Getting started in ABA can be a daunting task. There are many approaches to ABA. This is a field full of terminology and new concepts to those that are new to it all. Our goal is to provide education and ease that process for everyone that we can. Here are some of the questions we think everyone should ask a potential new provider.
Do you do compliance training? If so, when and why?
We only insist on compliance when necessary to prevent harm or injury during a dangerous situation. Otherwise, seeking compromise, offering choices, or waiting for an individual to de-escalate so they can make a more adaptive choice is a far better reaction. We work towards cooperation with out students, not simply compliance.
You can read our in-depth beliefs on Compliance Vs. Cooperation here.
What kind of goals to you typically focus on for students?
Students have a right, like all humans, to pursue self-advocacy and expression. Many programs are built around teaching kids to look “normal” or “blend in”. This is not an ethical concept. Instead, we should focus on providing students the skills and tools needed for our students to access the things they enjoy and give them the greatest opportunity for an independent and fulfilled life. Only behaviors that are dangerous or objectively socially inappropriate (disrobing, etc) should be directly targeted our shaped.
How many hours of ABA do you recommend?
The industry standard recommendation is a minimum of 15-20 hours a week and up to 40 in some cases. For many students this might requiring sacrificing some academics time temporarily while working towards a goal of giving them the skills they need to get the most out of their academic time. As those goals are accomplished, therapy time is reduced.
How often can I expect to meet with my BCBA?
BCBA’s are very busy and have many aspects to their job. One of those elements, that is far too often seen as negotiable, is parent training and discussion. Besides insurance requirements (typically parent meetings once a month) we also feel it’s important that we offer as many avenues of learning and support for our parents as possible.
How Much and what kind of training do your therapists have?
Registered Behavior Technicians are required to have 40 hours of training overseen by a BCBA to become certified. While the industry standard of completing this with Computer modules is more convenient, it should never be the sum of the training program. An in house training program coupled with live sessions to shadow, role play, and individualized training results in far more competent RBT’s in less time.
Can I get ABA in schools?
While the concepts of Behavior Science are incredibly useful in a classroom setting it is very rare to find a school that employs BCBA’s or RBTs. Many ABA providers are more than happy to support their student in that student’s natural environment, regardless of where that might be.
How long should my child need ABA Therapy?
ABA therapy should not be a lifelong commitment. Each child varies but it is important that the team (family, BCBA, RBTs, Teachers) all have an alignment of vision when it comes to what success looks like for your child and goals to reach so they can be faded back into their more typical environment as quickly as possible.
Can I visit the center before I start?
Every parent should be welcomed in to any facility where their child is going to spend a great deal of time. It’s important to ensure the environment and live application of ABA aligns with any conversations or expectations that have been communicated.
Can I visit the center when my child is in therapy?
The parent is an integral part of the child’s life and thus should be an integral part of their therapy. Parents should always be welcomed to visit the center and even take part in the session at times. If there is a clinical reason that as a parent you should be absent at specific times, the BCBA should clearly communicate that.