Autism Therapy in Hickory

Autism Therapy in Hickory


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M-CHAT-R Screening Tool

The official screening tool to detect Autism Spectrum Disorder in children ages 16-30 months.

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Services We Offer in Hickory

Map of Autism Learning Partners in Hickory

Hickory Location:

Hickory, NC

Autism Learning Partners is proud to partner with North Carolina Medicaid to serve families touched by autism in North Carolina. We are contracted with the Managed Care Organizations: Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, Partners Behavioral Health Management, and Sandhills Center. Families are generally able to access ABA (also known in NC as RB-BHT, or Research Based-Behavioral Health Treatment) with an autism diagnosis and service order for ABA. Please call our knowledgeable Intake team today, who will be happy to walk you through the requirements per your assigned health plan.

Accepted Insurance Plans at Autism Learning Partners Hickory:

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield Logo - ALP Insurance
blue cross blue shield of north carolina alp insurance option
Cardinal Medicaid North Carolina - alp insurance option
Cigna logo - ALP insurance option
Magellan Health logo - ALP insurance option
Optum insurance logo - ALP insurance option
WellCare logo - ALP insurance option

About Autism Learning Partners in Hickory

Autism Learning Partners (formerly Pacific Child & Family Associates) began offering services to children with autism and other development disabilities, and their families, in 1988. The company was an early proponent of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and quickly adopted this clinical methodology as the cornerstone of its services to children and families. Autism Learning Partners now offers treatment services in many states across the US, collaborating with doctors, therapist, families, schools, and specialists for complete, effective care.

Our Mission

The mission of Autism Learning Partners is to provide the highest level of clinical expertise to facilitate significant and sustainable improvement for the individuals and families we serve.

Our Vision

Autism Learning Partners strives to give hope, support and paths of progress for children and their families living with Autism and related disorders. We believe that a tailored, comprehensive care plan managed by our exceptional clinical talent, partnered with love and commitment from the family, allows each child to achieve his or her maximum potential.

Meet Your Hickory Team

A picture of Danielle Virnelson our Hickory Clinical Director

Danielle Virnelson MA, BCBA

Clinical Director

Danielle is a board certified behavior analyst and Associate Clinical Director for Autism Learning Partners, Charlotte. She recently moved to Charlotte from California for a change of scenery and to be able to enjoy all 4 seasons. She has been working in the field of ABA for 8 years. Danielle started out as a behavior therapist in the home and school settings after graduating from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Psychology and being introduced to ABA by one of her former professors. Danielle shortly realized her passion for the field and went on to attend graduate school, also at Cal State Northridge. She received her Master’s Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis, as well as her BCBA certification in 2015. Prior to her role as Associate Clinical Director, Danielle was an ABA supervisor and has worked with clients between the ages of 2 and 22 years old with autism and other developmental disabilities, in various settings (clinic, home, community, and schools), as well as in running Social Skills groups using the PEERS curriculum.

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Frequently Asked Questions in Hickory

Yes, we do! We invite you to visit us at our Cornelius location:

19615 Liverpool Pkwy
Suite B
Cornelius NC 28031

We have curated a list of parent organizations and resources within the Hickory area that may be helpful supplements to ABA therapy. Please note that this information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be misconducted as legal, medical, or any type of professional advice. Please independently research professionals and service providers carefully before making any decisions concerning your child.


TEACCH® Autism Program
A University-based system of community regional centers that offers a set of core services along with unique demonstration programs meeting the clinical, training, and research needs of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, their families, and professionals across the state of North Carolina. TEACCH® Autism Program, founded by Dr. Eric Schopler in 1972, is a model for other programs around the world.
8401 University Executive Park Dr.
Suite 100. Charlotte, NC 28262
Phone: 919-445-2365
Fax: 919-445-2353

North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI)
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) is charged with implementing the state’s public-school laws for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade public schools at the direction of the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
301 N. Wilmington Street
Raleigh, NC 27601-2825

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS)
The Department of Health and Human Services manages the delivery of health- and human-related services for all North Carolinians, especially our most vulnerable citizens – children, elderly, disabled and low-income families. The Department works closely with health care professionals, community leaders and advocacy groups; local, state, and federal entities; and many other stakeholders to make this happen.
101 Blair Drive
Raleigh NC 27603

NC Council on Developmental Disabilities
The Council meets quarterly and oversees both the provisions of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act (DD Act) and to assure the Council is a member-driven, effective, efficient organization. The NCCDD works on behalf of over 185,000 people with I/DD living in NC. The work of the Council is directed to help communities become more inclusive of people with I/DD and their families.
820 South Boylan Avenue
Raleigh, NC  27603

Disability Rights of North Carolina
Disability Rights North Carolina is a legal advocacy agency that fights for the rights of people with disabilities in North Carolina. We handle cases involving discrimination, abuse and other rights violations. All of our services are at no cost to North Carolinians with disabilities. We are a private, independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a member of the National Disability Rights Network.
3724 National Drive, Suite 100
Raleigh, NC 27612


American Academy of Pediatrics / AUTISM
General Information, Articles.

Autism Research Institute
Online educational events for parents and caretakers.  Monthly e-newsletter with the latest updates, and online discussion forums for parents of children with ASD.
4182 Adams Avenue
San Diego, CA 92116

Autism Navigator
Autism Navigator is a unique collection of web-based tools and courses developed to bridge the gap between science and community practice. We have integrated the most current research into a highly interactive web platform with extensive video footage to illustrate effective evidence-based practice. The video clips come from the unparalleled library of video footage from federally funded research projects at the Autism Institute at Florida State University.

National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder
Since 2007, the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorder (NPDC) has worked to develop free professional resources for teachers, therapists, and technical assistance providers who work with individuals with ASD. Resources include detailed information on how to plan, implement, and monitor specific evidence-based practices.

Boys Town – For Parents
​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Boys Town offers a vast library of parenting information and articles developed over many decades by our child behavior experts. ​Explore​​ the Boys Town’s Parenting Principles, based on 100 years ​of real-world​ experience ​with tens of ​thousands of families. And, whether you are a parent​, grandparent or guardian of a toddler, teen or someone​ ​in-between, we’ve got Parenting Guides, articles, ​​​​videos, ​tools ​and ​​quick tips ​on a variety ​of ​​subjects, all ​​developed by Boys ​​Town’s ​​​​​​experts.​​​​​

Association for Science in Autism Treatment
ASAT’s mission: We promote safe, effective, science-based treatments for people with autism by disseminating accurate, timely, and scientifically sound information, advocating for the use of scientific methods to guide treatment, and combating unsubstantiated, inaccurate and false information about autism and its treatment.

Parenting with ABA
Parenting is hard. Parenting advice is everywhere & overwhelming. Let us help you cut through the noise and find behavior management tools and strategies that are scientifically backed. let the science of behavior save YOUR sanity as a parent!

Autism Internet Modules (AIM)
AIM is designed to provide high-quality information and professional development for anyone who supports, instructs, works with, or lives with someone with autism. Each module guides you through case studies, instructional videos, pre- and post-assessments, a glossary, and much more. AIM modules are available at no cost. If you would like to receive credit for your time on AIM, certificate and credit options are available for a fee.

National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice
The National Clearinghouse on Autism Evidence and Practice (NCAEP) is conducting a systematic review of the current intervention literature targeting individuals on the autism spectrum. NCAEP is a continuation of the evidence review that was completed by the National Professional Development Center on Autism Spectrum Disorders (NPDC) which included research published through 2011. We will review research studies published in the last five years (2012-2017) which examine the impact of behavioral, educational, clinical and developmental practices and service models used with individuals on the autism spectrum from birth through age 21. The literature is expanding rapidly so we plan to establish an active yearly review that will provide families, practitioners, and researchers with more timely updates. In the future, NCAEP hopes to expand this important work to identify EBPs for adults on the autism spectrum and to include pharmaceutical interventions.


Autism Speaks – Mid South Chapter
Serving all communities in North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, Autism Speaks is dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. We do this through advocacy and support increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. The Carolinas chapter works to further our mission to fund research, increase awareness and family services, and advocate for individuals with autism and their families.
Charlotte, NC Office:
8604 Cliff Cameron Dr, #144
Charlotte, NC 28269
(704) 561-0003

The Autism Community in Action (TACA)
TACA has local Chapters across the United States providing families affected by autism with education, resources and support. Chapters hold educational family events, meetings, seminars and/or Coffee Talks.
2222 Martin Street, Suite 140
Irvine, CA 92612

Autism Charlotte
Nonprofit organization offering programs such as iCan Bike, ELD, Paths Academy, University Autism Outreach and Inclusion-based Afterschool, as well as training and consultation available to individuals, corporate groups, schools, etc.
PO Box 12671
Charlotte, NC 28220

Trusted Parents
Trusted Parents is an all-inclusive 501(c)3 not for profit organization that focuses on the well-being of parents, families, and guardians caring for individuals living with disabilities. We provide programs that offer group support, awareness, advocacy, and resources. The purpose of our programs is to gather and share important information needed to improve the lives of families living with the challenges associated with special health care needs. Our goal is to offer supportive services while raising awareness to the devastating affects caring for an individual with unique challenges can have on families.
2459 Wilkinson Blvd, Suite 310
Charlotte, NC 28208

Autism Society of NC
The Autism Society of North Carolina improves the lives of individuals with autism, supports their families, and educates communities.

