Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Is ABA effective for autism?

Posted on: March 9th, 2021 by Peak Potential Therapy

An Approach to Behavior Modification and Skills Development

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a common developmental disability discovered in children of all ages. This disorder impairs the child’s ability to communicate and interact, and it can get diagnosed at any age. Usually, the symptoms – significant social, communication, and behavioral challenges – start appearing in the early years of childhood, and the condition may gradually worsen if treatment is not started early.  

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy is Most Effective Therapy for Treating Autism Spectrum Disorder

One of the most widely accepted therapies among healthcare professionals according to the Center for Disease Control on Behavior & Communication Approaches to treat children with ASD is Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy (ABA). This therapy is based on a scientific approach, which is known as Behavior Analysis and can be applied to children as early as 2-years of age up to any age group. A child’s behavior becomes greatly influenced by his/her surrounding environment. ABA uses various approaches to encourage and improve socially significant positive behaviors in children on the autism spectrum. The expert staff at Peak Potential Therapy in Northfield, Ohio, can help children improve language and communication ability, reasoning skills, motor skills, social skills, learning and academic skills, verbal behaviors, self-care ability, play skills, and much more.

Why is ABA an Effective Therapy Method for Autism?

ABATherapy incorporates different treatments and approaches teaching the child how to overcome challenging behaviors.

One of the approaches is the Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA). It is an integral part of this therapy and is conducted when a child gets involved in challenging behavior. At Peak Potential Therapy, with the help of this applied behavior analysis therapy, our trained staff try to assess the reason behind the occurrence of the problem behavior and accordingly, offer the necessary intervention. Constant monitoring of the child’s behavior, collection of observational data, thorough assessment, and functional analysis are the steps involved in FBA.

Continuous monitoring and evaluation are a part of our ABA Therapy program. After a deep analysis and assessment of the challenging behavior, customized goals are set depending on the specific conditions of the children, and accordingly, therapeutic methods are implemented successfully.

Judging the precursors and the consequences of the behavior is crucial in ABA Therapy. Positive Reinforcement Approach strategy, an important part of this therapy, incorporates the psychological propensity that when a behavior is rewarded with something the child values, then he/she is more likely to repeat that behavior in the future, and this will gradually result in a positive behavioral change.

At Peak Potential Therapy, extensive one-on-one sessions are provided to our clients to meet their individual needs so they can overcome challenges. We strongly encourage parents to partake as they become an integral part of this therapy approach by encouraging and helping their child practice the skills at home and reinforce positive behavior constantly. Clients will learn to

You are not the first parent to face the challenges of choosing the right therapy approach for your child. Peak Potential Therapy is here to give advice that is specific to your child to help you. Our approach is to not only provide therapy on-site but help your child prepare for life outside of a clinical setting. Peak Potential Therapy provides services for life on your child’s terms, not always at our therapy center. Contact us today to take advantage of Peak Potential Therapy’s services – at home, in school, or in the community.

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Friday Night Fun: Tips to Help Your Child with Sensory Sensitivities Enjoy the Football Game

Posted on: September 17th, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy 1 Comment

Friday Night Lights Are Back

Helping Your Child Enjoy Northeast Ohio’s Fall Pastime

Fall is a season of transition, and it brings with it some unique challenges for children with sensory issues – school is starting (or, for some, has already started), Halloween is just around the corner, and there is so much more happening! But, when the air gets crisp and the local coffee shops start pushing pumpkin spice lattes, you know that it’s time for football in Northeast Ohio. Football is in the blood of Cleveland-area folks. We live and die with the Browns on Sundays. We cheer on the Buckeyes every Saturday. And, on Friday nights, we cheer on our kids, our neighbors, and every other kid participating in the festivities associated with high school football. From the players on the field to the marching band and spirit squad, almost everyone knows someone who will be a part of the action at the games on Friday nights. This makes it mandatory for many of us to make an appearance at the stadium, and for children who are sensitive to sensory stimuli, this can be quite traumatic.  

There are some things to look out for and keep in mind when preparing for a trip to the gridiron that can make Friday nights a little less frightening for your child who deals with sensory overload!

