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Jul 2 2021

What to Look for In An ABA Therapist


Applied Behavior Analysis is a science and a study that aims at improving behaviors through understanding the effect of the environment on existing human behaviors and the learning process of new behavior. Over time, the number of clients who need ABA therapy has increased, which has seen a rise in the demand for ABA therapists. Whereas there are options to choose from, a client must know which therapist best suits their needs. Below are factors to consider before settling for an ABA therapist.

Category: ABA Therapy
Posted by: Alejandro Hernandez BCBA

Applied Behavior Analysis is a science and a study that aims at improving behaviors through understanding the effect of the environment on existing human behaviors and the learning process of new behavior. Over time, the number of clients who need ABA therapy has increased, which has seen a rise in the demand for ABA therapists. Whereas there are options to choose from, a client must know which therapist best suits their needs. Below are factors to consider before settling for an ABA therapist.

Experience

While the level of education matters, an effective therapist needs to have hands-on experience. An individual learns much more when working in the ABA therapy field. The theories learned in a class setup will enable you to analyze things, but experience allows you to apply the lessons. Thus, it is possible to put the lessons into a framework that enables you to produce desirable outcomes.

The years of experience give an ABA therapist the chance to work on different projects and handle multiple cases. This kind of experience distinguishes an expert from the rest of the crew that has to follow the script guidelines. Therefore, when choosing an ABA therapist, ask if they have any experience of a case similar to yours before. That way, you can know if the therapist has the required skills to handle the realities of your situation. Further, experience helps the specialist to work with the client from different environment spaces.

License

In ABA therapy, the Board-Certified Behavior Analyst is the highest level of qualification that an individual can achieve. Professionals who have the BCBA qualification go through rigorous training in their coursework and practice under great supervision. Such practice allows them to gain and apply the expertise needed to develop useful skills in an individual.

Since there is constant change and evolution in behavior analysis, the BCBA requires that professionals in this field keep abreast with new information and technologies. Continuous education ensures that ABA therapists adhere to the code of conduct and provide best practice while attending to the patient. An ABA therapist who lacks the credentials and licensing from the board is not fit to provide services. They are not fully equipped with the required knowledge, and neither can they deliver quality services.

Services Offered

ABA specialists offer several services to their patients, including the following:
• Conducting patient assessments to find out the patient’s background and therapy needs.
• Help patients to undertake daily routines such as medication and food
• Help patients to improve on their language and communication skills
• Assist patient to increase their concentration span, focus and memory
• Help children to create a healthy lifestyle and reduce problematic behaviors

ABA specialists play a major role in the education, guidance, and support of their clients to overcome challenges at home and school. Moreover, it is not easy for siblings of autistic children to understand their condition. Therefore, the therapist has an additional responsibility to help autistic children blend in with their siblings. The therapist also offers to counsel siblings to have a broader understanding of how to care for their autistic brother or sister.

Plans

The treatment plan is an integral component of behavioral intervention procedures. It entails comprehensive guidelines on what to expect from the ABA therapist to achieve the desired outcomes. In addition, the plan answers the how-to questions in approaching the difficulties your child is facing.

A good treatment plan must address how the therapist will identify and approach the needs of your child. Moreover, the therapist will provide you with a guideline on meeting every distinct need of the child. A great physician will have multiple teaching styles rather than a specific approach that may not be useful to your child’s needs.

A quality therapist will want to explore the available options of where the sessions will take place. For example, a combination of home and center-based sessions is ideal for facilitating independence across environments. Additionally, the ABA therapy plan should incorporate supervision by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). A BCBA will ensure the therapist follows the outlined guidelines for quality training.

Finally, the plan should include teaching skills that are practical and applicable in the real-world setting. The focus should be on effectively reducing barriers to learning and socializing with other people in the community.

Therapist’s Personality

Nobody wants a boring and unmotivated ABA therapist with such a toxic attitude full of cribbing and criticizing. Rather, you want someone fun, patient, enthusiastic, engaging, and a great listener close by your child. Whereas education is key in ABA, personality is of greater importance if you want to see great improvements in your child.

Working with autistic children is more than just a career and requires passion. First, check to see if the therapist truly enjoys working with children. You can observe this through their engagement with your child. A quality provider will develop great interests in your child and be genuinely excited about every single progress your child makes. Additionally, you will see them play and laugh out together before and after the sessions.

A go-to ABA therapist is willing to listen and ready to incorporate any suggestions you may have. Additionally, the provider is open to collaboration with other therapists and accepts criticism. Finally, the perfect candidate is reliable when it comes to appointments and gives timely responses to your phone calls.

Cost

The ABA therapy effectiveness depends on the number of hours your child receives. Experts recommend about 10 to 40 hours of therapy in a week for significant improvements. A BCBA session costs about $120, translating to $1200 per week when you settle for a minimum of 10 hours. As such, ABA therapy has a huge financial impact.

A therapist should guide you on how to finance treatment for your child. One of the ways is through therapeutic insurance coverage. Moreover, a good therapist knows groups, autism societies, financial schemes, and companies that may offer financial assistance for the treatment.

Conclusion

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis requires urgent treatment to mitigate the challenges it presents. ABA therapy is a proven solution for ASD treatment. The above are key factors that you should consider when deciding whether to hire an ABA therapist for your child.

 

 
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