Finding reliable references for applied behavior analysis (ABA) providers and choosing one for your child can be daunting. The decision to move your child to ABA care comes with a long list of questions and considerations. We’ve compiled some helpful information to make this process easier.

Four Steps to Find a Quality ABA Provider

Use your child’s primary care as a resource

Your child’s primary care doctor has the most intimate experience with your child’s specific diagnosis. Use them as a consistent resource for any questions you have regarding applied behavior analysis and how it can be applied to your child. Your child’s primary care most likely has in-network experience with board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) and behavior technicians (BTs). Use the recommendations from your child’s doctor and the following suggestions to find a reliable ABA provider.

Consider the provider’s professional background

Applied behavior analysis is a relatively new field. Emerging in 1968, it is a young enough field of study that some question its practical application. Overwhelming evidence confirms ABA’s legitimacy, but that doesn’t mean that every provider is equally qualified. BCBAs must achieve a master’s degree or Ph.D. in their field and pass a national certification exam. It’s essential to see whether or not that field of study is relevant to your child’s individual needs, what age group the BCBA specializes in, how long they have been practicing, and how many BTs they employ. All of these considerations will get you closer to finding the best ABA provider.

Review the types of therapy provided

Because of ABA’s budding relevance, there are many approaches different providers take to therapy. Some providers are more individualized with their care, while others are more generalized. Understanding various providers’ approaches to therapy is a stepping stone to finding what procedure best fits your child Frowned upon practices in ABA therapy include using understudied methods, focusing on getting rid of behaviors instead of navigating them and aversive techniques including punishment.  A trusted ABA provider will demonstrate positive outcomes in their patients, refrain from unethical practices and work with families to develop a plan that works for their child.

Your involvement in care

After you have consulted your child’s primary care doctor and found an ABA provider you believe is professional and uses an approach to therapy you trust, the last thing to consider is how you will be involved in the process. The parent’s role in ABA therapy is imperative for progress. Once the BCBA puts together a comprehensive approach to your child’s care, the parent and behavior technician will implement the plan with ongoing supervision, support and education from the BCBA. Consider how the balance of responsibility falls between you and the BT, whether you feel you should be more or less involved and how you plan to track progress together. Parents should expect clear and consistent communication regarding the plan’s effectiveness.

Maxim’s autism services

Properly vetting and choosing an ABA provider can be taxing but necessary to ensure your child’s development and success. At Maxim, we offer an individualized and empathy-based approach to autism care to support both you and your child’s complex needs. Our behavioral care team will support your child’s development and assist with the following:

  • Adaptive skills and independence
  • Communication and socialization
  • Minimizing challenging or risky behavior
  • Play and leisure skills
  • Cognitive and motor skills

Please contact your local office to learn more about Maxim’s Autism and ABA therapy services.