top of page

Our Approach

Our mission? To help your child succeed!


Essential Speech and ABA Therapy provides individualized ABA, Speech, and Occupational Therapy for children ages 18 months to 6 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). At Essential Speech and ABA Therapy, we utilize a team approach to treatment. Our facilities are run by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), and Occupational Therapists (OTRs). Your child’s clinicians meet, collaborate, and treat as a team to help your child thrive! 


Essential Speech and ABA Therapy educates clinicians on compassionate, trauma-informed care. Trauma-informed care is defined as “... [having] a complete picture of a patient’s life situation — past and present — in order to provide effective health care services with a healing orientation.” 6 After learning about your child’s history and past experiences, our team crafts a personalized care plan that honors their personality and goals. At Essential Speech and ABA Therapy, our clinicians are trained to support your child and honor the intricacies that make them unique!


Your child’s needs are at the heart of our program, and all our workers utilize assent-based treatment plans. Assent-based treatment plans honor your child’s verbal and non-verbal requests - if your child indicates they do not want to engage in a specific task, our staff re-examines their approach. Our clinicians will then approach learning a new skill or activity in a more supportive way at a later time. 


Research demonstrates that individuals with ASD benefit significantly from early intervention. One study shows that children with ASD who receive early intervention services make greater gains in skill retention and have overall better outcomes. 7 To help your child learn and retain new skills, our team constantly monitors their progress and adjusts our treatment strategies to help optimize their greatest potential. Essential Speech and ABA Therapy adheres to modern standards of ABA, Speech, and Occupational Therapy. Our facilities use evidence-based practices, which provide holistic, quality care that utilizes the most up-to-date research and knowledge in the field. We define each method of treatment and how we incorporate them into your child’s care plan as follows:

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (also referred to as ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. ABA therapy utilizes several evidence-based practices to increase communication skills and deter interfering behaviors. Developed in the 1960s, ABA therapy is a flexible treatment that can be adapted to meet the unique needs of individuals. ABA therapy can be practiced in school, at home, or in other natural environments.


ABA Therapy can help your child master the following skills:

  • Daily living skills

  • Self-care skills

  • Attention

  • Social skills

  • Stress management

  • Emotional development

  • Language skills

  • Play and leisure skills

ABA therapy uses several strategies (such as Positive Reinforcement) to teach the above skills. Evidence-based practices are often compiled into a Behavior Support Plan to reduce interfering behaviors and replace them with more adaptive skills.

Positive Reinforcement

At Essential Speech and ABA Therapy, we use a strategy called Positive Reinforcement. In Positive Reinforcement, a therapist identifies a goal behavior. When a child successfully repeats the goal behavior, they are rewarded. Positive rewards encourage the child to continue using their newly acquired skills Over time, this leads to meaningful behavioral change.

 
Behavior Support Plans 

A Behavior Support Plan (or BSP) identifies positive skills and strategies that can reduce problematic behaviors. A BSP is a formal written guide for parents, teachers, and other individuals who work with your child that 1) stops unwanted behaviors and 2) encourages positive habits. Behavior Support Plans detail the following: 

  • The definition of an interfering behavior

  • Several interventions needed to replace and reduce the interfering behavior

  • A plan for teaching and reinforcing new skills

  • An evaluation plan

Behavior Analysts

At Essential Speech and ABA Therapy, a qualified and trained Board Certified Behavior Analyst (or BCBA) designs and oversees your child’s ABA therapy program. Each program is customized to your child’s skills, needs, and family situation. Our BCBAs and therapists measure progress by collecting data in each therapy session. This data helps us support your child as they grow. Our BCBAs meet with family members and program staff to review the information and your child’s progress regularly. Using this information, they plan ahead and adjust teaching goals as needed. 

Defining Speech Therapy

Speech therapy can be used to treat language disorders, speech disorders, and swallowing problems. For children on the spectrum, speech therapy can address many communication-related challenges and provide benefits that improve their quality of life as they age. There are four primary benefits to speech therapy:

  • Expressing wants and needs - Your speech therapist will work closely with your child to help them advocate for themselves. SLPs will teach them common phrases such as “I want..”, “I need..”, or “I didn’t get one.” Nonverbal children will learn how to use sign language, gestures, picture boards, or alternative augmentative communication devices. 

  • Recognize verbal and nonverbal cues - An SLP will help your child interpret body language, such as facial expressions, gestures, etc. Your child will also learn how to initiate communication without prompting. 

  • Develop friendships and interact with peers - Speech and language therapy can help children with ASD socialize. An SLP can help children understand casual conversation and learn how to make friends. 

  • Articulate words and sentences well - Many children on the autism spectrum have trouble articulating sounds or using the correct word in sentences. They may also struggle with abstract concepts, such as time, idioms, hints, or indirect instructions. An SLP will help your child overcome these difficulties.

  • Understanding and processing language - SLPs can help your child follow simple and complex directions, and understand language concepts such as colors, sizes, shapes, and prepositions. SLPs will also help your child understand and answer questions related to stories, conversations, or activities.

How Occupational Therapy Helps Kids with ASD

Occupational therapy helps children with ASD promote, maintain, and develop the skills needed for school and beyond. 5 These may include: 

  • Self-care skills (such as dressing, eating a meal, and managing personal hygiene) 

  • Productivity skills (i.e. emotional regulation, participation, handwriting, and organization) 

  • Leisure skills (participating in hobbies, developing motor skills for PE/sports, and maintaining friendships) 

 

After your child’s initial assessment, our OTs will identify several key areas for improvement. These may include, but are not limited to: independent dressing, eating, grooming, and fine motor skills. Together with our BCBAs and SLPs, our OTs craft individualized care plans that help children with ASD thrive in any environment. Our OTs meet regularly with family members and program staff to review progress or adjust goals if needed. 

What is Natural Environment Teaching?

Essential Speech and ABA Therapy offers a unique setting for children with ASD to receive services via Natural Environment Teaching (also called NET). By maximizing NET opportunities, our learners are immersed in different settings to encourage the generalization of their newly learned skills to natural environments (such as their school or the local community). Essential Speech and ABA Therapy helps children meet their goals while utilizing new skills in several environments. For example, your child will learn how to eat and interact in a large group setting, interact with other children in the classroom, kick a soccer ball in the gym, and more!

 

Essential Speech and ABA Therapy also plans several community events throughout the year. Contact your nearest location to see what they have on deck!

Resources

1. What is ABA Therapy & is it right for your child? Behavioral Innovations - ABA Therapy for Kids with Autism. Accessed September 6, 2023. https://behavioral-innovations.com/autism-101/what-is-aba/. 

2. Behavior TLC. Aba 101: Positive reinforcement. Behavior TLC. May 2, 2022. Accessed September 6, 2023. https://behaviortlc.com/blog/aba-101-positive-reinforcement/. 

3. Artemis ABA. Aba Behavior Intervention Plans & Templates: Artemis Aba. ABA Behavior Intervention Plans & Templates | Artemis ABA. April 6, 2023. Accessed September 6, 2023. https://www.artemisaba.com/blog/aba-behavior-intervention-plan#:~:text=An%20ABA%20behavior%20intervention%20plan%20(BIP)%20improves%20the%20patient’s%20behavior,function%20of%20the%20problem%20behavior. 

4. Benefits of speech therapy for children with autism. How Speech Therapy Boosts Communication for Children with Autism | Arizona Autism United (AZA United). Accessed September 6, 2023. https://azaunited.org/blog/benefits-of-speech-therapy-for-children-with-autism. 

5.  Benefits of speech therapy for children with autism. How Speech Therapy Boosts Communication for Children with Autism | Arizona Autism United (AZA United). Accessed September 6, 2023. https://azaunited.org/blog/benefits-of-speech-therapy-for-children-with-autism. 

6. What is trauma-informed care? - trauma-informed Care Implementation Resource Center. Trauma. July 7, 2022. Accessed September 8, 2023. https://www.traumainformedcare.chcs.org/what-is-trauma-informed-care/.

7. Michigan U. Early intervention in autism : Infants & young children. LWW. Accessed September 8, 2023. https://journals.lww.com/iycjournal/fulltext/2005/04000/early_intervention_in_autism.2.a.

bottom of page