If you are the parent of a child with Autism, you know that finding the right ABA Clinic/Therapist is essential. While ABA Therapy is provided by a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) and/or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), there are many things to consider when making this important decision, such as location, experience, and approach.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that roughly 23 out of 1,000 8-year-olds have ASD. These estimates of children with Autism living in the United States came from The Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network. The network collected this data on health and special education records from 11 communities across the U.S. in 2018.
This data is important because it can help families to understand that they are not alone in their journey and provide a solid starting point for parents making the right decision when choosing an ABA Clinic/Therapist. The number of children with Autism in the U.S. is growing rapidly, and there are many treatment options available to help your child meet their full potential. One such approach that has proven effective is ABA Therapy for children with Autism.
In this article, we will provide an insider’s guide to selecting the right ABA Clinic/Therapist for your family in 2023. We will discuss what to look for and how to find the best clinic/therapist for your child’s needs. So, whether you are just starting your search, or you have already begun researching and interviewing, this article will be helpful!
The National Institute of Mental Health defines Autism Spectrum Disorder as a neurological and developmental disorder that affects how people interact with others, communicate, learn, and behave. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, it is described as a “developmental disorder” because symptoms generally appear in the first two years of life.
ASD is a spectrum disorder, meaning that there is a wide range of symptoms, abilities, and challenges associated with the disorder. For this reason, it is important to remember that no two children will have exactly the same experience or require the exact same type of therapy services.
Some individuals with ASD are severely disabled, while others may have only mild difficulties. Autism occurs in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups and affects boys four times more often than girls.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders often referred to as the DSM, is a guidebook published by the American Psychiatric Association that healthcare professionals utilize to determine if someone has ASD.
According to this comprehensive resource, people displaying autistic tendencies frequently have the following:
There is no single cause of Autism, but it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. There is no cure for ASD, but early intervention can make a big difference in the lives of affected individuals. With proper support and treatment, many people with ASD can lead happy and productive lives.
The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services highlighted the following facts about ASD and why parents should look for high-quality ABA Therapy when helping their children:
1. Autism Spectrum Disorder is a complex neurological, and developmental disorder that affects an estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S.
ASD is considered as one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders in the U.S., with more children being diagnosed every year. While there is no “cure” for ASD, early intervention and specialized ABA therapy can make a big difference in helping affected individuals lead fulfilling lives.
Parents need to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to ASD and that each child’s needs are unique. This is why it is important to seek out a qualified ABA Clinic/Therapist that uses evidence-based practices and tailored treatments.
2. Boys are four times more likely to develop ASD than girls.
In 2021, researchers discovered that boys are approximately 4.2 times more likely to have Autism than girls, meaning that for each girl with Autism, there are four boys who have the condition.
This result was also echoed by a number of other studies, which suggest that there are many biological factors that contribute to the development of ASD in boys. The gender difference can play an important element in the development and prognosis of ASD, which is why parents should be keenly aware of the earliest signs and symptoms of ASD in both boys and girls.
3. Although there is no current cure for ASD, there are several interventions available to help children learn essential skills that will improve their day-to-day lives.
There’s no known panacea for ASD, and treatments vary depending on the severity of symptoms. Interventions such as early intervention therapy and specialized ABA Therapy can help children make progress in many key areas, including communication, social skills, motor skills, behavior and school-readiness.
The goal is not to cure ASD, but rather to help children develop the skills they need to improve their quality of life. With the right treatment and support from family and therapists, children with ASD can thrive and reach their full potential.
4. The sooner children receive a diagnosis and begin treatment, the better off they will be.
This is a fact, and it underscores the importance of early screening and diagnosis. The earlier children with ASD begin treatment, the more progress they are able to make over time. Seeking a qualified ABA Clinic/Therapist who is experienced in working with children with ASD is crucial for obtaining optimal results.
