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.

baby playing

When is it too late to start ABA therapy?

According to multiple sources, it’s never too late to start Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. While starting as early as possible is often beneficial, the therapy can be effective at any age. The Leafwing Center states that there are significant benefits to beginning ABA therapy early, but it can be started at any point. A post on the Autism Parenting subreddit also emphasizes that age 3 is a very normal age to start ABA, and many parents start their children around this age.

Westside Children’s Therapy suggests that children can begin ABA therapy services as early as 18-30 months, but it’s best to start right after a diagnosis of autism is given. However, the Hands Center notes that on average, parents of children with autism spectrum disorder typically start ABA therapy between the ages of 2 to 5 years old.

Autism Connect further supports this, noting that most children are between 2 and 6 years old when they begin ABA treatment, which can help them develop better communication skills. Kids First Services also mentions studies showing significant cognitive and adaptive benefits for children who began ABA therapy as early as 2 and 3 years old.

However, Westside Children’s Therapy also points out there’s no need for a lifelong commitment to ABA therapy, indicating that therapy can be started, paused, or stopped as needed. Golden Care Therapy generally advises that children are usually between 2 and 6 years old when they start their ABA therapy regimen.

In conclusion, while early intervention is often recommended, it’s never too late to start ABA therapy, and the therapy can be tailored to the individual’s needs at any age.

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.

child playing

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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