Receiving an autism diagnosis for your child can be overwhelming. From the initial autism testing to making a commitment to a therapy program for your child, parents can feel like they have a lack of control and are not fully a part of the therapy process. While center-based Applied Behavior Analysis therapy has become the leading therapy for children with autism, the techniques taught at ABA therapy clinics can also be applied outside of the centers. Parental involvement is a key component to each child’s success, and we ensure that our parents are fully aware of their child’s progression towards their goals. It is important to make sure that parents don’t feel like they are lost in the process. We find that making parents a part of the therapy process, enables the child to achieve success at an accelerated rate. We make it clear that parents can play an active role in their child's ABA therapy by observing sessions, working with the therapist to set goals, implementing therapy strategies at home, and monitoring progress.
ABA therapists often work closely with parents to develop treatment plans and set goals for their child's progress. At ABC, we make sure to establish regular communication with our parents to discuss the progress of the therapy and to share any concerns and observations. This can be done through email, phone calls, or in-person meetings. During our family guidance meetings, your BCBA will collaborate with you to determine the best methods of reaching your child’s goals at the center. Parents should share relevant information about their child's strengths, challenges, and preferences. This open communication allows for parents to provide feedback to the BCBA about their child's progress. It can be beneficial to mention any changes that parents observe in the child's behavior or any concerns they may have about the therapy. Since our autism specialists are not with your child every second of the day, it is important for our ABA therapists to know what is working and what is not working outside of our controlled environments. Treatment plans are personalized to each child, allowing room for the BCBA to adjust the treatment plan as needed to continue to align with the child’s needs.
In addition to open communication, consistency is important for children with autism. Parents are encouraged to observe their child’s therapy sessions. ABA therapy involves using specific strategies and techniques to teach each child. While observing, parents are able to pick up on the techniques and strategies used by our autism specialists during their child’s therapy sessions. ABA therapy is most effective when the child's learning is reinforced in the center and at home. We keep parents involved in the process because we believe parents can help maintain this consistency by implementing strategies and techniques. This can help the child to generalize skills and behaviors across different settings. Parents can even work with the BCBA to implement specific therapy strategies at home to reinforce the child's learning. This includes how the therapist communicates with the child, how the child’s sessions are structured, and how they use positive reinforcement to encourage the child's learning. It is important to note that these observed sessions must be scheduled in advance and could require a confidentiality form to be signed.
Tracy Raulston, PhD, BCBA-D, Clinical Director explains, “At ABC, we understand that families want social and emotional support and to have a connection to the community. We make sure that our BCBAs have a unique position to support family well-being in addition to improving child outcomes. Doing so may have synergistic effects on the whole family system.” Having your child diagnosed with autism can be life changing. While we want you to understand that we are here to hold your hand every step of the way, your help is highly valued. This collaborative approach can lead to improved outcomes for your child. Parental involvement is a key part of ABA therapy. By working together with the BCBA and implementing the learned strategies at home, we can help your child make progress and achieve their goals.
At Action Behavior Centers, we strive to provide compassionate care for children on the autism spectrum. We believe that early Intervention can be a great foundation in building a brighter future with Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. ABC is committed to getting your child started as soon as possible because every moment counts.