As the adage goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Parents should be proactive when it comes to their children’s health and well-being, especially if they have any concerns about ASD or suspect that their child may be showing early signs and symptoms.
5. With the love and support of their families, providers, doctors, specialists, and communities, kids with ASD can thrive in school and life.
Lots of love, patience, and support from family, doctors, and other professionals are essential for children with ASD to reach their full potential.
Though this is easier said than done, we must remember that these children are just as capable and deserving of success and happiness as any other child. So, let’s work together to provide them with the necessary resources and support to help them thrive in school, in relationships, and beyond.
If you or your child is living with ASD or if you suspect that your child may be showing early signs of the disorder, we at Mobile Therapy Centers are here to help. Our team of experienced ABA Therapists can provide customized therapy and support to children with ASD, helping them make the most of their potential.
To learn more, visit our website or contact us today.
ABA, BCBA, and RBT are all different types of behavioral therapy that are commonly used to treat children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Each specialization has its own unique approach, and there are several factors to consider when choosing the right one for your child.
Take note that all of these types of specialization help children with ASD in a similar way: by using evidence-based methods to improve communication, social skills, and adaptive behaviors. Working complimentary with the child’s family and other caregivers, these specialists help to reinforce healthy behaviors while discouraging problematic ones.
Before determining the differences between ABA, BCBA, and RBT, it would be best to define what each of these therapy specializations entails.
Applied Behavior Analysis Technicians work with individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder to help them improve their social skills, communication abilities, and cognitive functioning.
ABA Therapy is based on the premise that all behavior is learned, and that it can be changed through the application of scientific principles. ABA Technicians use a variety of techniques to teach new skills and change the way that individuals think, feel, and react to various situations. The ultimate goal of ABA Therapy is to help individuals with ASD to lead happy, independent lives. ABA Technicians are highly trained professionals who possess a deep understanding of human behavior.
The Board Certified Behavior Analyst is a certification given to those who have completed graduate-level study in behavior analysis. Professionals with this title are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. The academic requirements for certification as a BCBA, BCBA-D, or BCaBA are (respectively) a Master’s degree, Doctorate, and at least a Bachelor’s degree.
BCBAs may supervise the work of Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts, Registered Behavior Technicians, ABA Technicians, and other professionals who implement behavior-analytic interventions.
A Registered Behavior Technician is a certified professional who implements behavior-analytic interventions. RBT certification requires the completion of a standardized training program and the passing of a skills assessment.
RBTs provide behavior-analytic services under the direction of a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. These services may include conducting functional behavior assessments, designing behavior-intervention plans, implementing interventions, and collecting data on treatment progress. RBTs also consult with teachers, families, and other caregivers to support them in implementing effective approaches to addressing challenging behaviors.
A spectrum of different therapy specializations are available to help individuals living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Each of these specializations has unique qualifications, training requirements, and areas of focus. ABA Technicians work with individuals who have been diagnosed with ASD to improve their social skills, communication abilities, and cognitive functioning through the use of scientifically supported behavior-analytic techniques.
ABA Technicians provide Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy to an individual, while a BCBA is a board-certified individual who supervises and provides this type of therapy. An RBT works under the supervision of a BCBA. The primary responsibility of an RBT is to deliver therapy to your child.
Each of these specializations is important in helping individuals with ASD reach their full potential. If you are concerned that your child may have ASD, be sure to speak with a health professional and explore the different therapy options available to help them succeed.
Selecting the Right ABA Clinic/Therapist for Your Child
Confusing medical jargon and numerous treatment options can often make it difficult for parents to find the right ABA Clinic/Therapist for their child. Most of the time, the unknown can be a little frightening, especially when it comes to the well-being of your child.
Here are 5 vital questions to ask a potential ABA Clinic/Therapist in order to find the right one for you and your family.
1. What are their therapists’ personalities like in terms of working with children?
Personality is defined by the way a person thinks, behaves, and interacts with other people. It is important to ask potential ABA Clinics/Therapists about their personalities and how they work with children. You want to find someone who is patient and understanding, someone who can build trust and rapport with your child.
