How to Choose an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Provider
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs are behavioral interventions based on scientific evidence and designed for children with autism. Not all providers are the same, however, so when choosing one for your kid, make sure to consider a few essentials.
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 scientific data gathered for the purpose of making the right program decisions for the upliftment of people’s lives.
Personnel Credentials and Qualifications
Before you decide to go with a certain ABA provider, inquire about their personnel’s credentials and qualifications, making sure a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst is on board. In addition, find out how experienced they are as ABA providers working with kids who have autism.
Select a provider that does background checks prior to hiring new employees. If the provider or an independent therapist comes to your home, see to it that they have also been background-checked.
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 someone promises you unrealistic results, don’t waste time with them and start exploring other options.
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. It should reach a point in which the child can smoothly transition to the natural world.
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, select a program that leaves ample room for collaboration among those who are helping 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 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.