“Autism: where the “randomness of life” collides and clashes with an individual’s need for the sameness.” – Quote by Eileen Miller, Author of the Girl Who Spoke with Pictures: Autism Through Art.
In-home Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy has been gaining traction over the past years due to the busy schedules of the parents or caregivers of persons with ASD (Autism spectrum disorder). This enables the treatment to be provided to the patient on a continuous level in an environment that they are most comfortable. Homes are our refuges and havens for all of us as human beings, and the same is for an individual with ASD. So it is, therefore, logical to expect them to do better in a home setting.
The process starts with the initial interview and assessment by the Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) followed by treatment planning and then implementation of teaching strategies guide by the treatment plan. Prior to beginning sessions, the parents/guardians will meet with the BCBA to review assessment results and treatment goals. Parents/Guardians have the right to accept or reject the plan depending on if they feel comfortable with it or not. The family can participate in their sessions with guidance from the BCBA as well as questions are answered for scenario specific events. Furthermore, parents are given the tools to be able to communicate and engage with their child and feel empowered.
The BCBA will select a behavior therapist for the client who conduct one-on-one sessions multiple times throughout the week depending on the need of the client and goals that have been established. The BCBA does observe the behavior therapist working with the client at least once per week to ensure that teaching strategies are appropriate and to review progress. If behavior management is also part of the treatment plan, the BCBA will provide continual supervision to ensure the efficacy of the behavioural strategies.
What to expect from in-home ABA therapy
Individualized therapy process as per the needs and requirements of the client
Session duration can be between 10-20 hours per week
Active parental participation and parent/caregiver training sessions
Focus is on skill acquisition and behavior management
Goals are more focused on the home setting and generalization can take place within the home
Continuous supervision by BCBA and modification of treatment goal when applicable
Preparing for your home for in-home therapy
You may be required to set up a dedicated room or space for sessions. This may entail that the client is not allowed to access the space and the therapy materials outside of therapy time.
Be available if needed, but you will be able to carry on with your home routine
Parents and caregivers can observe the therapy process; however, it is advisable not to intervene, question, or interject during the session
If you have any questions or concerns about the process and progress, speak to the therapist before or after a session
Maintain a professional relationship with your therapist. This means no gifts or meeting them socially or inviting them for meals.
In-home therapy is the best way to assess a client and the absence of self-help skills which results in a therapy process being drawn up involving the family members. Overall ABA therapy at home is great but please also note that aba therapy in a clinical setting should be considered in some cases per recommendation of your BCBA due to the needs of the client.