Nicole Ellish, MA, BCBA 

Regional Director & Safety Care Trainer

2022 BCBA, Clinic Director Nicole Ellish.jpg
Changing Lives Since:  2014

- Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

- Master of Arts in Applied Behavior Analysis with

   a focus in Autism

- Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education

   with a focus in Special Education

- Safety-Care Certified Trainer

- Safety-Care for Families Certified Trainer

- CPR and First Aid certified

Fun Fact: 
She loves to constantly learn and grow from her four children and all the people she services.

"As the Clinical Director for the Pleasant Prairie clinic and adult services, I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Nicole.  I started in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in 2014 and at the time was introduced to ABA while working as a director in a daycare facility.  I had a parent introduce me to some basic systems of reinforcement and thought, “I need to learn more.”  I began implementing ABA in clinical, home and school settings for children with autism. My advisors helped me to grow a strong background in Verbal Behavior, Discrete Trial Training (DTT), Natural Environment Teaching (NET), Antecedent Modification, and Assessment.


"As I continued to grow my knowledge of the field I became more involved with teens and adults.  I began to familiarize myself with assessments and curriculums that focused on daily living, independence, generalization, social acceptance, and community based instruction. I believe that it’s important to not forget that ABA is a lifestyle, and we can apply these principles to everyone, even ourselves.  This belief and the support of my colleagues helped me to create a space at Sonnenberg where teens and adults can receive the services they need. "

More about Safety-Care

Safety-Care is designed to provide a set of skills and strategies that allow staff and families to provide safe and humane support to clients who may at times exhibit disruptive or dangerous behaviors. 


The prevention and de-escalation interventions in Safety-Care are drawn from extensive clinical research on treatment of undesirable and dangerous behavior.  Specifically, they are drawn from the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). This research has developed powerful, non-coercive ways to prevent crises and teach desirable, functional alternatives to dangerous and disruptive behavior (Lennox, Rourke, & Geren, 2016).

Important Principles of Safety-Care:

  • Respect, dignity, and avoidance of coercion

  • Use of the least restrictive interventions that are safe and effective

  • Applicability to many settings, populations, and regulatory environments

  • Broad use of clinically proven, well accepted, evidence-based procedures

  • Functionally sound intervention that minimize inadvertent reinforcement of challenging behaviors