1What is ABA therapy?
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a term used to refer to a set of methods and techniques derived from the principles of behavior analysis that are used to address skill deficits and bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. At BI, we practice applied behavior analysis, or ABA, which uses systematic, evidence-based methods to improve socially significant behaviors in children diagnosed with autism. Treatment for each client is individualized and therefore no two client’s programs will look exactly the same. Numerous studies have shown that ABA is the most effective treatment form of autism therapy, and it the only treatment endorsed by the US Surgeon General.
2How will ABA therapy help my child?
Our approach to therapy is not to teach a child “everything” they should “know” but rather to teach them “how” to “learn” from their environment. ABA therapy involves multiple treatment steps designed to help a child overcome challenging behaviors while teaching socially significant behaviors. Success in treatment is evaluated by how well a child meets or exceeds their individual outcome measures. As such, success for each child is defined differently and individually. In every case, we have shown documented improvement in learning across all clients. If a client seeks our intensive intervention services to address skill deficits, we see skills enhanced. If a client seeks our services to address behavioral challenges, we see those challenges dissipate and the situation improved.
3How long does a client stay in your program?
Treatment programs are individualized to meet the needs of each client. Since, each client’s program is individualized the duration of treatment will vary based on age, diagnosis and needs. Research indicates that the average duration of treatment is around 2-3 years. Our goal is to maximize each child’s potential by working on skills that will help them become more independent and successful.
4What is the age range of the children you serve?
Ages 18 months to 10 years. Our focus is on early intervention. Research has demonstrated that children who start ABA therapy as early as possible (~2 years old) make the most significant improvements in their areas of deficit. Our clients can present with a wide range of abilities, strengths, and deficits, all across the spectrum. We assess each client individually to build their tailored treatment plan, meeting their specific goals
5When would my child not be a good fit for your services?
We have a few exceptions to when our ABA program is not a good it. If a child is in a regular education classroom with same age peers without support they would not need our services. Additionally if a child has significant physical or medical disabilities that requires more intensive care and attention, we may not be the best fit for their needs. Also, If a child is older, 10 years old and up, we work to refer the family to more appropriate services such as another service provider or school based support. If a child does not have a diagnosis of Autism from an approved provider, then we also work with the family to refer them to obtain this diagnosis and prescription or our insurance contracts won’t cover services. Lastly, we also cannot provide treatment to anyone with Medicaid as it’s not covered by insurance in the state of Texas. In all of these situations we put the time and attention in providing the family with the appropriate referrals to help support what they are needing.
6Do you offer social skills groups?
No, we don’t offer the traditional social skill groups. However, we hope to get a child early enough where they won’t need social skill groups later on as our ABA methods address social skills in their treatment plans. Our methods are intensive therapy 1:1 and we focus on tailoring that plan to that child which may include addressing social skills. We can refer an older child to the appropriate social skill groups in the community.
7Do you help clients transition into school-based settings?
The goal of ABA therapy is to help each individual learner develop the skills necessary to be independent and learn in a less restrictive setting. When it comes time to transition from the clinic setting to an educational setting, the BCBA will develop an individualized transition plan designed to maximize success in their new environment.
8Do you collaborate with other services?
Yes, collaboration of care is a critical component of achieving positive patient outcomes. Our Clinicians work directly with other service providers to ensure that all areas of need are identified and targeted through comprehensive treatment planning for each client. We will contract out for these at our centers and put a plan into place. We work closely with the resources in the community to have these additional support services on hand to recommend to families so we can provide a comprehensive wrap around treatment plan that’s very collaborative. We are all about coming together to re-assess and measure the growth of each child’s plan to constantly create the most successful treatment plan.
9Does my child have to have a diagnosis to get treatment?
Your child does not have to have a diagnosis to receive treatment; however, they would need a diagnosis for you to try and access your insurance benefits. If you are in need of a referral for a diagnosing physician, we can provide you with our list of diagnosing providers in the area.
10What does the assessment process look like?
Initial assessments provide baseline information on your child’s current skill level across several domains. Assessments tools include standardized assessments, skills assessments, direct observation, diagnostic reports, educational assessments, and input from parents. Once the assessment battery is complete, the BCBA will develop your child’s individualized treatment plan. The BCBA will present this plan to you and you will have the option to give consent no goals and the recommendations on the hours, strategies, etc. Data is collected daily to evaluate the plan’s effectiveness.
11What insurances do you accept?
We are in network with all major insurance companies. Our Admissions Specialists are trained to navigate the insurance process and provide you with specific information on your plan’s benefits & eligibility.
12Do you take Medicaid plans or CHIP?
Despite federal regulations for Medicaid to cover ABA services, the Texas Medicaid program does not recognize Behavior Analysts as providers. Therefore, at this time, we are unable to bill Medicaid for ABA services.
13Do you take field trips with the kids?
Part of treatment involves additional fun & innovative activities aimed at meeting that child’s treatment goals that may involve working with the child in outside settings like the park, restaurants and other public places. We focus on each child’s unique treatment plan and goals, so we don’t do regular group outings. However, we intentionally design our centers with a gross motor room and other play areas to allow these social interactions to happen in supporting the client’s treatment goals. Additionally it may make sense to meet the child in outside activities to ensure the success of the treatment plan.
14Do you have a summer program?
This is a medical treatment option for children with Autism so our centers run year-round.
15How do you engage parents in the client care?
Parent involvement is an integral part of the success of each child’s treatment program. There is a range of support options including an initial consultation or tour with center leadership in order to ensure you are making the right placement decision. Some other support services are regular 1:1 parent meetings and individualized on-going parent trainings. Parents can also be involved daily by reviewing real-time reporting through the confidential parent portal. Our center staff welcomes families to schedule observations to learn more about how their child learns and observe techniques that work well in therapy that can be generalized to home or school. Last, with parent permission we will take the lead in coordination of services with other providers in order to maximize learning.
16Can Clients transition between centers?
Yes. We are a family of centers at BI with centers across the state of Texas and Oklahoma. Because of our growth and close connection between centers, we can seamlessly transition families if they need to switch or change to another center because of a move or other reasons.
17Are your employees Board Certified Behavior Analysts?
Behavioral Innovations employees Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), Board Certified Associate Behavior Analysts (BCaBA), and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT). The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) has established both educational and experience requirements along with a Board exam for all levels of certification.
18Who do you hire for your RBT/RBT’s and what training do they have?
First and foremost we look for individuals who are passionate about working with children with special needs. RBTs are required to have at a minimum of a high degree. At BI, the majority of RBT’s are working on a college degree or have already obtained a degree. While a degree is important, we recognize hands-on skills training is essential so our new hire training program exceeds the BACB’s training requirements. We recognize training is not a one time learning opportunity; therefore, observation and supervisor feedback is part of the RBT’s regular workday.
19Who else works with the clients?
In addition to the BCBA, we have a Clinical Operations Manager, who is a RBT, who provides direct assistance to the BCBA. We also have Program Managers, who are RBT’s, that assist the BCBA with programming needs. Our Business Managers assist parents with daily child needs, billing, and scheduling. Last, the therapists or RBTs provide ABA therapy based on the BCBA’s plan of care.