March 20th marks Behavior Analysis Day! This day focuses on spreading the word about the science of behavior analysis, which helps us understand how our environment affects our behavior. Behavior analysts use this knowledge to develop interventions to help people live happier, healthier lives.
If you suspect that your child may have autism, one of the recommended treatments is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. ABA is a highly structured and individualized therapy that focuses on improving behavior and increasing social, communication, and academic skills. The first step to starting your child in ABA therapy is to schedule an evaluation.
PediaPlex is an all-inclusive diagnostic and therapy clinic offering ABA therapy, as well as speech, feeding, and occupational therapy. Our mission is to ensure that children and families receive the support they need to achieve their goals.
We’ve gathered some helpful information to help families learn more about the evaluation process for ABA therapy.
What is ABA Therapy?
ABA is a behavioral therapy focused on teaching new skills and behavior patterns while reducing problematic or challenging behaviors. ABA uses a highly structured and individualized approach to therapy, where our therapist analyzes your child's behavior and develops a customized treatment plan to address their specific needs.
The Evaluation Process
The evaluation is the first step in starting ABA therapy. At PediaPlex, our team aims to make it a smooth transition for you and your family. During the evaluation, our board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) meets with you and your child to assess their needs and create an individualized treatment plan.
Here is what to expect during your child’s evaluation for ABA therapy:
Our BCBA gathers information about your child's medical history, developmental milestones, and previous evaluations. They may also ask you to complete a questionnaire about your child's behavior and any concerns you may have.
Our clinician observes your child in various settings, such as at home, school, or a clinic. The observation helps the clinician identify your child's strengths, challenges, and areas where they need support.
Our BCBA may use standardized assessment tools to measure your child's skills and abilities. These tools may include cognitive, language, and adaptive behavior assessments.
Meeting with parents and caregivers: Our clinician meets with you to discuss their observations and assessment results. They explain their findings and recommendations for ABA therapy. The clinician also works with you to create an individualized treatment plan for your child.
What to bring to the evaluation
To ensure that the evaluation is as comprehensive and effective as possible, there are a few things you should bring with you to the appointment. The checklist of items to bring to your child's ABA therapy evaluation include the following:
- Medical records: Bring any medical records related to your child's developmental history.
- Previous evaluations: If your child has had previous evaluations, such as developmental screenings, bring those records as well.
- Questionnaire: Our BCBA may ask you to complete a questionnaire about your child's behavior and development. If you have not already received this questionnaire, ask if you can receive it beforehand so you can fill it out at home and bring it to the appointment.
- List of medications: If your child is taking any medications, bring a list of the names, dosages, and any other pertinent information.
- School records: If your child is of school age, bring any relevant school records, such as report cards or progress reports.
- Any other relevant information: If you have any additional information relevant to your child's evaluation, bring it to the appointment.
Bringing these items to the evaluation helps our BCBA develop a more comprehensive understanding of your child's needs, strengths, and challenges.
After the evaluation, our BCBA provides you with a treatment plan. Typically, ABA therapy requires a minimum of 10-15 hours per week, but the number of hours varies depending on your child's needs. The treatment plan also includes goals for your child's behavior and academic skills and strategies for achieving those goals.
PediaPlex is committed to providing collaborative and comprehensive care to children and families. Through a multi-disciplinary approach and effective communication, we strive to guide the development of children in partnership with medical professionals, school staff, and other therapy professionals.
To get started with ABA therapy, call our friendly staff or use the online booking feature to make an appointment at one of our locations in Southlake, Fort Worth, or Frisco, Texas.