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AWARE Ink Newsletter

Family finds support and success by using ABA

Updated: Dec 28, 2021

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is not new to AWARE. But recently we’ve added focus to this specialized treatment, dedicating it as a major AWARE service line.

ABA helps adults and children with autism, severe emotional disturbance, developmental disabilities, and other diagnoses thrive at home, in their communities, and at school.

Our board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) and registered behavior technicians (RBTs) work with each individual to prepare them for everyday life and to reach their goals. Teaching happens wherever an individual needs support. They offer help in areas such as life skills, communication, and social interaction with others.

Meet Marky and his mom Brittany

Six-year-old, turning seven soon, Marky (pictured above) began working with AWARE BCBAs and RBTs about six months ago.

Mom Brittany Lindgrin (pictured above) said she learned about AWARE’s ABA program through the special education department at Marky’s school.

Since that time, an AWARE BCBA has performed the appropriate assessments to help the family come up with a plan to support Marky learn and grow.

“Yes, it has changed our life,” Brittany said. “We schedule activities around therapy because it is super important, and we do see benefits and changes.”

Brittany says that Marky was born with autism, although she and her husband didn’t know it at the time.

Questions asked by Marky’s physician during a well-child exam lead the family to the realization of his diagnosis. Although he was behind his peers, Marky was showing signs of growth and development.

Marky continues to be an active boy and loves to play outside. During his early stages, he could talk. However, one day he stopped using his voice.

Brittany learned later on that Marky’s autism caused regression in previously learned skills such as verbal communication and other developmental milestones.

Marky’s visits with AWARE staff

Marky and his mom meet with an AWARE BCBA or RBT one to two times per week.

Our BCBAs and RBTs offer assistance with life skills such as showering, brushing teeth, and dressing. Recently, a specialist spent time outside with Marky, teaching him how to share. Staff have even attended haircut and dentist appointments to offer extra support.

In addition, speech therapy has become an important part of Marky’s treatment. It includes the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which helps him learn how to communicate via pictures (pictured).

A custom PECS book was created for Marky. The book includes photos of different activities, such as tooth brushing, hand washing, showering, eating, going to the grocery store, and more.

According to AWARE BCBA Renae Jones, the hope is that Marky will be able to not only show someone the photo to let people know about his wants and needs, but also it will help him eventually use his voice by listening to others.

Marky started first grade this fall and has a similar book at school to communicate with his teachers.

Learn more about ABA

Marky and his parents are one of many families AWARE provides ABA services for in Montana.

“ABA is definitely something someone should follow through with,” Brittany said. “It’s a great service.”

For more information about ABA, please go to our website at

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