Who Qualifies for ABA Therapy

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a widely recognized treatment for autism spectrum disorder. But did you know that people without an autism diagnosis can also benefit from this form of therapy? Continue reading to learn more about how ABA works and what other conditions it can treat. 

What Is ABA Therapy? 

ABA is short for Applied Behavior Analysis. The purpose of ABA therapy is to improve specific behaviors, such as social, communication, and learning skills. This type of therapy is based on a reward system where a treat or privilege is offered for demonstrating a desired behavior. 

ABA therapy sessions combine various activities, direct instructions, modeling, and family guidance. The therapist starts by breaking down the essential skills into small steps that are easy to learn and gradually builds toward more significant changes.

Applied behavior analysis can be used for adults and children of all ages in many different settings, including homes, schools, clinics, and workplaces. 

What Does ABA Therapy Help Treat?

ABA therapy is the most effective treatment for autism spectrum disorder. It is the only proven and scientifically recognized method for treating autism with very high success rates. 

Although ABA therapy can’t cure autism, it can help develop and improve a wide range of skills, such as:

  • Activities of daily living (dressing, eating, personal hygiene, toileting)
  • Language abilities (speaking, understanding language) 
  • Communication skills (initiating conversations, responding to questions)
  • Social skills (using social cues, making friends)
  • Adaptive behaviors (following rules, avoiding danger)
  • Basic pre-academic and academic skills
  • Reducing aggressive behaviors and replacing them with more acceptable ones.

In addition to managing behaviors of autistic children, the principles of ABA therapy are commonly used in treating individuals with other types of developmental disabilities, mental health issues, and chronic conditions. Applied behavior analysis methods are also successfully employed in classroom management when working with neurotypical children who don’t have any behavioral or cognitive disorders.


Continue reading to learn what other conditions can be treated with applied behavior analysis.

Other Conditions Treated with ABA Therapy

ABA was originally designed to treat children with autism. However, it has since become an effective form of therapy for a range of behavioral issues, cognitive disorders, developmental delays, and diseases affecting children, adolescents, and adults. 


ABA therapy has been proven effective in helping patients improve their overall quality of life by targeting problematic behaviors and replacing them with more acceptable alternatives.


Some of the conditions that can be successfully treated with ABA therapy include: 

Before your child starts with ABA therapy, it is helpful to learn more about the process and what to expect. Here’s what you need to know. 

How Does ABA Therapy Work?

If you are considering ABA therapy for your child, you may be wondering how to proceed. Below, we break down the steps you need to take from the moment your child receives a diagnosis until they can start therapy. 

Receiving an official autism diagnosis

Before you start looking for an ABA provider, you need to obtain the official autism diagnosis for your child by a licensed medical professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or developmental pediatrician.

Most insurance companies require a comprehensive diagnosis and a prescription or referral from your child’s doctor to be able to authorize ABA therapy.

Consultation with an ABA provider

Once you have chosen an ABA provider, you will be invited for an informal meeting where you will learn more about the organization, its philosophy, and its treatment style. You will also be expected to answer some questions to help the provider get to know your child and your family better. 

Conducting functional behavior assessment (FBA)

A board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) will conduct a functional behavior assessment of your child. The assessment consists in gathering information about your child’s behavior and skills through direct observation and interviews with the family. 

Making recommendations

Based on the information gathered during the assessment phase, a therapist will make a clinical recommendation as to the number of therapy hours your child should receive as well as the required parent training hours. 

The total number of weekly sessions will depend on whether your child needs to follow a focused or comprehensive treatment. 

Focused treatment

Focused treatment requires 10-25 hours of one-on-one therapy and/or group therapy per week. It is used for children with autism who have few challenging behaviors that need to be improved, such as social skills or daily living skills. 

Comprehensive treatment

Comprehensive treatment requires more than 25 hours and up to 40 hours of individual therapy sessions per week. It is recommended for autistic children who show deficits in most areas of development.

Submitting for approval

The completed FBA and the therapist’s recommendations are submitted to the insurance provider for authorization.

Developing a treatment plan

Once your insurance provider approves the ABA services, the therapist will develop an individualized treatment plan that is the best fit for your child’s needs. Because symptoms and levels of severity vary within the autism spectrum, the treatment plan will look different for every child. 


The treatment plan may also include other interventions such as speech therapy and occupational therapy, Individualized Education Program (IEP), dietary interventions, and/or use of medications.

Implementing treatment

Your child is now ready to start one-on-one sessions with the therapist. Depending on the child’s needs and your goals, each therapy session can last anywhere from one hour to several hours. 

Progress evaluation

The therapist will record data and milestones that your child meets throughout the treatment. This data will clearly show progress and help make any adjustments to the treatment plan if needed. The therapist will regularly update the goals and share them with the family during monthly meetings.



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, 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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When to Start ABA Therapy

Being a parent of an autistic child is difficult. One question that you will grapple with is the different therapies available for your child and the proper time to start them.

The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including your child’s age and level of development.

In this article, we will discuss when is the best time to start ABA therapy for different age groups.

We will also provide tips on how to find an ABA therapist for your child.

But first let’s get a little understanding about ABA therapy.

What is ABA therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is a type of behavioral intervention used to help children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

The goal of ABA therapy is to improve communication, behavior, and social skills in your child.

ABA therapy is usually one-on-one and takes place in a therapist’s office or in your home.

Your child will work on different skills depending on their age and level of development.

Now that we have a little understanding about what ABA therapy is, let’s discuss when the best time for your child to start.

When is a good time to start ABA therapy?

When it comes to ABA therapy, the earlier you start the better your child’s outcomes will be. Generally, children are between 2 and 6 years old when they begin their ABA therapy regimen.

If you are looking for early intervention for your child, ABA therapy should start when your child is around 0-2 years old.

