About Us

Our Intensive Early Learner Program was first developed and piloted in Howard County, Maryland in light of current research and best practices for treating young children with autism. Melanie Kong-Shaw lead the district’s steering committee and established a highly effective intervention program in collaboration with the autism society’s local chapter members.

The renowned success of this program has been replicated and further developed here in the Portland area as we recognize the importance of motivation-based intensive intervention for young children on the autism spectrum. 

We are a team of behavior analysts (BCBAs/BCaBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians/Interventionists who work collaboratively to optimize our practice.



Meet the Founder

Melanie Kong-Shaw
Board Certified and Licensed Behavior Analyst

Melanie received her master’s degree in special education-applied behavior analysis from Columbia University-Teachers College in 2000 following her undergraduate and post-baccalaureate studies in psychology and speech language pathology. She is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed in the state of Oregon. As a practitioner, she specialized in social, play and verbal behavior with young children with autism and has provided training, consultation and district-wide program development within schools and home-based programs in New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Oregon. She moved to Portland in 2007 and started Play Connections a year later out of her home with just three clients. Melanie is immensely proud of PC’s growth and its unique collaborative model for providing effective ABA intervention. 

We believe in:

  • Comprehensive and individualized treatment, with consideration to all evidence-based models of teaching.

  • Adoption of applicable teaching and behavioral strategies as “a way of life” in order to create an intensive and consistent teaching environment for the child throughout the day.

  • Equal attention given to child-directed interventions in order to ensure generalization and self-determination right from the start.

  • Close working relationship with parents and on-going collaboration with all team members in order to ensure consistency and the best possible outcome for the child.

  • Maintaining the utmost levels of ethical practice and respect for my clients.