Category Archives: Blog


Special Needs Swim Lessons


History of ABC Swim Lessons Beginning in 1995, the CEO and Founder of The Applied Behavior Center Sherry Quinn’s son Michael was diagnosed with Autism. After searching nationwide for the care that he needed, Sherry discovered ABA therapy. Because this programming was not offered in Indiana at the time, she decided to open her own company to offer swimming out of the pool in her backyard for all children affected by any type of developmental disability. Soon after, the company began offering therapy and behavior consulting services for children with Autism. Over 100 children and teens went through the program and successfully learned to swim through their ABA based swim program. The program expanded and eventually developed into The Applied Behavior Center for Autism. The company is now the largest and longest ABA treatment center in Indiana and will be celebrating 20 years this May!   Special Needs Swim Program Details The Applied Behavior Center for Autism is once again opening its swim program to children and teens with any developmental disabilities for one-on-one private swim lessons at our indoor therapeutic pool at our Carmel location. Because each child is unique, our swim program develops customized swim lesson plans in […]

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Holiday Closings


Dear Parents, We know how busy things can get around the holiday season, and how important family time is.  We want to make sure to accommodate your child’s schedule and make up any missed days that they may have, if possible.  ABC will be closed on the following days: Thursday, November 24th Friday, November 25th Friday, December 23rd Monday, December 26th Monday, January 2nd Please be sure to contact your Team Leaders if you plan to have your child out any additional days.

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Back To School


When are kids ready for school? Every year, millions of young children with special needs enter school with issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting negative effect on their ability to meet their full potential. We know the first eight years of children’s lives are years of incredible learning that shape their futures. This, alone, is a reason to assure that all children have access to the resources they will need to learn, progress and grow. The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center reports that we are now spending less per child today than we did nearly ten years ago, because states continue to reduce their budgets for early education services. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) has also published data and research that instructional assistants, who can often have little to no training or education for the children they work with, are doing more and more of the direct instruction with children as teachers are focused on other requirements such as paperwork and legal requirements.   These factors along with many others have lead some parents to question if their child is prepared to attend school or even if the school is prepared […]

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Back to School


When are kids ready for School? Every year, millions of young children with special needs enter school with issues that put them far behind their peers and have a lasting negative effect on their ability to meet their full potential. We know the first eight years of children’s lives are years of incredible learning that shape their futures. This, alone, is a reason to assure that all children have access to the resources they will need to learn, progress and grow. The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center reports that we are now spending less per child today than we did nearly ten years ago, because states continue to reduce their budgets for early education services. The Indiana Resource Center for Autism (IRCA) has also published data and research that instructional assistants, who can often have little to no training or education for the children they work with, are doing more and more of the direct instruction with children as teachers are focused on other requirements such as paperwork and legal requirements. These factors along with many others have lead some parents to question if their child is prepared to attend school or even if the school is prepared for […]

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Water Safety


Make Water Safety Your Priority Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards. Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone. Even at a public pool or a lifeguarded beach, use the buddy system! Ensure that everyone in the family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Learn-to-Swim courses. Never leave a young child unattended near waterand do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water. Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacketsaround water, but do not rely on life jackets alone. Establish rules for your family and enforce them without fail. For example, set limits based on each person’s ability, do not let anyone play around drains and suction fittings, and do not allow swimmers to hyperventilate before swimming under water or have breath-holding contests. Even if you do not plan on swimming, be cautious around natural bodies of water including ocean shoreline, rivers and lakes. Cold temperatures, currents and underwater hazards can make a fall into these bodies of water dangerous. If you go boating, wear a life jacket! Most boating fatalities occur from drowning. Avoid alcohol use. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance […]

