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How To Choose An ABA Provider

A mother is leaning over her laptop and a book while her son sits on the couch beside her playing on a tablet.

Written by: Joshua Sleeper

Whether your child has just been diagnosed with autism or you’re simply looking for a new Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy provider, it’s important to carefully consider your options to find the best partner for your family’s needs. Creating a list of important questions will help keep you focused on what’s important to you and identify the differences between various organizations. To help you get your list started, we’re sharing 10 key questions to ask every potential ABA provider.

Read More: What To Expect When Beginning ABA Therapy

Questions to Ask Your ABA Provider

1.Do you offer multiple settings of care?

Leading autism therapy research shows that the setting of care should match an individual’s treatment goals. By providing multiple treatment settings, including in-home ABA therapy, community-based care, and treatment at autism therapy centers, your provider can help your child develop valuable skills in a variety of environments.

2. What ages do you work with?

Finding a partner who can support your child throughout their development can help them continue to grow new skills as they age. Ask if your provider offers early intervention, school-aged, and adolescent autism therapy. Finding an autism treatment partner for life ensures you’ll have constant support and adaptive therapy to meet your child’s changing needs.

3.What is your team training like?

ABA therapists should undergo specific ABA training prior to working with children with autism. Ask about the provider’s training policies to understand what training therapists are given and if ongoing training is provided. For example, Trumpet offers in-house, comprehensive ABA training to every therapist, requires all client-facing team members to pass national exams and competency assessments and offers continuing education on a regular basis.

4. What qualifications do your therapists have?

There are many kinds of behavioral therapists, and your child should have access to a variety of trained professionals. At Trumpet, we assign between 2 and 4 therapists to your child’s team. Each therapy team is led by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who conducts assessments, develops your child’s treatment plans, and supervises therapists and clinicians. The other therapists on your child’s team are typically Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBTs) who have been certified to provide ABA therapy by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

5. Do you have a QA process?

Your provider should have a culture of excellence and a comprehensive quality assurance program to ensure ABA therapy is successful. Although QA processes can take on many forms, you should look for providers that provide supervision and mentorship, value clinical competency, and have a clear plan in place if your child needs additional support.

6. What research have you published?

In addition to providing the highest-quality therapy, look for organizations that contribute to the advancement of autism treatment through research. By continuing to research best practices for teaching complex skills and reducing challenging or harmful behavior, your provider will be better equipped to help your child live life to the fullest.

7. How do you decide what skills to teach my child?

Your provider should be able to explain how they create treatment plans for each child, but be wary of providers who use a “one-size-fits-all” approach. ABA therapy works best when it’s tailored to each individual’s needs, which is why Trumpet customizes every plan to teach children the behaviors and skills that will make the greatest impact on their life,

8. Do you provide parent training?

Parent participation can have a huge impact on helping individuals with autism learn positive long-term behaviors. Before starting with a provider, ask about their parent participation policies and how you can get involved in and outside of your child’s therapy sessions. It’s also a good idea to look for a provider who offers parent training and education so you can better understand the strategies and skills your child will learn.

9. How does your center design support learning opportunities?

When choosing a provider, you should consider how the center design:

  • Maintains the safety of your child: Look for age-appropriate toys and tools, if the furniture and equipment are in good condition, and if there’s an access control system in place to keep track of who is in the building at any given time. It’s also a good idea to ask about cleaning policies and protocols.
  • Provides both individual and group learning opportunities: Look for private and separate therapy spaces (perfect for 1:1 sessions with their therapist) as well as dedicated spaces for group and physical activities.
  • Offers parents the opportunity to observe and/or participate in therapy: The center should include opportunities and space for families to engage in therapy sessions, complete parent training, and meet with their therapy team. Waiting rooms should have space and internet access for you to comfortably wait while your child is receiving therapy.

10. What are your safety protocols?

Safety is a must-cover topic that encompasses center-design, privacy, access systems, and more. Your provider should be able to explain their comprehensive safety protocols for storing location supplies, ensuring toys are age-appropriate, guaranteeing your child’s privacy, and creating a safe and welcoming environment.

Choosing your autism treatment provider is an important decision, and taking the time to ask the right questions is crucial to finding the perfect partner for your needs. If you’re interested in learning more about how Trumpet Behavioral Health measures up on these questions, contact us today to discuss how we can support your family.