leon yin headshot
Interview with Leon Yin, BCBA

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

Tell us a bit about your job as a BCBA

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

What drove you to the BCBA profession?

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

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

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

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

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

What have you gained from working at Golden Care?

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

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

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

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

My interactions with the clients.

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

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

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

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Interview with Michael Jaghab, Behavior Technician

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

What drove you to the ABA profession? 

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

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development? 

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

What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Interview with Rebecca Lasoski, BCBA

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

What drove you to the BCBA profession?

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

How do you balance your career and family?

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

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Interview with Christina D’Arpa, Behavior Technician

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

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

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

What drove you to the ABA profession?

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

How do you balance your career and family?

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

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

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

What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates?

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

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

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

What drew you to Golden Care originally?

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

What have you gained from working at Golden Care?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Megan Domzalski BCBA
Interview with Megan Domzalski, BCBA

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

What drove you to the BCBA profession? 

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

How do you balance your career and family? 

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

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development? 

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

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

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

What have you gained from working at Golden Care? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Interview with Donna Highley, Behavior Technician

What drove you to the ABA profession?

While working in the public-school setting and utilizing ABA therapy techniques with children with special needs, I realized how positive reinforcement and education combined, can bring confidence and a true desire to learn.

How do you balance your career and family?

I am fortunate to have an understanding and supportive family. While encouraging me to maintain my commitments to my job, they also help out with the daily commitments of the household. Teamwork!

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

Working for Golden Care has given me the opportunity to use my skills with my students and their families. In a school environment, I wasn’t able to truly experience the rewards of watching a family embrace the joy of their child’s success.

What advice do you have for prospective Golden Care candidates?

Prospective Golden Care candidates should always be open to new ideas. Good listening skills is a must while keeping your mind open to learn all you can! Lastly, do your best to keep all your commitments.

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

The most challenging aspect of my job is turning off the switch at the end of the evening. Sometimes giving your mind a rest is the best thing but the hardest to do.

What have you gained from working at Golden Care?

I have gained creativity as I research different and unique ways to achieve goals.

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

The best advice I was ever given was not to judge someone’s reaction to things or their attitude, for we do not know the battle they are fighting.

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

Never stop learning.

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

My favorite part of my work is all of my work. I have such a rewarding job being on the Golden Care Team. I look forward to every aspect of each session.

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

My proudest moment was hearing my nonverbal student speak!

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

I truly wish people knew how the nature of the job makes me who I am. Working with such an amazing child and their family has brought more to me in every aspect of my life than I could ever give to them.

GCT: Thanks so much for your time Donna, and for sharing your insights on what makes you such a great ABA therapist. And thanks for being a valuable member of our team, delivering ABA therapy to children! We really appreciate all you do for our clients!

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Interview with Nicole D’Agostino, BCBA

GCT: Hi Nicole, please tell us a bit about your job as a BCBA.

ND: I’ve been a behaviorist in schools as well as in the home. When I make suggestions for children, whether it’s in the home or in school, not only do I utilize strategies that have been proven successful, but I also make sure they can be implemented within that setting and that they’re appropriate for the child. I enjoy doing assessments because you really learn a lot about each child and their family, but I also love watching children interact with their therapists and seeing relationships being built.

GCT: What drove you to the BCBA profession?

ND: I started as a paraprofessional for students with autism. It was so interesting and rewarding for me. I had my certificate in general education but immediately started looking into becoming a BCBA after working with amazing behaviorists at the school for students with autism.

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

ND: I’ve learned so much about the assessment procedure since I started at Golden Care and more about insurance and billing. I’ve met so many helpful and supportive people.

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

ND: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, be open minded and flexible. Also, if you don’t have passion for this field and a desire to learn more, then it may not be the right field for you. I feel that in order to enjoy and succeed in this field, you must start out invested because you’re working with someone’s child and you need to be patient and committed.

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

ND: Ensuring continuity and consistency between sessions and within the home can be very challenging.

GCT: What drew you to Golden Care originally? And how has Golden Care changed since?

ND:  I found the posting and as soon as I met with the director, I was drawn in by how organized and supportive the staff were. There is always someone willing to answer questions and assist in solving problems.

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

ND: I’ve gained more knowledge and confidence in this field and I’ve been able to work with amazing staff and families, and watch children grow and make progress.   

GCT: What is the favorite part in your work as a BCBA/of working for Golden Care?
ND: I love studying behavior. I love figuring out what a child needs or developing an intervention and seeing it make a difference. I love when a child masters a new skill or the pride on their parents’ faces. And I love making a connection with a parent and the look of happiness on their face when they feel understood.

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

ND: Receiving this award, it means so much to be recognized.

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

ND: I wish people realized how much of an emotional investment it is. You don’t forget about the cases when you’re at home. And every child is different. No intervention or recommendations are identical because there are so many factors in each case that affect how a child learns and grows.

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

ND: I’m a fulltime teacher in a behavioral disabilities class. So usually, I’m teaching all day and then I transport my children where they need to be while I attend a case and then come home and care for my family before I go to bed and do it all over again. But my career is very fulfilling and I know I am doing exactly what I am meant to do.

GCT: How do you balance your career and family? 

ND: This field is very flexible and I have a supportive husband and family that watch my children when I need them to.

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

ND: To have confidence in myself.

GCT: Thank you for your time Nicole and congratulations again on being January’s Golden Star Award winner. Please keep up all the great work that you do, we really appreciate everything you do for our clients.