Conduct a meeting, visit their clinics, and watch them interact with children. Pay attention to how your child responds to their presence and their techniques. Do they seem engaged and interested in what they are doing, or do they seem frustrated or uninterested? Take time to fully understand the ABA Therapist’s style and approach, as it will play a key role in your child’s overall success.
2. What are their credentials and experience in working with children with ASD?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) encompasses a wide range of symptoms, behaviors, and challenges. Therefore, it’s important to find an ABA Clinic/Therapist who has plenty of experience specifically working with children on the Autism Spectrum.
Be sure to ask about the therapist’s experience, such as how many different families they have worked with in the past. If your child is preschool-age, for instance, be sure to inquire specifically about the therapist’s experiences working with other children in this age group. By doing so, you can get a better understanding of whether they will be a good fit for your family.
Academic qualifications among ABA Therapists can also vary; it’s important to note that master’s or PhD is not a requirement for the job however, having an advanced degree is a plus. Having a therapist who is knowledgeable in the most up-to-date treatment techniques and evidence-based research can help ensure the best possible results for your child.
3. What is their ABA Therapy approach, and do they have any specific techniques that they use with children?
ABA Therapists can use a variety of different techniques and approaches to help treat children with ASD. For example, some therapists may focus more on teaching children adaptive skills, while others may spend more time working on reducing challenging behaviors.
When choosing an ABA Therapist for your child, it is important to ask about their specific approach and any techniques that they use in therapy sessions. Some popular ABA approaches include
Whatever approach the therapist uses, it is important to have a clear understanding of their methods and goals so that you can monitor your child’s progress over time. Treatment plans need to address the root cause of behavioral problems, not just focusing on the behaviors themselves. Rather than only treating the symptoms, an ideal plan would focus on what’s causing the problem and how your child can manage it better.
4. How will I know if my child is progressing in therapy?
As a parent, you are likely wondering how you will know if your child is progressing in therapy. Data collection and analysis are vital to any behavioral science, such as ABA Therapy, in order to track progress and make necessary changes to the treatment plan.
Ask your therapist about their data collection methods, what metrics they use to track progress, and how often they will give you updates on their findings. Data is the only accurate way to measure if behavior goals are being met— relying on resources like general feedback and observation from human behavior is not a dependable method.
Make sure you understand the report system they use and how it benefits adjustments in future therapy sessions. The devil is in the details, so be sure to ask as many questions as you need in order to get the information you need to monitor your child’s progress.
5. What type of support will I have as a parent?
Finally, be sure to ask your therapist about the support that they provide to parents. Studies show that a collaborative approach by both therapists and parents is key to helping children with ASD achieve success in their therapy goals.
Adding the parents to the treatment plan can help improve the child’s overall motivation and engagement with therapy. A good therapist will also provide resources and tools to help you continue working on behavioral goals at home, such as worksheets or homework assignments that you can use with your child.
The most effective approach to treatment involves parents and therapists working together, with techniques being continued by parents between sessions. Similarly, it is important for the therapist to provide feedback and support to parents so that everyone is working toward the same goals.
ASD is a silent and complex condition that can severely impact the daily lives of individuals living with it. If you are concerned that your child may be on the spectrum, it is important to explore all of your treatment options and work with a health professional who can provide you with expert guidance.
Our expert team at Mobile Therapy Centers (MTC) is dedicated to helping individuals with ASD reach their full potential through evidence-based approaches that have been shown to be highly effective in improving outcomes for those living with ASD.
Mobile Therapy Centers offers full day ABA Therapy in a pre-school like setting for kids with Autism ages 2-6 at our Multidisciplinary Clinics. Our real-time school-based settings provide a natural environment mimicking what a school day is like.
To learn more about our services and how we can help your child, contact us today! MTC offers FREE Consultations/Screenings.