Category Archives: Blog


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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Summertime with ABC


As the excitement of summer fills the air, children look forward to temporary freedom from school bells, textbooks, and worksheets. While this annual break from school results in some loss of previous learning, most students are able to regain the knowledge quickly once the school doors open again. Unfortunately, for children with autism, who often do not acquire skills at a rate as quickly as their peers, this annual regression is much more pronounced, and its effects are longer lasting with greater implications. In fact, a significant portion of the subsequent school year becomes dedicated to “re-teaching” instead of new learning. At The Applied Behavior Center for Autism (ABC), we provide services that stop regression before it begins. We tailor therapy programs to confront the unique challenges and opportunities that children with autism encounter during the summertime. Blending the fun of summer with the science of applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is our specialty at ABC. During summer months, our patients enjoy more frequent community outings, outdoor play, and outside social activities. Summertime at ABC is so much fun that patients do not realize how much they are learning. Parents, on the other hand, do notice a transformation in their […]

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It Takes a Village


There is an old saying that it takes a village to raise a child. For a child with autism, it takes a very special kind of village. Autism is such a complicated, tricky path to navigate for both the kids and the parents who struggle to find the strategy that is the best choice for their individual child. This can be a very scary choice. It is so important to select the right type of therapy and the right providers that both push the child and make them comfortable at the same time. There is no road map that says go here and do this. I am what I like to call a “VIP member” of the autism club. I have two children on the spectrum and one is a girl to boot. After my daughter, Kennedy, was diagnosed I wanted to do everything I could to give her the tools she needed to fulfill all of her wonderful potential. I decided I would give ABA a try, and so I checked around and visited a few places. The moment I walked into The Applied Behavior Center, I knew this would be where Kennedy could grow, learn and blossom. Everyone […]

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Jake: Working ourselves out of a job


Jake started with the Applied Behavior Center in June 2010. When he started, he had little interest in social interaction and had little social language. We designed a program for Jake focused on requesting his wants and needs, motor imitation, following simple instructions and labeling simple nouns and verbs. In addition to social interactions and language, Jake would have problem behaviors if something was out of routine or not how he expected. For example, if you took a wrong turn while walking or the “wrong” parent picked him up, Jake would cry or have a tantrum. Jake and his therapist also accomplished a lot with his food program. After many frustrating days, Jake will now try almost any food and eats with the family. Socially, Jake would not go outside and play without a parent, and he would not try to participate in sports. His therapist described how they worked through problematic social and group behaviors with pretend play, sharing and board games. They also worked through having some independent work within a group setting in 20-minute rotations. As Jake worked through filling in his skills at the Center, he was able to transition to school with a therapist. His […]

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What Type of Therapy Does the Applied Behavior Center Do?


All seven of our locations treat patients with autism on a one-on-one basis with a treatment known as applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA therapy uses proven procedures to increase desired behaviors, such as speech, social and daily living skills, and decrease unwanted behaviors, such as tantrums and aggression. These techniques can be used in structured settings (e.g., classrooms and therapy clinics) and more natural settings (e.g., playgrounds and restaurants). ABA has been used successfully with people of all ages, with and without disabilities, in a variety of settings to promote independence, quality of life, and happiness. Once a child receives a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it’s important to find treatment options that address your child’s specific difficulties and maximize his/her strengths. ABA therapy has the best track record of scientifically demonstrating effectiveness. At The Applied Behavior Center for Autism, we strive to set your child on a course for future success. Whether your family is seeking year-round therapy or a therapeutic boost during the summer months, The Applied Behavior Center for Autism has an option for you. To learn more about The Applied Behavior Center for Autism, contact Sheiletha Quinn, Director of Business Development at 317-849-5437, ext 112.

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