Positive Behavioral Connections
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We understand that when your child has experienced developmental delays, time is precious. And we believe that combining regular treatment supervision from our behavior therapists with frequent progress assessments and consistent communication with you and your family members will have the biggest impact on your child‘s success. Most importantly, we recognize that every child is an individual, with unique needs and circumstances. We also recognize that you and your family have your own priorities, and we work closely with you to identify your goals and tailor a behavioral therapy program to meet your child’s and your family’s specific needs.

Positive Behavioral Connections is dedicated to serving children with autism spectrum disorders and their families in areas that have the most influence on day-to-day living – specifically, learning, language, and behavior. We focus exclusively on scientifically-validated applied behavior analysis (ABA) techniques delivered by highly trained Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). We provide our ABA services primarily to children ages 18 months to 12 years, for families residing in the western suburbs of Chicago, including Naperville, Wheaton, Downers Grove and surrounding areas.

Niki Thurkow, Ph.D. Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D)


Niki Thurkow received a Ph.D. in Applied Behavior Analysis after studying at Western Michigan University and Florida State University. A growing passion for the technology of applied behavior analysis (ABA) and its application to children led her to the Chicago area. Niki has been implementing positive behavior programming for children in schools, homes and the community since 1997. During this time she has had extensive experience working with children of all levels and abilities, with an emphasis on children on the autism spectrum. Niki also has a passion for adult learning, conducting workshops for parents and professionals, as well as teaching graduate-level courses on topics including Asperger syndrome, autism, verbal behavior, sensory processing disorders, functional assessment, data collection, and application.

Emily Deeney, M.S.Ed, Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)


Emily (Cain) Deeney completed coursework at Southern Illinois University to sit for her board certification as a behavior analyst. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Early Childhood Special Education with a certificate (LBS II) in Behavior Intervention from Northern Illinois University. She received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from the University of Iowa and was a licensed teacher in the state of Illinois in both special and elementary education. Emily has worked since 2003 with students at a wide range of ability levels, implementing positive behavioral supports within the students’ home and school environments. Emily is fluent in American Sign Language and proficient in Signed Exact English. She has worked extensively within the deaf and hard of hearing programs in DuPage County. Emily has conducted workshops for parents and professionals on topics including autism, basic principles of positive behavior supports crisis de-escalation, collecting and interpreting data and functional assessment. Emily has also taught several graduate-level courses on autism spectrum disorders. Emily is interested in determining the best interventions for each child and family to help improve the quality of daily life including toilet training, verbal behavior programming and building social skills.

  • BHCOE Accredited Since : 2016
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