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Throughout a child’s treatment with any ABA provider, one thing should be constant: therapist changes happen. Frequently. Changing a child’s team is a good thing!

And understandably, this tends to be a difficult adjustment for both our kiddos and their families! To continue developing the best team possible, there are occasionally team changes as a result of professional growth and career advancement; however, it’s important to recognize that team changes do not solely occur because staffing dictates; as an ABA provider, our ultimate goal is to ensure that your child receives the absolute best quality treatment, and one element of providing a well-rounded ABA program is therapist change.

Why?

There is a multitude of benefits to changing therapists. However, we will focus on the generalization of skills and functional relationship building.

Requiring a learner to be able to respond to new therapists is an important, often under-utilized form of teaching generalization. While learning a new skill with a specific therapist is an amazing accomplishment for a child, it is equally important to ensure that skills taught aren’t just generalized across different environments but across different people.  For instance, a child may return a greeting daily to the therapists that have been teaching them this skill for 6 months, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that if a novel person says ‘Hi,’ the response they’ve learned with their typical therapist will generalize.

In addition to generalization, building relationships with and responding to novel people regularly will help set up your child for success in the future. In school, work, or other standard day-to-day activities, we are expected to be able to form and cultivate relationships with new people. Whether it’s a new teacher, a new boss, a new neighbor, a new babysitter or a family member, being confident in responding to new faces is always beneficial to a child.

In the end, we understand that therapist changes can be a difficult adjustment for everyone involved. Still, the benefits of regular team changes will only help children to meet their goals.

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