Business aims to help children with mental disorders


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As a former educator, owner Arthur Hariston saw the need for schools and families to properly handle children with Mental Health diagnoses or Special needs.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Parents of children with mental disorders or behavioral issues could find some new help here in the North Florida area. A Florida couple has launched a Jacksonville-based business aimed at curbing disruptive behavior in children.

It’s a business in demand, as there is a national and statewide shortage of child and adolescent mental health providers, according to the Florida department of health.

As a former educator, Arthur Hariston saw firsthand the need for schools and families to properly handle children with Mental Health diagnoses or Special needs.

“Some people might think tantrums like he’s just crying on the floor,” Arthur Hairston, owner of North Florida Behavior Consultants said. “But when it’s so significant, you know, costing suspension and when it comes to the physical aggression, they can come here.”

Hairston opened this space in February. Through trainings and at-home evaluations, he works to develop communication and social interaction plans for children ages 3 to 12, tailored around stopping disruptive behaviors such as physical aggression, self-injury, destruction, and more.

“We always say the best intervention is prevention,” Shanita Hariston, a manger at North Florida Behavior Consultants, said. 

According the Florida Department of health, over 400,000 children and youth live in the state with emotional, behavioral, and developmental issues, but only about half are able to access services.

Early screening and treatment can improve a child’s outcomes, research shows. That’s why Hairston believes Applied Behavior Analysis & School Consulting Firms like his are so important.

“There’s a huge need,” Hariston said. 

“So if we can get ahead of it and try to work with students and work with families, more importantly, just to help them understand what resources are out there what therapies are out there for them,” Hariston said. 

Parents looking to get involved in any Applied Behavior Analysis services can work with their school counselor or insurance to learn more.

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