Touchstone Partners with St. Michael Special School

Francis Hwang

Dr. Francis Hwang

NEW ORLEANS – In response to a growing population of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Touchstone ABA ABA announced plans to enter into a collaborative effort with St. Michael Special School. Touchstone is an Applied Behavior Analysis provider for individuals, families and schools, delivering treatment and training in Houma, Thibodaux, Hammond, Lafayette, Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Clients include children and adults diagnosed with autism and individuals with learning and language differences and other behavioral challenges. 

The organization says ABA is based on the science of behavior and learning and has more than 70 years of substantiated research to support its effectiveness in teaching new behaviors and reducing challenging behaviors to not only individuals with ASD but also those with learning and language differences and other behavioral challenges. While this service was previously off-site, the one-on-one services are now available to St. Michael Special School, where students come from Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, St. Charles, St. James, Plaquemines and St. John the Baptist parishes.

“Having Touchstone ABA on campus has already made an incredible difference helping our students of all ages.  We’re excited to have staff on-site dedicated to helping our learners go through the process of ABA therapy to support our students with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” said Dr. Elizabeth “Cissy” Cerise LaForge, head of school at St. Michael Special School.

In addition, Touchstone ABA has announced that Dr. Francis Hwang has joined the team as a site-based supervisor in New Orleans at St. Michael Special School, where she leads the startup of the newly launched on-site clinic. Hwang joins the team as a graduate from Teachers College at Columbia University in New York City where she earned her Master’s and Doctorate in ABA.

“I am so excited for the opportunity to not only expand Touchstone ABA but to help the children and adolescents of St. Michael Special School who benefit from ABA services. We’re honored to join their campus and be readily available to those in need,” said Hwang.

For more information on Touchstone’s services, visit

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