Starting an in-home ABA program

March 17, 2016

It should always be the goal of an ABA program to generalize skills to an environment that the child uses the skills.  This means that even though we teach in a center how to request from a peer, the ultimate goal is the child is able to request from a peer in school or in the community.  It is great if a child can learn a new skill, but if it is not used in the environment that it is needed, it is not a helpful skill.  In-home ABA programs can be very effective in that all of the skills can be taught directly in the environment in which they will be used.

To increase the opportunity for success, try these tips before beginning an ABA program.

  • Be sure that before selecting a provider, you have ensured that they are qualified and trained.
  • Pick a supervisor who has at least 4 years experience with ABA programs, including home-based programing, and is certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). This supervisor should spend 1-5 hours a week providing help to the therapist and parents and advising on enhancing and updating the child’s program.  The standard for supervision is one hour for every ten hours that your child is seen by a therapist.
  • Therapists should have had significant training in applied behavior analysis.  It would be preferred that they have received training that satisfies the BACB requirements for a Registered Behavior Technician.
  • It is encouraged that your child sees multiple technicians (2-4 depending on the hours received) that are trained on his or her case.  This will assist with generalization of skills.
  • The treatment plan identifies the appropriate number of hours per week for your child. (This varies per child. Some families start with 15 hours a week and move up to 40 hours a week.)
  • All the necessary training tools are available (i.e., toys, photo cards, etc.).  The technician or supervisor should also explain what these materials are and why they are being used.  Materials should be updated as programs are updated.
  • Data collection and communication are key! A binder or log book to track skill acquisition and behaviors should be kept.  Treatment plans review and signed by the parents should also be accessible in the binder or log book. This is also a good way to keep track of therapists’ time, questions, and notes between clinic meetings.  Parents should have access to these logs.
  • Session data should also be recorded.  You should ALWAYS see the therapist with a data sheet during sessions.  Data will drive decision making for your child’s plan.  Graphical representation of this data should be shared with parents.
  • ABA should be done in a quiet room with no distractions to the child.  It is important that a structured work area is available with a table and chair for the child and therapist to work.
  • ABA should be provided in a one-on-one environment, unless otherwise noted in the treatment plan for a specific goal or objective.
  • Clinic or team meetings should be held on a monthly or bi-monthly basis so that the team can meet together and discuss your child’s unique needs and case specifics.
  • Regular updated assessments should occur about every 6 months.  At this point, the supervisor will review with you the progress that has been made and the areas still in need for improvement.  At these reviews, your hours may change based on the need determined by the assessment.

These tips to success will provide your child with the best opportunity to succeed.  If you have any questions regarding the tips above or how you can setup your home for a in-home ABA program, contact us with Connect.

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