What We Believe
- Autism is a pervasive neurodevelopmental condition which affects a person’s ability to communicate and interact with others.
- CDC Report States That Prevalence Rate Increased, with 1 in 54 Children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (March 2020).
- People with autism may have a difficult time understanding ‘typical’ social cues and social behaviors, and they may face challenges engaging with those around them — either by using words or non-verbal behaviors.
- While many young individuals with Autism (who have access to services) learn to develop skills and strategies to address various challenges they face living in a predominantly neurotypical society. Children with autism do in fact become adults with autism and do not simply “grow out” of the condition. Autism is a spectrum condition and manifests differently and to varying degrees in every individual.
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a science dedicated to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. ABA differs from other fields in its focus, aim, and methods.
- ABA is different from traditional psychology in that ABA focuses on OBSERVABLE behaviors rather than what an individual may be thinking (also known as an individual’s cognitions)
- ABA techniques can be used in a wide variety of setting (schools, parent training, Organizational Behavior Management, special education, self-management, etc.), but it is important to note that the ABA theoretical approach lies heavily in manipulating the environment to create behavior change rather than changing an individual’s internal events, or thoughts.
- ABA’s theories are supported by empirical data that is obtained through controlled observation and measurement.
What are the Steps?
Intro (How we Begin?)
We know the process of starting your Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services can be overwhelming. While every child’s services follow a unique plan individualized to fit that child’s strengths and needs, there is a certain pattern you can expect to see.
1st Step (Let us get acquainted)
Once your child is referred to Empower U, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or a Board Certified assistant Behavior Analyst (BCaBA), will be assigned to work with your family and will reach out to you to introduce themselves and begin the assessment process for your child called, the Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA).
2nd Step – What is our Focus?
Your Behavior Analyst will come to your home and begin an “intake process.” This process will consist of completion of introductory paperwork to Empower U, interview with your Behavior Analyst to collect background information about your child and observe / evaluate your child’s social and functional behavior.
3rd Step (While you are waiting)
Based on the information gathered, a Functional Behavior Analyst (FBA) will be written by your Behavior Analyst, reviewed with you for your consent and then submitted to your service funder for approval where a clinically appropriate weekly amount of hours will be recommended. While services are being approved Empower U management is working to find a Behavior Technician(s) (BT) whose professional background and skill set matches the needs of your child with the recommendation of your Behavior Analyst.
Final Steps (The set up for services to start)
Once the completed FBA has been approved and your Behavior Technician (BT) has been identified and assigned, you will receive communication by the Behavior Technician. The BT will introduce themselves and plan a first meeting with you and your child. At this point, your Behavior Analyst will guide your BT’s introduction to your child’s needs. Ongoing sessions will involve your BT’s delivery of the skill acquisition and behavior reduction programming that has been created. Your Behavior Analyst will visit weekly to supervise your BT, model strategies, troubleshoot and make changes and adjustments to programming as needed.
Behavior Technicians – What is Expected?
- Implement goals from the Treatment Plan (developed by the Behavior Analyst).
- Use approved items from around the learning environment as teaching materials, along with other approved items from the Behavior Analyst.
- Help your family be involved in therapy by modeling interventions/programs.
- Communicate with the Behavior Analyst regarding your child’s progress and/or any concerns with progress/behaviors.
- Spend time during each session preparing materials, completing data collection, graphing, and any other paperwork.
- Teach in structured and unstructured ways (Natural Environment Teaching).
Behavior Analysts – What to expect?
- Meeting with families to observe and assess the behavior of your child
- Meeting with team members of your child to discuss the treatment and progress and recommend ways to address behavioral issues
- Developing individual plans to correct, maintain or improve certain behaviors
- Helping families set and meet behavior goals
- Keeping detailed notes of your child’s meetings and progress
- Using methods such as reinforcement and conditioning to correct or reduce aggressive, harmful and anti-social behaviors and to encourage positive behaviors
- Doing research and applying findings to their work
- Setting up programs to teach skills and improve communication
- Submit data/reports showing progress to insurance companies for reassessment approvals for services to be initiated or continued.
- Regularly update programs to ensure goals are aligned with current functioning level of the learner.
Parents – What to Expect?
- Fully engaged parents are instrumental in the long-term success of ABA therapy. Through parent instruction and participation in their child’s therapy sessions as often as possible, parents can become skilled ABA providers as well. Their influence on their child’s progress is critical.
- Parents who consistently reinforce the efforts made during therapy helps to accelerate their child’s progress and generalize practiced and learned behaviors to other environments your child may encounter.
- Research shows that parents trained in behavior modification techniques enrich their child’s lives in numerous ways
- Remember; the goal is independence so it is critical these skills are transferred to other individuals and settings even when ABA therapy is not occuring.
What to Expect from our ABA Intake Team
- Once a provider is identified our ABA intake team will reach out to the parent for the required documents needed to request an authorization for an initial assessment to be completed by your Behavior Analyst.
- A copy of your child’s insurance card.
- A prescription/evaluation from a health care provider detailing the need for ABA services and documented diagnosis of Autism
- Then after that information is received it is forwarded to the associated insurance company requesting an authorization.
- When approval is given parents will receive communication from their assigned Behavior Analyst to schedule a series of observations/interviews in order to collect baseline data. This is used so a treatment plan with goals can be developed.
- After this is complete the written report will be forwarded to the associated insurance company for approval for ABA services to begin.
Interested in learning more about services for your child? We’d love to talk to you too! We are open Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM.