lauren harrington abel - houston, texas

Lauren Abel has been helping children with Autism Spectrum disorders in the Houston, TX area since she was a teenager. She knew at a very young age that she was called to be an agent of positive charge within the special needs community. After graduating with a degree in Psychology from the University of Houston, she found herself unhappy and burned out working in a traditional behavioral clinic. This frustration fueled her passion to figure out a way to reach more children with autism and to improve their lives in meaningful ways by meeting their individual needs. She knew there had to be a better way, and she was willing to rock the boat to find it.She quit her job and hit the road as a traveling therapist, conducting private in-home sessions for a small group of children. The improvements these children demonstrated, as a result of working with Lauren, were astounding to their parents. Parents were seeing first hand that improvement was possible, even if they hadn’t experienced it before.

Lauren was eager to do more for her community and took on the task of developing a non-profit day-treatment center where children with Autism could receive high quality services on a full time basis, as an alternative to a traditional school setting. This center, The Next Step Academy, currently serves over 30 families and has helped hundreds of families since it opened in 2005. The Next Step Academy now serves children from birth into adulthood, and has a variety of service offering to help individuals and their families navigate autism. For more information, visit us online Lauren is the founder and Executive Director of The Next Step Academy. She also serves as Pesident of the Board of Directors of A Future for All, Inc. 

Lauren is passionate about developing dynamic solutions to real problems and offers private consultations, private sessions, professional education, a variety of curriculum options and staffing solutions through her for-profit, The Institute for Special Needs Children, where she is currently the CEO. Lauren is a behavior analyst, is licensed in several other therapeutic modalities and is always looking for innovative ways to help children and families who are struggling.Lauren is an innovator when it comes to creating treatment packages for her cases, putting empirically supported treatments together in dynamic ways that produce life changing results. She specializes in working with individuals who have severe or extreme behaviors, little or no language, complicated medical histories and/or those who don’t respond to other effective approaches. She also works with a limited number of private clients, across the autism spectrum and a variety of other special needs. For more information, visit us online at

Lauren serves as the Executive Director of Rhythmic Movement Training International (RMTi) a reflex integration program that has profound and meaningful positive effects on the foundations of learning, allowing individuals to build new resources and to live life with greater ease and less stress. For more information, visit us online

Lauren lives in Houston with her husband, their three children and their family dog. 


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