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Samantha’s Story


Samantha began attending the Applied Behavior Center in January of 2013, when she was 5 years old. The center came highly recommended by a coworker of mine. After sending Sam to a developmental pre-school for 2 years, we decided to try ABC for Autism. When she started at ABC, she was unable to communicate with us. She couldn’t tell us what she wanted, felt or needed. Her behaviors were uncontrollable. She would cry, scream and throw fits because she lacked communication skills. She was also unable to use the restroom even though we had tried to potty-train her for the previous 2 years. The difference in Sam was noticeable almost immediately. She was potty trained in just 8 weeks. She started talking and putting two words together. She had decreases in rocking, blabbing, and other repetitive behaviors One of the best moments for us was mid-May of 2013. We were tucking in Sam for the night and as we walked out her room, in her perfect soft little girl voice she said “Mommy…I…love…you”. I whipped around and turned on the light exclaiming “what did you say!!??” She giggled at my excitement and would not repeat herself. I tucked her in […]

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Kennedy: The Little Things


Robert Brault once said, “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize that they were big things.” Isn’t that what the basic ideology behind applied behavior analysis really is: little things, when put together add up to very big things? For nearly three years, the amazing team at ABC has been working on each small step in my daughter Kennedy’s progress — her little things. Kennedy was diagnosed with autism shortly before her third birthday. After trial and error, we decided to give ABA a try in hopes that it would be what we were looking for to open doors that had once appeared to be locked tight. I still remember her enrollment meeting like it was yesterday; I was anxious and wondered how she would handle working eight hours a day five days a week. It was a big leap of faith to trust that she could do it and that these were the right people to help her. It didn’t take long, however, to start seeing really positive changes in my little girl. I can honestly say that was the best decision I ever made. When she first started, her language was limited […]

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Lucas: Our Very Hungry Caterpillar


Having a child with Autism is difficult to put into words. Every situation and challenge is unique.  The uncertainty of daily life puts pressure on everyone in the family; describing it and trying to get assistance only left us more confused. When we were first introduced to ABC, Lucas was in his own world and we couldn’t break through.  Frustrations were high and temper tantrums were often; Lots of crying and not a routine to speak of. He didn’t have the tools to communicate with anyone.  Our lives revolved around what he could handle and our family didn’t spend a lot of happy quality time together. On his first day at ABC, everything began to change.  The therapists found what motivated him and set goals for his development.  His confidence quickly grew. As soon as one skill was mastered, the next came easier and he quickly began building his accomplishments.  At one time I wondered if we would have conversations; now I find myself trying to find the words to answer his questions!  Most recently, he asked, ‘Mommy, what did you do today?”  My response startled him as I gasped and scooped him up into a bear hug! I couldn’t […]

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Twins on the Spectrum


  As I stare at this blank page on my computer screen and think about what I want to say about how the Applied Behavior Center has affected my family, I can’t imagine how I will ever get words to accurately reflect the depth of my gratitude for the work they do. My now ten year old twin sons have been attending ABC for five years. We have all heard the saying, “If you meet a child with autism you have met one child with autism.” Those words could not be truer for us. Genetically they are twins but the way autism has affected them and the challenges it creates for each could not be more unique. Between the two boys we have dealt with aggression, disruptive stemming behaviors, elopement, safety in public settings, toilet training issues, grooming problems, general compliance, on and on the list goes. If there is an “undesirable behavior” on the spectrum we have probably seen it at some point. As these challenges come and go in our everyday lives, our program coordinator, therapist and team leaders have been right there to help us develop and implement a plan. That’s really what stands out about ABC. […]

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Rewriting the Script: Kennedy & Sawyer’s Story


  I remember back when I was pregnant with Kennedy. I read all the baby books and made all the lists of things that I needed. I had my bag packed and ready with all the “essentials” that you were supposed to bring to the hospital two months before my due date. Her nursery was stocked with all the things I would end up never using. I ate all the right things. I took my vitamins. I avoided caffeine. I did my homework and carefully planned the next eighteen years of her life before she ever took her first breath. I would be the kind of mom who read stories at bedtime, and did crafts after our homemade organic lunches. She would take ballet and violin lessons and read chapter books before kindergarten. She would never argue or throw tantrums in the grocery isle. I would never yell. We would attend mother-daughter tea in perfectly pressed lacy dresses that would never be soiled. I imagined it all in my white-picket-fence silver screen version of our life. Needless to say, life looks a little different today. I had several friends who were pregnant at the same time as I was with […]

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