This is the most critical time to begin intervention as research has shown that early intervention can improve a child’s long term prognosis. In this age group, the goal of ABA therapy is to teach basic skills such as eye contact, vocalization, and imitation. Your therapist will also work on goals specific to your child’s individual needs.

For children between 2 and 6 years old , ABA therapy can help with skills such as language development, imitation and play skills. Your child will also work on more advanced social interaction skills that they need to succeed in school and at home.

For children over the age of six, ABA therapy helps your child develop independent living skills such as toileting, grooming and feeding.


Reasons To Start ABA Therapy After Your Child’s Autism Diagnosis

As we previously stated, the earlier your child starts their ABA therapy sessions the better the results will be. But why is this the case?

At younger ages, your child goes through more frequent critical periods in their development. These critical periods are maturation stages in which your child is particularly sensitive to stimuli in their environment. Teaching certain concepts in these formative years pays dividends in the long run

Additionally, the earlier your child learns critical and age relevant behaviors and skills, the more productive and meaningful their time at school will be. Your child will be able to access more of the curriculum if the necessary prerequisite skills are targeted early on.

Another reason early intervention is important is to ensure that challenging behaviors are addressed early on so that they do not have the opportunity to become entrenched with age.

Without an individualized, function-based intervention plan, challenging behaviors can become worse.

The more skills a child is equipped with early on, the more of their social and learning environments they will be able to access as they grow.

How often should my child attend ABA therapy?

The number of hours per week your child attends ABA therapy will depend on several factors, including age, level of development and cost.

Typically children in early intervention attend 25 hours per week, while children in the elementary and high school years attend 12-15 hours per week.

It is important that you find an ABA therapist who will work with your schedule.

The Golden Care Difference

When it comes to ABA therapy in NJ, Golden Care Therapy is a cut above the rest. Our highly trained therapists will work with you to create a personalized ABA therapy plan that addresses your child’s specific needs and goals.

Your child will have the same therapist for every session, so they will be able to form a strong bond with them as well as make progress on their scheduled tasks.



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, 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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How did ABA Therapy Start?

ABA therapy is a widely used approach to treating autism and other developmental disorders.

But how did this approach come about? Who developed it and what was their original vision?

In this blog post, we will explore the origins of ABA therapy and discuss how it has evolved over the years.

We will also look at how ABA can help children with developmental disorders achieve their fullest potential.

The origins of ABA therapy

The origins of ABA therapy can be traced back to the work of psychologist B.F. Skinner, who was one of the pioneers in behavioral psychology research during his time at Harvard University.

In 1938, he published a book called The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis which outlined his theory on behavior and learning using operants (i.e., actions performed by an organism that lead to rewards or punishments).

Skinner described the process of learning as a form of reinforcement and punishment, which he called “operant conditioning” because it involves using operants to elicit desired behaviors from students; thus giving rise to ABA therapy today.

Who developed ABA therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy was first developed in the 1970s by Psychologist Ivar Lovaas and Robert Koegel at UCLA.

Lovaas and Koegel were interested in developing a more intensive, one-on-one therapy approach for children with autism.

Their early work was based on the principles of operant conditioning, which Skinner had pioneered many years earlier.

The original approach of ABA therapy

The original approach of ABA therapy was based on the use of Discrete Trial Training (DTT) techniques.

This involves breaking down tasks into individual steps and providing immediate feedback to the student after each step is completed.

This would help students to learn new skills in a structured, systematic way.

The goal was to teach children how to perform certain tasks or behaviors by providing immediate positive reinforcement when they succeeded; thus giving rise to today’s ABA therapy sessions.

What is ABA as we know it today?

ABA has evolved over the years into a much more holistic approach that includes many different techniques.

ABA is not just about teaching children how to do things; it’s also about building relationships with them, helping them understand their own emotions and behavior patterns better than ever before.

The goal of ABA today isn’t so much on learning specific skills as it is in teaching students how to think critically and problem solve.

How can ABA therapy help my autistic child?

ABA therapy can be extremely beneficial for children with developmental disorders such as autism. It has been shown to help improve their communication skills, social interactions, and daily living skills.

In addition, ABA therapy can also help boost academic achievement and reduce problem behaviors. That being said, every ABA therapy session is tailor made toward the individual child. This is because no two children are exactly alike and each requires a unique approach to their treatment.

It’s important that parents work closely with therapists in order to ensure the best possible outcomes for their children.


If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, 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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When Is ABA Therapy Needed?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of when ABA therapy is needed, as every child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) will have different needs.

However, there are certain red flags that can indicate that ABA therapy may be necessary in order to help your child reach their fullest potential.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most common signs that ABA therapy may be needed.

But first let’s get a better understanding of ABA therapy.

What is ABA therapy?

ABA stands for Applied Behavior Analysis.

ABA therapy aims to improve specific behaviors and skills in autistic children through a variety of techniques that involve breaking down complex tasks into smaller steps.

The steps are then reinforced until your child learns to do them on their own.

It is the most highly recommended form of therapy for autistic children and has been shown to be effective in a number of studies.

Signs your child might need ABA therapy

Below are some signs that your child may benefit from ABA therapy:

  • Your child does not speak or speaks very little (also known as nonverbal)
  • Your child has trouble interacting with others socially; they avoid eye contact, withdraw, or behave in a way that is disruptive to others (this includes behaviors such as screaming, tantrums, hand flapping etc.)
  • You notice your child’s language skills are delayed
  • Your child has difficulty expressing emotions (such as anxiety, anger)angry
  • Your child has difficulty with problem solving (they often act impulsively or are prone to meltdowns when faced with a challenging situation)
  • Sensory processing disorder or sensory issues are impacting your child’s ability to participate in everyday activities

If you are noticing these signs then you should take your child to a doctor or therapist for a further consultation. Only a trained professional can diagnose ASD.

