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Interview with Leon Yin, BCBA

We sat down with this month’s Gold Star winner Leon Yin to discover what drives him as a BCBA, what he likes about working for Golden Care Therapy, and what’s the best advice he’s ever been given.

Tell us a bit about your job as a BCBA

I see my job as creating a collaborative environment between BCBA, tech, and parents so that the client can benefit from the involvement of all parties.

What drove you to the BCBA profession?

I began my career as a special ed/ABA teacher over a decade ago. I became a BCBA so I could have the education and credentials to better serve my students.  As a BCBA and teacher, I am able to observe my students everyday and get a better overall picture.

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

The flexible schedule allows me to work and at the same time finish graduate school.

What do you find the most challenging in your work as a BCBA?

Working with other professionals who use non-evidence based interventions.

What have you gained from working at Golden Care?

CGT provides a supportive working environment that allows me to be able to concentrate on providing the best service to my clients.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t talk so much when working with people with communication deficits.

What is the favorite part of your work as a BCBA/ of working for Golden Care?

My interactions with the clients.

What is your proudest moment at Golden Care/ in your work as a BCBA?

Seeing kids learn new skills and having parents realize their kids’ potential.

If you’re interested in our services, you can find out more information about our in-home ABA therapy in New Jersey here. Or for job openings, you can view our BCBA therapy jobs NJ here.

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Interview with Michael Jaghab, Behavior Technician

We sat down with this month’s Gold Star winner Michael Jaghab to discover what drives him as a Behavior Technician, what he likes about working for Golden Care Therapy, and what’s the best advice he’s ever been given.

What drove you to the ABA profession? 

After I graduated high school, I needed a job. I began working for a family friend that had twin boys with autism. I thought it would only be for the summer. That summer turned into 15 years. Although they live in a residential, I still work with them from time to time. It was working with them that I learned about ABA therapy. I loved it so much that I began working in an ABA school after I graduated from Kean University in 2009. Currently, I work as a teacher at an ABA school in Monroe and I could not be happier. 

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development? 

Golden Care has helped me develop my communication skills with parents and co-workers. Working for Golden Care has also helped me think in ways to understand what is important, meaningful, and functional for each individual child. 

What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates? 

At times sessions can get difficult, and I think it is important to remain calm throughout. Also, always be ready to be flexible. 

4) What do you find the most challenging in your work as an ABA? 

I think knowing how and when to adapt your sessions to meet the needs of the client is the most challenging. What worked before may not work this time, and learning how to adapt on the fly can be difficult at times. However, for me, that is the fun part. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

Always follow through. Follow through with the directions you give. Also, follow through with what you say to the parents because it helps build trust. 

What is the favorite part of your work as an ABA/working for Golden Care? 

I love working with the families and getting to know them. I also love working with different BCBA’s. I have had the opportunity to work with some great ones! 

What is your proudest moment at Golden Care/ in your work as an ABA? 

Working in ABA is not an easy job, and not everyone can do it. Coming to work every day, working with families, and helping their child achieve their goals are my proudest moments. Knowing that the families appreciate what you do makes me want to try harder for them. and that a skill you’ve worked on is working in the outside world is some of the best news you can get. 

What is one thing that you wished people knew about your job? 

That it’s one of the best in the world! Every day is different, it’s never boring, and it is one of the more rewarding jobs you can have. 

If you’re interested in our services, you can find out more information about our in-home ABA therapy in New Jersey here. Or for job openings, you can view our BCBA therapy jobs NJ here.

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Interview with Rebecca Lasoski, BCBA

We sat down with this month’s Gold Star winner Rebecca Lasoski to discover what drives her as a Behaviour Analyst, what she likes about working for Golden Care Therapy. and how she manages her work-life balance

What drove you to the BCBA profession?

I knew nothing about ABA when I entered the field as a direct support professional. I had just graduated college with a fine arts degree and decided I didn’t want to pursue a career in art therapy so I took a direct care job in a neurobehavioral stabilization unit quickly learning about ABA. It was one of the hardest jobs I had ever worked, but I loved it. I felt like I finally found what I wanted to be when I grow up.

How do you balance your career and family?

Consulting has been a blessing for me when it comes to balancing family and a career. Prior to having kids, I was working full time as a BCBA in a residential setting, and work was my daily motivator. I loved going in every day and giving it my all. After having my first son and realizing all of his needs, I really struggled with finding a balance and not having mom or career guilt. After some soul searching I realized I needed to find something that would allow me to be the best I could be as a mom and a BCBA, which meant taking the leap and being a full-time mom and part-time BCBA.

