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Face of ABA Therapy

Karri Shojaei-Scott, BCBA, LBA
| |Photography by Vanessa Gavalya
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Karri Shojaei-Scott, BCBA, LBA

Karri Shojaei-Scott founded Marigold Learning Academy for several reasons—a community need and a passion for special education among them. Primarily, she was inspired by her son with learning differences. After working as a principal and teacher in Dallas, she opened Marigold, an accredited ABA learning center with an innovative approach where students with autism are emerged into a structured school program in mock classrooms for a variety of therapies.

ABA therapy helps prepare children to transition into traditional classrooms by increasing or improving desired behaviors needed for success in school. Marigold’s signature academic readiness program is designed for children with autism and provides critical tools they can utilize in school and in their communities. “We have created an inclusive setting where kids are set up to be successful,” Shojaei-Scott says. “Each Marigold Learning Academy serves no more than 25 students ranging in age from 2 to preteens. The curriculum is designed for students to make a smooth transition into public or private school with their mainstream, neurotypical peers.”

Shojaei-Scott, a Certified Austim Specialist, opened the first academy in Rockwall in 2012. Four other locations followed in areas where she felt children on the spectrum were underserved. Plans for Camp Marigold are underway, and Marigold Learning Academy is expanding outside of Texas to Colorado and Tennessee. Each location is designed with a sensory sensitive environment in mind. For example, the third-floor Dallas location has windows all around, which allows the outside to be incorporated into the design. During the past 10 years, Marigold has won several awards for its academic, early intervention, and ABA therapy programs. Marigold also partners with local colleges and high schools to train and mentor teachers and interns.

Shojaei-Scott’s passion for special education is as strong as it was two decades ago. “People tell me I’m special because of what I do; I believe it’s because I’m living my best life working with staff who share my passion,” she says.

Marigold Learning Academy and ABA Therapy
972.722.3892

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