Do a little pre-game strategizing!

The fewer surprises, the better. Discuss what a game is like. Use visual aids to show them what a marching band is like and what the bleachers look like. Watch a game on TV so your child can see what happens on the field. Give them some idea of when the band might play music. Visit the stadium without the crowd and get your child used to the surroundings.

Bring a cushion.

For some of us, sitting on bleachers can be very uncomfortable. For a child with sensory issues, it can be downright unbearable. A hard surface can lead to agitation and cause your child to have a tough time sitting. Bring a cushion or pillow to help with that feeling! Or, forget fighting to get them to sit, and go to the back where they can pace or walk around without bothering the view of others. 

What’s on the menu?

Ballgames and snacks go hand in hand, but the menu isn’t always diverse, and many kids that have sensory issues can be finicky eaters. Check with the school or boosters to see what the concession stand is serving. They might surprise you (chicken nuggets are popping up at more and more high school concession stands), but if it’s traditional fare and your child won’t enjoy the choices, bring your own options. Most schools have a pretty liberal food policy for what you can bring in with you.

Take a break.

If the noise and pageantry are getting the best of your child, take a walk. There are usually some quiet places on the ends of the stadium that you can sneak off to for a breather. Sometimes, a break can buy you more time to stay in the stadium with the action. But…

Be prepared for an early exit.

You might make it the entire game. You might make it until half-time. You might not make it through introductions. You know the signs, and you know when things are turning a corner. If it looks like things are going south, you might need to be prepared to make an exit. The child you are coming to see will understand. Let them know before the game that you might need to leave early. If your child is playing, see if you can make arrangements for another parent to record the game or keep you posted with social media updates. Let the participants know that they are valued and loved. 

You are not the first parent to face this scenario. Peak Potential Therapy is here to give advice that is specific to your child to help you prepare for events like this. Our approach is to not only provide therapy on-site but help your child prepare for life outside of a clinical setting. Peak Potential Therapy provides services for life on your child’s terms, not always at our therapy center. Contact us today to take advantage of Peak Potential Therapy’s services – at home, in school or in the community.

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Funding Sources to Help You Pay for Your Child’s Therapy

Posted on: July 9th, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy



Speech therapy sounds great.

But how can I afford it?

One of the most common questions that we get here at Peak Potential Therapy is “will my insurance cover the therapy?” In some cases, insurance will be enough. In other cases, you might need some additional resources to help curb the impact of the expenses. At Peak Potential Therapy, we work with our families to find multiple sources to help with funding for our services. The primary sources are insurance, grants, and autism scholarships. Here are some things to note about each source:


Insurance doesn’t always cover all expenses regarding speech and behavioral therapy, but it is important to look into what kind of coverage your insurance policy offers. Understand all requirements and follow all of their rules when applying for coverage. Get a medical diagnosis from your doctor – it can be impossible to get coverage without it. Be prepared for a denial of coverage. This is not the last step – there are appeal processes in place, and you might go through a few denials before the ultimate approval, so be patient and vigilant.


Our website has an extensive list of grants that are available for our clients. The application and approval process can vary, but it’s common for a client to qualify for multiple grants to help cover the therapy they need. Care Credit is also available to supplement the expenses not covered by insurance or grants. We are always willing to assist in the process.


The Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarship offers clients (ages 5-22) up to $27,000 to help pay for services listed on the IEP. Applications are accepted throughout the year. For individuals whose disability category on the ETR indicates autism, are 3 to 22 years of age, who are not attending public school, and who have an IEP, then the Autism Scholarship Program ensures that you are “guaranteed” to receive the $27,000/year. There are other scholarships listed in our resource guide as well.

The bottom line is that when you are faced with the prospect of paying for therapy, it can be unsettling, but there is help available. You are not alone. We talk to people just like you every day, and we help them find the resources they need to provide their children with life-changing therapy. Contact Peak Potential Therapy today and let us know how we can help you get your child the therapy they need!

