How to help your child with autism at home – Part 2

Hello again! As you can obviously read, this is a continuation of our last blog post, exploring some of the many ways parents of children with autism and other developmental delays can help their child at home reach their full potential.

When you first get an autism diagnosis for a child, it can leave you feeling helpless. The truth is you CAN make a difference in your child’s life, and we hope these parent tips instill some confidence in your family’s future.

It’s also really important to mention that these tips are in addition to and serve to complement early intervention care your child should receive, like the gold standard treatment of ABA therapy. Children can start ABA therapy as young as two. Years of research have shown the earlier a child receives interventions, especially when their brains are still making critical connections with the world around them, the better the outcomes.

So, don’t wait or hesitate to get your child the professional help they need as soon as possible. The first five years of a child’s life is when ABA therapy and other autism interventions have the biggest impact.


Now, here are 4 (more) ways you can make an impact, too!


1) Add playtime to your child’s daily schedule.

All children learn by playing. When you join them, you can model important social behaviors they need to learn, like how to take turns, solve problems, and regulate their emotions in stressful situations. Play is also a great way to connect with your kiddo and show them they are important to you. Make playtime fun and be sure it includes what most interests your child, whether it’s TV, a certain type of toy, or something else. If they’re having fun, learning will happen naturally.


2) Practice skills your child is learning during early intervention therapy.

The care your child receives during regularly scheduled ABA therapy or other interventions, like Speech and Occupational Therapy, is based on individualized goals for your child. Partner with your child’s therapist(s) to understand what your child is working on, so you can reinforce those skills at home. For example, if your child is learning self-help skills, like toileting or brushing their teeth, you should give your child the opportunity to practice and master those skills at home. Breakdown each skill into smaller, easier-to-learn components and be sure to reward your child when they are successful at each step. If your ABA therapist offers parent training, sign up!


3) Reduce your child’s stress (and your own) with regular exercise.

Exercise is a great way to have some fun with your child, burn energy, and help them work on their gross motor skills, leading to improved coordination, balance, and movement. Daily exercise is best, lasting 30-45 minutes or shorter sessions from 10-15 minutes three times a day. Like playing, make sure you choose activities your child likes or is interested in doing. Adventure outside and take a walk or play in the backyard with a family pet, throwing a ball, for example. Stay in and put on an exercise video for kids or make up a routine to music. Here again, use rewards to encourage your child to keep going.


4)   Like the song says, accentuate the positive.

We all like positive reinforcement. It makes us feel good when we know others see us and appreciate what we’ve done. Children with autism are no exception. They like receiving rewards and verbal praise, when they’ve made an effort, learned something new, or repeated a positive behavior. Ensure your child understands the exact behavior you’re rewarding with their favorite treat, activity, or toy. Always find ways to reinforce your child’s behavior, including the big and tiny things you want your child to continue doing. If your child doesn’t respond to a snack treat, for example, try something else until you find a reinforcement that does works. Stay positive. You’ll figure it out!


Get your whole family involved in these activities, so siblings can develop empathy for their brother or sister and start to build a positive relationship with them as well. Patience is the key to your family’s success.

If you feel overwhelmed or need expert advice on supporting your child at home, ask your medical team for help. Lean on them. They know what you’re going through and have solutions.

Our autism and ABA experts would love to help if you live close by. You can find our hives in North Texas as well as Boulder, Colorado. We’ve been helping children and their families achieve their full potential for more than 20 years. We’re here for you, too. Reach out anytime.





Ashvina attended University of Bombay and graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce. She got her Montessori Diploma in 1985 and taught ever since. Ashvina came to TBE in January of 2016 as Admin Assistant. During the years she got the opportunity to learn and work in different departments such as HR, Finance, Office Manager and Executive Assistant. Last summer TBE bought billing in house and her current focus area is Revenue Cycle Management. She is detail oriented and enjoys working with people. Ashvina volunteers to deliver meals to seniors and local shelters on the weekend. She loves to spend time with her family and grandkids. Ashvina loves her job because she enjoys hearing different points of view, and she feels her contributions help fuel the direction of our company.

Working with children comes naturally to Angela. Her mom was a special education teacher for 30 years and often had Angela join her for Take Your Child to Work Day. And in high school, Angela spent every summer as the nanny for a little boy with an autism spectrum disorder. It was this experience where her passion for working with children with autism started to blossom.

From there, she went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences. She learned about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a non-normative development class and from that moment knew that ABA would be her life’s work.

