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The decision for a family to have their child start in ABA therapy is not one to be taken lightly. ABA therapy can unlock new skills and behaviors for your child, but how can you verify that you’re picking the best center for them and your family? Many families aren’t sure what they should expect from an autism center. Today we are bringing you 6 things to ask an ABA therapy provider to help provide some criteria to guide your decision-making.

How is your team trained, and what credentials do they have?

How effective a provider’s training program is can directly correlate with how productive and helpful your child’s program will be. You should inquire about your provider’s training program and methodology to ensure adequate attention is devoted to this. While researching centers, we strongly encourage you to check to see if they have a Board Certified Behavior Analyst on staff. Professionals certified at the BCBA level are independent practitioners who provide behavior-analytic services. Confirm that a BCBA is providing regular and frequent supervision of your child’s ABA therapist to ensure success.

How are graduations handled?

When researching different autism centers, make sure to ask about how graduations are handled. What are the criteria for a child to move into a less restrictive environment determined? How many children have graduated? Choosing a center that tailors a custom plan of skills needed to be met as a qualifier before graduating is best. Looking for a center that promotes growth and advancement is also important. Seek a program that sees itself as a stepping stone to help your child become more independent.

How much will ABA therapy cost my family?

The cost of your child’s program and center varies widely depending on your insurance type. ABA therapy is covered by insurance in many states because mandates have been passed through the state legislature. All 50 U.S. states now have either a state mandate or a directive to cover ABA therapy. Fully-funded insurance policies are subject to these state mandates. Your state’s mandate may include other benefits such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, or physical therapy.  Be mindful of billing and insurance practices, and ensure that your form of insurance is taken at the autism center you choose before starting any services.

Does the center work with children on a 1:1 basis?

Part of maximizing your child’s learning and play opportunities within autism therapy is ensuring that they are working on a 1:1 basis with an ABA therapist. Low caseloads ensure that therapists can maintain truly individualized programs and treatment plans. This means your child’s therapist will get to know them and their interests, helping the therapist facilitate a strong bond and an engaging play environment with your child.

What types of data are collected, and how can my family use this information?

The backbone of ABA therapy is data collection. Data is essential in measuring what your child has learned in therapy and helps guide the path of creating actionable behavioral support strategies. Ask the center how they collect and share data with their clients to understand what to expect.

Will my child have fun in ABA therapy and be treated like a kid?

Your child should have a great time in ABA therapy! It is essential to find an autism center that promotes learning through play because it creates an opportunity for natural reinforcement. If a child is naturally motivated by activities or toys their therapist is playing with, they will be more excited to participate and engage. ABA therapy should be fun and take place somewhere where they encourage kids to be kids!

Bierman Autism Centers is here to answer any questions about enrolling your child in ABA therapy. At Bierman, kids engage in play to learn foundational skills they can build on, such as self-advocacy and communication. Get started with our team by filling out our form here.

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