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What Makes a Good ABA Therapist?

Learn More from Your Trusted Autism Specialists in Bergen County


As one of the most researched and evidence-based therapeutic interventions for treating Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy has many key benefits. Besides contributing to your child’s healthy development and skill-building, it has the potential to completely alter the course for children and families dealing with Autism.

If your child has recently received an ASD diagnosis, you may have to make several important decisions to help your family deal with this complex neurological disorder. Besides building greater Autism awareness and making lifestyle changes, you will need to decide where to enroll your child for ABA therapy. However, choosing an Autism specialist is not just about doing an internet search for an ABA therapy center near you. You must take the time to check their track record, consider the type of services they offer (tele-based, clinic-based, at-home, etc.), and understand the credentials of their ABA therapists. Most importantly, you will need to evaluate whether you can build a long-term relationship with their treatment team in order to help your child thrive.

The experienced professionals at Capable Cubs explain what makes a good ABA therapist.

Traits that Separate the Best ABA Professionals from the Rest

While no two ABA professionals can be the same, there are certain universal traits that differentiate the quality and effectiveness of the ABA therapy that your child receives. Here are the top five aspects that can help you identify whether the Autism specialist can provide quality ABA therapy to your child with ASD.

  1. Passionate: There is no substitute for this trait. A passionate ABA professional is highly self-motivated. Providing ABA therapy is not just a job, but also a long-term career path for them. They take a deep dive into the ABA therapy curriculum, stay abreast of the latest research and evolving techniques, and are heavily invested in transforming the lives of their clients. They like discussing ABA strategies and principles with you and enjoy sharing new techniques that can improve your knowledge with a goal to help you extend ABA therapy beyond your child’s formal learning sessions.
  2. Empathetic: Compassion and empathy are at the core of effective ABA therapy. It is not just about being patient and understanding throughout your child’s difficult days. It is about taking a genuine interest in your child’s challenges and making sure that the sessions are fun and engaging.
    • Is the ABA therapist kind, polite and gentle in their interactions with your child?
    • If your child is disengaged or disinterested in a session, does the therapist try to understand why the child is acting in a certain way?
    • Do they change the planned course curriculum to accommodate for difficulties, or when a certain session is not yielding desirable results?
      ABA therapy works best when your child’s treatment is in the hands of an empathetic ABA therapist who does not just finish the session, clean up, and head home!
  3. Patient: Autism treatments do not come with a fixed end date. A lot depends on how your child responds to therapy, which means the ABA therapist also needs to be extremely patient. They need to set reasonable goals, help your child take baby steps to reach each milestone, consistently use positive reinforcement, and stay calm when your child displays any form of aggression or challenging behaviors.
  4. Adaptable: ABA therapy is a highly flexible and customizable treatment, tailored to the needs of every child. Hence, your child’s ABA therapist needs to be flexible and adaptable, especially while managing maladaptive behavior. They must understand that a certain ABA technique or intervention that works for one child may be inappropriate or ineffective for another. It is important that the therapist studies your child’s history, current skills, abilities, behaviors, and specific challenges in order to design and deliver a successful ABA curriculum.
  5. Professional: There is no excuse for being unprofessional. Make sure that your child’s ABA therapist:
    • Shows up on time, delivers a full session, and takes their job seriously.
    • Is open to communication, feedback, and supervision from senior members of the ABA therapy center.
    • Communicates clearly with you and the child’s caregivers, teachers, or other healthcare professionals.
    • Collaborates with other ABA professionals to explore your child’s potential to the fullest and ensure the best outcomes of therapy.
    • Produces results in the form of visible improvements in your child’s abilities, skills, and behaviors.

In addition to these winning traits, your child’s ABA therapist needs to have the relevant qualifications and credentials for providing ABA services. When you reach out to an ABA therapy center near you, evaluate whether they have a:

  • Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA): Intensive training and certification, 1500 hours of fieldwork under the supervision of a qualified practitioner, and a master’s degree in the field of child psychology, special education, speech therapy, or other such related fields. The BCBA typically goes over the initial assessment and designs a customized ABA treatment plan based on your child’s unique needs and goals.
  • Registered Behavior Therapist (RBT): An entry-level ABA professional who holds a high school diploma and has a minimum of 40 hours of hands-on training in ABA-based techniques and interventions. The RBT usually provides one-on-one or group-based ABA therapy in a clinic-based, home-based, or tele-health setting.

Meet the Experienced ABA Therapists at Capable Cubs ABA Therapy Center in Bergen County

At Capable Cubs, we believe that selecting an ABA therapy center near you is an incredibly critical decision with lasting consequences. As a leading ABA services provider in Bergen County, we encourage parents to always ask questions and evaluate our services and therapists without any hesitation.

Our team of highly trained ABA clinicians includes experienced and qualified BCBAs and RBTs who specialize in combining various ABA methods for providing the most effective treatment to your child with ASD. We create a structured roadmap for every child, including extensive initial assessments, comprehensive ABA treatment plans, critical learning milestones, and effective discharge plans to successfully transition out of our care. Our goal is to enhance your child’s functional skills and independence, help them build meaningful relationships and connections with their communities and their members, and enable them to assimilate better into society.

Select an ABA therapy center that works best for your family’s priorities, needs, and goals. Get in touch with the Autism specialists at Capable Cubs. Call 207-786-6280 or contact us online to learn more about our quick intake process.

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