Angela moved to the DFW area shortly after and began working at The Behavior Exchange as a therapist. She worked on her Master’s in Behavior Analysis at the same time. A year after graduating, she earned certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Now, as a Clinical Director at The Behavior Exchange, she brings a life-long passion to her work, holding a special place in her heart for children with limited language skills and working closely with families to develop healthy sleep habits.

Danielle’s passion for working with families is deeply personal and from the heart. Her younger brother has an autism spectrum disorder, and through their journey as a family, she found her purpose in life as an advocate for individuals with special needs.

After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, Danielle began volunteering at The Behavior Exchange. She saw passionate therapists, meaningful change for clients, and families with hope for the future. After a summer of volunteering, she officially joined the team as Director of Admissions and found her home with The Behavior Exchange family.

With her extensive experience working as a client advocate with insurance providers, Danielle perseveres to help individuals of all ages and abilities receive the services they need to reach their full potential. She feels truly honored by each and every family who entrusts The Behavior Exchange to be part of their journey and is committed to the organization’s core values, mission, and goal of being a beacon of hope for the community.

Adam has always had a passion for helping individuals of all ages thrive and reach their full potential. He’s also an enthusiastic musician, songwriter, leader, and devoted family man, who has been helping children and team members grow with The Behavior Exchange since 2010.

Prior to joining the team at The Behavior Exchange, Adam was a mortgage loan consultant and grad student, pursuing his master’s degree in Education at the University of North Texas. He graduated in 2013 and also earned a graduate academic certificate in Autism Intervention. The following year, after years as a Behavior Therapist and seeing first-hand the power of ABA and the meaningful impact it can have on children and their families, Adam became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He then commenced from the Stagen Leadership Academy after completing the Integral Leadership Program (ILP), a 52-week practice-based program designed to develop executives serious about transforming themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

Adam is truly grateful to be a part of a dynamic, inspiring and compassionate team, and he’s dedicated to bettering the lives of all children and their families through the delivery of the highest quality of ABA services, while supporting the amazing team at The Behavior Exchange.

Soraya is from South Africa and moved to Texas in 1996. She graduated from The University of Texas and pursued a career, at that time, in Education. Soraya taught at a Montessori school for a few years and then took on a leadership role.

During her time in the education system, Soraya realized her passion was to assist children with special needs. So she joined The Behavior Exchange as a therapist, transitioned into a supervisory role in 2017, and a year and a half later, was promoted to Clinical Operations Manager.

She quickly learned the ins and outs of ABA operations and scheduling and successfully collaborates across departments to ensure The Behavior Exchange continues to provide quality services to clients and their families. She’s thankful to be part of such an amazing organization and excited to see what the future holds.

You could say Walter’s career started when he spent hours as a young child drawing superheroes and coloring maps. This passion, along with extraordinary swimming skills, landed him a full swimming scholarship at Texas Christian University, where he graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Graphics.

During the next 13 years, his design and art direction skills, conceptual-thinking abilities, and marketing-savvy know-how were honed at a few prestigious advertising and marketing agencies around the Dallas area. In the mid 2000s, he helped his wife Tammy Cline-Soza (founder and CEO of The Behavior Exchange) create a unique and concise brand for her new business. From logos and websites to uniforms, brand voice and visuals, Walter has been the main creative force for all things The Behavior Exchange.

Aside from giving birth to The Behavior Exchange brand, Walter is helping Tammy raise two amazing, beautiful children, River and Sierra. In his spare time (the two minutes he’s got per week), you can find Walter illustrating iconic landmarks of Dallas and Texas or looking around for this next open-water swim. Once he gets back in shape.

After 20 years of building The Behavior Exchange, literally from the ground up,
Tammy couldn’t be more proud of the team, culture, and organization that it has become.

As a family helping families, The Behavior Exchanges looks for opportunities that will make the biggest impact and produce life-changing outcomes – for clients, families, and even for team members. Tammy believes that if a team, a family, a community takes care of each other, the possibilities are endless and the relationships built along the way can make life more enriching and challenges easier to navigate. You could say her goal has been to build a kind of utopia full of support, love, and expertise that brings the best services possible to the community and ensures more families have access to those services.

Tammy and her family have dedicated their lives to the mission of The Behavior Exchange and continue to grow, learn, cultivate, challenge, support, and create better models for success. To that end, she is committed to her own leadership development and actively participates in advanced training, mentoring, and deep self-exploration on how to live out her purpose to love and support her family and help others reach their full potential. She takes her position very seriously and tries to serve as a channel for what the universe wants to come to fruition.

She also loves travel, gardening, being creative, MUSIC!, tennis, yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, being in nature, adventures, and more than anything, spending time with her husband Walter and their two beautiful children, River and Sierra.