Here are some of the most common questions we answer daily:
Am I required to purchase materials for ABA therapy?
Yes, families are required to purchase their own materials. It is in the family’s best interest to keep everything in the home and not have the materials leave with any of the therapists. This also gives families an opportunity to continue providing therapy on their own. The BCBA will be able to provide a list of materials needed for the therapy. The purchases should be minimal, as we try to utilize the natural household objects/toys already in the house.
Do we have a waiting list?
We do have a wait list and the timing is dependent on location and availability. However, we do not have a wait list for the center!
Do we use the VB-MAPP and/or provide VB instruction?
Yes! The majority of our therapists utilize the VB-MAPP assessment to assess children with deficits in the area of communication. The assessment is then used to create the communication goals needed and VB instruction is utilized to teach those skills.
How do we figure out how many hours your child needs for therapy?
During the initial meeting, the BCBA will discuss with you what kind of therapy schedule you would like. The BCBA will the conduct their own assessments and determine what they think would be an appropriate amount of therapy and discuss this with you. Together, you all will figure out a good amount of hours to start with and can request more hours for approval if needed to allow room to increase therapy if desired. There is a lot of flexibility here. For younger children it is likely we will recommend up to 20 hours of therapy per week, as early intervention has been found to be extremely effective and with not attending school there is more flexibility with their schedules. We do require all sessions to be at least 1.5 hours in length and at least 3-4 hours of therapy per week, as anything less would not allow enough time to effectively implement ABA programming.
How does the process of starting up a case work?
The BCBA will be assigned to your case and receive your intake paperwork to review more information about your child. The BCBA will contact you to set up an initial meeting and begin the assessment process. Once the BCBA completes the assessments, they will write up a treatment plan. During this time, the BCBA will work closely with the Clinical Coordinator of the company to obtain an objective review of the assessments and treatment plan and make adjustments accordingly. The BCBA will then bring it to you for review and signatures upon completion. The plan, once signed, will be sent in for approval. Once approved, the BCBA will train the technician that has been assigned to the case and a consistent therapy schedule will be established and begin.
How long do children typically need ABA therapy?
This is really determined on a case-by-case basis and cannot be determined by anyone but the BCBA and treatment team working with your child. ABA is an on-going therapy that can change and grow with your child to cater to their ever-changing needs as they continue to grow older.
How long does it generally take to get everything started?
The turn around time can be as quick as a few days; however this all depends on how quickly the insurance companies provide us with the information we need, how quickly the families return the forms we need, and how quickly we can find a BCBA in your area with availability. It generally does not take longer than a month to get a BCBA out to start assessments; however this really is determined on a case-by-case basis.
What is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?
A BCBA is an individual with an expertise in the field of behavior analysis. All BCBAs are required to possess a Master’s Degree in ABA or another closely related field such as Human Services. They are also required to complete over 1500 hours of fieldwork in which they must directly work with ABA programs as well as spend about 50% of those hours learning how to work on ABA programming and data analysis. During that fieldwork they are also required to be supervised by a BCBA who helps guide them through their fieldwork and ensures that they are practicing techniques correctly and helping them to work on experiencing and teaching all areas of ABA in order to become a well-rounded BCBA. Once the coursework and fieldwork is complete, they sit for and pass their boards. So, each BCBA coming into the field is required to have gained a good amount of experience before becoming certified.
What is a Registered Behavior Technician?
A Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) has the same role as an ABA Technician; however they carry the RBT credential which is a nationally recognized professional certification that requires more extensive training. RBTs are required to have completed a 40 hour ABA training, a competency assessment completed by a BCBA to insure they can perform an array of skills in the ABA field, and to have passed an exam. They are required to complete competency assessments yearly to maintain their credential.
What is an ABA Technician?
An ABA Technician is an individual who works under the supervision of the BCBA and directly implements the client’s programming. Our ABA technicians are trained on each client’s plan before beginning to implement it, and will be given continuous feedback during supervision with the BCBA. The majority of our technicians have experience in the field and are required to attend and complete intensive trainings to ensure they understand ABA and can implement the procedures correctly. All of our technicians, prior to being allowed to work in the homes, are required to attend a new staff training in which we run through the main areas of focus in ABA therapy and discuss the techniques used. Competency assessments are administered during the training to ensure the technician can properly run the programming. We also offer a 40-hour online training that reviews each area of ABA and what principles and techniques are used to address different areas of need. About 75% of our technicians are interested in or are already pursuing their BCBA certification. We seek to find highly qualified and passionate technicians.
What is Applied Behavior Analysis?
ABA is based on the principles of learning theory, which explains how learning takes place. For example, positive reinforcement is one of the most well known techniques utilized in ABA. This technique is based around the idea that when a behavior is followed by some sort of social praise or reward, the behavior is more likely to occur again in the future.
What is Social Thinking®?
Social Thinking®, coined by Michelle Garcia Winner, is an essential program for building social awareness. It teaches children how to read hidden intentions and non-verbal cues, understand abstract and inferential language, use perspective taking, and Gestalt processing (understanding the big picture in a given situation). Rather than teaching students specific skills, Social Thinking encourages the children to process WHY the skills should be demonstrated. It emphasizes the process of thinking about the way one wants to be perceived and then adjusting behavior choices in order to help impact people’s thoughts. It is rare that any two social scenarios are exactly alike. If a child is able to think about the environment around them, the person they are interacting with, and consistently analyze how his or her behavior impacts others, that student will be more successful at monitoring his or her social behavior.
What kind of services do we provide and for what ages?
We provide a range of services for children ages 2-18 years old. We work on many different areas such as behavior management, communication, feeding (increasing food repertoires and mealtime behaviors), social skills, and life skills. The BCBAs are also able to provide family training as well as collaboration with other service providers such as OTs, SLPs, and school staff. BCBAs are able to conduct school observations and attend IEP meetings as desired by the family, as well as provide trainings to other team members if the school or therapist allows it.