Born out of personal experience and need, the AARC was created to provide hope and help to families living in the world of special needs. We recognize that providing comprehensive services and therapies in one location can greatly benefit families with special-needs loved ones. Our mission, “Providing Hope for Your Special Needs Child,” is at the core of our beliefs. We believe in the importance of walking through each diagnosis with each patient and family. We also believe that each treatment plan should be as unique as the patient and seek to provide family-goal driven, individual-based approaches. We rely on staff collaboration within services to help achieve as much individualized care as possible. Through these services, our goal is to connect with each patient and help them reach their full potential.

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Speech Therapy

Each patient’s outcome and treatment plan will vary depending on individual abilities and disabilities. Speech therapy techniques may include:

  • Signing
  • Picture boards or picture exchange communication systems
  • Strengthening of speech muscles
  • Electronic alternative/augmentative communication systems
  • Improving specific speech sounds to aid intelligibility
  • Building auditory processing skills with modalities like Integrated Listening Systems

Speech Therapy can provide treatment and support for those who have difficulties with communication, eating, drinking or swallowing. The goal of speech therapy is to improve speech and language skills in order to improve the quality of life for each individual so that they can understand and be understood. Some benefits of speech therapy include:

  • Improvement in the ability to understand and express thoughts, ideas and feelings
  • Intelligible speech so your child is understood by others
  • Greater self-esteem
  • Improved swallowing function and safety
  • Achievement of school readiness skills
  • Development of pre-literacy skills
  • Increased ability to problem-solve in an independent environment
  • Improved vocal quality
  • Fluent speech
  • Development of practical social skills
  • Better quality of life
  • Increased independence

Therapy should be done in a way that most encourages carry-over of skills to the home. Therefore, depending on the age of the child, speech therapy can look like play or work. Requesting, labeling, and answering questions are easily incorporated into play. Other times, it is necessary to teach skills in an environment with minimal distractors, and seated work at a table is best. No matter the location, speech therapy should focus on functionality. It is important that the skills we teach in a session improve a patient’s ability to function at home, in the community, and/or at school. A patient who is able to communicate with his friends, answer a teacher’s question, use speech that everyone can understand, understand directions, and request his wants and needs is our goal.

Occupational Therapy

The term “occupation” often brings to mind jobs that adults perform, however, there is a broader view of the term “occupation” that includes any activity that occupies or should occupy our time! For children, these activities include playing with friends, enjoying school or work, completing daily routines such as eating, dressing, sleeping, and enjoying a typical family life.

The goal of occupational therapy is to help children develop these necessary skills so they are able to perform everyday activities in a functional manner and their transition into adulthood becomes a path to an independent life. The focus is on parent-identified priorities for changes in daily functioning at home, at school, and/or in the community.

Occupational Therapy services support and promote the achievement of independence with:

  • Activities of daily living
  • The integration of sensory systems
  • Self-regulation skills
  • Upper body strength and function
  • Feeding skills
  • Handwriting skills
  • Motor planning and praxis
  • Body awareness and environment safety
  • Bilateral coordination skills and balance
  • Visual motor and visual perceptual skills
  • Facilitation of developmental milestones and age-appropriate fine motor skills

Occupational therapists provide one-on-one sessions, which are play based in nature. The treatment rooms and innovative equipment is designed to mirror playful activities to the child, yet the therapist are actually drawing upon extensive training to provide challenging therapeutic activities aimed at developing greater capabilities and skill levels. Your occupational therapist serves as coach, educator, and role model while you actively participate and learn strategies for home, school, and the community during your child’s OT sessions. Therapy sessions are fun, and are subtly structured so that your child is challenged but always successful in completing each activity. Your child will love developing their skills in these fun, supportive, and enriching environments.

A variety of treatment techniques specifically tailored to your child will be utilized in order to address the areas identified on the initial evaluation and the goals by the parent and therapist, as well as overall functional performance.

The Pediatric Occupational Therapist is trained to provide skilled intervention to infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents with disorders that effect development of motor and behavioral skills.

