The ACES Story

ACES has changed tens of thousands of lives, and it all began with a great idea by an innovative special education teacher.

How ACES Began

ACES started as an idea by an innovative special education teacher, Kristin Farmer, in 1996. Kristin built a model autism classroom using environmental arrangement, clear visual structure, and child-friendly spaces where behavioral expectations and learning targets were consistent and clearly communicated to students.

After seeing progress in the children during their school days, she knew they could further benefit from similar support in their natural environments. Her dream was to teach those close to them how to arrange their environment and their own behavior to maximize her students’ potential and to thrive in all areas of their lives. Her motivation to attain results put her at the forefront of the services we now know as center-based and in-home ABA.

Supporting these families and children in and out of the classroom became Kristin’s purpose, and ACES was born.

The influence of her model classroom, backed by research and designed for the success of each student, can still be seen in every ACES Learning Center today.

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ACES Mission

ACES is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for individuals and families impacted with autism and other special needs. We provide comprehensive, professional services to maximize individuals’ potential in the home, school, and community throughout their lifespan.

ACES Vision

Our company’s Vision is to become the household name for the highest quality autism care in America. Whether you access our services in person or online, ACES is your go-to source for ABA therapy.

ACES Values

Our values stem from our commitment to delivering research-based therapy that’s enjoyable, respectful, and unique. Every interaction you have with ACES will reflect: Inclusion. Fun. Service. Collaboration. Respect. Results. Innovation. Purpose.

Child in headphones

Our Services

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

  • Center-Based ABA

  • Home and Community-Based ABA

  • Early Intervention

  • Social Skills Groups

  • School Behavioral Supports and Training

  • Individual Parent Training, Coaching and Support

  • Group Parent Workshops

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The ACES Difference

  • ACES is one of the longest-standing providers of ABA therapy in the world.

  • While ACES specializes in early intervention, we are proud to be one of the only providers continuing to serve the lifespan of individuals impacted by autism.

  • ACES is the only ABA provider recognized by the AETNA Institutes of Quality®.

  • Our CARF® accreditation reflects our commitment to high quality and an individualized approach.

  • ACES' Center of Excellence model is designed to optimize client experience by focusing on timely access, clinical excellence, client satisfaction, and outcomes.

  • Forbes named us one of the Best Mid-Sized Workplaces multiple years.

ACES office


Our vision is for ACES to be synonymous with the highest quality of autism care in the United States. We strive for our programs to be accessible, convenient, and ultimately, to cultivate a better quality of life for all our clients. From Honolulu, Hawaii, to Raleigh, North Carolina, ACES has more than 80 locations for you to choose from.

Our Locations
Team member helping child with autism

ACES in the Community

ACES is proud to partner with other organizations who, like us, are on a mission to create a more inclusive and welcoming world for people with autism spectrum disorder. You can find the ACES team volunteering in your communities, providing clinical support at major events with Kulture City, or assisting at sensory-friendly viewings during events like Disney Immersive.

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Lisa Dawe's headshot'
Lisa is a visionary leader with a proven track record of driving growth and innovation in the healthcare sector. Her strategic mindset and passion for empowering teams have been instrumental in delivering exceptional results. Lisa inspires those around her to achieve their potential - in service of improving the quality of life for as many individuals and families impacted with autism and other special needs as possible.

Lisa Dawe

Chief Executive Officer

John Eisel's headshot'
John Eisel has a passion for driving organizational excellence. With a background in finance and a strong focus on data-driven decision-making, he has successfully guided teams through complex challenges to achieve remarkable results. John's collaborative approach and commitment to continuous improvement pushes ACES to deliver the best service possible to our clients.

John Eisel

Chief Operating Officer

Luke Jana's headshot'
ACES maintains productive and positive payor partnerships under Luke's guidance. As ACES' General Counsel and Chief Administrative Officer, Luke ensures that we can accept a diverse range of insurance providers so we can serve more clients. Luke's work is central to our growth strategy as we look to expand into more markets, and he elevates our compliance and employment standards.

Luke Jana

General Counsel & Chief Administrative Officer

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ACES Clinical Advisory Board

Kristin Farmer's headshot'
Kristin founded ACES almost 30 years ago with the purpose of making ABA services more accessible to families in need. Under Kristin's leadership, ACES has grown to service more than 80 locations across 9 states. After 5 years of collaboration, the University of North Texas Kristin Farmer Autism Center opened in 2012 as a top training center for autism diagnostics and research. Kristin also worked with UC San Diego in 2021 to establish the ACES Innovation Project to advance research in early autism diagnosis tools. In 2023, Kristin took on a new role as Chairwoman of the Board for ACES.

Kristin Farmer

Founder & Chairwoman

Mohit Kaushal's headshot'
Dr. Mohit is an ER physician, adjunct professor at Stanford University, and served on the National Committee of Vital Health Statistics and the FDA Safety and Innovation Act Workgroup of the Health IT Policy Committee. In addition, he is a previous member of the White House IT Task Force.

Mohit Kaushal


Senior Advisor, General Atlantic

Susan Nichols's headshot'
With more than 20 years of experience in ABA, Dr. Nichols brings a wealth of knowledge, having been a special education teacher in public school districts. She is a professor teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in the Department of Special Education at the University of North Texas.

Susan Nichols


Interim Executive Director, UNT Kristin Farmer Autism Center

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