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HI-STEP Summer Social Skills Camp Program - Mercer County

Behavior Therapy Associates (BTA) is a private group psychology practice that was founded in 1979 by Dr. Steven B. Gordon. The owners of the practice are Dr. Gordon, Executive Director and Dr. Michael Selbst, Director. The group practice combines the skills and talents of experienced Licensed Psychologists and Board Certified Behavior Analysts to provide high quality behavioral and cognitive therapies, evaluations, consultation and training using evidence-based approaches within the context of sensitivity and compassion while recognizing the uniqueness of each individual and setting.


BTA provides comprehensive services for individuals, their families and schools. These services include
-social skills training
-individual and family therapy
-parent training
-school-based consultations


Since 2000, BTA has been operating a summer social skills program called HI-STEP® Summer Program (Helping Improve Social-skills Through Evidence-based Practices).

HI-STEP is a 5-week day program focusing on developing children's social skills, problem-solving skills and emotional-behavioral skills through group social skills training, individualized attention, sports and recreational activities, creative arts, and academic-related activities.

With 3 New Jersey locations (Marlton, Pennington, Scotch Plains), HI-STEP® is designed for children with social skills difficulties independent of a specific diagnosis. Many participants include youth with high-functioning autism spectrum disorders (Asperger's Syndrome, High Functioning Autism, PDD), nonverbal learning disabilities, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety, etc.. Many children attend HI-STEP® as part of their Extended School Year (ESY) programming, paid for by the child's local school district. Parents may also pay privately. A diagnosis or special education classification is not required.

Program dates:  July 1, 2019 – August 2, 2019; closed July 4th and 5th
Age range: 6 to 17 years

HI-STEP Locations: 

 1) Southern New Jersey: Van Zant Elementary School (Marlton - Evesham Township, NJ: Located in Burlington County with easy access from major highways; minutes from Cherry Hill and Mt. Laurel).

2) Central New Jersey: Stony Brook Elementary School (Pennington, NJ: Located in Mercer County with easy access from major highways: minutes from Princeton, Flemington, and Bucks County, PA).

3) Northern New Jersey: Coles Elementary School (Scotch Plains, NJ: Located in Union County; easy access from routes 287, 78, 80, Garden State Parkway and NJ Turnpike)

The program includes the following
-structured activities with ongoing supervision
-social-emotional skills training provided in a group format with role-playing
-ongoing feedback and problem-solving via incidental learning
strategies to promote generalization of skills
-small-group format (4:1 child-staff ratio)
-individualized attention and support as needed
-sports and recreational activities emphasizing cooperation and group problem-solving rather than competition
-ongoing feedback and Positive Reinforcement System to help shape appropriate social-emotional skill
-parent handouts to assist child to generalize learned skills
-parent seminars.

Social-emotional skills commonly targeted include
-making and keeping friends
-impulse control and problem-solving
anger/frustration management
-handling teasing
-complying with requests
-complimenting others and accepting feedback
-conversation skills.

For more information, visit and click on the link for HI-STEP. Please email if you have additional questions.

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