ABA therapy is time consuming and expensive. But in the end, if done right, it works!
I’ve seen non-verbal children talk, aggressive children become model students and parents brought to tears for the turnaround in their child. Unfortunately, ABA is also expensive, to achieve these kind of results, a a 30-40 hour a week program is recommended. Supervised at least 3 hours a week by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, along with parent training. Put those cost somewhere over $1K a month for a good quality program.
Here are some things to keep in mind so you don’t end up wasting your valuable money:
-Make sure the program is being supervised by a Board Certified behavior analyst. Applied Behavior Analysis is the only discipline taught in universities which is validated to be effective with working which children with autism. The best practitioners have at least a Master’s degree and is certified as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board, and at least 5 years experience implementing and supervising behavioral interventions.
-Make sure that a through assessment has been completed; Because each ABA program should be tailor fit to your child. Autism is a spectrum and since no to cases are alike no two program should be alike either. Furthermore, if the wrong treatment is being implemented behaviors could actually get worse or morph into completely different behaviors.
-Make sure the therapist has a good behavioral background and a good relationship with the analyst. Therapists do not have any fancy degrees but they do have to take the guidance of the BCBA and be good with children. Having a good relationship with your child would be best.
-Finally make sure data is being taking daily and shared with you on a bi-weekly basis. After all, it is your money you want to know where it’s going. Data is very important. It guides programing decisions and also lets everyone know very quickly if the current treatment is having a positive or negative effect on the child.
This is all very important because with autism, there is really only a small window of time to get the maximum behavioral results. If your insurance can cover it, great, but if not, it’s better to put that money in upfront than waste valuable time that could be spent working on your child while the brain is still very malleable and the child has not developed too many bad habits which would be hard, if not impossible to break later.
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