Understanding the Initial Assessment

Welcome To Golden Steps ABA!​

You have succeeded in navigating the insurance and referral process, and are ready to meet one of our competent Board Certified Behavior Analysts for an initial assessment with your child.

Setting up the Assessment

Our BCBAs conduct ABA evaluations in your home, where you child is most comfortable and can be assessed under the conditions you and your family are normally in. Children may take time to normalize their behavior in the presence of someone unfamiliar, but generally, they are most comfortable on their own turf. This allows for a more natural and realistic evaluation to take place.
Your service coordinator and assigned BCBA will reach out to arrange the details of your assessment, providing you with documents and online questionnaires to be completed ahead of the scheduled date and time of the evaluation.

These forms present an overview of your child, which will help the BCBA in customizing the assessment.

At the time of the assessment, the BCBA will review the completed documents with the child’s parents and caregivers, and clarify any questions either party may have. There will also be a brief interview to see how we can best serve your family by focusing on priorities you may have for your child. The parent is welcome and encouraged to be present for the duration of the entire evaluation.

Working With Your Child

Once the interview and documentation is completed, the BCBA will begin to pair with your child. Pairing involves engaging in play and following your child’s lead, in order to allow your child to warm up to the BCBA and build rapport. The BCBA will then evaluate how your child responds or does not respond to particular instructions and environment changes.

We will also evaluate the triggers of any potential problem behaviors your child engages in that you wish to address. To do that, we may need to ask you to recreate a situation that leads to problem behaviors, or contrive one similar. This portion of the assessment typically takes approximately 2 hours.


After the hands-on portion of the assessment is completed, the BCBA will offer an overview of findings and a clinical recommendation on hours of services needed to reach your goals most effectively. ABA services are more intense than other services your child may receive, such as speech therapy or occupational therapy. Minimum recommended hours, based on research of effectiveness, will typically be 12 hours a week, with a maximum typically seen at 30-35 hours a week. The hours recommended consider factors such as the child’s age, developmental level, severity of problem behavior, and other scheduled services your child is receiving.

Our proposals are founded on years of scientific research and our services are individually tailored to your child’s needs and natural environment. We focus on incorporating a variety of goals in session, so that your child can acquire language, follow directions, learn play skills, and master life skills. ABA therapy is intense. We understand. We know you may wonder if that many hours are really necessary, but trust us. Our passion is seeing your child succeed.