Category Archives: News

Therapeutic Preschool Practice Classes

We are now enrolling for our Preschool Practice Classes for ages 2 to 5. This program has been very effective in helping children with social and language delays learn the important skills for success in Kindergarten. Classes begin in August and are a mixture of individual therapy and peer activities. Each child has a one to one therapist, even when in group activities to help them learn how to participate and have fun.

A typical schedule includes individual discrete trial training (DTT), center time, math concepts, arts and crafts, motor activities, games, story time and play times.A strong emphasis is placed on language and behavior skills.  Woven into each session are opportunities for fine and gross motor activities. The emphasis is on desensitizing children in areas where they are struggling. Noises, sticky hands, toilet teaching,visual challenges and other fears are all addressed through individual programs developed by the BCBA’s. All implementation is overseen by BCBA’s who are on site 99% of the time. This means children learn quickly and negative behaviors are diminished quickly. BCBA’s typically provide one to one therapy to each child several hours per week.

A primary goal of this program is for kids to love learning,  make friends while having fun  and to gain the skills in independence to learn from a typical school environment.

This program has been an extremely successful part of our early intervention program and has developed several students who have earned awards and honors in elementary school.

Camp ABA Summer 2013

Looking for fun summer opportunities for your child with language and social challenges?

ABA Academy is offering camps this summer for boys and girls ages 3-8! Camps run from 1:00 PM-3:00 PM and will be held indoors in our therapy center in Arlington. Themed activities will include songs, art projects, games and stories.

Now enrolling for:

Pirates – August 5 – 9

Science – August 12-16

Prerequisites:

• Ages 3-8

• Ability to sit and listen in a group setting

• No aggression toward peers or staff

*This is not billable under insurance.

T TH   MWF M-F

Second child in the same family is half price! Siblings welcome.

Call 817-277-8875 for more information and reserve a place for your child now!

Bryan

“We never would’ve believed our son could start

Kindergarten with his peer group.  ABA Academy

changed the course of our son’s future, and that of

our family.

We were held captive because of our son’s negative

behavior. ABA therapy was the solution to changing

those patterns that were keeping him from

interacting safely with others. We are so thankful

we chose ABA Academy!”

Aiden

Our son Aiden was diagnosed with moderate to severe autism just before his third birthday.  In the months following the diagnosis, we were in a kind of emotional and mental fog as we struggled to come to grips with the implications of his diagnosis and identify a way forward for his treatment.  It was during this desperate and uncertain time, that we found the ABA Academy.

From the moment I spoke to the incredibly kind and supportive administrative staff, I knew that this was a special place.  The staff was sincerely engaged with each child and family that walked through the door.  Parents were welcome and encouraged to observe all aspects of their child’s therapy.  The open-door policy for parents reflects a deep insight into the unique relationship parents serve as caregivers of a child with autism.  We are the therapists at home and in the community.  Nancy Wagner empowers parents to learn and implement the behavior strategies that will help their child and their families cope with everyday life.

At the time we began therapy at the ABA Academy, our son had no pragmatic or functional language, no imitative behaviors and severe behaviors involving five or more significant tantrums per day.  At that point in our lives, I felt like we were victims of the wreckage of autism.  I saw entire days and weeks lost to my child’s disorder and associated behaviors.  I was lost in the confusion and pain of what seemed to be a treacherous landscape of emotional landmines surrounding our family.  It was in this state of desperation and with a large leap of faith that we began to make the weekly journey of 350 miles to the ABA Academy in Arlington, TX.

After 3 months of coming to the ABA Academy, my son had developed over 100 imitative behaviors and his pragmatic language was exploding.  I was quickly losing count of how many spontaneous incidents of language we were hearing each day.  The behaviors and general compliance had improved dramatically due to the behavior techniques used at the center and imitated, to the best of our ability, at home.  I learned how to structure our days around natural reinforcement and pair difficult activities and tasks with powerful incentive.  A whole world of possibilities opened up for us.

After 6 months of coming to the ABA Academy, I began to truly know my son.  As the therapists peeled back his behaviors, his thoughts, joys, interests and many strengths flooded to the surface.  For the very first time, I shared a connection with my son that felt reciprocal and mutually joyful.  He began doing things that I had despaired might never happen at the time of his diagnosis.  A child who at 3 ½ had never asked a question and did not even consistently respond to his own name, now had the language to ask questions, answer them and discuss a topic with amateur flexibility.  The verbal behavior program created for my son developed the foundation for his organization of language.  Through reinforcement of each word and skill, he rapidly developed a vocabulary that allowed him greater access to the outside world.  As he learned the words for new objects and actions, his interest in other topics and types of play increased exponentially.  The child who at 3 ½ could not clap his hands or wave, had learned the hand motions to several songs and could imitate most everything his therapists asked of him.  This led directly to play skills and to other realms of learning.  His play skills, specifically reinforced through ABA and a modified “floortime” approach, began to expand and allowed me to enter into this play.  Because I had been included in my child’s therapy, I was able to apply the concepts I learned each week into our daily lives and routine at home and in public.  The result was nothing short of miraculous.  My son’s personality and very soul seemed to blossom as we learned how to help him overcome his most difficult behaviors and provided reinforcement for learning foundational skills to engage the world around him.

