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ABA Centers of America Donates $1 Million to Temple University for Autism Lab

WELLESLEY HILLS, Mass., Oct. 7, 2022

Dr. Phil McCallion of Temple and ABA Centers of America CEO Christopher Barnett celebrate new strategic partnership with Temple University

-- CEO Christopher Barnett, J.D., met with Temple University leaders on Thursday, October 6, to donate a $1 million gift to the College of Public Health towards the funding of a new autism lab in the name of ABA Centers of America.

Symbolically signed at ABA Centers of America's Wellesley Hills, MA, client care center, the agreement announced the upcoming ABA Centers of America Autism Laboratory in partnership with Temple University. The lab will be used to conduct autism research, offer diagnostic services, and train students.


ABA Centers of America CEO Christopher Barnett, J.D., presents $1 million-dollar check for new autism lab to Temple University Director of the School for Social Work Dr. Philip McCallion

Dr. Phil McCallion of Temple and ABA Centers of America CEO Christopher Barnett celebrate new strategic partnership with Temple University ABA Centers of America CEO Christopher Barnett, J.D., presents $1 million-dollar check for new autism lab to Temple University Director of the School for Social Work Dr. Philip McCallion


Dr. Philip McCallion, Director of the School of Social Work, and Gregory Schmidt, Assistant Vice President of Development for Sciences, attended the signing on behalf of Temple University.

Mr. Barnett, a Temple alumnus and board member of the College of Public Health, founded ABA Centers of America in 2020 after discovering how difficult it can be for families to receive ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy services for their children with autism. "The reason we started ABA Centers of America actually comes from my personal family experience," said Mr. Barnett. "Both of my nieces are on the autism spectrum, and they languished for years waiting to even get a diagnosis. And once they got a diagnosis, they were on another waiting list for ABA therapy. I thought there had to be a better way, a way to disrupt this space and fundamentally change the way ABA services are made available to communities.

"ABA Centers of America exists to give hope to the kiddos all over the country that are languishing on waiting lists. But we have to do more, to reach out and make connections, to work with the entire autism community if we're going to make a difference. So, we are donating $1,000,000 to Temple University today toward funding an autism laboratory. Through the ABA Centers of America Autism Laboratory, they will provide diagnoses to families that would otherwise sit and wait."

Conveying Temple's gratitude for the generous gift, Dr. McCallion said, "One of the reasons I like being at Temple is that we're not an ivory tower. We live day-to-day in Philadelphia as part of the community. This is the ideal partnership for Temple. And we believe strongly in the value of partnership and the value of the research we will do to make a difference in people's lives every day. The Temple faculty, students, and researchers who will become part of this initiative are committed to expanding services, increasing availability, and testing new programming options for people with autism.

"The lab will also help us build workforces that are so needed for the autism field. Real change becomes possible with partnerships between providers like ABA Centers of America, universities, and the autism community. And that's what we're building."

"The rate of children diagnosed with autism has almost tripled in the past 20 years," said Mr. Barnett, "but therapy providers have been unable to keep pace. We aim to change that not only by opening new ABA centers but through actions like funding the ABA Centers of America Autism Laboratory at Temple and creating our own training center, the ABA Academy of Excellence."

ABA Centers of America services 11 metro areas and has four locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, with plans to open more clinics in southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2023.

About ABA Centers of America

ABA Centers of America provides ABA therapy services for anyone with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We help clients in their homes, our centers, schools, or anywhere in the community. ABA Centers of America is the Northeast's fastest-growing ABA provider, with multiple locations in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, upcoming centers in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and more east coast facilities planned for a total of 20 locations by year-end 2023. For more information about ABA Centers of America, visit www.abacenters.com, call 855-962-1555, or email info@abacenters.com.

About ABA Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is widely considered to be the gold standard for autism care. ABA therapy for autism has been studied for decades and possesses the largest body of research supporting any autism therapy. ABA focuses on communication, academics, social skills, and social functioning simultaneously and is carried out by certified professionals.

SOURCE ABA Centers of America

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