The earlier you start with therapy the better, as studies have shown that early intervention helps children reach their fullest potential by improving language skills and reducing challenging behaviors associated with autism spectrum disorder,

Techniques ABA  therapists use to help autistic children

ABA therapy makes use of a variety of techniques that aim to help autistic children reach their fullest potential. These include:

  • Positive reinforcement (rewards for desired behavior) and negative reinforcement (removing an unpleasant stimulus in order to increase the likelihood of a specific behavior)
  • Task analysis (breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps)
  • Behavior modification (teaching new skills and behaviors)
  • Social skills training (teaching autistic children how to interact with others socially)
  • Pivotal response training (PRT): a form of ABA therapy that focuses on teaching new skills and behaviors by targeting pivotal areas such as motivation, self-management and self-initiation.
  • Discrete trial training  (DTT): a form of ABA therapy that involves breaking down complex tasks into smaller, more manageable steps.
  • Natural environment training (NET): a form of ABA therapy that focuses on teaching new skills and behaviors in the child’s natural environment (at home or school). It is an alternative to DTT because some children may find it overwhelming.

ABA therapy is a highly individualized treatment and the techniques used will vary depending on your child’s needs. However, the main goal is always to increase positive behaviors while decreasing negative ones.

The Golden Care Therapy Difference

At Golden Care Therapy, we understand that every child is unique and so are their needs. That’s why our ABA therapists take a highly individualized approach to therapy with each of our clients. We get to know your family on a personal level and tailor the program specifically for your child.

Our team of experienced ABA professionals will develop a comprehensive plan that includes goals and strategies to address your child’s specific needs while also providing you with tools to support them at home. Our therapy sessions are designed to be fun and engaging, so your children can learn in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable!



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, 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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How ABA Therapy Works

If you have a child on the autism spectrum, your doctor may have recommended ABA therapy. However, with up to 40 weekly hours of intensive treatment, this type of intervention is a major commitment. Continue reading to learn more about how ABA therapy works and why it is so effective. 

What Is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a form of behavioral therapy that focuses on reinforcing desired behaviors and reducing unwanted ones. 

ABA is an effective treatment recommended by many health professionals and the only autism therapy endorsed by the US Surgeon General. Commonly considered the “gold standard” for treating autism spectrum disorder, it has been proven highly successful in helping autistic children progress and develop a variety of skills, including:

  • Activities of daily living 
  • Communication skills, such as initiating conversations and responding to questions
  • Social skills, for example, understanding social cues like facial expressions and body language
  • Basic academic and pre-academic skills.

Applied behavior analysis therapy is based on using positive reinforcement in the form of rewards and other incentives. When the desired behavior is followed by a motivator, such as praise, a special toy, or activity, children are more likely to repeat the action. Over time, this method can encourage positive behavioral changes.

ABA Therapy Strategies

ABA therapists use a variety of strategies that are based on the individual strengths and weaknesses of each child. The most commonly used ones include: 


  • Discrete Trial Training (DTT)
  • Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)
  • Pivotal Response Training (PRT)
  • Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI)
  • Modeling

Discrete Trial Training (DTT)

Discrete Trial Training was one of the first interventions developed for treating autism. It is effective in teaching autistic children new skills, ranging from very simple to more complex ones. 

DTT consists of breaking down skills into smaller, “discrete” components in order to make them easier to master. Children get rewards for their achievements, which encourages them to continue learning. 

This technique is typically used with autistic children aged 2-6 years, although it can be effective at any age.

Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

The Early Start Denver Model consists of teaching verbal, cognitive, and social skills through play. The program can be implemented in a variety of settings, both in one-to-one therapy sessions, group sessions, preschool or specialized child care settings, and at home. 


ESDM is used for autistic toddlers ages 12 to 48 months as well as preschool children who show early signs of autism. Autistic children with significant learning challenges can also benefit from this therapy. 

Pivotal Response Training (PRT)

Pivotal Response Training focuses on four key (pivotal) areas of development: motivation, self-initiation, self-management, and responsiveness. The purpose of this technique is to help children with autism develop more complex communication and social skills through play and various other child-initiated activities. 


This strategy targets autistic children aged 2-6 years, but can be used at any age. 

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI)

Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention can help autistic preschoolers build positive behaviors, while reducing unwanted ones. Therapy sessions are done in a one-on-one setting with a trained therapist. Children are taught new behaviors by breaking tasks into small steps that are easier to learn and rewarded for their achievements. Difficult behaviors are ignored.


EIBI requires 20-40 weekly hours of intensive therapy, often combined with other treatments such as speech and occupational therapy.


Modeling consists of demonstrating desired behaviors, either in person or through a video, and asking the child to copy them. Through imitations, children will be able to generalize their newly acquired skills to more complex and difficult situations.

How ABA Works

ABA immerses children in a positive, caring environment in which they receive treatment that is specially tailored for their individual needs and preferences.

ABA interventions usually start with discrete trials therapy, where the therapist asks the child to perform a certain task, for example, to clap, point at a color red, or produce the sound “s”. If the child does as asked, he or she is given a reward as positive reinforcement, such as a treat, praise, or the possibility to engage in a favorite activity. The therapist will gradually introduce more complex tasks.

ABA therapy can be done at home, in school, inpatient programs, and many other settings. As a parent, you will be also trained to provide support for your child in different environments.

In the following section, we take a look at the typical ABA therapy timeline. 

Timeline of ABA Therapy

ABA therapy is a process that consists of several stages: 


  • Conducting assessment
  • Reviewing results and making a recommendation
  • Creating a treatment plan
  • Implementing treatment
  • Evaluating progress.

Conducting assessment

During the initial stages of ABA therapy, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) performs an assessment of the child based on direct observations, the child’s medical history, previous treatments, and interviews with the child’s family and teachers. 

