Skills for Autism CARD Skills Elearning

Leading the Way in the Successful Treatment of Autism
The Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) is one of the world's largest organizations using applied behavior analysis (ABA) in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder.


Lesson Areas and Sample Targeted Skills for Individuals

Following the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis, we developed a treatment approach for children with autism, up to age seven, that focuses on minimizing challenging behaviors and maximizing skill acquisition. Once new behaviors are mastered, we focus on generalization with the goal of transitioning each child into the mainstream educational system. If necessary, we also provide school shadowing services so children have the support they need in the classroom.

Challenging Goals; Trackable Progress

We teach self-help and safety skills, build language and communication, as well as an array of advanced skills such as theory of mind, social skills, and executive functioning. With the input of parents and the child’s caregivers, we set challenging goals for our team and the child and track progress on each skill domain carefully. The chart below gives more details about our curriculum areas.

The program is developed and managed by a highly trained CARD supervisor who tailors the program to each child’s needs. A team of therapists implements the plan and participates in training and team meetings to ensure consistency. The entire treatment team, including all caregivers (mom, dad, grandparents, and siblings) is invited to participate in regular “clinic meetings” designed to review the child’s progress, train on new techniques and add lessons to the program.

For more information about the CARD Child Services Program, please contact one of our offices.

Child Services


Lesson Areas and Sample Targeted Skills for Individuals

Building on the successes of the CARD Child Services Program, we developed the CARD Teen Services Program which is tailored to the specific needs of adolescents. The broad scope of the CARD Teen curriculum addresses a wide range of skills and deficits and is adapted to meet each individual’s unique needs and aspirations.

The CARD Teen Services Program is flexible and can be tailored to individuals with a broad range of needs. Specifically, the program targets communication skills, adaptive skills (i.e., dressing, making meals, toileting, etc.), and problem behaviors. It can also assist individuals with mild deficits who may need assistance acquiring more complex social skills and applying them with their peers in their natural environments.

The CARD Teen Services Goal

As children enter adolescence, it becomes increasingly important to deliver a targeted curriculum comprised of carefully prioritized, customized skill targets. In addition to addressing individual skill deficits and challenging behaviors, the CARD Teen Services Goal is to cultivate skills that promote independence, increase access to appropriate social activities, and facilitate relationship building.

The CARD Teen Services curriculum is based upon a specific skill hierarchy that addresses personally relevant skills within each curricular domain before moving on to the next domain in the hierarchy. Each of the skill domains are comprised of skill targets that facilitate the achievement of long-term goals. The chart below gives more details about the CARD Teen Services program goals and targeted skills taught.

For more information about the CARD Teen Services Program for your teen, please contact one of our offices.

Teen Services


Lesson Areas and Sample Targeted Skills for Adults (18 and over)

Tailored specifically for adults, CARD’s comprehensive Adult Services treatment program is the first of its kind in the United States. Through targeted applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy, the program can make a profound difference in the everyday lives of adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Participants will acquire a set of specifically-targeted skills to help them increase functioning in daily life, develop vocational and social skills, and integrate into their communities. With the CARD program, adults with ASD can discover a whole new path to a more independent life.

The CARD Adult Services Goal

CARD Adult Services develops individualized treatment plans with a single goal in mind: to increase independence. Services are provided across all settings, including home, workplace, school, and community, so adults with ASD can gain the social, vocational and functional skills they need to lead the most self-sufficient lifestyle possible. The CARD Adult Services program is based on a hierarchy of skills, where each phase must be successfully completed before moving on to the next. As we advance through the curriculum domains one by one (outlined in detail below), each newly-acquired skill will be a small but important step on the way to increased independence.

For more information about the CARD Adult Services Program for your teen, please contact one of our offices.

Adult Services

Getting Started with CARD
We appreciate your interest in CARD and are available to answer any questions and/or concerns you may have! If you have questions about insurance, services we provide, and payment options or are just looking to learn more about CARD in general, please give us a call at (877) 448-4747 and any one of our available Liaisons will be happy to help.
Please see below for some helpful tips to beginning our process!