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

Golden Care has allowed me to keep my feet wet with consulting and gain an understanding of the insurance world, while I was working full time in a residential setting. This helped a lot as I took the leap to leave my full-time job and just do consulting.

What do you find the most challenging in your work as a BCBA?

I find some of the challenging parts of being a BCBA related to clients and behavior change to be what keeps me going and stimulated as a professional. However, keeping up with the constant changes in insurance requirements is one of the more frustrating challenges.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Don’t overcomplicate it. Sometimes the smallest intervention can produce the biggest change. 

What’s the one thing you’d tell your younger self?

Celebrate the small accomplishments, behavior change and skill acquisition take time.

What is your favorite part of your work as a BCBA/ of working for Golden Care?

I love being able to work with parents and motivate them to be a part of the behavior change process. I feel as though my job sometimes is half behavior analyst and half motivational speaker, but obtaining the buy-in of parents is so rewarding.

What is one thing that you wished people knew about your job? 

We don’t analyze the behavior of everyone we encounter.

If you’re interested in our services, you can find out more information about our in-home ABA therapy in New Jersey here. Or for job openings, you can view our BCBA therapy jobs NJ here.

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Interview with Christina D’Arpa, Behavior Technician

We sat down with this month’s Gold Star winner Christina D’Arpa to discover what drives her as an ABA therapist, what she likes about working for Golden Care Therapy. and how she manages her work-life balance

Tell us a bit about your job as an ABA therapist.

I work with some of the most interesting, adorable, smart, and great group of children. Teaching skills that children may use the rest of their lives. We work on various goals once mastered our children can move onto completing more challenging goals.

What drove you to the ABA profession?

I started out as a paraprofessional for the New York Department of Education doing ABA K-5 for children with autism. I continued my love for ABA with adults with Intellectual Disabilities. I have always had a love for my job

How do you balance your career and family?

My family has always been supportive of my career choice. Although it takes a lot of my time up my family just wants me to be happy.

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

Working for a Golden Care I have learned a lot from the BCBA ‘s as well as the children I work with. Since staying with Golden Care I have decided to continue for my BCBA.

What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates?

Build a great trust and develop great relationships with the children, their families, and the BCBA’s. Always be a team player! Bring new ideas, but be open to learning new ideas.

What do you find the most challenging in your work as an ABA therapist?

The most challenging in my work as an ABA therapist is with each stage of developmental progress with our clients brings new challenges to be met.

What drew you to Golden Care originally?

I was looking for a Behavior Technician job in NJ and Golden Care was hiring. I researched a few places and Golden Care caught my eye. Everyone is great and very helpful.

What have you gained from working at Golden Care?

I have gained a lot of experience by working at Golden Care. The BCBA’s have taught me a lot of skills and techniques to use during sessions that have made my overall session successful.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

The best advice I was ever given is to “be grateful and humble in whatever role you play.“ Life is always about what we can contribute to making the world a better place, but we should still be grateful and humble in both our personal and professional life.

What’s the one thing you’d tell your younger self?

I would tell my younger self “ Don’t be afraid to speak your mind.” Stand up for what you believe in don’t be afraid to say how you feel and what’s on your mind.

What is the favorite part of your work as an ABA therapist/ of working for Golden Care?

My favorite part in my work as an ABA therapist would have to be the successes of the children I am working with. In addition to also see the overall growth and accomplishments is amazing.

What is your proudest moment at Golden Care/ in your work as an ABA therapist?

Is receiving a text from a parent of their child going out to dinner and it being a success. When I receive texts of accomplishments it makes everything worthwhile.

What is one thing that you wished people knew about your job?

A career in ABA therapy is a career spent changing lives.

What does the day to day of your job look like?

Preparing for a session each day brings new rewards and challenges. I work in the home, in the school, and now due to Coronavirus Pandemic via telehealth. We work on goals with behaviors, social interactions, and academics. My day is different every day depending on our clients. My day is filled with playing, hard work, laughing, being silly, playing games, being serious, and touching the lives of the children I work with, and their families.

If you’re interested in our services, you can find out more information about our in-home ABA therapy in New Jersey here. Or for job openings, you can view our ABA therapy jobs NJ here.