Reviewing results and making a recommendation

After conducting the assessment, the therapist reviews the data to determine what behaviors should be changed and how many hours of therapy are needed. The ultimate goal of the treatment is to help the child become as independent as possible and ensure improved quality of life.

Creating a treatment plan

The therapist decides whether the child needs a focused or comprehensive treatment and makes a plan for therapy sessions. 

Focused treatment

Focused ABA typically consists of 10-25 hours of one-on-one therapy and/or group therapy. This type of treatment is used when there are few challenging behaviors that need to be improved, for example, social skills or daily living skills. 

Comprehensive treatment

Comprehensive ABA requires 25-40 hours of one-on-one weekly therapy sessions. This type of intensive treatment program is usually recommended for children who show deficits in most areas of development.

Implementing treatment

The therapist implements the treatment using a variety of Applied Behavior Analysis techniques and strategies, some of which may also be initiated by the child.

Evaluating progress

Throughout the treatment, the therapist regularly measures the child’s progress. Evaluations are done every few months to help determine whether any adjustments are necessary. As the child progresses, the number of weekly hours of therapy can be increased or reduced as needed. 


In the following section, we explain how you will know when it’s time to discontinue ABA therapy for your child with autism spectrum disorder. 

When Should One Stop ABA Therapy?

ABA therapy often involves two to three years of intensive intervention, followed by another couple of years of focused treatment. But even when your child begins to master the goals, ABA services are not simply discontinued. It is common to gradually decrease the number of hours of therapy until it eventually stops. 

The therapist will review or discontinue ABA therapy in the following cases:

  • The child has met the goals
  • The child learns new skills spontaneously from the natural environment and does not need direct instructions
  • Parents and teachers can successfully manage and reduce the child’s problem behaviors
  • Parents are able to implement behavior plans and teach strategies without the help of a therapist.

Specialists also recommend stopping ABA therapy when:

  • The child isn’t showing any progress over time
  • The family and therapist disagree on the treatment plan
  • The child doesn’t meet the criteria for autism.

What happens after your child finishes ABA therapy? 

Discontinuing ABA therapy doesn’t mean that your child is “cured”. It is still important to follow the transition plan to make sure that the child maintains all the learned skills. The child’s behavior should be closely monitored for several months following therapy. The therapist will help you understand what is considered a typical behavior and in what circumstances your child may need support.


Specialists suggest starting occupational therapy, physical therapy, or a speech program where your child can continue fine tuning the acquired skills. Some children may also need to return to ABA therapy. 



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, 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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When ABA Therapy Doesn’t Work

Applied behavioral analysis (ABA) is a common therapy treatment that’s meant for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders. It has achieved a considerable success rate in the improvement of social, learning, and communication skills.

But what happens if it doesn’t work? What could be the cause? Read on for more insight.

What Is ABA Therapy?

Behavioral analysis is the cornerstone of ABA therapy. It’s a field of science that involves the study of human learning and behavior. It is guided by the following principles:

  •   The environment determines behavior.
  •   Behavior is reinforced or discouraged through consequences or rewards.
  •   Positive rewards spur behavior more than negative rewards.

By definition, ABA is a form of evidence-based therapy applied to children with autism. It seeks to improve specific social behaviors like:

It also focuses on adaptive learning skills, including:

  •   Hygiene.
  •   Fine motor agility.
  •   Punctuality.
  •   Domestic capabilities.
  •   Work competence.

Simply put, ABA therapy focuses on pinpointing issues with your behavior or learning skills and addressing or correcting them. It reinforces desired behaviors to improve them and discourages unwanted behavior to suppress them.

Here is an example of the implementation of ABA therapy:

A child has communication difficulties. As their therapist, you allow him or her to access the playground to play. But the child needs help putting on their shoes and tying the laces.

However, you remain quiet and don’t offer help while waiting for the child to ask for assistance. The scenario prompts the child to communicate. Essentially, you’re using this natural situation to help the child practice their communication skills.

It’s important to note that ABA may not be compatible with all children. So how do you know when it’s not working?

Signs that ABA Is Not Working

Here are some of the signs that the ABA program isn’t working:

  •   You don’t see any signs of improvement in your child after sticking to the ABA program for some time. However, remember the therapy may take a while before you can see positive results, which means you have to be patient. This is because children with autism experience difficulty responding to change. From your child’s perspective, he or she might not understand why you’re taking them to this new place to see a therapist. It might take a while before they feel safe in the new location.
  •   You may also witness an increase in unwanted behavior, often called an extinction burst. This is a scenario where a certain behavior that worked in the past for your child is now being discouraged. From their viewpoint, they may think they need to put in more effort. In some cases, the unwanted behavior may increase and then disappear quickly.
  •   You may also see a recurrence of behavior you assumed had been eradicated by ABA therapy. This is known as ‘spontaneous recovery’ and is something normal. Probably something occurred to lead to this recurrence of the initial behavior, or your child may be testing the waters to see your reaction. However, if it persists for a long time, it may mean the ABA program isn’t effective.

There are many reasons why ABA therapy is not working. Read on to find out.

Why Is ABA Therapy Not Working?

ABA therapy has been the subject of study for many years, with a considerable success rate among children with autism. However, if the program doesn’t appear to be working for your child, it could be attributed to external variables and not necessarily the program. These include:


Environment influences behavior. Because kids with autism grapple with sensory conditions that may lead to anxiety, stress, or self-harming behaviors, the therapy environment needs to be comfortable for your child.

This pertains to aspects like lighting, color, sound, and smell. For example, lighting may add to sensory overload and cause your autistic child to experience a meltdown. Ideally, don’t use overhead lighting, especially fluorescent lighting, in your home. Instead, opt for desk lamps or tabletop lighting.

