What is ABA?

THE GOLD STANDARD

ABA is the gold standard for autism treatment, especially when combined with other treatments such as speech and occupational therapies. It is most often provided intensively for 10-40 hours per week with a 1:1 therapist to child ratio. It decreases behavioral problems and barriers to learning by systematically applying behavioral principles to everyday situations and skills, that will decrease targeted behaviors or increase replacement behaviors. ABA also teaches new skills, such as speech, language, increased attention and sitting behavior, self-help skills, social skills.

DATA

ABA uses objective data to drive decision-making about a child’s program. Data is taken throughout the entire day of therapy on frequency of behaviors to be reduced, variables surrounding barriers to learning, and support needed for new skills. The data is often represented on a graph in order to provide the therapists and parents a visual of progress over a period of time. Intervention is then adapted when needed based on conclusions from collected data on each behavior or skill.

WHAT SKILLS ARE ADDRESSED THROUGH ABA?

Any socially significant skill or behavior may be addressed through ABA principles. Socially significant behaviors include communication, speech and language skills, social skills, academics, adaptive living skills, gross and fine motor skills, toileting, dressing, eating, personal self-care, domestic skills, and work skills.

HOW MUCH ABA DOES MY CHILD NEED?

The intensity of services depends on the needs of the child. Research supports, at a minimum, 20 hours per week of intensive behavioral intervention for young children diagnosed with autism for 12 months per year. The maximum amount of therapy per week is typically 40 hours per week.

THE ROLE OF THE PARENT

No one knows a child better than the parent. The BCBA/SLP first interviews the parent during the evaluation to help gain a baseline of the child’s present skills. This is an important part of developing a treatment plan. The parent then meets with the therapist daily and attends monthly meetings to discuss progress. It is very important for the parent to carry over all strategies and skills to the natural environment for learning to occur in all settings.

WHAT ASSESSMENT TOOLS ARE USED?

The assessment combines the use of ABA, speech, and occupational therapy assessments. These include the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program (VB-MAPP), Oral and Written Language Scales (OWLS-II), Preschool Language Scale (PLS), Sensory Profile, Functional Analysis Screening Tool (FAST), and preference assessments. The parent or caregiver interview is also an important part of all assessments.

INTERVENTION

K1ds count uses a variety of research based interventions such as discrete trial training (DTT), Natural environment training (NET), Functional Communication Training (FCT), Functional Analysis (FA), Incidental Teaching (IT), the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP), Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) training, and Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP). Other strategies include the use of sensory integration, visual schedules, social stories, video modeling, and more…

FUNDING

Due to the autism mandate in Indiana, some insurance providers cover intensive ABA therapy services. We work with families every step of the way to ensure proper coverage of ABA therapy by introducing you to the correct plans and helping you to secure other supplemental funding sources.