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Interview with Megan Domzalski, BCBA

We sat down with this month’s Gold Star winner Megan Domzalski to discover what drives her as a BCBA, what she likes about working for Golden Care Therapy. and how she manages her work-life balance

What drove you to the BCBA profession? 

I’ve always been interested in working with individuals with different needs. As an education major, I was placed in a variety of different settings and schools. One of my most memorable experiences was the opportunity to teach for the Delaware Autism Program. This experience sparked my interest in the science of behavior which soon turned into a passion. I spent 7 years teaching in self-contained ABA classrooms and made the decision to go back for my BCBA to make myself a better educator and advocate for my students and their families.

How do you balance your career and family? 

If this career has taught me anything about balance, it’s how important it is. I’ve never been one to “leave work at work”. This last year, becoming a new mom has taught me how even more difficult balance can be, but that it is absolutely crucial. My husband and I have been able to work out a schedule so I am able to see my clients on a regular basis and ensure that I am able to be what they need, all the while being what our family needs as well! (And lots of coffee!)

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development? 

A few years ago when I began working for Golden Care Therapy, it was my first leap into building my career as a BCBA. Golden Care has allowed me to grow and learn as a BCBA by supporting my professional style and goals. I’ve had the opportunity to work with a variety of different clientele, administrative staff, and behavioral technicians, who have each brought something different to the table for me.

What do you find the most challenging in your work as a BCBA? 

I think one of the most challenging pieces of this career is that it’s not always understood or respected as an actual science. Because there are no “quick fixes” for behavior or “short cuts” for learning, it can be difficult to explain to other professionals or families the science behind ABA therapy and that consistency and time are essential for change.

What have you gained from working at Golden Care? 

I feel working for Golden Care has absolutely helped to improve my confidence as a BCBA. Conferring with my colleagues has strengthened my communication skills with families and other professionals. Golden Care also provides feedback, positive and constructive, which has improved my report and program writing as well.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? 

When you meet one individual with autism, you meet one individual with autism.

What’s the one thing you’d tell your younger self?   

There is ALWAYS more to learn and ALWAYS room to grow personally and professionally.

What’s the favorite part of your work as a BCBA/ of working for Golden Care? 

One of my favorite parts of my job working for Golden Care is being able to work with families and watch caregivers and clients grow.

What is one thing that you wished people knew about your job? 

To someone unfamiliar with this field, it may seem as if BCBAs have little emotional connection to clients or their families because we are often looked at as “tough as nails!”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. This is the nature of the job, however, determination and consistency are two of the most powerful pieces of behavioral science (aside from reinforcement, of course). I wish others knew how emotionally invested BCBAs are in their career. The amount of time dedicated to ensuring that programs and interventions are catered to the various and ever-changing needs of my families is truly immeasurable.

If you’re interested in our services, you can find out more information about our in-home ABA therapy in New Jersey here. Or for job openings, you can view our ABA therapy jobs NJ here.

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How to Help Your Child with Autism During the Coronavirus Lockdown

Due to COVID-19, schools and daycare centers in New Jersey and many other States have been closed. This is a stressful and challenging situation for all of us, especially for children with autism and their families.

We know that many of you must be asking yourselves how best to discuss this with your children and how to help them through this difficult period. That’s why we’ve put together this blog, which we hope will provide you with some practical advice and reassurance when it come to supporting your child with ASD during the Coronavirus lockdown. 

Talk to Your Child About the Coronavirus

You’ve no doubt already had plenty of conversations with your child about the coronavirus. However it’s really important that you continue to give them honest but reassuring information, while also debunking rumors or any inaccurate information they’ve heard from elsewhere. 

When having these conversations, make sure it’s your child that is leading them. Ask them questions like:

  • What has he/she heard about coronavirus?
  • How does he/she feel about it?
  • How do you feel about school closing?

Have some reassuring answers prepared. This will make sure you’re not caught off guard and say anything that may worry them further. It’s a good chance for you to quell their worries, set some expectations, and also connect with them. 

Look After Yourself

It’s perfectly normal for your child to be struggling to comprehend or come to terms with the current situation. However, you can help them by leading by example. 

If you have anxiety about the virus, try to work through it with exercise, mindful activities, or whatever else you may need. As you know, children with ASD are extremely perceptive and can pick up on doubt or panic in others. 

