Parents love hearing snippets of daily successes from their child’s Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist at the end of the day. As important as these more casual reports are, it’s also essential to have concrete data being collected throughout the therapy day.
ABA therapy’s main mission is to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorder overcome developmental delays. At Action Behavior Centers, our therapy teams work with Catalyst – the most advanced data collection system used by ABA professionals.
Before starting ABA therapy, each child is thoroughly assessed by our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs), mastered-level behavioral health practitioners. The BCBAs then create treatment plans with a variety of therapy goals based on the specific strengths and deficits seen during the child’s initial assessment.
The goal of each ABA therapy day is to work through therapy goals and master new skills. These skills might be in areas like speech, nonverbal communication, social skills, or day-to-day living tasks. ABA therapy also helps reduce problematic behaviors, like temper tantrums, aggressive behaviors, and self-injurious behaviors.
This is where Catalyst comes in.
Catalyst offers a platform for BCBAs and the therapists on their team – Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) – to track a child’s success with each therapy goal throughout the day. Catalyst is equipped to track skill acquisition data, behavior reduction data, and specific progress notes for each child.
What’s more, Catalyst generates customized graphs with each child’s therapy data. Clinical staff can tailor their graphs in real-time, adding child-specific annotations across 20 different dimensions of recorded data.
The utility of the Catalyst program is evident in the fact that it was created by BCBAs themselves. Doctors Coby and Janet Lund dreamt up the data collection program back in 2010 after not being able to find a similar resource for themselves. They then teamed up with software engineer Chris Cooken to make Catalyst a reality.
Catalyst was designed to make the processes of summarizing, graphing, and reporting much easier and quicker. The program cuts down on the time needed for data collection, allowing clinical personnel to spend more time and efforts making ABA therapy sessions the best they can be.
More time for quality therapy means better results for the kids, which, at the end of the day, is the most important part of all.