Our Intake Coordinator will contact you to schedule an intake appointment at your local office once all documentation is received and, when applicable, you have been approved for services by your funding source. During the Initial Assessment, a behavioral observation of the child and an interview with the parents will be conducted. The appropriateness of this type of therapy, the recommended number of hours and other information regarding biomedical treatment, testing, and adjunct therapies will be discussed. Complete and return the CARD evaluation form provided at intake and send us copies of all relevant recent test results, IEP records, and reports.

Remote Clinical Services

If you are outside of a 50 mile radius of one of our offices and would like to have assistance in establishing an in-home on-going CARD supervision based program for your child, please follow the procedures listed below:

Getting Started

For questions or to request a Remote Clinical Services Application Packet:

  • Contact the CARD organization at (855) 345-2273

  • Submit a Request Form online via the CARD website

  • Email the Remote Clinical Services Department at

  • Fax the Remote Clinical Services Department at (818) 758-8015

Submit a request by mail:

  • CARD Headquarters
  • c/o Remote Clinical Services Department
  • 21600 Oxnard St., Suite 1800
  • Woodland Hills, CA 91367

Our Remote Clinical Services staff is ready to assist you and answer all of your questions.


In the sea of ABA providers, parents often wonder which providers are the best for their children. This is a very real and important concern. Unfortunately, there are numerous "providers" claiming to have expertise in the field of Autism treatment. However, although a provider may have ABA training, it is important to ensure that they also have expertise with this client population and are able to develop individualized programs beginning with simple imitation and concluding with complex social understanding.

When evaluating ABA programs parents should ascertain whether the following program guidelines are in place:


* Does the provider work within the child's areas of strength?
* Are adaptations to the curriculum made when needed?
* Avoidance of "cook book" programming: Beware of Sd sheets copied from the Maurice or other similar books
* Does the agency incorporate the latest research findings into their treatment plans?


* Does generalization work begin immediately?

* Is there an emphasis to generalize skills across people?

* Is there an emphasis to generalize the way instructions are given?

* Is there an emphasis to generalize skills across learning environments?

* Is there a push to transition to a naturally occurring reinforcement schedule?


* Is regular supervision considered crucial to the program success?

* Are behavioral excesses and reductive strategies reviewed at each supervisory meeting?

* Is school progress reviewed and are there shadowing goals outlined?

* Are all drills reviewed and demonstrated at each supervisory meeting?

* Are the children's programs adapted to their individual needs?

* Are the necessary referrals provided when needed?


* Are the hours recommended consistent with research findings?

* Are steps taken to ensure consistency?

   * Parent / Nanny / Extended Family Training
   * Frequent Consultation with School Staff 
   * Frequent Consultation with other providers


* Are parents encouraged to explore medical treatments?

* Is information regarding dietary changes provided?

* Are pre-screened referrals provided when necessary?


* Are Social Skills Training / Executive Function Training / Theory of Mind Work part of the program?

* Is adequate programming for non-verbal children available if needed?

* Are other programs brought in to aide the child's pattern of acquisition (PECS, Social Stories, etc.)


As more and more states enact autism mandates, insurance coverage for autism treatment continues to increase. Currently, 45 states require insurance carriers to provide coverage for autism treatment. In many states with autism mandates, not all insurance plans are required to provide coverage for autism treatment. To find out which plans offer should include autism coverage in your state, click here. Although self-funded plans are rarely required to include autism coverage, a growing number of self-funded plans have voluntarily added autism treatment benefits to their health care plans. Parents should check with their human resources department to find out if their employer is one of these companies or to ask if such a benefit can be added.


Even if you live in one of the states that does not mandate coverage (or if your plan is not subject to the state mandate) and you have received a coverage denial or claim rejection, you can appeal this decision. Contact your insurance company to find out how its appeals process works. Many families have appealed and won. There's a chance you could be one of those families! To learn more about appealing an insurance decision, click here.


Currently, 29 states and the District of Columbia include autism benefits in the insurance coverage offered through their state marketplaces (commonly known as Obamacare). To find out if you can purchase a policy with autism coverage through your state marketplace, click here.