How to Choose an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Provider
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs are evidence-based types of behavioral interventions that may benefit children with autism. But as providers are not all created equal, you need to take a few issues into account before making a choice.
Correct Definition of ABA
Sometimes, it’s hard to know what exactly people mean when they say ‘ABA.’ After all, it can be used for any length of time, occur in different settings (home, school, clinic, etc.) and include a wide variety of techniques. In any case, ABA should always be based on concrete data collected in an effort to make program decisions that improve people’s lives.
Personnel Credentials and Qualifications
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. Additionally, know how much experience they have as ABA providers and working with children with autism.
Select a provider that does background checks prior to hiring new employees. 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.
If you encounter a practitioner who makes grand promises, be wary. There’s no such thing as ABA magic. To maximize kids’ potentials, a lot of effort from a lot of people is needed, including from their own parents. If you’re being promised outcomes that sound too fantastic, look for other providers to consider.
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. Intensive ABA programming is not a therapy for life. The child should be able to transition to a more natural setting after a certain point.
The provider you choose should provide data about your child’s progress on a regular basis and in a format you understand. This should come as a summary that includes trends showing whether or not your child has been benefiting from the program.
Finally, choose a program that provides opportunities for collaboration among everyone working with your child. For instance, if your kid also goes to school, pick an ABA provider that is willing to sit down and make plans for such collaboration. Be wary of those who will try to put others down just raise their own program or status. The goal should be to get the best from each school or program as far as helping your child through autism is concerned.