Category Archives: Blog


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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Through the Eyes of Autism: Liam’s Story


Hello Everyone! My name is Liam, or as my family and friends like to call me, Li Li. I was born just one minute after my twin brother Kellan and I am five years old. Grownups use very big words to describe the challenges I face, but I know that from my perspective, I am a happy boy who loves my family and my therapists. Although I cannot speak yet, my therapists at ABC are working with me daily to help me to communicate my thoughts in other ways. I am making progress that my parents and grandparents can see every day.   I smile easily and I hug warmly. These are just a few of the ways that I show my family and therapists that I love them while I cannot yet use the words “I love you.” My family understands that I communicate differently than they do, and they are working hard to learn my language while I work hard to learn theirs.   Before I came to ABC, I didn’t understand how to tell people what I wanted or needed.   At ABC I am learning to use my hands to do sign language. This makes it easier […]

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Liam & Finnegan’s Autism Journey


  When our twin boys, Liam and Finnegan, were diagnosed with autism, all my focus and attention went to finding people who could help them learn. I was so sure of their potential- when I looked at them I saw smart, happy, spirited little boys who saw and felt the world in a way that was foreign to me. I was convinced that despite the diagnosis, they were just as capable as anyone else to learn and grow, and I wanted to find a way to connect with them and have a better relationship with them. I had been advised that ABA therapy was the best way to help my boys learn, so I enrolled them in ABA therapy at another center. At the time, Finnegan said a few words but had no functional language and Liam was completely nonverbal. I was apprehensive about sending them to therapy, as they were usually home with me all day, but I knew that one-on-one therapy was best for them and was something I obviously couldn’t provide for them myself. Their time at the other therapy center wasn’t anything I was expecting. I felt completely left in the dark about my kids’ days, […]

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Evan’s Food Program Success


  “Evans’ eating program is a great success! Evan is an 8-year-old boy who is completely non-verbal but is currently making great strides in his therapy programs. He attends the Indianapolis North Applied Behavior Center for Autism and late last year they started him on a food program to try and increase his food intake, both in quantity and type (especially the types of food).  None of the new food items would he ever even try, we couldn’t even get them anywhere near his mouth.  Prior to this program, Evan would eat yogurt, bananas, Kraft Mac N Cheese, some deli meat (Oscar Meyer Delifresh), goldfish crackers, Pringles, teddy grahams, Kraft Singles Cheese, applesauce, pudding, hot dogs and Club crackers.  Obviously not a great assortment! ABC started a food program in which he was required to start his lunch with the new item in increasing amounts daily.  There are 5 steps to the plan and he needs to successfully complete each one before progressing on to the next one.  At the end he is eating a full serving of the respective food item.  We were told originally that the program has had successes previously.  Not at the rate of success for […]

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Holly’s Autism Journey


“Holly is not just the face of Autism but also the face of success. I am Holly’s Grandmother. AKA Goo. A name she came up with and I have come to embrace. Holly was always different, I think we noticed as early as 3-4 months. She arrived just a few days before Christmas. Perfect in every way. 10 fingers, 10 tiny toes and a perfect APGAR score of 10/10. She laid there in the warmer so alert and laid back. It didn’t take long to notice changes. She never made eye contact and would make every effort to avoid it. She had trouble with formula and had frequent illnesses. Each time a new symptom presented itself, I would Google it. Every time I searched, the same dreadful word appeared: Autism. We were able to finally get a diagnosis shortly after she turned 2. The doctor very matter-of-factly stated: Holly has classic Autism. What he meant by that is that she may never potty train and she will have limited opportunities in life. He told us that we shouldn’t expect much. We enrolled Holly in ABA therapy at ABC right after the center opened in Richmond, IN. She is almost 5 […]

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Lucas’ Autism Journey


“Lucas was a happy toddler who loved playing with trains but at 2 years old he struggled with communicating, eye contact and developmental milestones.  Screaming and crying were every day occurrences and seemed constant.  He wouldn’t respond to his name and his limited words disappeared.  Simple outings were unpredictable and he could not adapt to his environment.   We never knew what to expect and the struggle left us frustrated. Reluctant to accept that there were any issues, we took our pediatrician’s recommendation to seek out speech and occupational therapy.  He began shortly after his second birthday and by the next year we began to see minor improvements. We knew, however, that many more improvements were needed.  His therapists helped us to realize that Lucas needed a specialist.  The following spring, our son was diagnosed with Autism.   The doctor immediately recommended ABA Therapy. Knowing his struggles with social interactions and new environments, it was difficult to imagine sending Lucas to therapy for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week.  I wanted to believe that everything he needed for his development could be provided by us but eventually we had to face the truth. Thankfully, we found ABC and immediately began to […]

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Isaac’s Autism Journey


Isaac was 4 when he started attending The Applied Behavior Center for Autism. It was somewhat hard sending our little guy off for 8 hours a day, but from day 1, everyone at ABC was so wonderful in making us feel like Isaac was safe and secure and being well cared for. The changes in Isaac these last 2 years have been phenomenal.  His speech and communication have increased dramatically.  I can ask him questions about his day and he can answer me.  When he talks about his friends at the center, he is referring to clients and therapists both! When we go in public places now, he says hi to people and asks their names.  He asks people to play with him and works very hard to interact with those around him.  These are things Isaac always wanted to do, but didn’t have the skills to do prior to ABC. To see him doing it now and bringing him such pleasure is heartwarming to us. One of Isaac’s biggest and hardest struggles has always been eating. Food was incredibly stressful to him and everyday eating was a huge battle.  At the age of 5, he was only eating baby […]

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Charlie’s Journey: Building a Brighter Future at ABC


Charlie was a chubby, happy little baby who loved to play and smile but at 18 months old, he still had zero verbal skills. He could laugh and make animal noises but could not speak. Watching closely, we began to notice other issues with Charlie. He never responded to his name, never asked for things, and had issues with eating. As any mom would do, I enlisted professional help. After a year of speech and occupational therapy, Charlie continued to make very little progress. In time, both of his therapists recommended that we get him evaluated for Autism. As a mother, I was frightened and unsure of what the future would hold for my little Charlie. Our lives changed forever in January 2012 when we heard three little words: “Charlie has Autism.” Thankfully, we had amazing resources and friends who gave us great advice: educate yourself, research everything, and ask questions. After extensive research, our decision was clear. We needed to get Charlie into an ABA Center. We looked at several options in the Carmel area and I literally cried walking out of the first center we toured. Then we went to The Applied Behavior Center for Autism, and had […]

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Sherry’s Perspective: Why I Do What I Do


I’m lucky. Every day I am reminded why I do my job, and why I love it so much. But 17 years ago, I didn’t feel that way. I was scared and facing the unknown. I was feeling the way many parents do today. Last week I met one of those parents here for a diagnosis consultation and facing the unknown. It was the same day the staff and I got to share our successes with U.S. Representative Susan Brooks. That day brought the last 17 years of my life full circle. When my son Michael was two years old, he was diagnosed with autism. Before that diagnosis, I was scared – and knowing he had autism didn’t make it any easier. Michael was the first child in his school district diagnosed with autism. No one knew how to help me, and no one had answers. So I decided to find them myself, and in the process, I learned to help more kids than just my son. First, I fought for funding from the school district to help my son. Then, I worked with other parents to lobby the General Assembly to create a mandate that Indiana insurance companies must […]

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Swim Lessons at the Applied Behavior Center


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 ABA treatment center in Indiana.   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 newly opened indoor therapeutic pool. Because each child is unique, our swim program develops customized swim lesson plans in accordance with each child’s abilities and preferences in mind. We break down […]

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