Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy services can be useful in addressing language and communication skills, social skills, and functional self-help skills for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder or a related disability.
If you are interested in starting ABA therapy services with your child, here are a few things that you need to know:
Who should I contact?
Your first point of contact will be with a Manager of Operations at one of our four facilities. The Manager of Operations will assist you with any questions you may have regarding our services, insurance providers and/or payment options, and will also ask pre-intake questions such as the age, diagnosis of your child, and behavior(s) of concern. The Manager of Operations will set up a meet and greet so that you can meet with one of our Clinical Coordinators to further discuss your child’s needs and have a chance to tour our facility. During the meet and greet, the Clinical Coordinator will answer any questions that you have, and he or she will ask you questions about your child to better determine his or her needs.
How long is the intake process?
After you meet with the Clinical Coordinator, your child will be scheduled for an assessment to assess their current skills and observe any problem behavior (if applicable.) The assessment will take approximately three hours, depending on the needs of your child, and will be conducted by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and/or a Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA). During the assessment, a variety of skills will be assessed using the PEAK curriculum (see our blog on PEAK: https://bcotb.com/what-is-peak-and-why-is-bcotb-using-it/), and problem behavior(s) will be observed using the A-B-C (antecedent-behavior-consequence) direct observation method. After the assessment you, along with the Clinical Coordinator, will work with the Manager of Operations to further discuss the needs for your child, therapy payment options and related paperwork, and schedule therapy sessions. Once therapy sessions are scheduled, your child will begin their journey to success!
Who will be working with my child?
Your child will be assigned to a Case Manager, who is the BCBA or BCaBA that will develop skill acquisition and behavior reduction programs for your child based on the results of the assessment. The Case Manager will closely monitor your child’s progress on his or her programs and make changes to those programs as necessary. Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) will work one-to-one with your child and will implement behavior reduction and skill acquisition programs under the supervision of the Case Manager. Together, both the Case Manager and the RBT(s) will work as a team to ensure that your child is succeeding in their therapy programs.
What will therapy sessions look like?
Therapy sessions will be conducted one-to-one with RBTs, BCaBAs, and/or BCBAs, and will consist of discrete-trial-training (DTT), natural environment teaching (NET), centers, and group responding. During DTT (i.e., table work), your child will work on tacting (labeling), motor and vocal imitation, receptive tasks, intraverbals (fill-in-the-blank statements, or question answering), and any other identified skills using the PEAK curriculum. During NET, your child will work on social, functional play, and self-help skills in the playroom and other natural environment areas. Generalizing skills that have been taught in a structured setting (i.e., DTT) to a more natural setting (i.e., playroom) will also be targeted at this time. Your child will also participate in group centers and group responding sessions. During centers and group, your child will work in groups with their peers based off of their placements in our Child Advancement Track programs (see our website for information on our Child Advancement Track programs: https://bcotb.com/programs/) and will work on skills related to success in academic and play-based environments such as staying on task during classroom instruction and sharing/turn-taking with peers.
Parents, you will be encouraged to participate in your child’s therapy sessions, as consistency is essential for program success. Parent training sessions will be available and encouraged, and you will have opportunities to schedule meetings with the Case Manager to discuss your child’s progress or any concerns. You will also be encouraged to sit in on sessions on a regular basis to learn how to teach skills and manage problem behaviors more effectively so you can feel confident when handling tricky situations at home or in the community.
If you are ready for your child to start ABA therapy services here at BCOTB or if you have any questions, please contact us at (813) 814-2000. We look forward to hearing from you!