Less Meaningful Positive Reward

ABA employs positive reinforcement (reward) to develop positive behavior. The reward must be meaningful to the child to motivate them to continue with the positive behavior. Examples include a book or a toy, praise, watching a TV program, or access to the playground.

However, if your child deems the reward as something not meaningful in their lives, then they might not have the motivation to behave positively to get the reward.

The Therapist

The ABA therapist working with your child may also determine whether or not the ABA program works. Your child might like the therapist. The approach and personality of the therapist should match your child’s exact needs. The right ABA therapist is fun and engaging. They must also be patient as sessions with children may at times be slow and taxing.

When Should One Stop ABA Therapy?

Here are likely scenarios where you should review ABA therapy for your autistic child or patient:

Positive Progress

First, look at the progress of your child since they started the ABA program. What are the outcomes of the therapy so far? The ABA therapist should always furnish you with a regular progress report covering two aspects:

  •   An explanation of your child’s development on the treatment objectives worked on during the therapy.
  •   An explanation of your child’s development using some commonly administered assessment mechanisms.

If your child has satisfied the treatment goals and does not need to work on any other skill (more common in high functioning autistic children) you can consider discontinuing ABA therapy.

Lack of Progress

If your child is not showing any progress even after sticking to the ABA program for some time, you should consider changing therapists or pausing the treatments.

Lack of Cooperation

The ABA program is intensive and calls for cooperation between the family and the ABA therapist to create an individualized approach for the autistic child. If you are not connecting with the therapist and cannot work together, then it’s better to discontinue the therapy or get a new therapist.

The Bottom Line

An autism diagnosis can be quite difficult for any parent. Fortunately, ABA therapy can help your child learn new social skills that are crucial to their growth and overall well-being. However, if it doesn’t work, you should review the external variables before deciding to discontinue the treatment.

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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Can ABA Therapy Help with Anxiety?

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says that anxiety affects approximately 40 million adults—making it the most common mental disorder in the United States. 

In this article we will explore anxiety and how ABA therapy can be used to help treat it.  

What Is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is used traditionally with children on the autism spectrum. According to, the therapy is based upon the sciences of behavior and learning. 

The knowledge of how behavior is affected by environmental factors and the knowledge of how someone learns is used to create a treatment plan designed to modify inappropriate behaviors. The aim of ABA therapy is to teach children with autism new ways to behave that aren’t harmful to them. It helps the children improve language skills, social skills, thinking skills, and daily living skills.

ABA therapy sessions can be conducted in a variety of places. Sessions can happen at school, in your home, or even in a central community location. The therapist may offer individual sessions or even group sessions.

What does that mean for you? ABA therapy is highly customizable. The therapist will design a plan as unique as you are. You will learn skills in your therapy session that could help you deal with the anxiety of daily life.

What Is Anxiety?

In simplest terms, anxiety is a reaction to something stressful. Your body has a stress response when you feel threatened by something. That can lead you to feel extremely uneasy or apprehensive. The uneasiness can lead to panic attacks or compulsive behaviors that are at times inappropriate.

Anxiety is highly treatable. However, many people let it go untreated. Anxiety, especially untreated anxiety, can lead to other mental health problems as well as physical illnesses that can affect daily life. Some adults with anxiety also experience depression, chronic headaches, problems sleeping, digestion issues, eating disorders, and other chronic disorders.

Children experience anxiety as well. Anxiety can cause academic performance to decline. Depression, ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder), and eating disorders are sometimes linked to anxiety. Children with autism can be particularly prone to anxiety.

Can ABA Therapy Help Autistic Children with Anxiety?

ABA strategies have been used to correct inappropriate behaviors associated with the autism diagnosis. There has been some success with treating anxiety in autistic patients using the same techniques. A technique specifically used to help with anxiety in autistic children is “the bully in the brain” technique.

“The Bully in the Brain”

“The bully in the brain” technique teaches how to deal with fear differently. The child is encouraged to imagine the fear as an internal “bully.” Naming their internal fear with a name such as “Mrs. Witch” or “Mr. Mean” can help them conquer the fear. Finally, they are encouraged to talk to their internal fears in a way that helps reduce their anxiety about them.

This technique can be empowering. It teaches you to talk back to the voice of fear. “The bully in the brain” focuses on internal behaviors, but exposure is a technique that uses a different focus.


Fears sometimes limit the child’s ability to complete everyday tasks. They don’t feel safe in their environment. The exposure therapy technique allows the child to experience fear in an environment that is controlled so they feel safe doing so. They then learn how to control their reactions to their specific fear.

Exposure therapy allows the child to identify the triggers that feed their fears. After they identify their triggers, they are exposed gradually to representations of their fear. The gradual exposure helps to limit severe responses like panic attacks. Exposure therapy can be particularly helpful in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


PTSD is most often associated with veterans who return from combat. Soldiers aren’t the only people who suffer from PTSD, though. Anyone who has a traumatic experience can develop PTSD. People who have been a victim of domestic abuse, a crime, or even a natural disaster are common sufferers.

ABA therapy techniques have been shown to help alleviate symptoms of PTSD. Exposure therapy, in particular, seems to be helpful according to studies conducted in 2012 and 2013. The studies focused on returning veterans, but the concepts are the same for anyone who has experienced trauma. Untreated PTSD can lead to phobias.


A phobia is an extreme fear. It’s irrational, and it can often lead to harmful or negative behaviors. The therapist will help you adjust harmful behaviors to something healthier. The therapist’s goal is to teach you appropriate coping techniques to replace inappropriate ones.

ABA strategies are often helpful when dealing with phobias. The techniques teach you to take a step-by-step approach to deal with fearful situations.

Final Thoughts

ABA therapies were originally used with patients diagnosed with autism. Therapists can use the same ABA techniques to treat people dealing with anxiety. The goal of ABA therapy is to change behaviors, so the patient learns better coping skills.

