The purpose of ABA Educational Resources is "providing educational materials to children and their families living with autism and using a behavioral approach to optimize their child's potential." On the site, you can purchase flash cards, books, videos, audiotraining tools, and laminating supplies; download tools like token economy boards, picture symbols, and data collection forms; and connect with other parents through message boards and listings of organizations.
Gabison was inspired to start her business when "I realized that there was very little out there for parents who could not afford the expensive ABA programming needed. I wanted to provide something free, or at a minimal cost, to help other parents like me."
ABA Education Resources is a part-time endeavor for Gabison, who also works as a physical therapist. She reports that the best thing about the business is "connecting with other people," but the hardest thing is "trying to continually improve the Web site/business with the limited time that I have."
ABA Educational Resources got its start, Gabison recalls, when "I began to make materials for my son's own home programming, and I began to thoroughly enjoy it." She considers her business a success, and enjoys "the continual positive feedback I get from parents and professionals about how much my site has helped them. That is all the reinforcement I need."
Gabison hopes "to develop the business so that one day my son with autism can work with me."
Other parents should consider going into business, Gabison suggests: "It is a very empowering experience."
More Inspiration and Advice from Sharon Gabison:
When did you find out your child had special needs?
At the age of eight months. The official diagnosis came four years later.
How did it affect your family?
It was one of the most life-altering and soul-searching experiences. When my son on the spectrum was diagnosed at the age of 4-1/2 years, I had already separated from my then-husband. I was alone. I knew no one with a child with special needs. I became very depressed at realizing that there was very little financial support by way of treatment/intervention. I was not sure what the future meant. I didn't even know what autism was, other than my experience years earlier, watching the movie Rain Man.
How is your child doing now?
He's doing well. He is almost 10. His language and social skills have flourished. He is a very happy child.
What advice would you give to other parents about raising a child with special needs?
Connect with other parents. Actually, on my Web site, I have a section on "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Parents Raising Children With Special Needs." It has been modified from Stephen Covey's "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People." [To read it, go to download here.]
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