I am receiving speech, OT and other services. I am thinking about waiting to start ABA because our schedule is so complicated. Does it make a difference if I start now, or in a few months from now?
We would never expect a family to accept services they do not want. Research has shown, however, that children benefit most from consistent intervention that is delivered early in life. (Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. (2010). The foundations of lifelong health are built in early childhood. With the right early intervention, a child’s learning trajectory can be positively and permanently influenced, so time is critical during the early years of development.
How long will my child be in the program?
It depends! Most children are eligible for Early Start services through the regional center until the age of three. After that, your child may continue with ABA services through a variety of sources and their program will depend upon goals, progress, and access to other services. This is a decision made on a family-by-family basis.
How long does it take to see progress?
The first goal with a child is building the strong and positive relationship that will be the foundation for all future play and learning. Progress in this area is different for each student, but most families observe changes within a few sessions. For some children, this comes in the form of increased laughter and stronger eye contact. For other students, we may see more language and anticipation of playing together soon. Once this rapport is established, your team will begin teaching new skills. Data is collected daily and performance is compared from one day to the next. At any point, if this comparison across time reflects inadequate change, we will adjust our teaching and continue to monitor and modify as needed. As a result, progress is generally visible on a weekly basis.
What makes your ABA services different from others’ ABA services?
At Steps Therapy, there is no one way to teach a child. A child’s services are dependent upon their unique interests, abilities, and family’s priorities. We recognize that different students have different learning styles and will work to identify how your child learns best. Play and naturally occurring social interactions provide the context for teaching as often as possible. In addition, we understand that parents and schools have values, priorities, and strengths as unique as their children. Steps Therapy is committed to collaborating with these important people on a regular basis.
How are siblings and other family members incorporated into sessions?
Children learn best from the people they love and see every day! Siblings, parents, and grandparents support our students at home every day, so it is only natural that they are a critical part of in-home ABA services as well. That being said, we also recognize family members are required to be “on” for their child 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and this is no small task. When a child begins in-home ABA services, our team will work with you to determine what times and activities will be most meaningful when shared with family members. If events like playing with a sibling, going out with a parent, or taking a walk with a grandparent is a meaningful part of your child’s daily life, then those will translate into meaningful teaching opportunities as well. If events like those are challenging now but something a family hopes to establish, this can be a focus of our services, too.
How many people would be working with my child? What do they do?
We will assign a small team to work with your child, consisting of behavior technicians and at least one supervisor. Behavior technicians are trained in implementing the program on a day-to-day basis, building relationships through play and helping your child generalize their newly acquired skills. Supervisors provide program guidance and ongoing training to the team while serving as a resource to you in monitoring your child’s development.
I've heard ABA is strict and unnatural. Is this true?
No. When ABA services are delivered correctly, you only see a child who is learning, communicating, and being successful in his or her natural environment. Though a child may exhibit challenging behaviors from time to time, your team will view these actions as communication and teach your child how to express the same needs in a way that is more effective and less disruptive. Self-help skills, academic concepts, and language can all be targeted in a way that is systematic and thorough while still feeling spontaneous and joyful for the learner.
How will you work with my IEP team?
Steps Therapy staff will work with your child’s IEP team in any capacity needed. This includes attending IEP meetings, coordinating informal team meetings, sharing videos or teaching materials, and visiting students in a variety of settings to ensure skills are generalizing from home to the classroom and vice versa. We enjoy collaborating with other professionals and helping to create teams with unified visions.
Do you take my insurance?
Steps Therapy offers free insurance support and our administrative team is here to help with managing the process. We are fluent and skilled in navigating the process of insurance approval and authorization, and we are here to help! Click here to learn more about how Steps Therapy can help you navigate through the insurance process.