Selecting an ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) provider is no easy task nor should it be stressful. The quality of life improvement and the benefits to the family are of primary concern when looking for the right provider. We have compiled some pointers to help you in the search, so that is as easy on the family as can be.
If you are looking to select an ABA provider for a family member, here are a few pointers to bear in mind:
Credentials - The credentials of the provider are of primary importance. You need to probe and ask if the center has a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) on their staff. Do not accept a provider that is a “BCBA Candidate” overseeing your child’s case. Please note they are individuals who have not yet undergone the certification process. Plus, check the number of cases your assigned BCBA is handling. 6-12 cases at a time are ideal and any more than that means that quality care is not being imparted.
Individualized Therapy Approach – The best ABA provider will always prepare customized plans as per the needs of the client. It will have continuous monitoring, analysis, and modifications to the therapy plan. The provider uses evidence-based practices such as reinforcement as well as replacement behaviors in place of maladaptive behaviors. The provider will be able to provide measurable and quantifiable data for the results of its programs. Ask the providers about custom programs as per the needs of the child.
Training to caregivers – Another important quality is that the good ones impart training & education to caregivers such as family members, relatives, and professional caregivers. Caregiver training is crucial so that the designated caregivers can provide optimal care without the presence of BCBAs or other therapists. The training has to be on a regular basis to achieve their end goals.
Support structure – Another hallmark of the best ABA provider is that they offer support in the form of counseling or self-help groups to families and caregivers of individuals with autism. This support is not provided by all agencies. Support facilities provide guidance, support, and help caregivers to prevent burnouts and address challenges faced in a family.
Referrals – You may always get references from your local family physician/clinic, internet research as well as people whose loved ones benefitted from ABA. This is a good way to narrow your options before opting for the best among the best.
Innovative programs – The best autism provider will go beyond the ABA program. It will have innovative programs involving music, sports, and arts, and so on to enrich the life of your child.
At home therapy option – It’s always good to go with a provider who offers the option of in-home therapy. This is important as the child is most secure & comfortable in their own surroundings. The progress is better and the parents can monitor & participate in a better manner. So, for those who want this option, the right provider can provide it.
These are some qualities that an ABA provider must-have when you are selecting a provider for a loved one.