Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a therapy based on the science of learning and behavior. It is recommended as a medically necessary treatment for autistic people. ABA therapy involves working with a healthcare professional, who works with the child or adult to support learning skills that are part of daily living, such as communication, social interactions, self-management, and daily living routines like brushing teeth, getting dressed, and making a meal. ABA therapy also focuses on helping to reduce challenging behaviors and build social skills.
Therapy is administered by a trained and credentialed healthcare professional. There are varying levels of credentials based on a combination of experience and education.
A Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is an entry-level practitioner who has earned a minimum of a high school diploma, completed additional specialized training, and passed a national certification exam. A Qualified Autism Service Practioner-Supervisor (QASP-S) is a mid-level practitioner who has earned a minimum of a bachelor's degree, completed additional specialized training, and passed a national certification exam. Both the RBT & the QASP-S are supervised by a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). BCBAs have a master’s degree or higher in behavior analysis, psychology, or education, and must pass a national certification exam.
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Why is ABA the right choice for your family?
ABA therapy is all about enhancing your child’s functioning and independence to set them up for success in life. The ultimate goal of ABA therapy is to help the child learn and behave in a way that results in the happiest, most rewarding life.
As a therapeutic strategy with extensive evidence and scientific backing, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is considered the gold standard for treating children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Developed in the 1960s and 70s by psychologists Ivar Lovaas and Robert Koegel at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), ABA therapy has gone through some adjustments and modifications, and continues to evolve as it is now defined by a compassionate application of scientific principles.
Essentially, ABA therapy is a combination of customizable techniques and interventions that use reinforcement to teach new skills and modify behaviors. ABA therapy for a child often means improving the quality of life of the entire family. With active involvement in therapy, you can help your child generalize the learnings from the formal therapy sessions and apply them to real-life situations and experiences.
We recognize some forms of ABA therapy delivered in the past by some practitioners may have been abusive, at worst, and unecessarily restrictive, at best. There is no excuse for practices that diminish the dignity of any learner. The clinicians at Refocus Behavior stand against those practices.
When ABA therapy is delivered with care, concern, & transparency here are some of the benefits you may experience:
ABA Improves Social Skills: Children with Autism often lack the social skills needed to make friends or get along with peers. Whether it is about appropriate eye contact, waiting for their turn, sharing toys, initiating conversations, or identifying and responding to social cues, ABA works wonders in teaching the child how to make connections with others. From the ability to return a smile, to making friends and having playdates or sleepovers, ABA therapy allows children to experience childhood milestones.
ABA Therapy Promotes Better Parenting: Parenting a child with ASD requires you to get a deeper understanding of your child’s traits and behaviors, especially when they are in distress and may not be able to communicate like typically developing children. Since ABA is a highly-customizable program, the therapist designs a structured treatment plan that caters to your child’s unique needs and developmental goals. Being actively involved in this plan and imbibing the tailor-made ABA-based techniques can be extremely empowering for you and highly beneficial for your child. It offers innovative parenting solutions that help you interact with your child more effectively and gainfully.
ABA Therapy Improves Communication Skills: Children with ASD often lack the skills to communicate their wants and needs. A well-desgined ABA program uses your child's strengths and motivation to build the communication skills to interact with others. It will improve your child’s ability to express their needs to you, engage in social interactions with others, and gain access to rewarding activities with other people and contexts in day-to-day situations.
ABA Therapy Enhances Independent Living Skills: Children with ASD may need a helping hand in developing basic and essential life skills. This includes self-care and self-grooming aspects, such as brushing, using the bathroom, getting dressed, sleeping through the night, and more. As part of therapy, the ABA specialist collects data, notes behavioral patterns, and designs specific interventions to encourage desired behaviors. This in turn boosts the child’s ability to follow instructions, as well as become more independent.
ABA Therapy Increases Life Satisfaction: The beauty of a well-designed ABA curriculum is the visible improvements in your child’s abilities and behaviors, including things that you never imagined possible before beginning therapy. These improvements go a long way in dismissing the low expectations of the people around your child, including the teachers, family members, and other professionals. ABA therapy allows you to set the bar high, realize your child’s true potential, and set them up for success in life. Moreover, the child’s enhanced function and independence will make them, as well as you feel more empowered and satisfied due to the improved quality of life.
ABA is Effective, It Works! There is more empirical evidence supporting ABA therapy than any other treatment for Autism. Over 50 years of research and clinical framework prove that adopting a focused and long-term approach to ABA therapy can help children with ASD assimilate better into society and improve the everyday lives of the entire family.
Beginning with our first interaction, you'll have a seamless experience that begins with us learning more about your family. We will ensure we're the proper fit for your family and begin walking you through the process of gathering documents needed to obtain an authorization for treatment.
Once we have obtained authorization from your insurance provider we will schedule an assessment with one of our BCBAs to observe and assess your child's skills. During this time, you can also ask us any questions you may have!
Report and Recommendations
Following the assessment, our BCBA will begin writing a report with our recommendations. The report will be submitted to your insurance provider with a request to begin treatment.
After approval from your insurance provider, we will discuss our treatment recommendations and services can begin immediately. Every 6 months or as needed, we will re-evaluation and write an updated progress report.