Victoria L. Walker’s inspiration for launching Behavioral Harmony Ltd. in November 2019 arose from her personal challenges in parenting.
Walker’s son, Keenan, now 22, has autism in addition to other mental health conditions, and she faced major obstacles parenting him while simultaneously teaching kindergarten in Perry Schools.
“For a long time, I believed I was the only person going through the struggles that we went through, just navigating society as a whole while raising my son,” Walker said. “I did a ton of research on my own. I wanted to do what was best for him, but at the same time, I was also a kindergarten teacher.”
Children in her classroom further opened Walker’s eyes.
“As the years went by, I noticed the huge need to focus on social, emotional and behavioral skills with my students, as well as what I was frantically trying to learn about at home,” said Walker, a 1998 Perry High School graduate. “That’s the influence that led to the dream of me opening my own business.”
The name Behavioral Harmony stems from Walker’s difficulty when raising Keenan of “getting everyone to work together and collaborate together with a common goal of behavioral harmony,” she said. “My son needed an autism expert and a mental health expert collaborating together.
The three paint strokes in Behavioral Harmony’s logo “represent home, community and school,” Walker said. “My mission is to get those three entities to come together and take a holistic approach to helping you out.”
“There’s a myth that ABA (applied behavior analysis) is only for autism, but there are so many children out there with dual diagnoses across mental health and ADD that go hand in hand. My passion is to bring those things together.”
At Behavioral Harmony Ltd., at 4310 Avondale Lane NW in Plain Township, Walker oversees a team of registered behavior technicians to provide ADA therapy, ABA parent training and coaching, Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA), school consultation and training and other services.
After teaching kindergarten for nine years, Walker made the decision to return to school to obtain a school psychologist’s license. “I’m a master’s level psychology scholar and a board-certified behavior analyst,” she said. She earned her degree in 2015 from Capella University.
“My son was in all kinds of counseling, mental health and therapies, and I couldn’t understand why we weren’t seeing the success that was expected,” Walker said. “That’s when I learned that autism is not a mental-health disorder. While Keenan had severe anxiety and mood disorder and OCD, we weren’t focusing on the way his brain was wired differently.
“My son needed an autism expert and a mental health expert collaborating together.” Asked about Keenan’s current progress, she said, “We still have trials and tribulations, but we have learned to celebrate the little things.”
Walker feels she has found her calling. “One day, I woke up and figured it out. God had me go through all these trials and tribulations raising my son so I know how to serve others in similar situations,” she said. “I can’t turn back. This is exactly what I should be doing.”