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  • What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
    Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior.
  • How does ABA work?
    What are problem behaviors? They can be anything from behaviors you can see (hitting, kicking, yelling, etc.) to behaviors you cannot see (suicidal thinking, anxiety, etc.). It is based on the principles of learning theory and uses a varied approach to teaching new, appropriate behaviors. How do we accomplish this? We break down the situations where the behavior occurs, tap into the motivation of the individual, and teach them appropriate behaviors to allow them to access the same things as the behaviors we are trying to change. What is the goal? The ULTIMATE goal is for every client to be independent in their natural environment. A main focus of ABA is to teach the interventions to those in the client’s everyday life (parents, teachers, significant others, etc.) so that the ABA professionals can transition off of the case.
  • Who is a BCBA and why do I need one?
    A BCBA or Board Certified Behavior Analyst is the lead supervisor of a client’s case. The BCBA oversees the assessment, implementation, and progress of the entire behavior change program. Each client works with a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) that implements the program directly with the client. The RBT is overseen and supervised by a BCaBA (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst) and/or a BCBA. BCBAs also provide parent training to keep up with the progress the client demonstrates. This helps with reducing the need for direct services so the parents can transition into the leadership role, eventually.
  • What qualities should I look for in a therapist?
    Great ABA therapists are both empathetic and analytic. They are able to connect with children with warmth and playfulness while having curiosity to understand what makes people tick. The ideal therapist is reliable, creative, patient, consistent, and persistent.
  • What does an ABA session look like?
    An ABA session is typically a high energy interaction between the client and the therapist. ABA sessions include some discrete trial work which might occur at the table, lots of positive reinforcement using whatever is motivating for the child: praise, tickles, hugs, high-fives, opportunities to play, sometimes edibles. Often there will be a mix of tasks that the therapist is practicing in order to assure that there is focus and mastery vs. rote repetition or boredom. In order to be successful, the therapist must develop rapport with the client. A process of pairing with reinforcement will take place during a portion of the session. Generalization is very important for children with autism as well. A portion of the session will be spent in the natural environment, away from the table, doing incidental teaching of skills. If the child doesn’t like the therapist, he or she won’t do what the therapist directs them to do, so establishing that relationship is a critical first step.
  • How much therapy should my child get?
    When the goal is to change developmental trajectories to match that of typically developing peers, research, including several meta-analyses, show that 30-40 hours per week (6-7 hours daily, 5-6 days/week) of intensive ABA treatment is needed. Hours generally decrease as the client progresses in independence and generalizes behavioral changes to other critical settings. Studies have shown that the brain’s plasticity is the highest between age 1 and 10 and that the more therapy a child can get at that age, the better. Your child may need to develop focus and attention skills to benefit from more than an hour or two at a time or they may be able to make progress in 3-4 hour sessions. We develop each child’s Care Plan individually and make recommendations based upon your child’s individual goals and development.
  • How do I get started?
    To get started, follow these steps: Speak with your pediatrician or other medical provider about ABA. They can discuss whether ABA is right for your child. They can write a prescription for ABA if it is necessary for your insurance. Check whether your insurance company covers the cost of ABA therapy, and what your benefit is. Contact us for ABA providers near you. We will provide an intake evaluation. Click here to contact us via email or give us a call at 888-527-8037.
  • What questions should I ask?
    How many BCBAs do you have on staff? Are they licensed with the BACB and through the state? How many behavioral therapists do you have? How many therapists will be working with my child? What sort of training do your therapists receive? How often? How much direct supervision do therapists receive from BCBAs weekly? How do you manage safety concerns? What does a typical ABA session look like? Do you offer home-based or clinic-based therapy? How do you determine goals for my child? Do you consider input from parents? How often do you re-evaluate goals? How is progress evaluated? How many hours per week can you provide? Do you have a wait list? What type of insurance do you accept?

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