San Mateo, CA
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WHAT IS APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS (ABA)?
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a type of therapy that can improve social, communication, and learning skills through positive reinforcement in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ABA involves several phases, each phase tailor made to your child’s needs: consultation and assessment; development of a plan; therapy from a caregiver; and frequent evaluation.
Our services in San Mateo provide some of the best ABA therapy in the region. Built on the many years of experience from our well-respected therapists and analysts, Kadiant’s goal is to provide the highest-quality ABA therapy to individuals diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our team members are passionate about providing the very best therapy that your child deserves and constantly adjusts programs as the industry evolves.
WHO PROVIDES ABA SERVICES?
A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a professional licensed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). They’ve undergone many years of education and training and are highly equipped with evaluating your child’s need and creating a specific behavior plan that meets your child’s needs.
Additionally, your child will also receive therapy from a Behavior Technician, who is specially trained by our team of trainers to provide the very best care, as well as a Program Supervisor who, under the guidance of a BCBA, will make sure your child’s goals are properly met.
WHAT TRAINING DO ABA THERAPISTS RECEIVE?
Many people wonder how ABA therapy for children works. Even more wonder how trained ABA therapists are before beginning session with their clients. All of our staff are specially trained in the terminology and practices needed so that a behavior plan is successfully implemented and your child’s goals met. Our team is also properly vetted to ensure only the most trustworthy individuals are working with your child
Behavior Therapists receive 40+ hours of special training, as well as continuous trainings throughout their time with Kadiant, so they’re fully equipped with the industry’s newest methods. Program Supervisors at minimum have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, and are either currently in or admitted to a relevant master’s program. They also have studied for and sat for their Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) exam. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) must possess the minimum of a Masters degree, meet requirements for either graduate-level coursework (225 hours) or college-level teaching and research in behavior analysis, meet experience requirements, and pass the Behavior Analyst Certification Examination.
HOW DOES APPLIED BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS WORK?
Autism Speaks defines ABA as a flexible treatment, with benefits that include:
- Adaptable to fit the needs of the individual in therapy
- Adaptable to fit the environment (school, home, regional center, out in the community)
- Teaches functional living skills
- Can be one-on-one or in a group setting
To get the most benefit from ABA therapy, your child will need extensive one-on-one therapy for as many hours as a BCBA recommends a week. It is also most effective if you, as a parent, receive training in it yourself. That way, you can teach your child and constantly reinforce positive behaviors using ABA therapy at home.
ABA therapy has benefited many children living with autism spectrum disorder by helping them learn developmental skills. It can help improve communication abilities while reducing harmful behaviors, including self-injury.
HOW MUCH DOES ABA THERAPY COST?
The cost of ABA therapy depends on how many hours your child needs. Unless your child receives therapy through the school district, the primary form of coverage is often through private insurance or out of pocket. If your child has recently been diagnosed with autism, ask your diagnostician or pediatrician for information on what steps to take next.
ALIGNING AN ABA THERAPY PLAN WITH CHILD’S NEEDS
The ABA therapy plan should align with your child’s unique needs and include concrete treatment goals. These goals generally relate to reducing problematic or harmful behaviors, such as tantrums or self-injury, and increasing or improving communication and other skills. The principles of ABA therapy can be applied through interventions to help individuals learn and apply new skills in their daily lives.
ABA therapy programs can help to:
- Increase language and communication skills
- Improve attention, focus, social skills, memory, and academics
- Decrease problem behaviors
Parents are an integral part of the assessment process. Your input is vital and integrated into the individualized therapy program, designed specifically for your child. Positive reinforcement is one of the main features of ABA therapy. When an improved behavior is followed by something that is valued (a reward), a person is more likely to repeat that behavior. Over time, this encourages positive behavior change.
IS ABA EFFECTIVE?
Evidence shows that ABA therapy is effective. ABA is considered an evidence-based best practice treatment by the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association. “Evidence based” means that ABA has passed scientific tests of its usefulness, quality and effectiveness.
ABA therapy includes many different techniques. All of these techniques focus on antecedents (what happens before a behavior occurs) and on consequences (what happens after the behavior). More than 20 studies have established that intensive and long-term therapy using ABA principles improves outcomes for many but not all children with autism. “Intensive” and “long term” refer to programs that provide 25 to 40 hours a week of therapy for 1 to 3 years. These studies show gains in intellectual functioning, language development, daily living skills, and social functioning.
According to Harvard Health, the research suggests that about half of children with autism spectrum disorders who participate in an ABA program improve IQ scores, language skills, school performance, and an ability to adapt, as well as socialization skills, when compared with control groups.
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK?
Once you secure the best ABA therapy option for your child, here are a few questions to discuss with your therapist at your first meeting:
- How many hours of therapy do you think my child needs each week?
- Do you offer any special funding (for schools and centers)?
- What methods do you use to discourage unwanted behaviors?
- How will you address self-harming behaviors?
- How many people will work closely with my child? What training do they have?
- Can you teach me how to use ABA techniques at home?
- Can I watch the therapy sessions?
- Are there other approaches, such as skills training groups, that could help my child?