angry autistic child
High-Functioning Autism and Anger

Children with high-functioning autism have better cognitive and communication abilities than others on the spectrum, but they still face many challenges like anxiety, frustration, and anger.

Continue reading to find out what are the typical anger issues among high-functioning autistic children and how ABA therapy can help them regulate emotions and reduce angry behaviors. 

Causes of anger in HFA children

What Is High-Functioning Autism? 

Autism spectrum disorder is a complex disability that encompasses a wide range of conditions. It is characterized by communication and social skill challenges, in addition to sensory issues and repetitive behaviors. The severity of the condition spans from requiring full-time assistance to being able to function independently.

 

Children diagnosed with high-functioning autism (HFA), sometimes also referred to as level 1 autism spectrum disorder, are on the most functional end of the autism spectrum. They need little or no assistance in completing daily tasks and have better communication skills and cognitive functioning than other autistic individuals. 

Symptoms of high-functioning autism 

High-functioning autistic children experience many of the common symptoms of autism spectrum disorder despite their advanced communication and cognitive abilities. 

Communication challenges

Children with high-functioning autism typically have a good understanding of language and develop a rich vocabulary. Still, many face difficulties when it comes to basic social language skills that are necessary to communicate with others. For example, they may be unable to understand sarcasm, metaphors, and other figures of speech that are not meant to be taken literally. What’s more, they often find it hard to decipher social cues like facial expressions and body language.

Social skill difficulties

Due to verbal and non-verbal communication challenges and their restricted areas of interest, social interactions are often difficult for children with autism, even when they are on the high-functioning end of the spectrum. The fact that they find conversations with their peers complicated and uninteresting may prevent them from creating and maintaining friendships.

Sensory issues

Almost all autistic children, no matter where they are on the spectrum, are to some degree affected by sensory inputs that may be more overwhelming than their brains are capable of processing. Sensory overload can result from crowds, loud noises, bright lights, as well as strong tastes and smells.

Resistance to change and transitions

Even when they are high-functioning, autistic children typically prefer routines and repetitive activities which make them feel safe. They may struggle to control their emotions in new and unpredictable situations or when transitioning from one activity or setting to another. 

Anxiety and depression

Anxiety and depression are fairly common among children and adolescents with high-functioning autism. They result not only from the lack of communication and social skills, but also the awareness of their being different from their peers. Research has shown that up to 40% of young people with autism suffer from high levels of anxiety and have some type of anxiety disorder.

Many children with high-functioning autism experience anger, but is there a connection between autism and angry outbursts? Read on to learn more. 

High-Functioning Autistic Children and Their Struggle With Anger

Approximately one out of every four autistic children displays aggressive behaviors that may involve everything from destruction of items to self-harm and violence towards other people. Angry behaviors typical of autism include:

  • Having a meltdown with crying and shouting.
  • Trying to escape the situation, which may potentially put the child in danger.
  • Exhibit aggressive behaviors towards others such as biting, smashing, hitting, kicking, or scratching.
  • Overreacting to the situation.
  • Being unable to calm down on their own but also being too upset to listen to calming suggestions.
  • Engaging in self-harm behaviors, for example, head banging and hair pulling.
  • Engaging in self-stimulatory repetitive behaviors, also known as “stimming,” like hand flapping and clapping.

High-functioning autism and the rage cycle

Anger in high-functioning autistic children often manifests itself through what is known as the rage cycle. The rage cycle consists of three stages: 

  • The rumbling stage or the anger build-up stage includes repetitive behaviors such as rocking and pacing, covering ears with hands, suddenly becoming very tense, and threatening others. 
  • The rage stage will occur if anger is not internalized in the rumbling phase and may turn into aggression.
  • The recovery stage ends the rage cycle. At this point, the child will usually withdraw, become physically exhausted, have contrite feelings, or in some cases won’t remember what happened. 

Is autistic anger the same as tantrums?

Autistic anger is not a tantrum, although it may look very similar. Temper tantrums in neurotypical children are often manipulative and motivated by a desire to obtain something. However, autistic meltdowns and angry outbursts are impulsive without any reasoning behind them. They are a sign that the child is no longer able to cope with the challenging situation, whether it’s sensory overload or an unexpected situation.

 

Below, we list some of the most common reasons why high-functioning autistic children may experience anger

Causes of anger in high-functioning autistic children

Sensory overload

Autistic children get easily overwhelmed by sensory inputs and those with high-functioning autism are no exception. Anger outbursts and aggressive behaviors are sometimes simply immediate reactions to the feeling of physical discomfort that is caused by sensory overload. 

Changes in routine

High-functioning autistic children may become distressed when they face new situations. The feelings of confusion and helplessness, accompanied by increased stress and anxiety levels due to change in routine, may result in a meltdown.

Being overwhelmed by multiple tasks

Children with high-functioning autism can get overwhelmed when you ask them to perform several tasks at the same time, especially when these tasks need prioritizing or when a new task interrupts their routine. These situations may lead to frustration and subsequent anger outbursts.

Other people’s behavior

Behaviors of other people are another contributing factor when it comes to anger in children on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum. For example, they may be offended by insensitive comments or being ignored, all of which may trigger aggressive behavior.

Intolerance of imperfections in others

Angry behavior among autistic children may be caused by what they perceive as imperfections in other people, for example, a fast speaking pace or a high-pitched voice. 

Stress and anxiety

Changes in routines, not being able to fully understand their peers, communication issues and other factors can potentially lead to built-up stress and anxiety. Some autistic children will react by getting depressed and withdrawn, while others will become angry. Sometimes, anger is the only tool they have to deal with stress and anxiety. 

Anger ruminations

Autistic children who are high-functioning typically engage in repetitive thinking, including anger ruminations, constantly thinking about negative situations and angry feelings. These thoughts can lead to anger and meltdowns.

