Hello! My name is Sarah Hively. I am the owner and Executive Director of A.B.S. Behavioral Services, LLC., and also a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). I received my undergrad in Special Education from Miami University of Ohio, and my master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis and Behavioral Disorders from Columbia University. I have worked and supervised in home, school, and clinical settings. Between being a working mom of two girls, a wife, and business owner, I enjoy going to the gym and working out, watching Bravo TV, enjoying fun Fridays with my family, having dance parties with my girls, and trying to keep a sense of humor as I juggle it all!
My continued mission and goal is to provide kiddos with and without disabilities, families, teachers, and schools with quality services that will lead to a meaningful change. I truly think of the kids and families we serve and work with as extended family members. Whether it is tackling those tricky challenging behaviors, teaching school readiness, joint attention, communication, and social skills, or more everyday functional life skills like potty training, bedtime routines or sitting at the dinner table eating a meal together, we will approach the behavior in an applied and functional way to ensure that our behavior changes make a meaningful impact on every client’s life!
Colleen Coley Bird is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst who has been working with ABS since 2013. She grew up in Indiana, graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2012 (Bachelor’s in psychology) and from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2014 (Master’s in applied behavior analysis). She has been working in the field of applied behavior analysis since 2011. In her free time she likes to read, knit, and play with her dog. Colleen has always been interested in working with children with disabilities because she grew up with family members and friends with disabilities and she wants to make sure that all children have the best chance they can to become independent and build meaningful friendships.
Trisha Smith is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and has been with ABS Behavioral Services since 2013. She grew up in Libertyville, Il and graduated from Illinois State University in 2008 (B.A. in Psychology) and from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology in 2014 (M.S. in Applied Behavior Analysis). Studying abroad in Spain in the summer of 2007 created some of her fondest experiences and memories and she cannot wait to visit again. Trisha is a big fan of corny jokes, spending time with her niece and nephews, hanging out with her dog, playing bingo (seriously), and Netflix marathons. Trisha has participated in the Polar Plunge every year since 2011 which raises money for the Special Olympics of Illinois. She is very proud of her friends, family members, and clients that participate in the Special Olympics and looks forward to cheering them on during their events! The best part of her job is watching and helping her clients learn and grow, and the look on client’s and parent’s faces when they achieve another milestone.
Katie Giovanetto has been a behavioral therapist at ABS since 2014. She grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) from Augustana College in 2010. She received her Master’s of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis in December 2016. Katie has worked in the field of applied behavior analysis since 2010. Most of her experience is in increasing communication skills in children and young adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or a developmental disability (DD). In her free time, Katie loves cheering on the Chicago Cubs and exploring the city with her boyfriend. The reason she got into this field was because she saw how effective the procedures were when volunteering at an ASD clinic in college. Since then, her ultimate career goal has been to effectively help as many individuals as possible using behavioral principles and procedures.
Marissa Cowsill Kohlhagen was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She has been working as a behavior therapist for ABS since 2014. Prior to that, Marissa taught preschool, which is where two of her students in particular inspired her to want to work with children who have challenges with behavior. Her passion for ABA therapy comes from her belief that all children have the ability to learn, but they do not have an identical way of learning. She herself struggled in school academically and to this day wishes her teachers would have tried modifying their teaching styles to better fit the kind of learner she was. Working as an ABA therapist, she is able to be that person to the kids she works with. In her free time, Marissa enjoys baking, going to see plays with friends, watching Netflix, and enjoying being a newlywed (October 2016)!
Samantha Favorite is a behavior therapist who has been working at ABS since August 2015. She graduated from Saint Mary’s College in 2014 (Bachelor’s in psychology and sociology). She has been working in the field of applied behavior analysis since 2013. In her spare time, Samantha enjoys exploring Chicago with her husband, traveling, coloring, and playing fetch with her cat. Samantha has always been an advocate for individuals with disabilities and every day she gets to spend with her clients and their families is a true joy!
Nikki Condit has been working as a behavior therapist since 2012 and has been working with ABS since the spring of 2015. She grew up on a lake in Wisconsin and loves living close to the water in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Cross-Categorical Special Education (Go Badgers!). She received her special education teaching certification for early childhood through adolescence. Her passion in this field stems from seeing her clients’ successes and she enjoys creating environments that allow for each of her clients to achieve their goals. Nikki especially enjoys seeing friendships blossom between the students here at ABS. When she is not working at ABS, she can be found outside enjoying what the Windy City has to offer, whether it is from a bike, a sailboat, or her own two feet.
Cory LaFlair is originally from Toronto where he received his a Bachelor’s of Honors in Psychology in Toronto, Canada, and he has thoroughly enjoyed living in Chicago since 2015. He has been working within the field of ABA for since 2012 both in Chicago and in Toronto and has experience working with kids age 2-18. In his days off Cory a ferocious traveler and a lover of the Toronto Blue Jays. Cory discovered ABA while doing a practicum course in his undergrad where he saw how ABA can make a difference in the lives of so many. One of my favorite moments at ABS was the look on a client’s face when all of her friends yelled surprise at her birthday party!
"Sarah = Patient. Caring. Supportive. You were amazing! We are so grateful."
"My experiences with ABS have been outstanding. Sarah and her team are a group of professional, experienced and highly effective therapists. Sarah has a wonderful way of working closely with the parents, child and school to encourage the most progress possible. We have seen wonderful results with her work on social skills training, positive behavior modification/ shaping and calming/ regulation strategies. I highly recommend ABS behavioral services. They are a wonderful clinic located locally, in Skokie."
"I can't express enough how much I enjoy working with ABS Behavioral Services. Sarah and her colleagues are so collaborative and are dedicated to meeting their clients where they are at and providing them with the services that best fit their needs. I am a school social worker and I admire how Sarah strives to form an ongoing trusting partnership between the client's family and school. We've seen such positive results in our students and I can't thank ABS enough for their services."
"Working with Sarah was a transformative experience for our family. She provided a structure and the tools so that we could address our daughter's long-standing and stressful behavioral challenge. Sarah was very patient and supportive and clearly cares about helping families. Her approach enabled us to create a process for meeting lots of little goals to finally achieve the change we all needed. We still have other challenges to work on, but we now have the tools to try to figure it out and do it on our own. Thank you Sarah!"
"I strongly recommend ABS Behavioral Therapy for anyone needing effective direction and guidance with their children. We had explored other therapies/therapists before, but Sarah's team stood out above the rest. Her team was knowledgeable, communicative, sensitive to my children’s needs/wants and constantly striving for improvement. They incorporated specific goal oriented tasks that were achievable, enhancing my children’s progress every step of the way. We saw real results both in the classroom and at home. Choosing to work with ABS behavioral services was the best decision for our family."
“Sarah and her team are one of a kind! Their comprehensive programs have produced outstanding results with our daughter. We can't wait to see what the next twelve months bring..!”
"ABS understands that my son sees the world in a different way. They learned his interests and his dislikes and implemented interventions and a program that has shown tremendous results. They have been exceptionally patient with me and have addressed my concerns and my worries with great care. I feel they are truly only a phone call away."
8707 Skokie Boulevard Suite 402, Skokie, IL 60077