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What to look for when choosing an ABA agency

ABA Guidelines for Service Delivery from the BACB outlines Essential Practice Elements
1. Comprehensive assessment that describes specific levels of behavior at baseline and informs
subsequent establishment of treatment goals
2. An emphasis on understanding the current and future value (or social importance) of
behavior(s) targeted for treatment
3. A practical focus on establishing small units of behavior which build towards larger, more
significant changes in functioning related to improved health and levels of independence
4. Collection, quantification, and analysis of direct observational data on behavioral targets
during treatment and follow-up to maximize and maintain progress toward treatment goals
5. Efforts to design, establish, and manage the social and learning environment(s) to
minimize problem behavior(s) and maximize rate of progress toward all goals
6. An approach to the treatment of problem behavior that links the function of (or the reason
for) the behavior to the programmed intervention strategies

7. Use of a carefully constructed, individualized and detailed behavior-analytic
treatment plan that utilizes reinforcement and other behavioral principles and excludes the
use of methods or techniques that lack consensus about their effectiveness based on evidence

in peer-reviewed publications
8. Use of treatment protocols that are implemented repeatedly, frequently, and
consistently across environments
until discharge criteria are met
9. An emphasis on ongoing and frequent direct assessment, analysis, and adjustments
to the treatment plan (by the Behavior Analyst) based on client progress as determined by
observations and objective data analysis

10.Direct support and training of family members and other involved professionals
to promote optimal functioning and promote generalization and maintenance of behavioral
11.A comprehensive infrastructure for supervision of all assessment and treatment by a
Behavior Analyst

Recommended questions to ask your potential provider.

Families have the right to interview their potential ABA agency.   Afterall, this agency may be spending a significant amount of time teaching your child and family.  After reading about an agency online, request a tour and come prepared with open ended questions to find out more about the company's philosophy, training, and individual programming for your child.  

1.  What does your supervision structure entail?  (ask specifics about frequency, duration, location, and credentials of supervisor)

2.  What type of training do the direct technicians receive initially and throughout their employment?

3.  How are programs determined and created for my child?

4.  What is my role throughout the therapeutic process, as a parent, and can I observe?

5.  How often will I meet with the direct supervisor?

6.  How often will the direct supervisor be communicating with my child's other therapists and teachers?

7.  What if I do not feel a direct clinician is a good fit for my child?

8.  How do you determine frequency and duration recommendations specifically for my child?

9.  How do you handle disruptive behaviors?  When would a formal behavior intervention plan be necessary?

10.  Will my supervisor work with my child's education team conducting classroom observations and attending IEPs?

11.  When is data collected?  Is it only done during specific structures and times of day, or is it captured across all environments, individuals, and activities?


11.  What are the clinicians' education and knowledge related to neurotypical development and developmental milestones?

12.  How are sessions structured?  What percentage of time is at a table verses natural environment?

13.  What opportunities are available for peer interactions?

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