Created by a team of licensed psychologists, physical therapists and behavior analysts, the Marcus Autism Center Crisis Prevention Program trains professionals to manage severe problem behavior safely and effectively.

About us

The Marcus Autism Center Crisis Prevention Program provides high-quality crisis management training designed to safely prevent, manage and de-escalate crisis situations involving or brought about by children and adolescents. The program is designed to meet the following goals:

  • Be safe for the individual and user.
  • Minimize or even eliminate the need for restraint or containment.
  • Use the core principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA).
  • Highlight the use of the least intrusive procedures necessary.
  • Adapt to the needs of users who implement the strategies on a daily basis.
  • Emphasize realistic, simulations and hands-on training.


Our history

The Crisis Prevention Program was developed at Marcus Autism Center by a team of licensed psychologists, physical therapists, behavior and mental health experts, and behavior analysts who work with children and adolescents who engage in severe problem behavior. The system was developed out of high demand for effective and safe crisis management strategies. For several years, the Severe Behavior Program at Marcus Autism Center tried a number of different commercial systems and methods designed to safely manage and de-escalate crisis situations. However, not one program or method met all of their needs or the needs of the clients they served.

Faced with a need for a more appropriate crisis management system, a group of experts in behavioral health and physical therapy worked together to develop the Crisis Prevention Program. The program is specifically designed to provide quality training that focuses on training nurses, teachers, clinicians, therapists, staff and other providers on crisis management techniques. Our system has been reviewed and approved by experts in the field of behavior analysis, physical therapy and nursing. Additionally, the effectiveness and impact of our training has been evaluated within the Marcus Autism Center Severe Behavior Intensive Outpatient Program and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

As further confirmation of the benefits and impact of the program, Nathan Call, PhD, Psychologist and Clinical Director of Marcus Autism Center and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine, published “The Development and Acceptability of a Comprehensive Crisis Prevention Program for Implementation in Health Care Settings,” in the Journal of American Psychiatric Nurses Association, as a description and outcomes paper for the program.

Where is the program being used?

The Marcus Autism Center Crisis Prevention Program is currently being used in preschool and K-12 classroom settings, residential care facilities, psychiatric care facilities, therapeutic and ABA clinics, emergency departments, inpatient and outpatient medical settings, group homes and crisis stabilization units.

To date, our system is used in 16 different states and three different countries. We have directly or indirectly trained more than 6,000 users.


Crisis prevention program map


The program was originally designed to be successful with children and adolescents across a broad range of intellectual and developmental functioning. However, since its creation, the program has been successfully adapted and generalized to work with adult populations and individuals with various behavior and mental health support needs. The program can also be effective at preventing and de-escalating caregiver and parent crisis behavior.