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Meet Nicky Altikulac, MS BCBA of All Kids First in Berkeley Lake

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicky Altikulac.

Nicky, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Originally from Turkey, I majored in Guidance and Psychological Consultation and received a minor in Education in 1991 from Marmara University in Istanbul. I also received my Master’s Degree in Special Education from Istanbul University. I completed a two year internship with Neurologist; Dr. Bülent Madi, M.D. (one the 100 best neurologists in Turkey) who works with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Pervasive Developmental Disorders) as well as Mental Retardation/Developmental Disabilities and mental illness.

Additionally, I completed a two year internship with the Erol Sabanci Foundation for children with Cerebral Palsy. After completing my schooling, I worked as a Psychological Consultant under Dr. Hüseyin Selendi, M.D., with children who had a wide range of behavior problems.

In my spare time, I volunteered for 10 years as a sports coach for the Turkish Special Olympics Team as well as volunteered as a Psychological Consultant for CARITAS (International Humanitarian Organization) working with children living on the streets in Bucharest/ Romania. From 1993-1999, I was the Owner and Founder of the private “Akatlar Rehabilitation Center for children with Mental Retardation” in Istanbul, Turkey.

Additionally, from 1996 to 1999 I was the Founder and Owner of the “Mirmir Preschool” for children ages 1-5 years of age in Istanbul, Turkey.

In 1999, I married and moved to the United States, finding a home in Atlanta, Georgia, where I have lived ever since. I completed the “Applied Behavioral Analysis” certificate program at Penn State and 1500hrs internship program at Marcus Institute in order to be eligible for the board exam. I currently hold a BCBA and a Masters degree in Human Behavior from Capella University. In 2004, I opened “All Kids First Early Intervention Services, LLC.” which offers a wide range of services. My staff and I offer private ABA services to children who have developmental disabilities such as ASD, PDD, PDD-NOS, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, MR, Learning Disabilities, etc. I am also a co-leader of an Adult group serving those with high functioning Autism or Asperger syndrome at Spectrum Autism Support Group.

I travel internationally to provide private consultations for families with children who have ASD and deliver speeches at special events for families with children who have special needs. I supervise a private ABA clinic in Istanbul/Turkey that provides ABA therapy to over 40 children who are have ASD.

I am a member of ASAGA, NYAEC, AHHBEI, BCAB, GABA, SGC, ABAI, APA and currently pursuing my Doctorate degree in clinical psychology from California Southern University in order to keep up with the advancements and achievements in rehabilitation, therapy and intervention techniques.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I was 29 yrs. old when I met my husband and fell in love so that I was ready to start the biggest adventure of my life—moving to a different continent. It was not easy to leave a successful career, friends and family behind and start a brand new life. I had started everything from scratch. I ignored the fact that I had been a business owner since I was 21 yrs. old and started to work as a beginner level therapist in Atlanta. 6 months after I my first job, I started my own business. It was a challenge to earn families trust especially if your professional background is from somewhere they are not familiar with. Sometimes even my accent was the barrier to be chose or not by the families as their kids’s therapist. Over the years my hard work, my knowledge, my ethic, my passion and my love of the kids earned the families trust. Everyone hardly hears my accent anymore, and they even think that my European accent is cute. Here I am today with 2 clinics and third is on the way….

Please tell us about All Kids First.
All Kids First is a private company that has been “enhancing children’s potential” since 2004. We provide home based and clinic based ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) services to children with developmental disabilities and/or behavioral difficulties. We serve families in Gwinnett, DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb, Forsyth, and Hall counties.

All Kids First is made up of a group of highly trained and qualified professionals working together to offer families the highest quality educational programs while maintaining affordability.

All Kids First designs an individualized treatment plan to work seamlessly within your child’s framework, taking into account their unique strengths and challenges. We work to determine the goals and programs that will benefit your child the most. These goals are developmentally appropriate and target a broad range of skill areas such as communication, social skills, self-care, play, motor development and academic skills. Our ABA Therapy involves continuing assessment and measurement of your child’s progress so that we can ensure that goals are being met.

Our ABA Services include:

§ Academic skills
§ Social skills
§ Behavior Management
§ Communication
§ Play skills
§ Adaptive skills
§ Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
§ DTT Program Development
§ IEP Assistance
§ Pre-language skills
§ Incidental teaching
§ Pre-academic skills
§ Parent/teacher training
§ Motor skills
§ Play skills
§ Life skills
§ Verbal Behavior Program
§ Therapist Supervision
§ ABLLS Assessment

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Most children want to grow up to be a doctor, firefighter, teacher, mother, etc. but not me. I wanted to be a clown when I grew up. I always wanted people to have a big smile on their face. I guess, I thought that I can make it happen as a profession! Of course, over the years I changed my plan. But a smile is still so important for me. I can’t work with anyone who doesn’t smile often.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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