A therapist will determine which strategy best fits your diagnosis. “The bully in the brain” and exposure are two popular techniques that have been shown to work with patients who are experiencing anxiety. Exposure has been an effective treatment for combat veterans who suffer from PTSD.

Daily living skills like language, thinking, and social skills can also be improved using ABA therapy techniques. Your therapist is able to customize techniques to treat your unique situation. Your therapist will analyze whether a group or individual session will benefit you more. They will also help you choose an appropriate location for your therapy sessions.

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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Can ABA Therapy Make Autism Worse?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy has changed countless of autistic children’s lives, but some people also had bad experiences with it.

This article highlights how ABA therapy improves autistic kids’ quality of life and what you can do to choose an accredited therapist who can effectively assist your child with achieving their desired goals.

What is ABA therapy?

ABA therapy is a form of treatment that helps autistic children learn new social, educational, emotional, and cognitive skills.

Just as importantly, ABA therapy is used to address and reduce problematic behaviors among kids with autism.

This technique is one of the most widely-renowned methods for managing autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms.

Is ABA a safe form of therapy?

Yes, it certainly is. In fact, ABA therapy is evidence backed, which means that its principles are based on thorough and extensive academic studies and research.

ABA is a scientifically-proven and medically-recognized therapy, especially when it comes to minimizing autistic children’s engagement in socially and physically damaging actions.

Does ABA force children to do things that are physically painful?

No, ABA therapists should never force kids to act or behave in a physically-painful way.

This is not to say that ABA can’t be uncomfortable. For that matter, your son or daughter may need time to gradually get used to it and feel secure around the therapist, but it isn’t a painful process at all.

The Controversy

ABA therapy is surrounded by some controversy. To clarify, ABA’s techniques revolve around rewarding your autistic child when they behave in a desired manner, such as by giving them a snack, letting them play with their toys, or allowing them to watch their favorite TV show.

As far as the controversy goes, critics point out that ABA therapy makes children robot-like because they don’t actually understand why a certain behavior is sensible or considered positive. Instead, their main incentive is the reward.

To avoid running into this problem, you want to ensure that you pick a qualified, experienced, and certified ABA specialist for your autistic son or daughter.

How to know if your ABA therapist is qualified

While you interview and screen potential therapists for your child, you must keep a close eye on their training, certifications, and credentials. If a therapist has had improper training or does not follow the proper techniques, they have the potential to increase negative behaviors.

Namely, you should hire a therapist that is either:

  • A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA).
  • A holder of another certification that was issued by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).
  • A graduate student who is studying ABA and, in the same vein, is being directly supervised by a BCBA on a weekly basis.

Professionals that have one or more of the above attainments can create a treatment program that suits your kid’s specific needs and circumstances.

How do you know if your child’s ABA therapist is providing appropriate therapy?

The appropriateness and effectiveness of the therapist’s techniques are equally as important as their credentials. In other words, the right ABA professional would rely on methods that particularly focus on the results that you would like your child to achieve.

To illustrate, here are a few things that can help you and your autistic son or daughter with reaching your objectives:

Set Goals

As a parent, you want to initially sit down with your child’s therapist to talk about your goals. This should be discussed with clarity and preciseness before your kid’s first ABA session.

Build an Individualized Therapy Plan

Similarly, the therapist has to create a custom plan that is centered on your child’s individual aims, needs, and desires.

Examples of those are improving their conversational skills, helping them perform better in social settings, and enabling them to sit still in class or at the dinner table.

Make Changes When Necessary

Simply put, you should make changes and adjustments when you realize that the ABA sessions aren’t yielding the aspired results. At times, the therapist may have to modify one or more of their approaches.

However, switching to another therapy provider must not be ruled out when necessary.

Above all, when you make these decisions, you want to do so based on whether or not your kid is learning new skills and/or getting better at managing their problematic behaviors.

ABA therapy is safe and physically harmless as long as a qualified and certified practitioner is providing it. Just as importantly, it is also efficient and effective when the therapist utilizes methods that cater to your son or daughter’s individual needs, goals, and desires.



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, 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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Can ABA Therapy Be Used for ADHD?

Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common mental disorder affecting both children and adults. Researchers estimate that 8.4% of children and 2.5% of adults have ADHD.

Below, you’ll find information on the different types of ADHD and new information on Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) as a possible treatment for the disorder.

What is ADHD?  

ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood. While children are typically diagnosed at a young age (when they display symptoms in the classroom), it also may be diagnosed in adulthood as well.

Children with ADHD may display the following common symptoms:

  • Inattention– Trouble paying attention or staying focused on a task
  • Impulsivity– The inability to control impulsive behaviors and therefore acting hastily without giving thought to the consequences
  • Hyperactivity– Excessive physical movement and the inability to sit still

Other symptoms include forgetfulness, talking too much, and difficulty getting along with others.

Not everyone who has ADHD will display all of these symptoms.

3 Types of ADHD

There are three main types of ADHD, and a different dominant trait characterizes each.

  •         Inattention – Those who have a predominantly inattentive presentation often have a hard time organizing their time, finishing tasks, keeping their attention on one thing at a time, paying attention to detail, and following instructions. Their inability to focus may cause them to be so easily distracted that they may have difficulty following conversations and even forget details of their daily routines.  


  •         Hyperactivity and Impulsivity – In some people, ADHD manifests itself in fidgeting, squirming, and a general inability to sit still. Impulsivity can mean anything from interrupting people often or speaking at inappropriate times to being unable to wait their turn.


  •       Combined – Most people with ADHD have a combination of these two types. However, ADHD can change over time. So, a child might be hyperactive and impulsive but learn to control it as an adult while still suffering from the inability to focus.