None of this would have been possible without the unique skills, background and mind of Nancy Wagner, a true genius in the art of designing and applying behavior therapy.  Nancy is an expert in ABA, but she also incorporates functional academic skills as well as elements of other methodologies that she has found to be successful such as Floortime and Relationship Development Intervention.  Nancy is also a supremely gifted and intuitive therapist and is so dedicated to each and every child in her practice that she personally develops and tailors each program.  Incredibly, she also works with each child every week in order to monitor the program and the child’s progress or to demonstrate a new trial to another therapist.  I often watched in amazement as Nancy worked with my son late on a Friday afternoon, displaying as much sincere enthusiasm and energy as if he were her first client on Monday morning.  I have personally observed over one dozen Board Certified Behavior Analysts and half a dozen ABA centers in four different cities and two different states in the course of my son’s treatment.  Not one person or center has come close to providing the quality of therapy that we received at that ABA Academy from June 2009 – March 2010.

The therapists at the ABA Academy showed me that our days were not lost to autistic behaviors.  This was an incredible revelation to me as a mother.  Learning about the science of behavior, the power of reinforcement and the factors that influence behavior completely altered the way I perceived autism and its associated behaviors and symptoms.  Observing the skilled therapists at the center work with my son through his most difficult behaviors and teach him new skills gave me back hope in my son’s future.  By some miracle, the staff at the ABA Academy not only served my son with the requisite therapy and interventions, they also supported me in my role as a mother of a child with autism with exceeding compassion and kindness that was an immense support to me and our entire family.  They became like extended family, a place where we were welcomed and supported, where our son was growing and progressing, and we were learning how to heal him and our own hearts.

Since our first visit to the ABA Academy, I have watched my son grow from an obstinate, irrationally rigid, volatile child into a creative, expressive, cooperative, self-confident and joyful human being.  At the writing of this testimonial, he is on track to enter kindergarten in a general education setting and requires only minor supports in the classroom.  At home, we have had the joy of watching our son’s personality bloom and building a lasting relationship with him.  We know that there will continue to be challenges related to our his autism, but we have great hope for the future and given the tools we have learned are determined to peel back the obstacles that stand in the way of his leading a healthy, happy and meaningful life.

It is impossible to overstate the significance and impact the ABA Academy and Nancy Wagner have had on our lives.  Not only did our child make tremendous progress in that setting and overcome significant obstacles to experiencing a full life, I learned how to be the mother of a child with autism within the walls of that center.  We are eternally grateful to the extraordinary efforts, skill, dedication and compassion administered by the ABA Academy staff.  You are and will always be in our hearts and minds.  –Susie J

Preschool at ABA Academy: a therapeutic school

Preschool Practice Classes have begun! Call the center for assessment and to sign up for these sessions designed to increase behavior skills needed for typical preschools.

Our unique preschool focuses on preparation for a mainstream classroom environment:

  • Group skills such as circle, craft and snack time
  • Transition between activities
  • Interaction with teachers and peers
  • Developmentally appropriate play skills
  • Work toward independent participation
  • Reduce fear and sensory barriers
  • Christian curriculum

Our next session begins soon. Call Gisela at 817-277-8870 for information today!

Camp Thurman Family WOW Day

“An Outdoor Family Adventure”

Mission: To provide a safe and fun outdoor adventure day
for families of children with special needs by allowing
opportunities of discovery and shared experiences involving
the entire family.

Our 2011 date is to be announced….

The camp will provide counselors to guide us through this incredible experience.  Kids will have the freedom to explore and participate in exciting outdoor activities, both individually and with others in a team-building format.

You will be able to register online through the camp’s website at a later date. For planning purposes, here is the fee schedule:
$50 Family up to 5
$45 2 Adults, 1 Child
$40 1 Adult, 2 Children
$30 1 Adult, 1 Child

Social Skills Groups

Social skills groups begin frequently. Classes teach skills such as how to listen, doing things that are hard to do, following instructions and asking someone to play. Activities  include games, toy play, pretend play, music, story time and art activities. All activities will be in a group format (4-6 children) with emphasis on specific skills designed for each child. Methodology will be based on an ABA format with an emphasis on fun and laughter. Minimum age is 4 for these groups. Call for more information and to register.

Playskills Groups

Playskills groups are now forming for preschool through grade 2. Groups meet one to two times per week for 2 hour sessions. Skills targeted for development include listening, asking for help, cooperative play, interactive play, turn taking, playing games, music participation, following instructions and increasing a variety of toy related play skills. Specific goals are developed for each child and most of all, it is fun!