Navigating Autism Preschool Choices with Lisa from Cruising with Kruz

Lisa, an ABA expert and mother, shares her journey navigating autism both professionally and personally. Early in her career, she embraced ABA principles, which later became invaluable when her son, Kruz, was diagnosed with autism. She emphasizes the transformative impact of early, intensive ABA therapy, which helped Kruz develop communication skills and reduce tantrums. The episode also delves into the challenges of transitioning from early intervention services to school-based programs, highlighting the importance of individualized planning and parent advocacy when looking at autism preschool choices. Lisa’s story offers hope and practical insights for families embarking on similar journeys and especially those trying to find the right placement in autism preschool. 


  • Lisas’ professional and personal fall into the autism world
  • Navigating early intervention
  • Transitioning from early intervention to autism preschool
  • ABA at home and how to teach when therapists are gone.
  • Progress Kruz made with his ABA home program

Lisa’s Professional Background:

Lisa embarked on her professional journey in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) while in college in 2001, initially working with a young child with autism. Her dedication to the field led her to become a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst in 2006 and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) in 2010. Her academic pursuits also took her through law school, enriching her analytical skills. Alongside her husband, who is also a BCBA, Lisa co-owns a small business that provides behavior analysis services. Their shared expertise brings ABA into their daily family life, especially beneficial for their youngest son, Kruz, diagnosed with autism. This blend of professional expertise and personal commitment to ABA principles underscores the depth of Lisa’s understanding and the unique perspective she brings as both a professional and a mother navigating the challenges of autism.

Early Signs and Diagnosis:

Lisa’s keen observation as a behavior analyst helped her recognize early signs of autism in Kruz when he was around a year old. Noticing his lack of intentional sounds, gesturing, and engagement in typical developmental behaviors such as clapping and dancing to music, Lisa and her husband sought early intervention services. Despite initial reassurances that Kruz was merely a late talker, a significant regression in his behavior and the emergence of self-injurious behaviors and severe tantrums indicated deeper challenges. This period marked the beginning of a more intensive journey towards diagnosis and therapy, highlighting the critical role of parental vigilance and early intervention in addressing developmental delays.

ABA Therapy’s Impact:

The introduction of ABA therapy into Kruz’s life has been transformative, showcasing the profound impact of personalized therapeutic interventions. Lisa’s account of Kruz’s progress emphasizes the significance of ABA in enhancing communication skills and mitigating challenging behaviors. Through dedicated application of ABA strategies, Kruz has made remarkable strides, transitioning from minimal communication to engaging in phrases and even humor. This journey underscores the efficacy of ABA therapy in fostering significant developmental gains, illustrating its potential to change trajectories for children with autism.

Navigating Autism Preschool Choices:

As Kruz approached the age for preschool, Lisa faced the complexities of navigating educational services for children with autism. This transition from early intervention services to a formal educational setting underscored the challenges parents encounter in securing appropriate support within the education system. Lisa’s proactive approach in exploring various educational options, including public and private autism preschool programs, reflects a broader concern among parents for choosing environments that best meet their child’s unique needs. Her determination to find an optimal setting for Kruz highlights the importance of parental advocacy and informed decision-making in educational planning for children with autism.

Parental Involvement and Advocacy:

Lisa’s narrative also sheds light on the critical role of parental involvement and advocacy in the therapeutic and educational journeys of children with autism. Her active participation in Kruz’s therapy, coupled with her advocacy for his educational needs in autism preschool, exemplifies the pivotal role parents play in navigating the complex landscape of services and support. By sharing their journey publicly, Lisa aims to empower other families with insights and strategies for advocating for their children’s needs. This commitment to advocacy and involvement underscores the essential partnership between parents, educators, and therapists in supporting the development and well-being of children with autism.

Lisa Houseworth on Turn Autism Around Podcast

Lisa Houseworth is Mama to 3 boys, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, adjunct faculty and business owner. After 20+ years of professional experience in behavior analysis, Lisa’s youngest son was diagnosed with autism and she shares her son’s journey through social media and a blog titled “Cruising with Kruz.”