Smart Start of Mecklenburg County
Smart Start of Mecklenburg County mobilizes resources, forges partnerships, and supports families to improve early childhood health, education and development and ensure children are prepared for kindergarten. Our four areas of focus are early care and education quality and accessibility, family support, health, and early literacy for children birth to five.

Local Special Education Attorneys
Danica Little Law, PLLC
Huntersville, NC
(704) 343-5633

Cuddy Law Firm, P.L.L.C.
Charlotte Metro Area, Waxhaw, NC
(704) 800-5252

Sorrell Law Firm
Concord, NC
(704) 784-0846

The Law Offices of Keith L Howard, PLLC
Cornelius, NC
(800) 341-3931

Middlebrooks Law PLLC
Charlotte, NC
(704) 817-8400

Legal Aid of North Carolina
Gastonia, NC
(866) 219-5262


The Verbal Behavior Approach
Dr. Mary Barbera, BCBA and mother of a child on the Spectrum

An Early Start for Your Child with Autism: Using Everyday Activities to Help Kids Connect, Communicate, and Learn
Sally J. Rogers, Geraldine Dawson, and Laurie A. Vismara

101 Games and Activities for Children with Autism, Asperger’s, and Sensory Processing Disorders
Tara Delaney

1001 Great Ideas for Teaching & Raising Children with Autism or Asperger’s
Ellen Notbohm and Veronica Zysk

Goodwill of North Carolina
The Goodwill of North Carolina has many retail stores in the Metro Charlotte Area where you can find quality used goods for bargain prices.

The Salvation Army Family Stores
Salvation Army Family Stores are another good option in the Metro Charlotte Area to purchase used good at low prices.

Five Below
Offers high-quality products costing between $1 and $5 each

Dollar Tree
Every single item is only $1 (or less)

Little Free Library
Little Free Library is a nonprofit organization that inspires a love of reading, builds community, and sparks creativity by fostering neighborhood book exchanges around the world. Through Little Free Libraries, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income.

ACT Today!
ACT Stands for Autism Care and Treatment Today! ACT Today! is a national nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to raise awareness and provide treatment services and support to families to help their children with autism achieve their full potential. Often, the child with autism must go without vital interventions due to financial restraints. ACT Today! strives to provide necessary services so that each child with autism can reach his or her highest potential.

Children’s Dream Fund
Founded in 1981 with the single purpose of fulfilling dreams for children ages 3-18 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Referrals are received from several hospitals on Florida’s west coast. Dreams vary greatly – from trips to Disney World, meetings with celebrities, computers, play sets, cruises and shopping sprees. Every child deserves hope and a dream!
For more information, please visit https://childrensdreamfund.org/.

Grant and Funding Resources

Other Ideas
– Local thrift stores or consignment shops
– There are many grants available for general financial assistance or for specific items (e.g., assistive technology)
– Be on the lookout for local yard sales or estate sales in your neighborhood
– Toy drives are plentiful around the holiday season
– Local churches or places of worship are also often a good resource for toys or supplies

Therapy sessions might take place in your home or community, depending on what the ALP Clinical team recommends. Each session, a Behavior Technician will work one-on-one with your child, targeting individualized goals embedded into fun and functional activities. Sessions can last 2-4 hours depending on your child’s needs. Parent training is always a part of the treatment plan, as we want you to have that support.

Therapy sessions could take place in your home, community, or center environment, depending on what the ALP Clinical team recommends, and if the school and insurance provides approval.

We use evidence based behavior analytic techniques. The specific techniques implemented by the ALP Clinical team are entirely dependent on your child and the goals identified during the assessment. Your Clinical Supervisor will discuss the techniques more during the assessment. It’s important to our clinical teams that the right techniques are selected for your child. There are no one size fits all.

Resources for families in North Carolina

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Get Started with us in Hickory

If you need help filling out this information in a language other than English, please call 855-295-3276
View this form in a larger window