6 Tips for Finding the Right ABA Provider in Georgia
By Coby J. Lund, PhD, BCBA-D
We’re happy that new changes in Georgia law have made it more possible for children and young adults with autism to receive ABA and behavioral therapy.
Last year, Georgia increased the cap on behavioral therapy spending from $30,000 to $35,000 per year. Just as important, if not more so, the state also raised the age of care from only six years old to 20. A lot more children and, now, young adults with autism can receive the care they need.
This is great news, but some real challenges still exist.
Though the number of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) has increased over the years, the number of kids with autism who need therapy has grown even faster. To try to fill this gap in care, a lot of new providers have sprung up across our state. Growth is helpful, but focusing too much on scaling can lead to undertrained staff who have few local network connections. This is a perfect storm for poor patient outcomes.
With so many changes happening, finding a high-quality ABA provider is more important than ever. But how do you choose?
Here are six things you need to consider when looking for the right ABA provider:
As with all skilled professions, experience in ABA matters. When looking to a provider, ask how many years of experience their behavioral therapists and BCBAs have.
If a therapist or analyst has less experience, that can be okay if they have access to a large network to call on for support.
2. Supervision and Support
That brings us to the second consideration. Just like experience, guidance matters too. When deciding on a provider, consider how many hours of supervision they receive.
Also look into how large of a peer network they have. The more established their network, the more options they have for support if needed.
3. Depth of Knowledge
Whether an ABA provider focuses on one therapy type or many, consider if they have a deep knowledge base across the organization.
Would you rather have someone who A) knows a great amount about the things they focus on, or B) knows only a little bit about a hundred different things? We suggest going with option A.
4. Their Expectations of You/Parents
You expect an ABA provider to give quality care, but you also need to know about their expectations of you.
If you’re a parent or guardian, ask how you will be involved to ensure success. Does the provider have a process for you to provide feedback? How else will you be involved?
There’s no underselling the importance of ethics in therapy. Is the ABA provider held to BCBA standards? How do they handle complaints or issues if any come up?
Quality care will never, ever skimp on ethical standards.
Before therapy even begins, you’ll want to know how a provider intends to evaluate their own performance and your child’s response to treatment.
How will that be communicated to you over time and adjusted if it needs to be? Like each of the other five points above, make sure you consider this not only before you choose your provider, but on an ongoing basis.
At Kadiant, our goal is to ensure that all people who receive ABA therapy get the best service possible. We know you want the same. Consider the points and questions above to make sure you and your child find the best provider for you.