About Us

Building Blocks Rehabilitation & Autism Center opened in 2004 and is owned by two therapists, Laura Zaidan, MS, CCC-SLP and Omar Palomin, PT.  It was the first facility in the Rio Grande Valley to focus on treating people with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).  Our approach in treating ASD is to incorporate behavior modification and positive reinforcement in all therapy sessions.  Because each patient with ASD is unique, we tailor our treatment to fit the patient’s needs.  We employ different types of treatment including Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) including software installed onto iPads and other devices, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), and Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT) to name a few.

We are pleased to have a full-time social worker on staff who can assist families with navigating the public school special education process, answering Medicaid and insurance policy questions, and aiding each family member in adapting to the patient’s diagnosis. We encourage the involvement of parents and siblings in treatment sessions and also offer social skills therapy with peer volunteers to promote successful peer interactions outside of therapy.

It is recommended that parents or caregivers speak to a child’s pediatrician about any concerns regarding development. However, you are welcome to call or walk in for a tour of our facility. Experienced staff is available for screenings, consultation regarding developmental milestones, and will communicate any concerns with the patient’s physician to determine the appropriate action. Some children may require a full evaluation to determine the need for therapy services, and some children will exhibit no delays at the time of a screening. Parents or caregivers can ask questions regarding how to help their family member and what to look for in future development.

Our experienced bi-lingual staff has training that includes:

• Administration of ADOS, Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule and ADI-R, Autism Diagnostic Interview, Revised
• PROMPT, Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets
• Teaching Verbal Behavior to Children with Autism and Other Disabilities – Vincent J. Carbone, Ed. D.
• Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention – Debra Beckman, MS, CCC-SLP
• Three-Part Treatment Plan for Muscle-Based Therapy – Sara Rosenfeld-Johnson, MS, CCC-SLP
• Feeding Therapy: A Sensory-Motor Approach – Lori Overland, MS, CCC-SLP
• PECS, Picture Exchange Communication System – Pyramid Educational Consultants
• Interactive Metronome
• Handwriting Without Tears
• Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT)
• Social Thinking – Michelle Garcia Winner
• Toilet Training the Child with Autism – Maria Wheeler
• How to Get Your Kids to Eat: Easy, Effective Answers to Food Aversions and Eating Challenges and Proactive Strategies for Addressing
• Problem Behaviors for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder – Lori Ernsperger, Ph. D.