What is ABA therapy?

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a treatment used for children on the autism spectrum. It helps them develop cognitive, social, language, and daily living skills. ABA also helps reduce problematic behaviors.


This approach is personalized and is designed to help counselors and loved ones understand how a child’s behavior is affected by their environment and the circumstances under which they learn new skills. Ideally, it helps increase communication by improving language skills, improves attention and focus, and uses positive reinforcement to encourage positive behavioral change.

Is ABA therapy effective for children with ADHD?

The CDC lists behavioral therapy as a helpful option to reduce problematic behaviors in children with ADHD as well as those with autism. Research indicates that a combination of medication and ABA therapy is the best course of action for most children. Still, some young children may be too young for medication. Parents who practice ABA techniques can help manage problem behaviors early on in these cases.


ABA therapy has a long history and has changed dramatically over time. Most notably, it no longer encourages punishment for poor behavior and focuses primarily on rewarding and encouraging good habits. While the therapy doesn’t “cure” autism or ADHD, it does help people with the conditions live their best and most independent lives.


What ABA techniques can help those with ADHD?

ABA therapy is designed to bring about meaningful change in an individual’s actions by looking at behavior as a 3-step ABC process: the antecedent (a cue or instruction), the behavior, and the consequence. ABA therapy techniques generally focus on one or more of these moments and how they influence the others.

There are many ABA techniques a parent or therapist can use to encourage more functional behaviors in children with ADHD. These include:


·         Differential Reinforcement of Behaviors

This strategy is designed to reinforce good behavior by rewarding positive interactions. While punishment was once used to discourage negative actions, nowadays, the therapist or parent simply withholds positive reinforcement.


·         Discrete Trial Training (DTT)/Task Analysis

This method involves breaking down complex lessons into simple “discrete” components. It uses tangible rewards to show the positive consequences of good behavior.


·         Pivotal Response Training (PRT)

The child initiates this play-based therapy. It targets the “pivotal” areas of a child’s development in an attempt to improve social skills, communication, behavior, and learning.

Motivation strategies are neutral in PRT training – that is, they relate directly to the behavior exhibited by the child. For example, if a child makes a meaningful request for something (such as a toy), the therapist or parent provides it. No unrelated treats or toys are used to motivate good behavior.


·         Self-Management Training

This method is often used with older children and adults. It involves creating a plan that they can follow through on in order to manage their own behavior. In order to teach self-regulation skills, the therapist provides them with ways of rewarding themselves (including positive self-talk) when they’re proud of their behavior. It also teaches people to become aware of their own negative behaviors.

These therapies work well for ADHD patients because they are designed to help with regulating one’s behavior. Children with ADHD have trouble with impulse control. They are often disruptive, not understanding how others interpret their behavior. 

ABA therapy helps give them a sense of socially responsible ways to act. However, it cannot change their brain chemistry.

While children who receive ABA therapy for ADHD often use less medication later in life, it’s important to remember that the condition is not one of self-control. It is the result of a significant difference in brain chemistry and cannot simply be “trained out” of someone. 

However, learning good behavior is the first step. The more a child practices and is rewarded for it, the more the positive actions may become their reflex.

If you are interested in learning more about ABA techniques to treat a child with ADHD, it’s important to find a professionally trained and licensed counselor with direct training in these methods.


Tips for using ABA therapy to treat ADHD

  1. Develop clear and specific goals: ABA therapy is based on the principles of behaviorism and focuses on changing behavior through positive reinforcement. In order to effectively treat ADHD with ABA therapy, it’s important to develop clear and specific goals for the child’s behavior. For example, a goal may be to increase the child’s focus and attention during class.
  2. Implement a structured routine: Children with ADHD may struggle with transitions and changes in routine. A structured routine can help to provide predictability and consistency, which can be helpful for children with ADHD. ABA therapy can be used to teach children how to follow a routine and how to manage transitions.
  3. Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement is a key component of ABA therapy. When a child exhibits desired behavior, such as focusing on a task for a certain period of time, they are rewarded with praise, a small treat, or a preferred activity. This helps to reinforce the desired behavior and encourages the child to continue exhibiting it.
  4. Teach self-monitoring skills: ABA therapy can be used to teach children with ADHD how to self-monitor their behavior. For example, they may learn to use a timer to track their attention span and learn strategies for refocusing when their attention wanders.
  5. Involve parents and teachers: ABA therapy can be most effective when it is integrated into the child’s daily routine. Parents and teachers can work with ABA therapists to implement strategies and reinforce positive behavior in a consistent manner.
  6. Modify the environment: Children with ADHD may be easily distracted by sensory stimuli in their environment. ABA therapy can be used to modify the environment to minimize distractions and create a more structured learning environment.

other therapies for ADHD

According to various sources, there are several therapies and treatments available for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Stimulant medications are the most widely used treatment for ADHD. They have been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms in 70-80% of children with the disorder. This category includes medications like methylphenidate and lisdexamfetamine.

In addition to medication, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is also commonly used in managing ADHD. CBT is a form of psychotherapy that can help patients cope with their symptoms by changing their thought patterns and behavior.

Other forms of therapy used to treat ADHD include dialectical behavioral therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. These therapies can be beneficial for adults with ADHD.

Furthermore, lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, can also aid in managing ADHD symptoms. Education about ADHD, skill-building trainings, and adjuvant psychotherapy are also beneficial for most adult patients.

However, it’s important to note that while psychotherapy alone may not directly treat the symptoms of ADHD, it can be useful for adults with ADHD who are dealing with personal issues.

Please consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice regarding ADHD treatment.


Overall, ABA therapy can be an effective tool for treating ADHD in children. By developing clear goals, implementing a structured routine, using positive reinforcement, teaching self-monitoring skills, involving parents and teachers, and modifying the environment, ABA therapy can help children with ADHD to manage their symptoms and improve their behavior.