Find out More About Our Scholarships & Grants

5 Ways to Take the BOOM Out of Fireworks for Your Child on the Spectrum

Posted on: July 3rd, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy

Fireworks are loud and scary.

They can also still be enjoyable for your child on the autism spectrum.

BOOM. That’s all it takes for a night of summer fun to turn into a behavioral episode when fireworks are involved. The truth is that most kids love fireworks until they are actually at an event where they are going off. So, how do you keep fireworks fun for your child on the spectrum? Here are 5 tips to try this summer:

1. Do a little prep!

As with many experiences, taking the surprise element out of the event will go a long way. Explain the day to your child. Lay it out visually, if necessary. Keep in mind that you might be going to a new place around a large crowd. Remember that the fireworks themselves aren’t the only stimuli making things tense.

2. Sunglasses and headphones help.

Sunglasses help reduce some of the visual exposure and noise-cancelling headphones can eliminate the boom. If the event is “muted,” your child might get the elements they love without the stress that they can do without! Or try headphones playing their favorite music to calm them and redirect some energy.

3. Give some space.

Fireworks go high in the sky. You don’t need to be right next to them to see them. This means that you can be a little further out and still have a great fireworks night. Work your way up as your child becomes more accustomed to the experience, but remember that you don’t have to be right in the thick of the event to have fun!

4. Breath.

Deep breathing is relaxing in general, but in times where stress is occurring, it can be your body’s best defense against a tense environment. Breathe with your child before the show starts. Get them to a calm place to begin, and that will help carry them throughout the night.

5. Never be afraid to flee the scene, if need be.

You can do all of these things and still come to the conclusion that fireworks night was not a great idea, and that’s okay. Let siblings know that this is a test run, and it might not work. Let your child on the spectrum know that you would like them to try it out and see how they like it, but if it gets to be too much, don’t make them suffer through the entire thing. There are going to be more summers and more fireworks to try!

Peak Potential Therapy wants your family to have a great summer, and we also want you to know that experiences like a family night out are important. Speech and behavioral therapy are important, too. Your child might find all sorts of new things they like if they can learn techniques and skills that can help them feel more comfortable in the world around them. Those are the experiences that Peak Potential Therapy provides every day! Contact us today and open up the world for your child!

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Strategies for Making the Switch to Summer Easier for a Child with Autism

Posted on: June 6th, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy

While most students count down the days until summer vacation, for children on the autism spectrum, the major shift in routine can present challenges.

During the school year, a child with autism has a carefully planned and executed routine for every day of the week. The seasonal shift to longer, warmer days, no homework, and no classes can create stressors. In order to limit the stress a child feels during this transition, and to ensure the rest of the family isn’t affected, it’s important to implement some transition strategies to make the move into summer – and the following months go more smoothly.

Autism Transition Strategies

1. Simplify the Change
You know the summer is coming, so it’s important to continually remind your child that the daily routine will be shifting. Helping them anticipate the change is a great way to get them used to the idea before it happens. You can also inform any summer caregivers or therapy providers who will work with your child over the summer months, so they are aware of the changes your child will be experiencing.

Strategies to try:

    • Create an information sheet for caregivers and tutors to use to help with the transition.
    • Use pictures, a calendar or written schedules to show your child their new routine. Emphasize that while the routine is changing, they will still have a consistent schedule they can rely on.
    • Offer a sneak preview ahead of time. Take your child to new locations that will be a part of the summer routine so they can get familiarized with the new place and people before the transition happens.
    • Use countdown calendar or list as visual cues that change is coming. Also remember to use a timer when getting ready to leave; this is especially helpful when preparing to leave the house or switch between activities.

2. Fun in the Sun
With summer, comes heat. Changes in temperature can cause a difficult transition for children with autism. They are forced to deal with a new wardrobe and new expectations when leaving home. Ensuring that your child understands the shifts in weather can help to alleviate some of the stress involved with the change.