Impulse control issues

Angry outbursts and aggressive behaviors are common signs of impulse control issues in autistic children. Acting out in an aggressive manner provides them with an immediate outlet for the feelings they are not capable of handling. It allows them to feel at least some degree of control of the situations that are otherwise hard to grasp and deal with.

Medical issues

A range of other factors can affect your child’s ability to regulate emotions and control their anger, for example:

 

  • Metabolic issues
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia)
  • Vitamin and mineral deficiency or food allergies
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Ear infections
  • Poor sleep quality or inadequate amount of sleep
  • Underlying medical conditions like diabetes and seizures. 

 

If these medical issues are properly treated, aggressive behaviors may decrease or even disappear altogether in certain cases.

ABA Therapy for Controlling Anger

Therapy is an essential part of helping your child with high-functioning autism control their anger. Children who don’t learn to manage anger may have a hard time processing their emotions and dealing with built-up stress. Early intervention is essential in ensuring a better quality of life for children with high-functioning autism and their families. 

How can ABA therapy help with anger management? 

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is an effective treatment that can help reduce and prevent aggressive behaviors in high-functioning autistic children. This type of therapy can help your child learn a range of anger management skills, for example:

  • Learning how to avoid negative responses or behaviors.
  • Learning what are acceptable alternative behaviors.
  • Learning to identify and appropriately communicate anger and other emotions.
  • Learning the coping skills for emotional regulation.
  • Learning appropriate social interactions and communication that don’t result in aggression. 

ABA therapy is considered one the most successful interventions for helping children with autism learn desired behaviors through positive reinforcement, with a close to 90% improvement rate. It can help your high-functioning child reduce angry and aggressive behaviors using a variety of techniques. 

ABA techniques for dealing with anger

ABA is a highly adaptable and flexible intervention tailored for the specific needs of each child. 

An ABA therapist will spend some time with the child, analyze their behaviors, and determine their specific strengths and challenges, before he or she makes an assessment that will serve as the basis for anger-management therapy. 

ABA therapists use many different techniques to help high-functional autistic children regulate their emotions and work on their impulse control. Here are a few of them. 

Positive reinforcement 

ABA therapy is based on the principle of positive reinforcement. It consists in motivating the child to display appropriate behaviors through the use of reinforcers that can be anything from a favorite toy or activity to a hug or words of praise.

At the same time, negative behaviors such as aggressive outbursts are given little attention, unless they are harmful to the child or the others. Encouraging the child’s positive behaviors will motivate them to keep engaging in positive behaviors. 

Neutral redirection

ABA therapists commonly use a technique known as neutral redirection to teach children with autism about impulse control. Children are encouraged to use socially acceptable behaviors to express their needs instead of responding to anger and aggressive behavior. Neutral redirection focuses on rewarding the desired non-impulsive and non-aggressive behaviors.

Alternative behaviors

When it comes to anger management in high-functioning children with autism, it is crucial to offer them appropriate alternatives to anger outbursts. Once they learn more effective ways to communicate, they can avoid the frustration resulting from an inability to describe their emotions and anger ruminations. 

Proactive intervention

ABA therapists prioritize proactive strategies that will prevent your child from becoming overwhelmed and frustrated in the first place. These strategies include creating calm and predictable surroundings and other ways to minimize anger triggers in their environment.

Modeling techniques

Modeling techniques used as part of ABA therapy encourage children with high-functioning autism to learn positive behaviors through copying others. For example, the child may be asked to imitate characters in a video, the therapist, or other children in small group sessions. 

Positive feedback

Negative feedback after an aggressive outburst can reinforce the undesired behavior. That is why ABA therapists focus mainly on providing positive feedback for anger management and impulse control. Feedback and praise are usually provided before the angry outburst occurs, if the child displays an appropriate, non-aggressive behavior.

ABA with Golden Care Therapy

At Golden Care Therapy our team of dedicated and experienced ABA therapists provide service to children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and their families throughout the state of New Jersey. Our use of scientifically proven ABA methods will make a positive difference in the life of your child. 

Our ABA therapists will start by assessing your child to create a custom treatment plan that will meet your child’s goals, regardless of their level of functioning.

Your child will learn how to regulate emotions, display appropriate behaviors, and reduce challenging ones. What’s more, they will have a possibility to practice their newly acquired skills while interacting with peers in our Social Skills Group.

If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York and New Jersey, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.

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headphones for autistic children
Headphones for Children With Autism

If you have an autistic child, you probably know that loud noises can cause distress and lead to meltdowns. Fortunately, there are effective ways to reduce sensory overload, such as wearing noise canceling headphones.

In this article, we’ll tell you more about the sound sensitivity issues that children with ASD face and help you choose the best noise cancelling headphones for your autistic child.

Why Autistic Children Struggle with Noise

autistic child covering his ears

Children with autism spectrum disorder perceive physical sensations in a different way than their neurotypical peers. Many autistic children suffer from the condition known as Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) that makes their brains hypersensitive to surrounding sounds. As a result, they are easily distracted by background noises and may experience loud sounds as physically painful. 

Autistic children with hypersensitivity to sounds are not always capable of distinguishing between important and irrelevant sounds. This may cause them to become easily overwhelmed in loud environments such as busy streets or shopping malls. They will typically react by covering their ears and eventually have a meltdown if they don’t know how to deal with the sensory overload. 

Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder may experience different types of noise sensitivities, including: 

  • Hyperacusis—intolerance of everyday environmental sounds.
  • Phonophobia—a fear of a specific sound such as an alarm or general environmental sounds.
  • Hypersensitivity—extreme reaction to sounds with certain frequencies, especially above 70 decibels. 
  • Misophonia—sensitivity to certain soft sounds like breathing or eating that can provoke strong emotional reactions.
  • Recruitment—a sudden painful and shocking increase in the perception of sound.

Recognizing Your Childs Sound Sensitivity

Although sound sensitivity in autistic children is not always easy to detect, there are some common signs to look out for, such as: 

  • Avoiding noisy places that other children typically enjoy, for example, cinemas, concerts, or playgrounds.
  • Noticing background noises, like beeping or buzzing, that other people don’t pay attention to.
  • Reacting to high pitched and low, humming sounds like the noise made by a refrigerator or air conditioning. 
  • Being easily startled by sudden noises, such as alarms, sirens, and slamming doors.
  • Being frightened by loud noises like fireworks or a fire engine alarm.
  • Being easily distracted by background noise like distant chatter or traffic sounds. 
  • Covering ears with their hands, especially in situations when there are no noticeable loud noises.

Noise Canceling Headphones and autistic children

noise cancelling headphones

Although there is no cure for sound sensitivity, you can implement small changes to make your child’s daily life more comfortable. Noise canceling headphones are perfect tools that can help autistic children of all ages deal with disturbing ambient sounds and loud noises. 

Noise canceling headphones can help reduce anxiety in places with background noise, like shopping malls, noisy streets, buses, or trains. What’s more, they can minimize the impact of sudden or loud sounds that your child may find frightening. 

In addition to noise canceling, some headphones can provide calming sounds when the noise can’t be completely blocked. They are a great choice if your child struggles with anxiety induced by sound sensitivity.

How do Noise Canceling Headphones work?

Active noise canceling (ANC) headphones use a microphone to pick up the noise signals from the environment. They create opposite sounds and send them to your headphones where the two sounds cancel each other out. Some headphone models allow you to set the level of external sounds that your child will be able to hear.

choosingthe right noise canceling headphone

  • Check the headphone’s noise reduction rating (NRR). This number shows by how many decibel sounds are reduced. For example, if the noise is 85 dB and your child is using headphones with an NRR of 20 dB, they will still be able to hear sounds of up to 65 dB. The highest NRR rating for earmuffs is 31 dB and 33 dB for earplugs. 
  • Consider your child’s noise sensitivity when checking noise reduction ratings. If your child is highly sensitive to sounds, you should opt for the highest possible noise reduction. 
  • Make sure the headphones fit as tightly against the ears as possible for optimal protection. At the same time, they must be comfortable enough for your child to wear them throughout the day. Keep in mind, however, that some autistic children are extremely sensitive to the pressure and texture of headphones.
  • Headphones for children come in many different colors and patterns, so make sure to choose a design that your child will enjoy wearing. 
  • Online reviews by other parents of autistic children can help you decide what headphones are the right fit for your child’s needs. 

There are many different types of headphones designed for children with autism. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price ranges. The list below will help you find the best noise canceling headphones for your child.

The 10 Best Noise Canceling Headphones for Autistic Children

1. BANZ Kids Headphones

The BANZ Kids Headphones are easy to wear and provide excellent protection from loud noises without completely canceling out ambient sounds. They are equipped with wide foam-filled cushions that make them comfortable to wear for longer periods. Highlights include an adjustable band with head supporting foam that extends to fit a variety of sizes.

These headphones are small enough to easily fit in a travel bag and are available in several different colors and designs. BANZ Kids Headphones are recommended for children aged 2 and up. 

Noise reduction: 24.8 dB

Weight: 190 g

Price: $29.99

Customer rating: 4.7/5

2. Baby BANZ Earmuffs

Baby Banz Earmuffs are among the most popular headphones for autistic children. They are specifically designed and safety tested for newborns through 24 months. Baby BANZ are both lightweight and small enough for your child to wear even while sleeping. This model comes with super soft padding to protect your child’s sensitive ears and has an adjustable headband. Plus, there are over 20 colors to choose from. 

 

Noise reduction: 31 dB

Weight: 124 g

Price: $34.95

Customer rating: 4.5/5

3. Comfort Wear Ear Muffs

National Autism Resources Comfort Wear Ear Muffs are designed to reduce any noise your child may find distressing, while at the same time allowing them to listen to you. They are comfortable enough for your child to wear them throughout the day or at night. 

Key features include adjustable headband and soft foam cushioned ear cups that will comfortably fit over your child’s ears. The headphones are foldable so you can easily take them with you wherever you go.

 

Noise reduction: 27 dB

Weight: 170 g

Price: $29.99

Customer rating: 4.7/5

4. Master & Dynamic MW65 Wireless ANC Over-Ear Headphones

Master & Dynamic MW65 wireless headphones are perfect for canceling loud noises or muffling them with ambient sound. Your child can choose between a high mode for extremely noisy environments and a low mode for canceling noise passively, for example on a windy day.

 

The headphones are crafted from lightweight aluminum and boast ergonomic design with super-soft lambskin memory foam padding. They are an ideal choice for autistic kids and teenagers who want to control the sound but still look stylish.

 

Noise reduction: 31 dB

Weight: 249 g

Price: $489

Customer ratings: 4/5

5. 3M Folding Earmuffs

3M Folding Earmuffs are affordable and effective headphones that provide professional ear protection from any noises that are at 85 dB and above. The headphones feature soft, pivoting ear cushions and an adjustable headband for maximum comfort. They also fold up neatly and take very little space.

Noise reduction: 25 dB

Weight: 318 g

Price: $12.77 

Customer ratings: 4.1/5

6. Skullcandy Venue Wireless Active Noise Canceling Over-Ear Headphone

Skullcandy Venue headphones are a good choice for older children and teens with autism who want to control outside noise without compromising on style. They are fitted with active noise cancellation technology with an ambient mode option. 

The headphones are equipped with soft memory foam ear cushions to fit your child’s ears and an adjustable headband. With a 30 m Bluetooth range, your child will also be able to move around when using a computer or tablet.

Noise reduction: 31 dB

Weight: 275 g

Price: $179.99

Customer ratings: 4.5/5

7. Muted Designer Hearing Protection for Infants and Kids

Muted Designer Hearing Protection is functional and fashionable noise protection for autistic kids from toddlers to teens. These headphones come with an extra-wide padded adjustable headband and cushioned ear cups that are angled for a secure fit. They are exceptionally lightweight and foldable and are available in a range of fun colors and patterns.

 

Noise reduction: 27 dB

Weight: 249 g

Price: $29.99

Customer ratings: 4.7/5

8. Puro BT2200 Volume Limited Bluetooth Headphones with Built-In Mic

Puro BT2200 are sturdy and reliable headphones for children with autism aged 3 years and older. They offer passive noise canceling that blocks 82% of the ambient noise, which is enough to tune out extra sound but allows you to get your child’s attention when necessary. 

 

Each pair is outfitted with an adjustable headband and cushioned ear pads with a durable aluminum build. They come in four different colors and a sleek design that will appeal also to older kids. 

 

Noise reduction: 31 dB

Weight: 150 g

Price: $ 99

Customer ratings: 4.9/5

9. Dr.meter EM100 Kids Protective Earmuffs with Noise Blocking

Dr.meter EM100 Kids Protective Earmuffs are specifically designed for babies and young children. The ear cups are lined with non-irritating, cushiony synthetic leather that is comfortable for sensitive ears. All materials are safety tested and certified. They come in five kid-friendly colors. 

 

Noise reduction: 27dB

Weight: 226 g

Price: $15.99

Customer ratings: 4.7/5

10. Mpow Noise Reduction Earmuffs

Mpow Noise Reduction Earmuffs are headphones with a high noise reduction rate, suitable for children between the ages of 3 and 12 with sensory processing disorders. They have adjustable headbands for comfort and soft padding that muffles out sounds and ensures a snug fit.

 

Mpow headphones are made of eco-friendly and non-toxic materials. This model is easily portable and comes with a convenient travel drawstring bag.

 

Noise reduction: 25 dB

Weight: 271 g

Price: $18.29

Customer ratings: 4.9/5

If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York or New Jersey, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.

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child with regressive autism
Regressive Autism

Up to 50 percent of all autism diagnoses are considered to be of the regressive type, where a child seems to develop normally but then suddenly loses some of their acquired skills.

In this article, we take a closer look at regressive autism and the therapies that are used to treat the condition.

What Is Regressive Autism?

Signs of autism spectrum disorder can be noticed already in six-months-old babies, although the condition is typically diagnosed after the age of four. Despite the presence of early symptoms like avoiding eye contact or lack of communication, diagnosing ASD can be challenging because there are no medical tests to confirm the disorder. 

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF REGRESSIVE AUTISM

If your child seems to develop normally but all of a sudden loses their previously acquired abilities like verbal and nonverbal communication skills and starts following the standard autistic development pattern, he or she may have regressive autism. The onset of regressive autism is usually followed by a lengthy period of stagnation in skill development. 

 

Regressive autism is also known as autistic regression, autism with regression, setback-type autism, as well as acquired autistic syndrome. It used to be classified as a subtype of autism. However, children who are diagnosed with regressive autism are now believed to have subtle symptoms even before the regression takes place.

Autism onset patterns

Autism can have several different onset patterns, including:

 

  • Ordinary regression where there are no apparent delays before the loss of communication or other skills occurs.
  • Regression where early delays are followed by loss of acquired skills.
  • Early onset where early developmental delays occur, but they are not followed by loss of other skills.
  • Plateau where the child fails to learn new skills, although there are no apparent early delays or later skill losses. 

 

Regressive autism can take place very suddenly or gradually, but the child will in most cases have difficulties regaining the lost skills. 

What Is the Age When Regressive Autism Starts?

Regressive autism usually starts developing in toddlers between 15 and 30 months old. On average, it is diagnosed around 19 months. 

What are the Signs of Regressive Autism?

The early signs of regressive autism include:

  • Avoiding eye contact 
  • Not responding when you call the child’s name 
  • Repeating the exact words or phrases uttered by others, also known as echolalia
  • Giving unrelated answers when asked questions 
  • Systematically using the pronoun “you” instead of “I”
  • Not being interested in pointing at objects or toys
  • Refusing physical contact
  • Having very limited or no social skills
  • Failure to understand their own feelings and those of other people.

There are many other signs and symptoms of regressive autism that are similar to typical ASD traits, for example:

  • Repetitive behavior, such as flapping hands or spinning in circles
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Impulsive actions
  • Hyperactive behavior
  • Difficulty to accept changes routines and transitions into new situations
  • Oversensitivity or under sensitivity to sounds, smell, taste, and touch 
  • Unusual eating habits and preference for certain types of foods
  • Sleep regression
  • Atypical interests and behaviors
  • Playing always in the same way, for example lining cars or building blocks
  • Obsessive interest in specific parts of objects, such as the wheels of toy cars.

How to Diagnose a Child With Regressive Autism?

Regressive autism is diagnosed in the same way as autism spectrum disorder in general. In other words, a multidisciplinary team that is composed of a psychologist, a speech pathologist, and a pediatrician or child psychiatrist will observe your child’s behavior, communication patterns, and interactions with others, in addition to looking into your child’s developmental history. Once the child is diagnosed with regressive autism, the team will develop a personalized treatment plan.

Can Regressive Autism Be Reversed?

There is no cure for autism. However, in many cases, children who are diagnosed early enough and go through rigorous therapy will acquire the necessary tools to improve their skills and function independently. It is important to keep in mind that every child is different, and progress will vary depending on the severity of the condition and other factors.

 

Below, we list some therapies that offer a targeted treatment of regressive autism based on your child’s individual needs.

Therapies for Children with Regressive Autism

Several behavioral and educational therapies and combinations of therapies have been proven effective in treating children diagnosed with regressive autism. 

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA)

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a form of behavioral therapy developed by psychologist O. Ivar Lovaas in the 1970s. It has been successfully used in treating autistic children ever since. ABA therapy can help improve skills such as:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Potty training
  • Following directions
  • Understanding nonverbal communication, including facial expressions and body language
  • Responding to questions
  • Social skills and interacting with others
  • Play skills
  • Visual skills, for example, matching, sorting, and recognizing patterns
  • Reducing problematic behaviors like tantrums.

ABA therapy is considered to be the most effective form of autism treatment, although it typically requires a strict regimen of at least 25 hours of therapy per week, and in some cases, up to 40 hours weekly. However, ABA has been proven successful in close to 90 percent of cases, where nearly half of the children see improvements so significant that their behavior is indistinguishable from that of neurotypical children. 

How does it work?

ABA therapists break down each skill that needs to be improved into smaller steps. They can then gradually build toward larger and more complex tasks. 

 

ABA focuses on changing unwanted behaviors while reinforcing the desirable ones. Therapists use rewards and praise as a method of positive reinforcement. At the same time, they ignore negative behaviors or distract the child from them. An ABA therapy session typically consists of a variety of fun activities and games, in addition to practicing adaptive skills. As a parent, you can also expect to be heavily involved in working on your child’s progress.

Sensory integration therapy

Sensory integration therapy was developed by occupational therapist A. Jean Ayres in the 1970s. It is designed to help children who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder cope with sensory processing difficulties.

 

Sensory processing dysfunction is one of the most common symptoms of autism. The dysfunction can manifest itself either as oversensitivity or under-sensitivity to light, sound, smell, taste, or touch. Typical behaviors of children who experience sensory issues are exaggerated movement including jumping or spinning, as well as stimming, such as hand flapping, or rocking.

How does it work?

Sensory integration therapy includes a range of activities that stimulate sensory responses, for example, swinging, bouncing, and climbing. The treatment can help autistic children better understand sensory information and learn how to use multiple senses simultaneously without becoming overwhelmed. 

Sensory integration therapy is provided by occupational therapists. It is often combined with other treatments, like speech therapy, behavioral therapy, and educational therapy. 

Speech therapy

Most autistic children have at least some level of communication issues. Some may have limited use of speech or no language at all. Speech therapy can help improve both verbal and nonverbal communication and interaction with others, including:

  • Responding to questions
  • Matching a picture with its meaning
  • Strengthening the mouth, jaw, and neck muscles
  • Learning how to make clearer speech sounds
  • Modulating the tone of voice
  • Matching emotions with the correct facial expression
  • Learning nonverbal skills and body language.

How does it work?

Speech therapy is done by speech-language pathologists. For children with autism who are able to talk, speech therapy consists in encouraging functional and spontaneous communication in a variety of settings, as well as articulating therapy, oral motor therapy, or a combination of these methods.

 

On the other hand, autistic children with severe language problems will highly benefit from using augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) therapy. Sessions are dedicated to teaching the use of picture exchange communication systems (PECS), sign language, or speech output devices like DynaVox.

Vision therapy

Vision training is effective in helping children with autism feel less overwhelmed by visual stimuli and interact more easily with their environment. Vision training may lessen or totally eliminate some vision-related sensory issues. The treatment is also proven to be beneficial for improving posture, head-tilt, spatial awareness, and coordination in children with regressive autism.

 

The most common visual problems in autistic children include: 

 

  • Hypersensitive vision
  • Light sensitivity
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Eye movement disorders
  • Staring at spinning objects or light
  • Fleeting peripheral glances
  • Side viewing
  • Crossed eyes
  • Visual stimming, such as flapping fingers in front of eyes
  • Visual defensiveness or avoiding contact with specific visual input like bright lights.

 

How does it work?

Vision training is done by a vision therapist who uses a variety of exercises to stimulate eye movement and the use of the central visual system. The child might need to wear ambient prism lenses during the session. Some typical autistic behaviors related to the eyes like poor eye contact, looking through or beyond objects, extreme aversion to light, unusual reaction to sight can be effectively treated through vision therapy using this type of lenses.

Auditory integration training (AIT)

Developed by French ear, nose, and throat doctor Dr. Guy Berard, Auditory Integration Training (AIT) is a type of sound therapy whose aim is to reduce auditory sensitivity issues in autistic children. This therapy addresses hearing distortions, oversensitive hearing, and other issues related to processing sounds that may cause discomfort and confusion. AIT not only effectively retrains hearing and improves auditory processing, but it also enhances concentration, speech, and language skills.

 

How does it work?

Auditory integration training usually lasts for two weeks with two 30-minute daily sessions.  The sessions involve listening to specialized music through headphones, first by presenting familiar sounds to then transition to more challenging ones with a high or low frequency. This way, children can gradually get used to the sounds until they no longer represent a problem.

 

Although some therapists are certified Berard AIT practitioners, no formal qualification is required to provide this type of therapy and it is usually offered by speech and language pathologists or occupational therapists.

Other types of sound therapy

Besides auditory integration training, there are several other forms of sound therapy available to autistic children. All of them are based on strengthening the foundation of a child’s neurological functioning, including auditory processing and attention. 

The Tomatis approach 

The Tomatis approach is designed to improve listening, speech, and communication skills in autistic children, in addition to reinforcing balance and coordination. The child uses headphones to listen to electronically modified music and other sounds. This treatment exercises the muscles in the ear and stimulates connections between the ear and the brain.

The Samonas Sound Therapy (SST)

Samonas sound therapy is based on using therapeutic music to provide direct stimulation to the child’s central nervous system and train the auditory system to process the full range of sounds without experiencing distortion, hypersensitivity, or frequency loss.

The Listening Program (TLP)

TLP is music-based therapy that provides auditory stimulation through psychoacoustically modified classical music. TLP can be used as a stand-alone intervention or integrated with other treatments such as ABA therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and neurodevelopmental programs.

 

Continue reading for a list of resources that you may find useful if your child has been diagnosed with regressive autism.

Tools for Parents to Cope With Regressive Autism

Associations

  • Autism Speaks is the largest autism awareness organization in the country. It is a good starting point if you need to find information about any aspect of autism, from signs and symptoms to diagnoses and treatments.
  • National Autism Association (NAA) is a parent-run non-profit organization. The NNA website provides comprehensive information on issues related specifically to regressive autism, but also topics such as severe autism, autism safety, autism abuse, and crisis prevention.
  • Sibling’s Guide to Autism from Autism Speaks explains the condition to siblings and tells stories of other families with an autistic child. 

Support groups

  • MyAutismTeam is a social network for parents of children with autism where you can connect with other parents, receive emotional support, and share your experience about caring for an autistic child.
  • Autism Support Groups are where you can meet others in a similar situation as well as join after-school clubs and activities. 

Communication tools

  • Social stories can help children with autism spectrum disorder improve their communication and social skills. Many social story templates are available for free download on this website
  • Noodle Nook is a space dedicated to educators of children with autism and other disabilities. It offers plenty of useful information on communication and other topics, in addition to a dedicated YouTube channel and a podcast. Here you can download Autism Communication Boards and other printable resources for free. 

Apps 

  • Language Therapy for Children with Autism is among the most popular autism apps. It uses the Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism (MITA) approach to help children with autism reach language development milestones and start speaking confidently. 
  • CommBoards Lite – AAC Speech Assistant is an Android app that serves as a communication board. It can help children with limited verbal abilities communicate with others. When a child taps on an image, they will hear the word pronunciation, which can help them verbalize their thoughts. You can record your own words and add your images for a personalized experience.  

If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York or New Jersey, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.

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ABA Therapy Horror Stories

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is an effective and safe therapy for autism. But if a therapist is not qualified and not right for your child, the treatment may become harmful and cause new problem behaviors.

Keep on reading to find out more about ABA therapy and what you should know when looking for a therapy provider for your child. This will help you have a positive ABA therapy experience and avoid becoming your own ABA therapy horror story

A quick look at ABA Therapy

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a form of behavioral therapy that focuses on changing unwanted behaviors and reinforcing desirable ones in children with autism and other developmental disabilities. 

ABA therapy has been successfully used to treat autistic children since the 1970s. With an improvement rate of more than 90%, it is currently considered the most effective form of autism treatment. It is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Psychological Association, as well as the National Institute of Mental Health. 

ABA therapy has been proven highly effective in helping children with autism develop and reinforce their social, sensory, emotional, and other skills, for example:

  • Improving language skills
  • Increasing attention, focus, and memory
  • Learning to follow instructions and directions
  • Learning to initiate conversations and respond to questions
  • Learning to understand non-verbal communication, such as body language and facial expressions
  • Decreasing problematic behaviors like aggressivity and meltdowns
  • Acquiring essential academic and pre-academic skills.

With early intervention, close to 50% of autistic children who go through ABA therapy reach a development level where they are indistinguishable from their neurotypical peers.

The National Research Council recommends that young children receive at least 25 hours of ABA therapy for maximum effect. 

Understanding the differnt Therapist who work in ABA

ABA therapists typically have a bachelor’s degree in applied behavior analysis or a related field such as psychology, counseling, or special education, followed by a master’s degree in behavior analysis.

In addition, certification is essential for working as an ABA professional and there are several types and levels of ABA certifications available.   

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a graduate-level program that allows ABA therapists to practice independently. BCBAs are required to have a graduate degree in behavior analysis and experience working in a clinical setting. This certification is obtained through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA)

Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA) is another certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, however, it doesn’t allow its holders to practice ABA therapy on their own. BCaBAs are assistant behavior analysts who provide their services under the supervision of a BCBA. 

Autism Certificate (AC)

Autism Certificate (AC) is a certification program offered by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). It is reserved for professionals who have been working in the field for two years or more and have at least a master’s degree. The certificate must be renewed every two years. 

Certified Autism Specialist (CAS)

Professionals who have a master’s degree and have been working with autistic children or adults for at least two years, for example, teachers, speech therapists, occupational therapists, and physicians, are eligible to become Certified Autism Specialists (CAS). This certification shows their commitment and expertise in the field. It needs to be renewed every two years.

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)

Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is the basic certification in behavior analysis. A registered behavior technician works directly with autistic children using applied behavior analysis principles, under the close supervision of an RBT supervisor. Minimal requirements include a high school diploma, at least 40 hours of training, and passing the RBT exam. 

Read on for some useful tips for choosing an ABA therapy provider for your child.

Choosing the right ABA Therapy Provider 

To ensure that your child will receive the most effective therapy possible, it is essential to find a reliable provider who is in alignment with your values and the goals you have for your child. Here’s what you should look for. 

Credentials

  • Make sure that the provider has at least one staff member who is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or more if they serve a lot of clients.
  • If the therapist your child will work with is not BCBA certified, ask how he or she will be supervised.
  • Look for highly trained ABA therapists who use data and the most up-to-date techniques.
  • Find out about the provider’s experience when it comes to working with autistic children: how many children they have worked with and for how long they have provided their services. 
  • Ask the provider for references and talk to others who have used their services.
  • Inquire about the stability of staff. A fast turnover can affect the quality of services that are provided.
  • Since January 2020, New Jersey requires licensure for behavior analysts. Providers should be able to show proof of their credentials that meet state requirements.

Methods

  • Because ABA therapy is based on individual strengths and weaknesses, sessions should be customized to meet your child’s needs. If the provider offers a limited approach, it might not be the right fit for you.
  • The therapist should develop a plan to teach your child skills that you find the most useful, for example, communication, toilet training, eating at a table, interacting with friends, or playing with siblings.
  • Find out more about your provider’s approach, for example, their use of visual supports and augmentative communication systems, as well as whether they prefer working in rigid or flexible environments. 
  • Beware of promises about fast results. Although ABA is an extremely intense therapy with up to 40 hours of weekly sessions, it may take months and even years before you see any significant progress. 

Goal setting

  • Your provider should have a clear plan for building and revisiting essential skills and be able to explain it to you in clear terms. 
  • ABA therapy should prioritize goals that would make a meaningful difference in the life of your child and your family. Make sure that you agree with the provider on the goals that would be set for your child.
  • Ultimately, your therapist should have a transition plan to move your child out of therapy and into more natural settings, such as school or community. Ask about the provider’s criteria for transitioning to a new setting, how they handle transitions, and their transitioning success rate.  

Communication

  • An experienced behavioral analyst should be able to regularly provide you with clear and easy-to-understand reports showing the improvement rate of your child.
  • Ask the provider about their protocol for observing your child in therapy and how often they usually schedule observations.

Cost

  • The rates of ABA therapy can differ significantly from provider to provider, so make sure to compare the costs of various providers before you make the final decision. 
  • The cost of your child’s program will also depend on how many skills they need to develop and the setting in which the therapy will be provided.
  • Keep in mind that more expensive providers don’t always provide better services.  
  • Make sure to ask about billing and insurance practices.

Early critisim of ABA therapy

The results of numerous studies have shown that ABA therapy is an effective form of treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder. However, some parents of autistic children and practitioners do not support its use. 

One criticism is that its earliest version of ABA therapy used punishments in addition to rewards. Even the founder of ABA therapy, O. Ivar Lovaas, used electric shocks to stop children from engaging in their obsessive behaviors and make them behave more like neurotypical children.

ABA therapy has evolved tremendously since then and punishment as a method is no longer acceptable. The BACB’s Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts requires that reinforcement strategies are always implemented before considering punishment procedures. Today, ABA uses evidence-based strategies to help children reach their full potential through play and fun activities. 

Still, some critics believe that ABA therapy may be too hard on autistic children because of its intense and repetitive nature and focus on eliminating negative behaviors instead of building new skills. If practiced incorrectly, ABA therapy can be harmful to an autistic child. 

Read on for some ABA therapy horror stories that resulted from unqualified therapists using abusive techniques. 

ABA Horror Stories

The wool hat story 

Gregg Santucci, an occupational therapist from New Jersey shares a story about his disturbing experience while working with an autistic child in a school setting. The school’s BCBA team designed and approved a method that consisted of using a “visual screen” to make the student calm down and prevent aggressive behavior. The teacher would cover the student’s face with a wool hat until the undesired behavior stopped. The boy was upset and scared, but since he was non-verbal, he was unable to communicate his fears. The only way to escape the situation was to comply with the teacher’s demands. 

The use of aversives

Aversives are a kind of punishment used for children and adults with autism and other disabilities. Due to pain or discomfort caused by aversives such as extreme heat or cold, bitter flavors, loud noises, and pain, the person will stop engaging in undesired behavior. This method is not only traumatic and harmful but it is also shown to increase aggression and anxiety. 

An ABA therapist in California went to court because the rough handling of an autistic person resulted in permanent spinal damage. Although the therapist was brought up on cruelty charges, she was not convicted because she was simply following a method described in a book that was accepted as standard protocol in her field of work.

Invisible abuse

Some autistic adults consider certain ABA methods they were exposed to as children as traumatic and wrong. For example, ABA therapists may deliberately ignore the child’s attempts to communicate or engage in behaviors that have not been demanded by the therapist. They address the child’s behaviors rather than feelings.

Some ABA therapists also prevent children from flapping their hands or rocking since stimming is considered to be a purposeless action that interferes with learning and social interactions. However, for an autistic child, stimming is a comforting self-soothing behavior that helps reduce stress and regulate emotions. 

The best ABA therapy provider in the New Jersey area

The Golden Care Therapy team of dedicated and experienced ABA therapists has been providing exceptional service to children with autism and their families since 2016. We are proud to offer compassionate autism treatment to families throughout the state of New Jersey.

We are confident that our accurate application of scientifically proven ABA methods makes a positive difference in the lives of autistic children and our five-star reviews and success stories are here to prove it.  

Our BCBAs create and deliver individualized treatment plans for each child. Using home– and center-based practices, our experts will help your child learn social skills and reduce challenging behaviors. In addition, Golden Care’s Social Skills Group will give your child the chance to practice the newly acquired techniques for interacting with peers.

If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York and New Jersey, give us a call at (732) 402-0297. Our dedicated team is ready to help and we will treat you like family.

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Interview with Jennifer Gruber, Behavior Analyst

We sat down with this month’s Gold Star winner Jennifer Gruber to discover what drives her as a Behavior Analyst, what she likes about working for Golden Care Therapy. and what her day-to-day looks like

 

 

 

Tell us a bit about your job as a BCBA.

I love my job! It is the best feeling in the world when a child learns a skill that helps them become more independent. I love being able to break down activities for learners to be as successful as possible. 

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

Golden Care works with the nicest and most supportive families. The culture is success oriented for the learner and every employee is supported to continue learning and becoming better as professionals. 

What drew you to Golden Care originally?

With Golden Care, I know that I am valued as an employee. The office and clinical team are always accessible and, as a result, any questions or concerns are resolved quickly. I prefer to deal with a smaller office with a more personal feeling. This has not changed in my time with the company. 

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

It keeps me young! Playing while learning is not only effective for children, but it keeps your own minds active while having fun. Play is serious business. 

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

I am a full time special education teacher, so my BCBA job starts in the afternoons. I am so lucky to see most of my clients and their amazing therapists after school and still be home in time to have a quiet relaxing evening. My time with Golden Care is spent modeling programs, training therapists, teaching new skills to parents, and working with some amazing kids. 

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 in NJ here.

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Interview with Jayah Washington, ABA Therapist

We sat down with this month’s Gold Star winner Jayah Washington 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 have bachelors in Speech Pathology & Audiology and love working with children.

How do you balance your career and family?

I always make time for my family rather it’s game night at the house or going to our favorite restaurants.

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

Golden Care has given me the opportunity to work with amazing clients and grow so much in the field of behavior therapy.

What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates?

My advice to prospective Golden Care candidates is to always have lots of sensory toys and games on hand .

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

The best advice I have been given is what it’s meant to be will be. I tell my younger self to worry and to not stress over the small stuff.

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

I love working for Golden Care as an aba therapist and my proudest moment is hearing my client talk for the first time. As a nonverbal client, this meant a lot to me. 

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 in NJ here.

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Spotlight on Alonda Braxton

Hi Alonda! Can you tell us about what the day to day of your job look like?

My motto is learning through play, I create an atmosphere that is fun, sensory friendly, yet challenging to create a positive change in behavior. Each day is different, being able to adapt and have fun is imperative to growth and learning.

That is quite the balance! So, what do you find the most challenging in your work as an ABA tech?

What I find most challenging as an ABA tech is watching my student become frustrated when faced with a challenging task.

What have you gained from working at Golden Care?

From working at Golden Care, I have grown as a person; because I have learned the true meaning of perseverance. Perseverance is the key to patience. Patience is a quality that is essential to succeed in everyday life. I have taken this quality and have applied it in every aspect of my life, which has made me a better employee, friend, sibling and daughter. I want to continue to grow as a person and with the encouragement of an outstanding role model at Golden Care, Jennifer Lopez (BCBA), I am now continuing my education to become a Behavioral Analyst.

That is incredible! Can you tell us about you proudest moment at Golden Care?

I have had many proud moments, all which come when the success of an obstacle is reached, but if I had to choose, it is when my nonverbal student finally began to use words.

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

With every challenge whether big or small, the reward is unforgettable. From watching your student learn to sit still in a chair to learning to speak his first words.

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

The best advice I have ever been given is to have a humble spirit and to always have empathy for others.

Thanks for your time, Alonda. Your dedication to your clients is incredible, and we love having you on our team!

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 in 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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Spotlight on Noele April, BCBA

GCT: What drove you to the BCBA profession? 

Noele: I love behavior!  More accurately, I love working on behavior change. As a School Psychologist intern (17 years ago) I was trained to complete FBAs. I applied that knowledge to help students (and staff) to have more positive experiences through behavior change.  I found the process of analyzing behavior and formulating intervention to be incredibly interesting…problem-solving for a great purpose!  After several years, the ABA course sequence for BCBA was brought to my attention by an intern I was supervising. I was hooked!

GCT: How has Golden Care helped you in your career development? 

Noele: Working with Golden Care has expanded my professional development simply through the variety of needs and values expressed by my clients and their families.  I learn and grow by finding ways to address needs that fit each unique home and family, and by reading up on strategies and procedures that may be applicable to my client’s needs.

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

Noele: Next to seeing progress, getting to know my clients, their families, and the fantastic, hard-working, and skilled therapists!

GCT: What is your proudest moment in your work as a BCBA? 

Noele: It is difficult to choose just one. When a client learns how to communicate mands or demonstrates progress with reduction in unsafe behavior; those are big wins in my opinion, because of the degree of impact for the client and family. Also, a future BCBA recently shared a client success story with me, and thanked me for how much she learned while we worked together. That felt fantastic!

GCT: How do you balance your career and family?

Noele: Good question! Balance has always been a challenge for me.  My children are with their father two nights every week. Those are the nights I typically see my clients and do treatment planning.

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

Noele: I recognize that for as much as I have learned, there is always more to learn. I don’t have all the answers. Therefore, my best may not always be enough.

GCT: Thanks, Noele! We always get great feedback about you from the families you work with, and we are so grateful to have you!

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 in NJ here.

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Interview with Stephanie Loibl, Behavior Tech

GCT: Hi Stephanie! Can you tell us about what drove you to the ABA profession?

Stephanie: Working in a school district has taught me a great deal over the years. Most importantly it helped me realize how rewarding ABA is and I wanted to make more of a difference. In a district we are faced with so many hurdles such as overworked and understaffed so even our best doesn’t seem to be enough. ABA seemed lime the best way to make a difference.

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

Stephanie: My day is a blur usually. With my ABA clients I usually work anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hours in a session depending on the day and the client’s mood. Somedays we get through 3 programs and spend lots of time teaching the challenging programs and other days we can work through 10 programs. I can tell you one thing for sure; every day is different! But whatever the days is like, working with my clients brings challenging days as well as many smiles. Every time a client masters a task or progresses in the smallest way fills me with pride.

GCT: What do you find the most challenging in your work as an ABA tech?

Stephanie: Working through the challenges. Some programs gained mastery in a few short days and others take a tremendous amount of time. Finding the patience to not give up when a program becomes difficult can be challenging. I have to remind myself to breath deep and push through it

GCT: How do you balance your career and family?

It has its challenges. I am a workaholic, so I spend a lot of time away from my family, but we make it work. Honestly, I try not to think about it because I am away from my kids so much.

GCT: What have you gained from working at Golden Care?

Stephanie: I have gained so much knowledge from the awesome BCBA’s I have worked with. Pranali and Megan are two of the best BCBA’s I have worked with. I am fortunate enough to work with them and learn from them.

GCT:  What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates? 

First and foremost, develop a relationship with all that you worked with. The client, the family, and your BCBA. You cannot be successful without the support of the BCBA and the family.

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

Stephanie: Be yourself. Be kind always. Take time for yourself. You get what you give, so always give your best.

Thanks, Stephanie! We are amazed always by your dedication to the GCT team. Thank you!

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 in NJ here.

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