We are a child-centric ABA therapy provider with a mission to provide high quality, effective, and convenient ABA therapy services to families of children with autism.
Kyo was founded in San Francisco, CA in 2005 by Melissa Willa and Colin Davitian, under the name Gateway Learning Group. As a BCBA and former special education teacher, Melissa was inspired to start her own company, providing Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy services to children with autism and developmental disabilities.
“I got started in ABA during my college years after reading an influential book, written by the parent of a child with autism, called “Let Me Hear Your Voice”. I was studying to become a teacher and found the principles and methods associated with ABA to be fascinating. I was eager to receive training in this approach and connected with two families in upstate NY who were hiring college students to work with their children with autism.
Working with these two little boys was life-changing for me. I learned how effective ABA can be at helping a child to expand their language and social skills. I found so many moments of joy in teaching and connecting with these kids and their parents. And I witnessed the struggle that so many families faced back then to access quality services. I felt inspired and compelled to bring this effective intervention to as many kids and families as possible. I went on to pursue in-depth studies of ABA at Teachers College, Columbia University where I obtained a Master’s Degree in Behavior Disorders. Simultaneously I worked in school settings, teaching general elementary education and special education. All of these experiences helped to shape the foundation of our services at Kyo, where we implement behavioral interventions within a developmental framework.” -Melissa Willa, MA, BCBA – Kyo’s Chief Clinical Officer & Co-Founder
At Kyo we believe that the right approach for our field is to take a naturalistic and child-centered approach to therapy. To us, autism acceptance means understanding each individual for the gifts that they bring to the world and using their personal interests to guide each therapy session. Each person with ASD has a unique set of motivations, wishes, fears, and triggers. We learn as much as we can about each client and family, in order to design engaging activities that help children make meaningful, measurable steps toward independence.
Kyo has partnered with top researchers in the autism field to enhance our delivery of exceptional patient outcomes. Our Scientific Advisory Board guides Kyo’s first-of-its-kind initiative to drive meaningful and objectively measurable outcomes for children with autism.
“Having worked in the field of autism diagnosis and treatment for several decades alongside leading researchers and educators from across the globe, I’ve been pleased to work with Kyo as a member of its Scientific Advisory Board to build it into the industry-leading company and resource it is today. They are truly dedicated to delivering the best possible patient outcomes, through innovative initiatives like their use of treatment data. As they grow, I’m confident they will continue to lead the industry in their science-based and individualized treatments.”
– Dr. Catherine Lord, Ph.D. and George Tarjan Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry in the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA