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Happy New Year from all of us at Sunshine School!

This year is already off to a great start with an exciting expansion of our services! In the coming months we are hiring a Board Certified Behavior Analyst to lead a team in opening a new Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Program. The ABA program at Sunshine School will make us a unique Early Intervention Day Treatment center in the area. This program will allow children with Autism to receive treatment from an interdisciplinary team of therapists and educators in one location. Dr. Lorah is a professor at the University of Arkansas in their Inclusive Education and Clinical Programs department and has been instrumental in the development of this program for Sunshine School. She had this to say:

“Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the gold standard in autism education and treatment and is recommended for young children with autism by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the US Surgeon General, and the Association for Science in Autism. ABA has more than 30-years of research demonstrating its efficacy in reducing challenging behaviors and increasing communication, learning, and social behaviors. Research has demonstrated that beginning ABA services in toddlerhood or at preschool age produces maximum outcomes, as it can change the trajectory of the brain and produce gains in IQ, communication skills, and other learning behaviors. I am thrilled to see Sunshine School offer this important educational service to the NWA community!” – Elizabeth R. Lorah, Ph.D., BCBA-D

Many of our current students and past graduates benefit from ABA therapy. We have heard countless success stories, like this one from Cece’s mom, Meredith Brown:

“ABA has helped our daughter tremendously. The biggest change we’ve seen is in her coping skills. Sudden or unexpected changes in routine no longer explode into a full-blown meltdown, but instead, she calms herself down. She’s also gotten so much better at asking for things in complete sentences instead of shouting out one-word commands. Everyone in our daughter’s life has commented on what great changes she’s made behaviorally. We are so grateful we decided to try ABA therapy!”

I am looking forward to this new year with optimism as we open this program and begin to witness the impact it has on the students and families we serve!

Nicole Bedard, M.A., CCC-SLP

Director of Children’s Services


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