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

 

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Interview with Kendall Bacskoczky, Behavior Technician

GCT: Hi Kendall, can you please tell us a bit about your job as a Behavior Technician (BT)?

KB: I provide ABA therapy in homes and in different community settings in order to teach children different social, play, and functional life skills.

GCT: What drove you to the BT profession? 

KB: I have always enjoyed working with children. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a position early in college and have continued since then. 

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

KB: Golden Care was the first position I received where I was providing services in homes. With Golden Care I’ve been better able to determine the settings I enjoy working in the most. 

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

KB: My advice to prospective candidates looking to work for Golden Care is to ensure you can make a commitment to the client when taking on a new case. Home services are shorter and later hours and sometimes it can be difficult to schedule sessions when things come up. When accepting cases make sure the commitment is something you can handle! 

GCT: What drew you to Golden Care originally and what has changed since?

KB:  I had first moved to New Jersey in 2017 and was looking to try ABA In another setting besides a school. Then, Golden Care’s billing system was paper! I have worked with many new staff in the time I’ve been a part of Golden Care. 

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

KB:  So much fieldwork experience! Working with Golden Care while finishing my masters has given me the opportunity to apply my learned skills in real life situations. 

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

KB:  Be the person you needed when you were younger! 

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

KB: Keep working hard because it will all be worth it! 

What is your favorite thing about working for Golden Care?

KB: Working directly with kids and running programs! 

GCT: What is your proudest moment at Golden Care/ in your work as a BT?

KB: I am definitely most proud of the simple successes that clients make during sessions, such as pottying, playing or eating routines! 

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

KB: It can be difficult to determine the best way a child can learn. You really need to get creative sometimes! 

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

KB: Currently I work for Golden Care in the morning and evenings with two clients! My afternoons are spent providing ABA at a clinical space for children with autism! 

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

KB: Perusing my BCBA while working full time hours as a BT. Finding time to balance personal and free time with work and supervision can be very challenging.

GCT: Thanks so much for your time, Kendall, and thanks for being such a valuable member of our team! We really appreciate all you do for our clients!

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Interview with Krista Gerleit, BCBA

GCT: Hi Krista! Can you tell me more of what drove you to the BCBA profession?  

Krista: I started out as a teacher for students with Autism and got to work closely with BCBAs who consulted in my classroom. I appreciated their systematic and effective approach to teaching, and quickly decided that I wanted to become a BCBA to strengthen my teaching practice and better serve my students.

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

Krista: Something that I love about this job is that no two days are ever the same!  I spend time working directly with children and families, providing support and training to therapists, collaborating with other BCBAs, conducting assessments, writing treatment plans, creating teaching materials, and researching new treatment protocols just to name a few. Every day is an adventure!

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

Krista: For me, the most challenging part of the job is also what I find most rewarding. Since each client and family is unique with specific goals, learning styles, and needs, each treatment plan needs to be highly individualized. It can be very challenging to figure out the best approach for each client and family, but once I do, it’s a great feeling!

GCT: What drew you to Golden Care originally? And how has Golden Care changed since?

Krista: I was originally drawn to Golden Care by the supportive and collaborative work environment.  From the beginning I have been given ongoing support and guidance, which makes me better as a BCBA, which in turn results in more effective treatment for clients.

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

Krista:  My favorite part of my work as a BCBA is helping kids learn. I especially enjoy teaching communication and social skills.

GCT: How do you balance your career and family?

Krista: It is definitely a challenge to achieve a balance.  As much as possible I try to stay in the moment and give my full attention to whatever I’m doing at the time. I am fortunate that I have a fairly flexible schedule as a BCBA, and am able to plan my work and family commitments around each other.

GCT: Thanks so much for your time, Krista, and thanks for being such a valuable member of our team! We so appreciate all you do for our clients!

 

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Spotlight on Jennifer Lopez, BCBA

Hi Jennifer! Can you tell us a bit of what drove you to the BCBA profession? 

I did not know about ABA until my last year in college. Originally, I was a behavior neuroscience major in college and switched over to Psychology on my last year because I feel in love with a particular class “Developmental Disabilities”, from there I did my senior internship at Princeton Child Development Institute and that is where I learned about this profession. I immediately feel in love and applied for my masters that following semester. And here I am now.

What drew you to Golden Care originally? And how has Golden Care changed since?

I love accessibility and the support from the staff and office. I love that I can pick up the phone and have meaningful conversations with the office staff. Although I am not physically working in the office, there is always a sense of belonging when I interact with them.

How has Golden Care helped you in your career development?

Working with GCT gave me more confidence to become more independent and freer to just ask for help. As BCBA’s, we usually have the feeling that since we passed that big exam, we should “know it all” and usually that is not the case. When I first started with Golden Care, I remember Estee spending a whole HOUR! just walking me through how to use catalyst. I felt that this was the support I was looking for all along.

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

Managing my time, making sure that the stress of scheduling does not consume me. Most of our cases as in Home BCBA’s are after school hours, which in a way restricts us from having an able time frame to choose from.

How do you balance your career and family?

It is something that I am still working on, however, I try my best to work hard during the week and have a relaxing and meaningful family time during the weekends.

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

Your change in career was one of the best decisions you would ever make.

Thank you, Jennifer! Pleasure speaking with you, and we feel so fortunate having you on our team!

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