In April, we recognize Autism Acceptance Month. This month is an opportunity for us all to show our support of, and appreciation for, those with autism. It is a chance to celebrate who these individuals are and all they contribute, while gaining a better understanding of the ways in which they see the world.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has previously gotten a reputation of trying to change the fundamentals of who a student is to make them “normal” or “less autistic.” Thankfully, the modern-day field of ABA has changed entirely from what was once known as Behavior Modification.

At Mindful Steps, we practice compassionate, progressive and supportive therapy.

We believe that individuals with developmental disabilities add diversity to the world and we want to provide them with helpful and respectful therapies that make day-to-day life easier for them without fundamentally changing who they are.

We truly love our students unconditionally and focus on developing the skills that are most important to them and their families. A student who is Happy, Relaxed and Engaged, a term coined by Dr. Greg Hanley, is much more important to us than a student who acts or looks like someone else!

Beyond all else, we value relationships and rapport with our learners and families and know that understanding and accepting individuals as they are will help us to better serve them and provide them with the help they need.

Those on the autism spectrum deserve to be part of an inclusive society that recognizes their strengths and welcomes them free of judgement. When we all work together, we can do our part to change public perceptions of those with autism, developmental disabilities and behavioral problems and we can help those we support embrace who they are.