At Odyssey Pediatric Therapy, we treat ABA therapy as part of a life-long journey toward success. We provide ABA services using a collaborative and individualized approach with a research-based and data-driven methodology. Our families and their children are our first priorities.
The initial consultation provides parents with an opportunity to learn about our company and the services we offer. During the consultation, we review your child's prior testing and diagnostic summaries from the referring physician. The BCBA will collect information about your child's current needs and behavioral concerns, which will lead to a discussion regarding how ABA therapy will benefit your child. The consultation also enables the parents to meet with the BCBA face-to-face to establish a rapport. It's critical that the relationships and partnerships between everyone involved in the process are strong because that type of environment facilitates and encourages success.
The initial assessment is conducted in the child's home. This is a crucial part of the ABA process because it determines the overall path of the treatment. The assessment is conducted using direct assessment tools and standardized (normed) assessment tools based on the child's age and developmental level. The skills that will be assessed are: Language and Communication, Listener-Responding, Visual-Perceptual, Independent Play, Social, Classroom Routine and Group, Gross and Fine Motor, Self-Help, and Pre-Academic and Academic. A formal plan of treatment is created after completion of the assessment and it is then explained to and reviewed with the families. The BCBA looks at the whole child when creating treatment plans to determine the most socially significant behaviors and skills to address in priority order.
Each treatment plan is individualized to fit the needs of the child and family. The child will receive between five and 30 hours of therapy per week, which depends upon the needs of the child. After six months, another assessment is completed and, if applicable, the child's treatment plan is updated to accommodate the new or updated changes based on the latest assessment results. Here are two summarized examples of a treatment plan: Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI): This is often recommended for early learners who are younger than five years old. It involves an intensive program to address communication, social interaction, and functional and adaptive skills. This programming typically involves between 20 and 30 hours of therapy per week. Individualized Targeted Skill Practice: This is recommended for families who do not need the comprehensive, intensive treatment plan while still wanting to target specific skills. This program is typically between five and 20 hours of therapy per week.
Every three weeks, we send progress reports to the parents/guardians of our clients. We believe it is critical to show the growth and patterns of behavior to the people who spend the most time with the children we treat. Sometimes it helps to see how much progress is being made because behaviors are not changed in one session. Constant communication with our clients and their families is one of the ways we ensure positive outcomes.
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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is widely recognized as the gold-standard approach to helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ABA therapy provides significant quality-of-life improvements in individuals with ASD. ABA focuses on the whole child and addresses concerns in all areas of development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends beginning therapy as soon as a diagnosis is given. Research tells us early intervention can change the outcomes for children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The National Research Council recommends approximately 20 hours of ABA therapy per week. ABA therapy is effective with fewer hours when the caregivers are actively engaged in and committed to the treatment process, which includes implementing the strategies throughout the day. There is no one-size-fits-all model because every child behaves and responds differently; determining the number of ABA hours will depend upon the needs of your child and what will work best for your family.
Once insurance approves treatment, the BCBA comes to your home and explain and review your child's goals. The first few sessions are primarily focused on fun and play in order for the therapists to "pair" with your child. During this time, the therapists complete preference assessments to determine which activities your child likes as well as which activities are potential reinforcers (toys, praise, games, snacks, etc.). Once the child and therapist feel comfortable with each other, the treatment begins. Each session of therapy may vary depending upon the needs of the child on any given day.
It is never too late to start treatment. Research has shown early intervention (ages two to five years old) is the most effective, but there is evidence that ABA therapy helps children of all ages regardless of ability level.