Autism therapy company facing inspection from state labor department
AMHERST — Several employees have resigned from a local company that provides therapy to autistic children, leaving the young clients without their daily services and prompting an inspection by the New Hampshire Department of Labor.
“We do have an inspection ongoing. We actually have a full compliance audit taking place at the business,” Attorney Rudolph Ogden at the state labor department said of ABA 4 Autism Inc. of Amherst.
Ogden said he could not elaborate on the specific details of the case until the inspection was finalized, but said these types of cases often occur after receiving phone calls from concerned employees.
The audit began this week, and could take a few weeks or a few months depending on how many records must be reviewed, he said.
According to Diana Korczynski of Brookline, about seven or eight of the company’s behavior therapists resigned this week because they have not been getting paid. Korczynski, whose daughter is on the autism spectrum and receives services from ABA 4 Autism, says she is frustrated and heartbroken about the situation.
Although she said she has received no official correspondence from the company, she said she did receive a personal courtesy text from her daughter’s therapist informing the family that she was handing in her resignation and would be unable to work with their daughter.
“These therapists are so wonderful with the children. They have been showing up to work even when they haven’t been getting paid,” said Korczynski.
According to the company’s website, ABA 4 Autism employs specialized staff such as behavior therapists, board certified behavior analysts and a registered nurse to offer applied behavioral analysis therapy to children and adults throughout the state, including services such as in-home therapy, skills assessments and consultations.
Its goal, according to the company’s Facebook page, is to provide clients with every opportunity to acquire the skills necessary to experience meaningful social connections, thrive in the community and enjoy the world around them.
“They come into our home every day — they are a member of our family, and we really count on them,” Korczynski said of ABA 4 Autism’s therapists.
She said she feels horrible for the therapists that are not getting paid, and for the autistic children who now must search for a new company to assist with their needs.
“These kids are on wait lists all over the place,” she said. Although her daughter typically receives 15 to 30 hours a week of behavioral therapy, she said some clients have more severe needs and receive 40 hours of therapy each week.
Korczynski said she worries about the children who have made strong connections and great strides with their therapy workers who are now without employment.
Perry Olsen, founder and president of ABA 4 Autism, did not return a phone call and email seeking comment. Calls to the business were unanswered on Thursday.
The compliance audit by the NHDOL will include a review on whether the company is following New Hampshire labor laws, whether appropriate payments are being made to workers, whether records are being kept up-to-date and any workers compensation issues, among other items, according to Ogden.
Once the audit is complete, the findings will be made public, he said. In the meantime, any concerns that may have been raised by employees are confidential, Ogden said.
On Thursday, Korczynski said she tried contacting the company several times after no therapist arrived at their home for her daughter’s daily session, and in an attempt to officially terminate services with ABA 4 Autism; no one has returned her phone calls.
Ogden said the owner of the company housed at 199 Route 101 is cooperating with the labor department.