Tips for Picking the Right 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
When people say ‘ABA,’ it’s not always easy to know what in particular they mean by it. After all, it can refer to a whole range of techniques done in various settings (for example, at home, in a clinic, etc.), and can even run for varying lengths of time. In any case, ABA should always be based on scientific data gathered for the purpose of making the right program decisions for the upliftment of people’s lives.
Staff 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. Moreover, ask them how many years they’ve been an ABA provider to kids with autism.
Choose a provider that performs background checks before bringing new staff in. If the provider comes to your home or you’re working with your own therapist, make sure they’ve been background-checked too.
If a practitioner starts making grand promises, watch out. There’s no way ABA will work like that. Helping children reach their full potential is a combined effort of many people, including parents. If you’re being promised outcomes that sound too fantastic, look for other providers to consider.
Unless the program teaches skills effectively enough that they can be expanded to different settings – for example, at home with the family or among neighbors – then it has failed to truly teach them, and the “skills” therefore have no value. In-depth ABA programming must not be for life. It should reach a point in which the child can smoothly transition to the natural world.
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 be presented as a summary that includes patterns telling you if your child is improving or not.
Finally, select a program that leaves ample room for collaboration among those who are helping 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. Avoid those who speak ill about other programs while elevating their own. The goal should be to get the best from each school or program as far as helping your child through autism is concerned.