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Sarah’s Story: How ABA Therapy Made all the Difference

Thanks to ABA Therapy, 8-year-old Sarah went from having interfering behaviors and a difficult time sleeping to being engaged in her local community and having a peaceful sleep routine.

As a parent, what do you do when your 8-year-old daughter has very limited communication skills and demonstrates maladaptive behaviors to the extent that you cannot go out into the community with her? Or when that same child has such intense sleeping challenges that each evening is dominated by the need to be in her room for hours before she finally falls asleep?

In Sarah’s case (name changed to protect client privacy), her mother brought her into AZA United’s ABA Therapy program in early 2021 and from there, her team of ABA professionals worked collaboratively to bring about significant changes to Sarah and her family.



Their first focus was on helping Sarah with her communication skills and reducing interfering behaviors. Since then, huge changes have happened. To date, her ability to express requests has almost doubled and she is currently using 2-to-3-word phrases when requesting. Sarah’s interfering behavior occurred 3 times per hour and now it is 1 to 2 times per week. Her relieved mom says Sarah’s interfering behaviors have greatly reduced and she can now take Sarah with her on outings into the community.

To treat the sleep concerns, the team first conducted an indirect sleep assessment with Sarah’s mom and created a plan to target the concerns determined by the sleep assessment. The clinical team recommended modifications to the sleep schedule along with using other ABA strategies such as prompting, reinforcement, and a visual schedule and encouraged a consistent nighttime routine. Environmental factors were also considered in the sleep environment, so mom now removes electronics well before bedtime. Sarah is currently falling asleep independently soon after she is put into bed, and she receives her reinforcer in the morning if she meets the nightly goals.

One of the reasons for Sarah’s success is that mom is a huge participant during sessions and generalizes skills outside of session independently. Her passion for helping Sarah and her consistency and ability to work with the clinical team to implement targeted strategies is critical to her success. These were (and remain) her goals and she has done an amazing job.



As she continues to master her short-term goals, she will move closer to mastering her transition goals that include things such as community safety skills, engaging in conversations, increasing her independence with self-help skills, and improving her play and social interactions with peers.


Contact our Family Support Team if you would like to learn how to get started with ABA Therapy or any other programs and services that we offer. Our Family Support Team is always available to help and is available at no charge to all members of the autism and developmental disability community. Schedule a free phone appointment that works with your schedule:

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