs. He works with your current BCBA and your whole team (see services page). His unique approach to ABA will increase learning efficiencies and rates of learning, broaden the scope, depth and breadth of your program, provide clarity for children and teachers and sensible purpose and direction to teams and parents.
At Nexus, language is our focus. We offer an ordinary language based approach. Not 'applied verbal behavior' (AVB). (Language and AVB are not the same although they are often conflated - go to "On language and rote responding" page for clarification). Dr. Schnee offers consultation so that youngsters may be granted the benefits of language e.g., to reason, deliberate, reminisce, give reasons and to learn to do the myriad kinds of things we do with words e.g., cajole, warn, ask, negotiate, tell, report, refute, direct, reject, greet, invite, etc.)...not to 'tact', 'mand' or 'intraverbal'. To learn a language is to learn to manipulate the normative use of symbols (words and gesture)...to learn to do things with words...to learn a social practice.
If your program is stuck in a rut, if you are concerned that your child's learning has "plateaued", or if you don't see "generalization", ask for a consultation with Dr. Schnee. Consultation to schools and agencies is also available. Domestic and International consultation is provided either in-vivo or via TELe-DOCSCHNEE.
Dr. Schnee, Author
Dr. Alan Schnee is co-author of Early Intervention for Children with Autism: Considerations. We illuminate analysis and synthesis and target a broad range of language abilities. We emphasize the importance of looking beyond specific content, and illustrate how exercises can be employed to teach foundational capacities such as attention, memory, executive function and social awareness.
Go to the Sample Exercises page and see more of what's inside.
• To establish a rudimentary understanding of the pronoun “Who” in the
context of “Where” and “What.”
• Two to three (or more) persons are situated around the room or sit in a
circle. Familiar objects are placed around the room.
• This exercise is a combination of previous exercises
• Randomize (a) “What is over there?” (b) “Where is the [object]?” (c) “Is the
[object] over there?” (d) “Where is [person]? followed by (e) “What does
she have?” (f) Who has the [object]?” followed by (g) “Where is she?” (h)
“Who is over there?” (i) “Is [person] over there ?” (points), (j) “What did
you give to [person 1 or 2]?” (see “Who Questions (2)”, #160), (k) “Who
did you give the [object]?” (or “Who did you give the object to?”) see “Who
Questions (2)” #160)
• Same arrangement as above. Add the question: “Where is the [object]?”
when someone is holding the object. The child should answer, “[person]
has [it]” rather than “over there.” Randomize questions about objects in
someone’s possession (“[person] has it”) and not in someone’s possession
Learning and Engagement
Learning is a social enterprise. It goes without saying, attunement- engagement-attention to others is necessary for learning. While youngsters need to learn content, they also need to develop an awareness of others. At Nexus, we've developed strategies and platforms so that children come to regard others - to pay careful attention to them. We engineer things so that children 'stay with us'. They come to regard our comings and goings, our gaze, points and reactions. At Nexus, children "check in", "check back" and "check us out". They learn to respond to US ... not only to SDs and reinforcers. Establishing and maintaining social awareness and social acuity is a foundational aspect of intervention at Nexus.
Dr. Schnee is also committed to bringing quality care to underserved communities around the world. Initiatives are underway in East and West Africa in cooperation with Erez-Africa and the ADAT Foundation. Right now, we are taking small steps, but we hope eventually to introduce the Nexus training system which can have exponential reach and impact while limiting costs.
"After meeting Dr Schnee and his staff, I felt hope. This was the only place that I had found that understood how to build language skills for her. In a short time, she went from screaming all day to having more appropriate interactions. It’s a long road with no finish line but I’m grateful for Nexus. They have given her the opportunity to access her environment and for me, the chance to experience her development. Time no longer stands still for us."
JZ, New Jersey