Strategies to try:

    • Help your child choose weather-appropriate wardrobes and pack away winter clothes to prevent the temptation for them to choose warmer outfits they are used to wearing.
    • When trying to apply sunblock, try using a spray and cream to see which is less irritating for your child. Try using a “massage” (more pressure) to rub in the cream versus a light touch and also provide distractions (favorite fidget or tablet) to make the process go more smoothly.
    • Sit down with your child and go over safety guidelines with visuals for engaging in summer activities. Not only will this get them familiarized with things like bicycling and swimming, but it will ensure they know the rules beforehand. Then repeat daily.

3. Bedtime Routines
One thing that is easily forgotten in summer is that the days are longer. The additional daylight can have an effect on your child’s typical sleep schedule and mood. The best thing you can do is to try to keep the bedtime routine as consistent as possible to what it was during school. This will make the transition to summer easier and ensure they are ready when summer break is over.

Strategies to try:

    • Invest in blackout curtains or use cardboard to prevent your child from being affected by the changing patterns of the sun.
    • Keep a specific routine that includes showering, brushing teeth, books or stories, and or calming music. Maintain the same routine as often as possible.

Summer is meant to be a time for children to be outside, learn new things, and take a break from the pressures associated with school. With a little careful planning, you can implement autism transition strategies to make summer more enjoyable for your child and for the rest of your family.

We can help maintain a routine with year-round therapy or our camps. It’s not too late, we still have a few openings in each camp!

Learn About Our Summer Camps

Join Peak Potential Therapy for a Day of Family Fun

Posted on: May 6th, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy

Peak Potential Therapy Open House 2019

Be a part of our 2019 Peak Potential Therapy Open House as we celebrate all the families and children that make our efforts worthwhile. This event is your chance to tour our NEW facility, learn more about our offerings and services, and have a day of fun with your entire family.

Mark your calendar! Join us May 18, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine, for a catered lunch, bounce house, Jungle Bob’s Animal Show, and other fun activities for the family. We are excited to give you a glimpse into what our facility provides, in order to help kids reach their peak potential.

Tour Our New Facility

We encourage you to come to meet our team and have fun at our grand opening event. With the opening of our new facility in early January, we have been able to expand our reach and continue to focus our attention on providing high-quality speech therapy, ABA therapy, educational tutoring services, and a variety of day camps for children with special needs or disabilities in Northeast Ohio.

Our new location is located on Sagamore Hills Blvd. in Northfield, Ohio and offers 6,000 square feet where we play and work. The new Peak Potential Therapy location still offers the same personal, family-friendly feel our clients expect, with the added benefit of updated spaces. The location offers more space for children to play, additional treatment rooms for one-on-one sessions, as well as a cafeteria where young clients can eat and kitchen where teen clients can develop valuable life skills. The entire location was intentionally designed to be clean, professional, spacious, and most of all, child-friendly.

We are proud of our new location and would love for all of our current clients and prospective families to see it during our open house on May 18.

About Peak Potential Therapy

Peak Potential Therapy opened its doors in 2008 with the goal of providing the best quality care for clients in their home, school, and community, as well as at our therapy center. Over the past 11 years, we have expanded our reach while staying true to our commitment to developing effective programs for each child we work with.

Our organization supports early, intensive, and consistent therapy for children because research has proven that early and intensive services can lead to improved outcomes long-term.

Be sure to save the date for our Peak Potential Therapy Open House on May 18, 2019. We look forward to seeing you and your entire family.

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Peak Potential Therapy Announces Date for 2019 Open House Grand Opening

Posted on: May 2nd, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy

Peak Potential Therapy Open House 2019

Peak Potential encourages families to tour new facility, learn more about offerings and services, and enjoy a day of fun activities.

Northfield, OhioMay 18, 2019

Peak Potential Therapy is especially excited this year to showcase their new facility. At their open house grand opening event, it will give families a chance to tour the facility, engage with their staff and professionals, meet new people from the community, and enjoy a day filled with fun activities appropriate for the entire family.

Join the fun of the Open House on May 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a catered lunch, bounce house, Jungle Bob’s Animal Show, and other fun activities for the family. Peak Potential Therapy is excited to share their new 6,000 square foot facility with long-time clients and welcome new clients on this special day.  

