10 things to look for when choosing an ABA provider

ABA

aba providers

Okay, I know what you’re thinking… I’m going to recommend SOAR at the end of this entry. But I assure you, I won’t. Instead, I promise to give you an objective take on what makes for a good ABA provider so you can choose for yourself. So here are 10 points that make for a good ABA provider:

  1. Your ABA program should not use punishment or physical restraint. Physical restraint or aversives are not dignifying for kids and aren’t the right way to teach. Instead, your program should focus on compassionate care and trauma-focused therapy, with a primary goal of avoiding traumatic experiences for the child.
  2. Your ABA program should allow for self-stimulatory behavior from your child. No ABA program should work to eliminate “stimming.” Even when stimming is harmful to the client, your team should identify the environmental variables causing stimming and then work to change those variables so that your child no longer needs to hurt themselves.
  3. Your ABA program should always be dignifying for your child. Anything your ABA team does with your child should be televisable – meaning if it showed up on the nightly news, nobody should be embarrassed or shocked by what they see.
  4. Your ABA program should be directed by someone specially trained in Behavior Analysis. This is usually a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) or board-certified assistant behavior analyst (BCaBA).
  5. Your ABA program should include regular parent involvement and participation. The goal of any good ABA program is to get rid of the need for ABA. But that requires your team to transfer all of their skills over to you.
  6. Your ABA program should include a team of Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) and a BCBA supervising the case.
  7. Your ABA program should include regular (usually weekly) check-ins from a BCBA or BCaBA.
  8. Your ABA program should have an ongoing assessment (usually every six months) and should keep you updated on your child’s progress in therapy. Programs should be tailored to work directly toward your child’s developmental level.
  9. Your ABA program should include opportunities for community learning… working solely in a clinical setting isn’t how life is. And if the goal is to teach skills for the real world, then you need to practice in the real world.
  10. Your ABA program should incorporate goals that the child wants to achieve. Client dignity is of paramount importance, so any good program should work toward goals the client identifies as vital to them.
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