We completely understand that as a caregiver, it’s in your nature to put your child’s needs before your own. However, taking care of yourself shouldn’t be taken for granted at this time. It creates a brighter atmosphere for you and your child and the rest of your family. 

Make Washing Their Hands as Fun as Possible

Hand washing may be mandatory, but you can make it as fun as possible for your child. We’re all aware of the 20-second rule set out by the World Health Organization (WHO). To make this less of a chore for your child, get into the habit of singing a song when they wash their hands. 

Here’s a website where you can generate your own handwashing poster with lyrics from a 20-second segment of a song. You can use this if your child has a favorite song or artist or, if your child is a bit younger, here’s some nursery rhymes you can use.

Keep Up a Routine 

Get your child up at the same time as if they were going to school and then start setting a routine for the rest of the day. This can include things like study time, lunchtime, playtime, backyard time and screen time, which can all be spaced out at the same time each day.

You can even sit down with your child and write out a new routine together, one where school work is still a priority but there are still some fun activities, too.

Look Out For Signs of Anxiety

You know your child better than anyone. Therefore, you’ll be able to spot any anxiety, ill temperament, or frustration in them very quickly. Again, this to be expected during this time period. 

If you do get in this situation or are generally struggling, it may be worth joining some autism support groups or finding parents in similar situations on social media. Remember, many people are in the exact same situation you are and may be able to offer solutions or a general outlet. We’re all in this together!

Overall, Just Be There For Them

This is a difficult period for everyone. However, by looking after yourself, remaining calm and open, and offering all the love and support that all of us parents provide to our children, we’ll be sure to get through this period without any major difficulties.

Featured image photo by Sandie Clarke on Unsplash

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Behavior Tech & Registered Behavior Technician Jobs in NJ

Working with children with autism is an extremely rewarding career. While the work can be challenging at times, no two days are ever the same. And with children in New Jersey having the highest rate of autism in the country, there is more demand than ever for talented and passionate professionals.

Who are we

We’re Golden Care Therapy, an in-home ABA therapy provider servicing children with autism and their families across New Jersey. Our mission is to help children with autism to live happy, independent and fulfilling lives. We do this by equipping them with the mental, physical and emotional skills they need to help them thrive. 

It’s thanks to the dedication and professionalism of our fantastic therapists that we’re able to deliver this mission. Our BCBAs take the time to truly personalize all of our clients’ treatment plans, to ensure every child receives the best possible therapy for their needs. While our Behavior Techs and Registered Behavior Technicians have the freedom to deliver the therapy on the ground how they see best.     

About the job

As a Behavior Tech or Registered Behavior Technician, you’ll be working on the front line, delivering ABA therapy in-home to the children that we work with. You’ll be supervised by an experienced BCBA and will base your therapy sessions on the treatment plans that they develop. This will involve running therapy sessions, tracking data and ensuring the client’s goals are being met, as well as working closely with their parents every step of the way.

Here’s what what we require from our candidates

  • Minimum 6 months experience in the ABA field
  • Reliable transportation
  • Ability to work well, and relate to children in a compassionate and effective manner
  • Integrity and reliability

In return, you’ll receive the following from us:

  • Flexible, per diem hours- take on as much or as little as you want!
  • Great hourly compensation!
  • Excellent clinical/ supervisory team
  • Client base within your local area

Our locations

We provide in-home ABA therapy throughout New Jersey, so have openings available across the state. Some of our in-demand areas include:

  • Atlantic County
  • Bergen County
  • Burlington County
  • Camden County
  • Cape May County
  • Cumberland County
  • Essex County
  • Gloucester County
  • Hudson County
  • Hunterdon County
  • Mercer County
  • Middlesex County
  • Monmouth County
  • Morris County
  • Ocean County
  • Passaic County
  • Salem County
  • Somerset County
  • Sussex County
  • Union County
  • Warren County

How to apply

If you’re interested in joining the team here at Golden Care Therapy, then you can apply for a Behavior Technician role on our careers page here

What if you’re not a Registered Behavior Technician but want to become one?

The Registered Behavioral Technician (RBT) is a paraprofessional qualification in behavioral analysis. It requires training, competency assessments and the successful completion of an exam. The below infographic, courtesy of the Behavior Analysis Certification Board, shows the steps required in becoming a BRT.       

Registered Behavior Technician training infographic

Featured image by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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A Complete List of Autism Walks, Runs and Rides in New Jersey in 2020

Autism walks, rides and runs are a great way to be active, have fun and raise money for a cause that’s close to all of our hearts.

There are a large number of autism walks in New Jersey each year, as well as rides and runs, so everyone has the chance to participate no matter their fitness level.

In this article, we’ve put together a list of all the big events that are happening in NJ in 2020.

Autism Walks

There are two organizations that organize the major autism walks in NJ: Autism Speaks and POAC.

POAC Autism Walks

POAC is hosting the following walks in the following locations in 2020:

  • Lakewood, Ocean County – 11am, Saturday, May 9th 2020
  • Woodbridge, Middlesex County – 11am, Saturday, May 16th 2020
  • Ewing, Mercer County – 11am, Sunday, May 17th 2020
  • Sayreville, Middlesex County – 11am, Saturday, May 30th 2020
  • Manahawkin, Ocean County – 11am, Sunday, May 31st 2020
  • North Jersey, Passaic County – 11am, Sunday, June 7th 2020

You can either join a team, start your own team, or come and walk on your own. Find out more information and sign up here.

Autism Speaks Walks

This year’s Autism Speaks walks are being held on the following dates in these locations:

  • South Jersey Walk, Mount Laurel – 10:15am, Saturday, May 30th 2020
  • Northern New Jersey Walk, East Rutherford – 10:30am, Sunday, May 31st 2020
  • New Jersey Shore Walk, Long Branch – 11:30am, Saturday, October 3rd 2020
  • Union and Morris County Walk, Cranford – 11:30am, Sunday, October 4th 2020
  • Central New Jersey, Trenton – 10:30am, Sunday, October 11th 2020

You can view all of their walks and sign up here, either as part of a team, as your own team, or just by yourself.

Autism Rides and Runs

This year there are a number of autism rides and runs in New Jersey. Here’s a list of the main events.

Ride for Autism

Ride for Autism NJ is the biggest event of its kind in the region and is now in its 20th year, having raised more than $880,000 during that time.

All ability levels are catered for, with riders having a choice between six routes, ranging in length from 5 to 100 miles. 

And to celebrate the event’s 20th anniversary, there will also be a 5K fun run/walk, which is open to all abilities. 

  • Location: Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ
  • Date: Saturday, June 13th 2020

Go the Distance for Autism

Go the Distance for Autism is another major fundraising event for autism in NJ. It offers a choice between different bike rides and a fun run.

For cyclists, you have the choice between 10, 25 and 50-mile events through Bergen County, while runners can take part in a 5K fun run.

  • Location: Bergen Community College, Paramus, NJ
  • Date: Sunday, June 7th 2020

Eden Autism 5K

The Eden Autism 5K is the biggest fundraising event that’s organized each year by the non-profit special education school. Join more than 1,500 runners and walkers who take part in the race each year.

  • Location: The Eden School, Princeton, NJ
  • Date: Sunday, October 4th 2020 

Want to explore more NJ autism resources?

Visit our blog directory for more New Jersey autism resources. Or if you would like to find out more about the ABA services we provide to children with autism, you can get in touch here.

Featured image photo by Mārtiņš Zemlickis on Unsplash

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A Parents Guide to the New Jersey Autism Registry

The New Jersey Autism Registry was created in 2007 with the aim of improving access to autism services in the state. However, while the registry is intended to benefit those with autism, we find that some families have concerns about this. Therefore, we’ve written a brief guide to the NJ autism registry for parents.  

What’s the purpose of the registry?

The NJ autism registry has two purposes. Firstly, it connects families to specialist child health management services provided at the county level, as well as other autism support groups and resources. Many of these services are free to use, but you must be registered in order to access them.

Secondly, it’s used to provide insight and statistical data on the rate of autism diagnosis within New Jersey. This helps the state to better forecast demand for services and make more informed decisions.       

Who’s added to the registry?

All New Jersey residents under the age of 22 who are diagnosed with ASD.

How do I register my child? 

Your primary health care provider and/or the diagnosing doctor will add your child to the registry. Health care professionals should be proactive with this. However, you can facilitate this by informing them of it if they haven’t discussed it with you in the immediate sessions after a diagnosis. They must obtain a signed written statement from you before they add your child to the registry.

Once your child is registered, you will receive informational documents in the post, detailing the services in your area that you can access.

Can I refuse to have my child registered?

No, the registry is mandatory. You can, however, request an anonymous registration. But if you choose to do this then you will not have access to the services discussed above.  