“If you have attended one of our open houses in the past, we encourage you to come back this year to experience the excitement, hard work, and energy that has gone into opening our new, larger facility earlier this year,” said Holly Reimann, Founder of Peak Potential Therapy.

The new Peak Potential Therapy location still offers the same welcoming, family-friendly feel clients expect, with the added benefit of an updated therapy center. The Northfield location offers more space for children to play inside and outside, additional treatment rooms for one-on-one sessions, as well as a cafeteria where young clients can eat, and a kitchen where teen clients can develop valuable life skills. The entire location was intentionally designed to be clean, professional, spacious, and most of all, child-friendly.

The event will take place, rain or shine, at their new location at 7689 Sagamore Hills Blvd in Northfield, Ohio. The goal is for current clients and prospective families to tour the new facility, have fun, and to find out more about all that Peak Potential Therapy has to offer.

About Peak Potential Therapy

Since 2008, the goal of Peak Potential Therapy has been to provide the best quality of care for clients in their homes, school, and community, as well as in our therapy center. We offer high-quality speech therapy, ABA therapy, educational tutoring services, and a variety of day camps for children with special needs or disabilities. We serve a range of age groups starting at 2 years of age and customize our treatments to each child’s individual needs. Learn more about Peak Potential Therapy.

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April Is Autism Awareness Month: How Can You Help?

Posted on: April 1st, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy

autism awareness puzzle piece

According to a report from the CDC in 2018, approximately 1 in every 59 children is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). April is set aside as a month to help raise awareness for these children and to show support for the many families affected. By becoming educated and staying informed, it can help with early diagnosis and worldwide acceptance.

Understanding Autism

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental disability. Signs usually start appearing as early as the age of 2, but most cases are diagnosed by age 4. Early identification and intervention offer children with special needs the best chance at healthy development and lifelong benefits.

Some of the common symptoms associated with ASD include:

• Delay in speech or lack of language skills

• Repetitive language use or mannerisms

• Little to no eye contact

• No interest or struggle in developing relationships with peers

• Inability to act spontaneously or use imagination

• Difficulty in imitating

The spotlight shining on the growing occurrence of autism around the world has created opportunities for individuals to show support for families facing the lifetime challenges associated with the disorder. By recognizing these symptoms and creating an atmosphere of acceptance, parents can find the support and encouragement they need outside of the home.

Celebrating and Embracing Autism

World Autism Day is celebrated on April 2nd internationally. The goal of this day each year is for the Member States of the United Nations to take action and raise awareness for the many people with autism around the world. By fostering an environment of support, acceptance, and early diagnosis, it can lead to improved outcomes for these individuals.

Some of the unique traits of people with autism are what makes them so special. By recognizing and praising these positive features of autism, it can lead to greater acceptance and a higher quality of life for these individuals. It is important that those with ASD get praise and recognition for their unique gifts and talents.

Some of these valuable features include:

• Thoughtfulness and attention to detail

• Unique thought processes that push the boundaries and lead to innovative solutions

• A high level of expertise in certain areas of interest

• Honesty, loyalty, and integrity

• A unique approach to expressing ideas

• Impressive long-term memory

• Acceptance of other people’s differences

How You Can Show Support for Autism

As ASD continues to affect families worldwide, it’s important that everyone does their part to foster awareness, inclusion, and support. Make it your goal to support these individuals and help them achieve the highest quality of life. Join the world in celebrating Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Day by displaying the Autism Awareness ribbon, and drawing attention to the growing number of families facing an ASD diagnosis every year.

autism awareness ribbonThe Autism Awareness Puzzle Ribbon is made up of multi colors to represent the diversity of the disorder and the puzzle pieces to represent the complexity of the condition. The puzzle ribbon was adopted in 1999 as the universal sign for autism awareness.

Learn More About Autism from Peak Potential Therapy

Can You Help With My Child’s Behavior?

Posted on: March 20th, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy



Peak Potential Therapy can improve your child’s behavior as well as increase their communication skills using proven ABA Therapy techniques. ABA therapy starts with communication details that many of us take for granted, like making eye contact and staying on task, and then tackles tougher social issues to help children learn the skills they need to get along with others. As the ability to communicate improves, so will your child’s behavior.

