Blog

Reach For The Stars with this pediatric therapy and autism services blog.

What exactly is Modern Day ABA?


ABA Myths and Misconceptions When you hear the phrase “Applied Behavior Analysis,” what is the first thing you think of? Most people would say “Autism” or “a type of therapy”. The main reason for writing this article is to debunk any misconceptions or myths about ABA and explain how it has evolved over the years. The first myth is that it is a “therapy”. ABA is a Science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior, which focuses on objectively defining observable behaviors of social significance (Cooper, Heron & Howard, 1987). The principles of the science, or rather field of study, are applied in an ABA therapy program. The reason it’s important to point out that it’s a Science is to give it significant credit as “empirically validated”. There have been over a thousand studies published, revealing significant changes in the increase of language, communication, socialization, and appropriate behavior and...
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Routines During the Pandemic


Although places are starting to open around us, many child-friendly venues such as playgrounds, amusement parks, and schools will remain closed for quite some time. This time of uncertainty can be both scary and, at times, frustrating for everyone involved. It can be helpful to give your little ones some structure. We all benefit from having structure and routines. Routines help our little guys understand what we expect from them. Routines that are organized and predictable can be beneficial for all children, especially children who struggle with transitions. You may have seen a spike in your child's problem behaviors during the Pandemic, as things have quickly changed for them without any warning. Creating schedules for your little ones can be helpful for parents, as well. Some parents are working from home, and providing activities for your children to engage in while you are working is essential. Daily Home Schedule BreakfastFree playLearning...
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Tips to Build Communication


Using gestures or language can be challenging for many children with developmental delays, language delays or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It is important to remember that with help and understanding, your child can develop communication skills. Children can often find it hard to relate and communicate with others especially when it is difficult for them to understand language or use language. Many children will learn unconventional ways to communicate such as using made-up words, repeating words or using them in the wrong context, pushing or pulling caregivers to what they want or using undesirable behaviors to access what they want. It is important to remember to help your child communicate and meet them at their skill level now, not where you want them to be. The more successful your child feels when learning new ways to communicate, the more often they will begin to use these new skills. Here are 4...
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What's Priming?


Priming is an evidence based ABA intervention that is used to prepare children for possibly challenging activities or events. It can be difficult to predict how your child will react to some situations, such as visiting the dentist or taking an airplane for the first time, but priming beforehand can help familiarize them with the new setting and ease transition. Priming is most effective when it is built into the child's everyday routine at school and home. It typically involves presenting the materials that would be naturally found in the new setting. This can be through social stories, books, video modeling, a related toy or an actual item from that environment, such as a toothbrush for the dentist or a stethoscope for a doctor's visit. This can reduce the child's stress and anxiety and increase their sense of predictability and success. Some Guidelines for Priming: Develop a Routine- If priming for...
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Reducing Holiday Stress with Children


For many, the holidays represent a time of love, family, giving, joy, and excitement. For those with children with developmental disabilities, it can also mean an increase in stress and chaos. Time off of school, change in routines, unstructured time, addition of family visitors, and sensory overload are all potential stressors for our children. In order to help your child(ren) prepare for this holiday season, here are a few tips to keep in mind! Try to keep some routines: Even if you are traveling or have family over, try to keep a few routines for your child so that they can have some structure still. Keeping the same morning or evening routines, lunch time, etc. can help your child remain familiar with some of their day. Plan ahead: If your child gets anxious and perseverates on events, try to notify them only a few days in advance of big events. If...
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Fall Activities for Kids


Autumn-lovers, your favorite season is finally here. As the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to change color, it's time to start thinking about how you can help your kids get outdoors and take advantage of all that this amazing season has to offer. From fun arts-and-crafts projects to festive outings, this list of 20 fall activities for kids has something for everyone! Visit an apple orchard.Make a classic apple crisp.Build a scarecrow stuffed with newspaper.Have an apple cider "tea" party.Bake apple chips.Make an apple stamp.Make handprint leaves.Jump into a leaf pile.Play "I Spy" during a nature walk.Collect and identify leaves.Press leaves into a photo album.Visit a zoo.Check out a haunted house.Make a necklace with Halloween-colored beads.Take a hayride at your local pumpkin patch.Toast the pumpkin seeds from your carved pumpkin.Decorate pumpkins with paint, markers or stickers.Enter your decorated pumpkin into a local contest, or have your own contest!Roll down...
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Children & Technology


Our children are born in a world where television shows can be watched any time they want on multiple devices around the house. Tablets, computers, & smartphones are accessible to even the most economically challenged families. The overwhelming options can be difficult for parents to navigate as they raise their family. Risks of too much media & technology use include negative health effects on weight & sleep, exposure to content that is inappropriate & issues of confidentiality. According to the American Association for Pediatrics, families should avoid digital media use (except video-chatting) in children younger than 18 to 24 months. For children ages 18 to 24 months of age, if you want to introduce digital media, choose high-quality programming & use media together with your child. Avoid solo media use in this age group. For children 2 to 5 years of age, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of...
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Therapist Vlog - NET teaching

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Identifying language delays in young children

Children develop language skills at different times. Language development can also depend on a variety of factors including: their natural ability to learn language, other skills that they are learning at the same time, how much talking they hear during the day and what kind of response is given to when they do speak or attempt to speak ("Late Blooming or Language Problem?")

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), there are several risk factors to consider when analyzing a potential learning delay

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Promoting Independence

Independent Child

Independence is a valuable part of our daily routines and significantly enhances the quality of life. Even at young ages, a child should be encouraged to develop independent living skills . As a children’s motor and cognitive skills increase, their ability to complete these tasks also increases. By fostering independence in a child’s early years, parents can help make daily living skills become part of a routine rather than a difficult chore. To accomplish this goal, parents can encourage their children by creating opportunities, providing choices, and reinforcing behavior.

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Fundraiser for PeerPals.org & the NSASA on August 6th!


We would love to see you at our fundraiser for PeerPals.org & NSASA on August 6th at Croxley's Ale House in Farmingdale. There will be raffle prizes, a 50/50 raffle, children's entertainment and $5 draft beer specials from the Croxley's favorite list. 
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Tactile Sensory Processing

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What is Tactile Sensory Processing?

The tactile system receives information from the environment around us through receptors on our skin that receive touch. Our body then is able to interpret this information and decide how to respond to it. Tactile sensory processing is necessary to develop skills needed for daily activities and social relationships. When the brain has difficulties understanding and responding to tactile information it may be expressed as hyperrosponsiveness or hyporesponsiveness.

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Toys as Learning Tools

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With the holiday season around the corner, many families will be thinking about new toys for their toddlers and preschoolers. Toys have the opportunity to be learning tools and can help grow speech and language skills. However, for these toys to support language, caregivers must facilitate the language. Below are some of my favorites, along with skills your child can learn from playing with these toys.

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Making the Back-to-School Transition a Little Smoother

Back to School! By: Tara Karen, M.S. Ed, BCBA, LBA
Achieve Beyond-Director of Behavioral Services

With September fast approaching, we are all anxiously awaiting the first day of school! The beginning of the school year brings on a host of challenges for both children and parents alike: obtaining school supplies, scheduling after-school activities, checking homework, making friends, strict bedtimes, and meeting new teachers. These all will cause some anxiety for children and parents. When a child has a disability, these challenges may become overwhelming for children and their parents, which may lead to an increase in “problem behaviors.” Below are a few of the strategies we can use in order to relieve the stress of back-to-school and make the transition easier for our kids and for ourselves.

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Tummy Time

Back to School! By: Sheryl K. Goncalves, DPT, PT
Achieve Beyond-EI Clinical Director

Tummy time, tummy time, tummy time! Parents hear it and are aware of it but only some practice it with their little ones. There is no magic number of times to practice tummy time throughout the day but the more the better. For example, incorporating time throughout your daily routines such as after every diaper change.

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20th Anniversary!

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February 11, 2015, we celebrated our 20th year in business! Here is a message from Dr. Trudy Font Padron, Founder & Programs Executive Director: For 20 years, Achieve Beyond has remained true to our mission of offering qualitatively strong services and evaluations. We teach using current, empirically proven interventions and work collaboratively with family members to ensure excellence and results. At Achieve Beyond, we also work tirelessly to ensure compliance with regulations. Our clinical supervision program, including teaching ABA techniques, is exemplary and we remain committed to maintaining the highest standards of performance in the future.
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The New Look of Achieve Beyond!

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If you have not noticed, we have a new website! We’re really excited about it, and we hope you are, too. A lot of thought and planning was involved. Our goal being simply to provide you with the best “user experience” possible. If you have any questions having to do with the website please contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Otherwise, enjoy roaming through our new design!
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Movies Featuring Characters on the Autistic Spectrum

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So many people enjoy watching movies that Hollywood produces and releases year to year. There have been many documentaries, made for TV and smaller scale films on autism that will not be listed here. Achieve Beyond pediatric therapy lists some of the more well known films that have elements and characters with Autism Spectrum Disorders in them. We hope you enjoy this posting on films with characters on the autistic spectrum. If you have more great films on autism to suggest please do so in our comments section below. Happy viewing everyone. I Am Sam (1998)Starring: Sean Penn, Dakota Fanning, Michele Pfeiffer The story of an autistic man living independently and functioning well in the real world until his life changes drastically when he becomes a father and is left to care for his small child.               Temple Grandin (2010) Starring: Claire Daines Temple Grandin...
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Fun Winter Activities for Kids with Special Needs


When winter hits there are still lots of fun activities for special needs children. It doesn’t matter what level your children are at, you can find something fun and creative to do together. Help them to grow both mentally and physically and create great memories together in the process. Make the winter season a memorable time of the year. Feel free to share other exciting winter activity ideas in the comments section below. Sensory Snow – Playing in the snow is a great sensory activity. Children can make snowballs, snow men, snow angels, forts, go sledding and more. It is one of the most enjoyable activities during the chilly winter months. Playing in the snow is a great activity, but have you ever tried painting it? All that is needed are squirt bottles filled with food colored water. This activity is a great winter activity that is loads of fun and...
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What exactly is Modern Day ABA?

800x600 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 By: Gina M. Ballone, MS, BCBA, LBA - When you hear the phrase “Applied Behavior Analysis,” what is the first thing you think of? Most people would say “autism” or “a type of therapy”. The main reason for writing this article is to debunk any misconceptions or myths about ABA and explain how it has evolved over the years. The first myth is that it is a “therapy”. ABA is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior, which focuses on objectively defining observable behaviors of social significance (Cooper, Heron & Howard, 1987). The principles of the science, or rather field of study, are applied in an ABA therapy program. The reason it’s important to point out that it’s a science is to give it significant credit as “empirically based”. There have been over 550 studies published, revealing...
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