Is the data confidential?

Yes, all data is kept confidential and is not shared with any other government agencies or organizations, other than to facilitate access to the service mentioned above. 

Is this the same thing as the New Jersey Autism Mandate?

No, this is a separate piece of legislation that provides protection for families when accessing autism services through their health insurance policies. You can read our guide to the New Jersey Autism Mandate for more information on this.  

How do I find out more information?

The New Jersey Department of Health website provides more information about the registry here

Want to explore more autism resources for parents?

Visit our blog directory for more New Jersey autism resources here. Or if you would like to find out more about the ABA services we provide to children with autism, you can get in touch here.

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5 Ways to Help Your Child with Autism on Valentine’s Day

We all hold precious memories of Valentine’s Days from our childhoods. Cupid hearts, handmade cards and crafts, and more candy than was ever sensible to eat. But while they form a part of our cherished childhood memories, Valentine’s Day can create difficulties for children with autism. However, with some careful planning, you can ensure that your son, daughter or child in your class with ASD can form their own special memories of the big day.

Autism and Valentine’s Day – possible problems

Firstly, it’s important to understand the potential triggers that can accompany the day, which can include:

  • A break from routine
  • Different social norms and signals
  • Unfamiliar words and phrases
  • Unusual decorations and displays  
  • Group activities with unclear purposes

While it’s of course impossible to avoid all of these, there are however plenty of steps you can take to help prepare your child. And in this article I’ve listed what I consider to be the five most important, which any parent or carer can do.  

1. Write a Valentine’s Day social story

Social stories are short descriptions of a particular situation or activity which provides specific information on what to expect and why. For children with autism these can really help to build greater social understanding of everyday situations. It does this by enabling them to visualize and predict their role and its outcome.

First developed by the therapist Carol Gray, the great thing about social stories is that anyone can write one about any situation. All you need to do is consider the end goal of the story and what your child needs to understand to achieve this. You then create a story and place your child as a key character within it. 

So for a Valentine’s Day social story, you could write a story that has the end goal of your child giving Valentine’s cards to classmates. The story would show the significance behind this gesture, by explaining how other children feel when they receive these cards.

2. Incorporate your child’s specific interests

Incorporating your child’s interests is a great way to get them to engage with the day. So if your child loves Frozen they could draw their favorite character on the cards that they make. Or alternatively you could buy some cards that feature this.   

It’s also important to bear in mind, particularly on a day like Valentine’s Day, that your child may form friendships based on shared interests. Meanwhile, they may be less engaged in the emotional side of relationships. Therefore, ensuring that their specific interests take a lead role in their creativity and gift giving helps to ensure that your child remains engaged in these activities.    

3. Plan ahead with the school

As with any change of routine, these need to be planned carefully, by giving your child plenty of notice. So check with the school what Valentine’s Day activities they’re planning on doing and when. Make sure you get all the small details from the school as well. This includes things like the decorations they plan on putting up and any colored clothing that children are going to be encouraged to wear.  

Once you know the schedule for this, you can gradually increase your child’s exposure to this in the days running up to it. You can also incorporate elements of what the school has planned into a Valentine’s Day social story, as discussed above.

4. Prepare for specific activities with role plays 

As with social stories, role plays are another great way to “learn by doing”. This helps children with ASD to familiarize themselves with common social interactions. This in turn helps to equip them with the language and actions that are required to engage appropriately when in these situations.   

To prepare for Valentine’s Day, you could role play giving out cards to classmates, where you and other family members play the part of the classmates. This can help your child to practice what they say and how they act when they do this. Once you’ve completed this role play, reverse it so you’re giving cards to your child. This will help them learn how to process receiving cards as well as giving them.

5. Discuss the meaning behind Valentine’s Day

All of the above steps are of course quite abstract, so it’s important that you also discuss the meaning behind Valentine’s Day. How you do this and the level of detail you go into will depend on your child’s age and level of development. 

However, the most important aspect to get across is that Valentine’s Day is about celebrating the people in our lives that are the most important to us. This can therefore be used as a great way for your child to identify all the people in their life that are special to them.

Want to explore more autism resources for parents?

For more autism resources for families in New Jersey, visit our blog directory. Or if you would like to find out more about the ABA services we provide to children with autism, you can get in touch here.

Featured image photo by Laura Ockel on Unsplash

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