There are insurance providers who will assist in paying for ABA treatment and Peak Potential Therapy helps both in our center as well as in the home or school of the children we are looking to assist. We like to get as much interaction with children in the environments that they exist within to give them real-life scenarios and practice to educate them on appropriate behaviors and techniques.

Learn more about our process by speaking with one of our ABA experts and help your child reach their Peak Potential!

Start the Process with Peak Potential Therapy

5 Simple Things Parents Can Do to Help with Communication Delays

Posted on: March 6th, 2019 by Peak Potential Therapy

Dad reading with toddler

For many parents, having a child with communication issues is one of their biggest fears. To think that your toddler is experiencing fear, discomfort, sadness or anger without being able to express it with words can be terrifying. But, it’s important to note that delayed speech and delayed language development are two different things. Here’s what we mean:

Speech delays refer to a child’s inability to produce specific sounds. This doesn’t have anything to do with being able to interpret or communicate emotions. This is truly the inability to make the sounds that lead to language.

Language delays refer to being able to encode and decode language. Language delays can appear in different forms, from difficulty with grammar to things like the inability to comprehend directions and instructions to a basic understanding of words.

Both types of communication delays can strike fear in a parent, but there is hope for your toddler; not only from people like the speech experts at Peak Potential Therapy, but also through activities you can do in your home to increase communication skills. Here are five things you can do with your toddler, no matter what type of delay they are experiencing, to help them progress with and improve their communication skills:

1. Slow it down.
Your toddler might be tuning you out. It’s not because he doesn’t want to learn or isn’t intelligent enough to comprehend – it’s because you are going so fast that he can’t keep up. Rather than struggle to figure you out, he tunes you out. Slow down and take your time when communicating. You don’t need to talk baby talk, and you don’t need to sound like a videotape being played in slow motion. Take the time to speak slowly and enunciate clearly so your child has time to process what you are saying.

2. Don’t ask him to repeat things.
“Daddy. Say, Daddy. Daddy. You can do it. Daddy.” While you might think that your child is ready to say the word, the truth is he might not be there yet. If someone told you to dunk a basketball, would telling you to do it over and over again make it happen? Probably not! Your child is just learning, and the process might take a little longer for certain sounds. It’s okay to repeat a mispronounced word once but having your child struggle with it over and over is just going to frustrate him and make him stop trying.

3. Do repeat things yourself!
While it can frustrate your child to have to repeat himself over and over, it can be helpful to hear you repeat the words and sounds with which they are struggling. If “Daddy” is a tough word for him, say it as often as you can when communicating and ditch the pronouns we use to shorten up phrases. Say “When Daddy wakes up, Daddy is going to take a shower and then Daddy is going to go to work. When Daddy gets home, Daddy wants to take you to the playground.” That’s 5 “daddies’” in a few seconds, and that reinforces that sound over and over again!

4. Read actively.
Storytime can be vital for both speech and language development. Hearing the words obviously helps your child get an idea of how things are supposed to sound, but the stories themselves can help with language cognition. Have your child help you tell the story. Change a familiar story and see if he is catching the difference. Buy “cause-and-effect” books with flaps and pop-up pictures so your child has more to interact with. Books unlock speech cognition just about as well as any tool at our disposal, so use storytime as an opportunity to grow!

5. Pay attention.
Step back and let your child run the show! Rather than trying to do all the talking, observe what your toddler is doing. Look for the extra attention he is paying to certain things because that could be a clue that he wants to express a word about that subject. Look for gestures that your toddler is making in lieu of words. That might be a word to come back to and focus on later. Just because your toddler is struggling to use words the way you want him to doesn’t mean he isn’t communicating with you every step of the way!

The biggest takeaway from this article is that there are many ways to help your child get better with language and speech. Peak Potential is here to help! You are never alone, and we have experts waiting to understand your child’s needs in order to help him find communication success. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation so that we can begin to unlock your child’s peak potential with speech therapy that works!

Contact Peak Potential Therapy