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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) – How to Choose a Provider

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs are behavioral interventions based on scientific evidence and designed for children with autism. But as providers are not all created equal, you need to take a few issues into account before making a choice.

Defining ABA

When people say ‘ABA,’ it’s not always easy to know what in particular they mean by it. It may, after all, refer to any from an entire array of techniques performed in a variety of settings (for instance, at school, at a therapist’s clinic, etc.) and at different lengths of time. In any case, ABA should always be anchored on solid scientific data collected with the goal of making positive decisions that help make life better for people.

Credentials and Qualifications of Personnel

Before choosing an ABA provider, ask questions about their staff’s credentials and qualifications, ensuring there is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst in the team. Moreover, ask them how many years they’ve been an ABA provider to kids with autism.

Background Screening

Choose a provider that performs background checks before bringing new staff in. If you’re bringing the provider home or you want to hire your own front line therapist, check if they’ve been background-screened as well.

Forget Promises!

If you encounter a practitioner who makes grand promises, be wary. That’s not how it goes with ABA. Maximizing children’s potentials is the work of so many people, including parents themselves. If you’re being promised outcomes that sound too fantastic, look for other providers to consider.

Skill Expansion

If the program doesn’t teach skills enough for them to be used in other settings, such as with family members or neighbors, then the skills have not been learned effectively and are thus useless. In-depth ABA programming must not be for life. There should be a point where the child can transition to the outside world.

Data Gathering

Pick a provider that regularly provides concrete data reflecting your child’s progress on the program through a format that is understandable to you. This should come as a summary that includes trends showing whether or not your child has been benefiting from the program.

Educational Collaboration

Lastly, pick a program that encourages collaboration among all those who are working with your child. For example, if your kid also attends school or is in another program, your ABA provider should be willing to discuss how to go about the collaboration. Be careful with those who will condemn others while elevating their status or program. Your main goal should be to take advantage of the strongest points of each school or program in terms of helping your child through autism.

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