Fine and Gross Motor Skills Development
  • Upper body and fine motor strengthening (pencil grasp, scissor use and more)
  • Neurodevelopmental Facilitation Techniques
  • Bilateral coordination skills & balance
  • Activities of daily living training to include: dressing, feeding, grooming, (fastener manipulation, utensil use, etc).
  • Visual Motor Integration/Visual Perceptual Skills
  • Handwriting training (utilizing the Handwriting Without Tears Program)
Sensory Integration Techniques
  • Attention & Organizational Skills
  • Motor Planning & Praxis
  • Body Perception/Awareness in Space
  • Frustration Tolerance/Coping Strategies
  • Sensory Defensiveness-auditory/tactile sensitivities
  • Self-esteem, social skills, peer interactions, challenging behaviors
  • Feeding Aversion and oral defensiveness
Oral Motor/Oral Sensory Development:
  • Feeding skills
  • Oral Aversion / Hypersensitivities
  • Hypotonia/Hypertonia
Common Diagnostic Categories Include:
  • Developmental Delay
  • Down Syndrome
  • Feeding Aversion/Oral Motor Difficulties
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Cerebral Palsy and Neuromuscular Disorders
  • Sensory Integration Dysfunction / Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Learning Disabilities/Dysgraphia
Specific Modalities Used In Therapy:
  • Integrated listening systems (iLs)
  • Interactive metronome (IM)
  • SOS approach to Feeding
  • Cranial Sacral Techniques
  • Talk Tools

Feeding Therapy

Feeding disorders are usually characterized by a child’s refusal to eat certain food groups, textures, solids, or liquids. Sometimes refusal of food is due to poor oral-motor strength and control causing the child to be physically unable to chew and/or swallow age-appropriate foods. Other times, food refusal is due to sensory issues, and the child is fearful, or has a difficult time accepting the sight, smell, texture, or temperature of foods.

Regardless of the reason, feeding difficulties can be very stressful on families. Our staff is specially trained to help you and your child through this aspect of everyday life. From day one, we discuss ways to address each family’s goals, and customize a treatment plan that meets the child’s individual needs.

It is our hope that, through feeding therapy, your child will be able to accept a greater variety of foods, participate in social gatherings where non-preferred foods are present, and intake enough quality and quantity of food to maintain adequate nutrition. In short, our goal is to improve the quality of your child’s life through successful mealtimes.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is an evidence-based practice treatment used widely among individuals with disabilities to help bring about meaningful and positive changes in behavior. Through applied, behavioral, and analytical means, ABA therapy shapes behaviors to help the individual become more successful and independent in home, school, and community settings. ABA uses a variety of techniques for understanding and changing behavior, and it can be successful in one-on-one or group instruction sessions. It is adapted to meet the needs of each unique person and helps teach skills that are useful in everyday life.


A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) begins by examining an individual’s purpose for current behaviors in many settings/environments in order to develop an individualized behavior program. Instead of classifying behaviors as “good” or “bad”, a BCBA studies behaviors to assess the meanings of those behaviors and determines ways to shape them into a more successful form. Then, the BCBA establishes a plan to improve skills by breaking down complex tasks into small, concrete steps. Through this plan, ABA therapy can help improve on a variety of difficulties in the following categories:

  • Communication and language
  • Social skills
  • Self-care (such as showering and toileting)
  • Play and leisure
  • Motor skills
  • Learning and academic skills

Once the BCBA has established a plan, the Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) get to work. RBTs are trained and supervised by the BCBA and work directly with an individual to practice skills and work toward their goals.

The BCBA and technicians measure progress by collecting data in each therapy session. Data helps to monitor the individuals progress toward goals on an ongoing basis. The BCBA regularly meets with family members and program staff to review information/progress and to customize the plan as needed.

The AARC difference:

At AARC, BCBAs work closely with Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapists to establish a successful program for each patient. By pulling together all 4 disciplines, we believe we can provide the best care to each child who walks through our doors.

This short video below will share information about our ABA therapy services at American Autism & Rehabilitation Center:

Behavioral Therapy

Family support is crucial to quality care at the American Autism & Rehabilitation Center. We understand the importance of walking through each diagnosis with family members, providing as much education and emotional support as possible. Parents, siblings and caregivers of special-needs loved ones are important to us. For this reason, we offer a variety of services to these individuals as well. We offer family and community-wide educational events, parents’ nights out, siblings’ nights out, educational family-style cooking classes, legal services, and other events throughout the year.

Legal Services

We understand that families who have children with special needs may need access to legal services for a variety of reasons, from will preparation to advice and counseling. This is why we have partnered with LegalShield, the largest provider of legal services in the nation. They provide legal services for an affordable flat monthly fee!

Click HERE to view the LegalShield Benefits available!