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in New York, New Jersey or Indiana, 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
Does NJ Medicaid Cover ABA Therapy for Your Autistic Child?

If you have a child with autism spectrum disorder, you may have heard of ABA therapy and how effective it is at helping autistic children work through behavioral issues. But will Medicaid in NJ cover your child’s ABA therapy treatments?

Let’s examine the issue.


What Is Medicaid?

Medicaid is a healthcare plan that can help partially, or fully, cover certain medical expenses. The program is subsidized by the federal government; however, it is provided by each state. The specific rules, qualification standards, and coverages change slightly by state. 

In New Jersey, this health insurance can be used by pregnant women, parents, caretakers of dependent children, blind individuals, the elderly, and the disabled. It can pay for many health services, including hospital stays, doctors, medications, and even home care.

To qualify you’ll need to be an American citizen and meet specific financial benchmarks that prove your need for government assistance.

What Is ABA Therapy?

ABA, or applied behavior analysis, is a kind of behavioral therapy. It teaches autistic children functional skills, like how to complete simple tasks. It can also encourage positive behaviors and can help your autistic child become better at interacting with others. These are big goals, but they are met by breaking them down into smaller pieces that are easier to understand and master.

How Does ABA Therapy Work?

This therapy can help an autistic child with a wide range of skills. First, your ABA therapy provider or therapist will work with you and the child to pinpoint where your child needs the most help. After that, an ABA plan can be made for them. 

What this plan may include?

This plan can help your child work through language and communication issues. Through reinforcement methods, you can also help promote positive behaviors in your child, while the negative behaviors become less prevalent. 

ABA therapy can also help your child learn how to do simple tasks, like getting dressed and ready in the morning, which are often difficult for autistic children.

Overall, with these new skills and confidence, your child will be better equipped for social interactions, they will know how to complete basic life skills and have the know-how to acquire new skills independently.

You’ll make a schedule with your therapist that fits into your lifestyle. They’ll work with you to ensure the therapy takes place in an environment that your child is comfortable in. This can include at school, daycare, or even at home. Once therapy begins, the real work starts and you’ll be there to support your child through the processes!

How Much Does ABA Therapy Cost in New Jersey?

This will depend on where you live and what therapist you turn to. Typically, though, a single hour of ABA therapy will cost around $120. The costs will quickly add up with multiple sessions, and this estimate does not cover initial appointment and analysis costs.

Don’t forgo this vital therapy because your family is under financial strain. After all, it can help your child live a more fulfilling, self-reliant, and successful life. Finding alternative ways to cover the cost if you don’t have insurance, like through Medicaid, will be a great benefit to your autistic child and your family.

Is ABA Therapy Covered by Medicaid in New Jersey?

For many years, Medicaid did not cover autism therapy treatments like ABA. However, as of April 1, 2020, the state of New Jersey now offers Medicaid assistance for numerous services that can help autistic children.

These services include nearly everything, including physical, occupational, and speech therapies. Along with that, all the assessments that will be done on your child to create an effective ABA therapeutic strategy are also covered by New Jersey Medicaid.

Approximately 40% of autistic children in New Jersey need ABA therapy, and Medicaid makes it more accessible for those who would have difficulty giving their child this help without assistance. Any autistic children who need ABA therapy will get reimbursed for the costs associated with this therapy if they are protected under a Medicaid plan.


How to Get Medicaid Coverage for ABA Therapy in New Jersey

As for any other medical assistance you’d like to seek from the state, you must be enrolled in Medicaid to get these benefits. If you are not already enrolled for Medicaid, reach out to your County Welfare Agency to see if you’re eligible or screen for your own eligibility at NJ Helps

You will also need to have your child taken to a doctor and officially diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Without an ASD diagnosis, you won’t get access to these benefits, even if your child needs them. 

The physician may also recommend a treatment plan for your child or direct you to a specialized person who is better equipped to make a treatment plan. This will hopefully lead you to an ABA therapy service that fits your child’s needs.

After getting your child diagnosed with ASD and finding the right treatment plan, get in touch with different ABA services to see if they accept Medicaid assistance. Once you find the right service provider, treatment can begin and your child can start receiving the benefits of ABA therapy. 

Alertnate ideas to Medicaid coverage of ABA therapy

If Medicaid coverage is not an option for you, New Jersey has several alternatives that may be available. Here are a few options to consider:

  1. Private insurance: Many private insurance plans cover ABA therapy for children with autism. Parents should check with their insurance provider to see if ABA therapy is covered under their plan.
  2. School-based services: Public schools in New Jersey are required to provide special education services to eligible students with disabilities, including autism. ABA therapy may be provided through the school district’s special education program.
  3. Autism non-profit organizations: There are several non-profit organizations in New Jersey that provide support and resources to families affected by autism. Some of these organizations may offer funding or scholarships for ABA therapy.
  4. Grants and fundraising: Families may be able to apply for grants or use fundraising efforts to help cover the cost of ABA therapy. Some organizations may offer grants specifically for families affected by autism.
  5. Sliding fee scales: Some ABA therapy providers may offer sliding fee scales or payment plans based on a family’s income or financial need.

It’s important to note that the availability and coverage of ABA therapy can vary depending on the provider and location. Parents should research and explore all available options to find the best fit for their child and family.

GoldenCare Can Help

If you have a child with autism spectrum disorder, you are not alone. Skilled therapists are waiting to help you and your child. They can help prepare your child for the world by using ABA therapy techniques to teach them important skills and encourage beneficial behaviors that they’ll use their whole life.

Don’t let your child fall behind. With the new Medicaid services available in New Jersey, your child can get the therapy they need without you having to worry about the cost.



If you are ready to work with the best ABA therapy provider in 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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