Why Choose ABA Therapy?

ABA Therapy in Virginia

All parents want what’s best for their children, and living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be challenging. Autism is considered a spectrum condition due to the range of symptoms, from mild to severe, which can impact a child’s happiness and independence. If you suspect your child has autism or has recently been diagnosed with ASD, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is the proven way to teach them critical skills that ensure they have the necessary tools to face the world.

Every child on the spectrum is unique, and their care plan should reflect that. ABA interventions differ depending on a child’s age, behavior, development, willingness to learn, and circumstance. At ABA Centers of Virginia, we believe every child diagnosed with autism is entitled to live to the fullest, free from constraints, supported, and comfortable with their environment.

ABA therapy is the gold standard in autism care because it works. It helps your child strengthen their natural talents and avoid challenging or unhealthy behavior that can harm others or themselves. In ABA, a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will observe your child, collect data, and craft an individualized care plan that considers your needs. Then, a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) will work with your child one-on-one to help them overcome challenges while communicating with the BCBA about the treatment state.

If you wish to make an informed decision regarding your child’s care, discover how ABA therapy can benefit them in this blog.

How Can ABA Therapy Help?

The goals ABA Therapy can accomplish include the following:

  • Addressing challenging behaviors, including communication problems, coping with aggression, tantrums, running away, or self-harm
  • Teaching skills required for daily living, such as grooming, brushing teeth, and personal hygiene
  • Improving communication and interpersonal skills, teaching language skills

BCBAs and RBTs help parents understand the underlying causes behind their child’s behaviors. Through observing ABA therapy, you can learn how to help your neurodivergent child:

  • Help with maladaptive behavior in the home.
  • Learn self-advocacy and how to express needs and wants.
  • Discover coping mechanisms for sensory overload and other aggressive behaviors.
  • Thrive in an academic setting or their community.
  • Improve empathy and form stronger connections with others.

What is a BCBA?

A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is the first point of interaction after receiving an autism diagnosis. They are experts with advanced degrees in Applied Behavior Analysis and training under another BCBA, requiring fieldwork. They must also attain a challenging board certification with a 50% pass rate.

A BCBA will meet with you and your child, factor in your needs, and craft an individualized plan. They will then receive data about your child, supervise the implementation, and change the plan if needed. They will always know your child’s circumstances and work strenuously to meet specific goals.

What is a RBT?

BCBAs supervise Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBTs). Following the specific plan made by the BCBA, they collect data and remain in communication with the BCBA to ensure the accomplishment of goals. They spend hours in one-to-one therapy with clients in the home, a center, or a different environment, to teach them the abilities they need to grow.

The ABA Therapy Basics

ABA therapy is a systematic process that addresses your child’s unique needs.

Consult and Assess – The first step is a consultation with the BCBA, which administers the functional behavior assessment (FBA). This consultation helps them understand your child’s strong points and areas where they need the most help. The BCBA will also observe your child and factor their observations into the plan.

Formal Plan Creation – The BCBA determines a therapeutic approach and sets goals for your child after this initial assessment. The therapy plan will address what is most needed, teaching the skills your child struggles with most. The RBT will then work within your preferred environment, whether at home sessions, on a playground, or at a school or clinic (where viable), and record data on whether your child is reacting well to the plan.

Positive Reinforcement Focus – ABA therapy employs positive reinforcement to strengthen behaviors with a compassionate and patient approach. BCBAs identify goals, like ensuring your child ties their shoes before leaving the house. Each time your child successfully performs a healthy behavior, they receive reinforcement through a specific reward they prefer. Rewards can be time to play a video game or watch TV, favorite toys, or something as simple as praise.

The ABC’s of Behavior

A child on the spectrum does not display challenging behavior out of malice. They are expressing a want or a need, and they lack the necessary language or social abilities to do so healthily. Therapists determine the underlying reasons for the behavior by implementing the principles of the “A-B-Cs”:

  • A – Antecedent (what precedes a behavior)
  • B – Behavior (what activity the therapy should impact)
  • C – Consequence (what follows a behavior)

When you know the triggers of behavior and why it occurs, your child can adapt toward better outcomes with healthier alternatives.

Parental Coaching – An understanding of your child will grow as you determine what makes them angry, how to communicate, and how to work together toward a mutually trusting relationship. Family involvement is essential to ABA therapy, as the care can happen in environments like your home, and you can observe and learn from ABA techniques.

Assessment Interventions – ABA is a data-driven process, and our BCBAs will assess if the plans require adjustment or if the goals are achievable. Typically, this assessment occurs every six months, though it can happen sooner if the child is not reacting well to the approach. This level of personalization and adaptability ensures your child is continually growing in an achievable and positive direction.

What’s the Cost of ABA Therapy?

The costs are context-dependent, as ABA is an individualized therapy. Some clients require more hours and more aggressive interventions. Luckily, many insurances and state rules cover ABA. There also exist several government assistance programs. Some factors that may impact the overall cost are:

  • The intensity of the interventions.
  • Specific additional services requested.
  • The RBT’s and BCBA’s level of training and experience.
  • How many hours and sessions of ABA therapy are needed.

How To Locate a Therapist You Can Trust

When it comes to your kiddo, you want the best level of care possible. These are questions you should ask while considering any ABA provider.

  • Do you offer in-home ABA therapy?
  • Can I watch these ABA sessions?
  • What approaches to ABA therapy do you favor?
  • What type of data do you collect on behavior?
  • How much training do your RBTs and BCBAs receive?
  • How many hours of treatment or sessions do you recommend weekly?
  • How many people will be on the therapy team to help my child grow?

Why Choose ABA Centers of Virginia

We have the necessary resources, compassion, experience, and expertise to help your child thrive. With early intervention, you can see your child grow and learn incredible abilities to help them blossom in relationships and their career.

We work with clients of all ages to teach them coping mechanisms that help them grow.

Call us today at (855) 957-1892 or reach out online for a FREE consultation, and feel free to share this article with anyone you know that could benefit from ABA therapy for a better life.

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