Frequently Asked Questions

Below please find answers to frequently asked questions. We have tried to address topics of typical concern. If your question is not answered here, please CLICK HERE to get in touch. We would love to talk with you!

I suspect that my child may have the early signs of autism. What do I do now?

If you have concerns about your child’s development, you should consult your child’s pediatrician, and your state’s federally-funded early intervention program You should also be aware that many pediatricians wrongly advise concerned parents to “wait and see.” If you are told this when you bring your concerns to your child’s pediatrician, you may wish to seek out another doctor who will listen to, and investigate your concerns about your child’s development. Please fill out the contact form for a no-obligation initial consult to learn how Early Start Autism can partner with you to help your child reach his/her greatest potential. See web page on EARLY SIGNS OF AUTISM

What is the youngest age to start a child’s therapy?

Children can start one-on-one naturalistic ABA as early as 12 months of age. Parent implemented early intervention supported by a professional can be started as early as 7 months of age.

Does my child have to have a diagnosis of autism to start services?

No, your child does not need a diagnosis of autism to begin services with Early Start Autism, as we accept private pay and are part of parent-coaching scholarship. Insurance companies require an autism diagnosis to fund applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy.

My child is 5 years old, is it too late for my child to benefit from applied behavioral analysis?

It is never too late for someone to benefit from applied behavioral analysis! Early Start Autism can provide parent coaching to equip you with more tools in your toolbox to handle challenging behaviors, promote your child’s language and social growth, and to optimize your connections with your child. Early Start Autism also provides one-on-one therapy to help your child reach his/her greatest potential.

Where does Early Start Autism provide services?

Early Start Autism serves Northern Palm Beach County, Martin County, and provides services through telehealth. Early Start Autism typically provides services in the child’s natural environment, where problem behaviors occur, and where most of a young child’s learning happens. These natural environments include: the child’s home, at the child’s pre-school, at summer camp, and in the community, or wherever the parent and child need support. Providing services in the child’s natural environment supports the parent and child in being able to efficiently use and generalize their growing skills in the environments where they spend the most time. Parent involvement and supporting parent’s ongoing learning of skills is crucial to achieving the best possible outcomes for a child.

For example, in-home services allow the parent and therapist to work together on optimizing the child’s learning opportunities in natural routines, such as: optimizing social-communication opportunities during mealtimes, increasing the child’s motivation to participate in daily routines, and decreasing challenging behaviors around these routines, (ex. increasing the number of foods a picky eater will eat without becoming upset when new foods are introduced, etc).  Services can also be provided using telehealth.

How is traditional ABA therapy different from naturalistic ABA?

Early Start Autism utilizes applied behavioral analysis methods that are based on the most recent research. One ABA method we utilize is pivotal response treatment (PRT), which focuses on increasing pivotal behaviors that can have a widespread, positive affect on a child’s development. PRT focuses on increasing the child’s desire to interact and initiate play with others by following the child’s interest and motivation in choosing materials, and harnessing the child’s motivation to play with favorite activities with an adult who increases the fun factor of these activities. When a child begins to initiate with others more frequently, they have increased learning opportunities which positively affect language development, and their motivation to communicate.  Specific developmental objectives are targeted in these fun and motivating activities. Parents are taught how to utilize PRT strategies in their interactions with their child, to increase their child’s development in all interactions.

Naturalistic Applied Behavioral Analysis has a huge focus on increasing your child’s social communication, because this is a core deficit of autism that affects all other learning. At Early Start Autism we value supporting your child in learning emotional regulation skills, so they can be flexible and calm in handling the daily challenges of life.

The Early Start Denver Model is the curriculum we use to write developmental objectives. ESDM utilizes teaching strategies from pivotal response treatment.  A program will be individualized based on your child’s specific needs, and some children may benefit from a mixture of structured adult lead learning, with naturalistic methods.


I want my child to be with typical peers. Can Early Start Autism help my child have this opportunity?

At Early Start Autism, we strive to equip each child with the social, play, language, motor, adaptive, and behavioral skills to be able to participate in the natural environment of a typical preschool. Early Start Autism has built working relationships with local preschools, programs, and classes who welcome our clients, and our support staff. When your child is ready, Early Start Autism can help find the right match, and provide the necessary support for your child to have the benefit of interacting with strong language and social role models.

What is the process for getting started with services from Early Start Autism?

Early Start Autism offers a 25-minute initial consultation to learn more about your child’s individual needs, and to help a family determine whether Early Start Autism is the best fit for their family and child. CLICK HERE to get started.

I do not live in South Florida, can I still receive services from Early Start Autism?

Yes, we offer parent coaching and direct services through telehealth.

Do you have other questions?