Profiles of our Children

How it can work

Autism describes a very broad spectrum of abilities. Sue Larkey, who runs autism training workshops, points out:
‘to know a child with ASD, is not to know ASD’.

Here are some abbreviated profiles of children of different ages who have been having ABA therapy. We hope this illustrates a range of ways that therapy can work well and be integrated with other parts of the lives of the children.

Luke is three years old and has just begun six hours of ABA therapy weekly, broken into three sessions. He also goes to daycare. His therapists are working on his language and on his gross and fine motor abilities.

Matthew attends school every day. The main programme focus in his ABA therapy is functional language, and strategies for learning at school.

Ian is three and half years old. He just has begun ABA therapy 3 times a week. He also goes to kindergarten three full days a week. He is adapting very well to his new therapists and he is really starting to get the concepts.  In the short time that he has been doing ABA,  the changes are amazing, especially his communication. 

Lukas has just turned eight and has been fully engaged with ABA for the last two years. The therapists work with him at home and at school where they support his learning and social integration. Lukas is thriving in the structured and inducement-driven ABA sessions. His extraordinary difficulty with language is beginning to be overcome and his motor skills and other issues have all improved with ABA.

Isaac has just turned 6 and has ABA therapy 5 days a week. Since starting ABA 11 months ago, we have seen huge improvements in his verbal communication and motor skills. He has gained more confidence and is less frustrated. He is now keen to socialise with others and we believe ABA will continue to help him learn skills to interact with his peers.

George is aged ten and goes to primary school. RRS funding (similar to ORRS funding) provides George with a part-time teacher aide at school. He has ABA therapists helping him at home, a few times a week. At present his therapists are focusing mainly on life skills, motor skills and social skills.

Riley is an 8 year old with Asperger’s Syndrome. He had 3.5 years of ABA, and has biomedical intervention. He has now stopped all therapy and is doing really well at school. We would not have gotten this far without ABA. Yes, he still ‘thinks’ with an ASD brain, but it is not interfering with daily life. He is a happy, intelligent and caring seven year old.

Toby is a 7 year old with Asperger's Syndrome. He has had 2.5 years of ABA therapy as well as some biomedical intervention. He is fully integrated at school and has developed his school routine and structure well enough to no longer need a teacher aide. ABA is now working on his academic strengths and social understanding.

Amelia is 8 years old. She has been having ABA Therapy for 20 months, and she follows a biomedical regime. Her therapists work with her at school and at home. At school the focus is on social skills and learning play techniques. We have seen a huge improvement in her interaction with her peers, she has gone from being very shy and not responsive with peers, to forming great friendships and enjoys being with her peers.

Otago Children’s Autism Support Group Contacts


Nicola Herbert
ph: (03) 454 6567


Lynlee von Ballmoos
ph: (03) 453 4812

Grants Officer

Rachel Mortimer
ph (03) 453 0757