What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
- ABA is a widely used evidence-based treatment for addressing problem behaviors, and teaching communication skills, life skills, and safety skills. Some people also refer to ABA as “Behavior Therapy.”
- ABA services take into consideration what is going on before the problem behaviors occur (antecedents), the actual problem behavior itself, and what happens after the problem behavior (consequences).
- At BOS, we also take into consideration a family’s values, co-occurring medical and mental health conditions, environmental factors, and assent of child (when appropriate), etc.
Do You Provide Other Services? Yes. We also provide Professional Development Trainings or Workshops for teachers, daycare workers, doctors, nurses and others working with special needs populations in Jackson, TN and surrounding areas.
Where Do the ABA Visits Take Place? Mainly at my office location. Home and community visits will be scheduled as needed. When a school system contracts with us then those ABA services are provided at school.
How Often Are ABA Appointments with the BCBA & RBT?
- Once a week, same day and same time each week at our office location in Jackson, TN.
- Home and community visits will be scheduled as needed.
- Additional RBT services in home or at our office (of up to 40 hours per week) may, or may not, be available due to your child’s level of need, RBT location and availability, and limitations of your insurance company.
How Long Do ABA Appointments with BCBA & RBT Last? Allow 1.5 - 2 hours per visit in office location.
What is the Purpose/Goal of ABA Services?
- Preventing problem behaviors,
- Teaching caregivers HOW to consistently respond to problem behaviors when they occur so that they are less likely to occur in the future
- Teaching the caregivers HOW to teach the child socially appropriate communication skills (with words, pictures, or communication device) to get child’s wants and needs met the “right way,”
- Teaching the caregivers HOW to teach the child life skills, safety skills, and independence skills.
How are these Goals Accomplished?
- Parents/caregivers are given a “behavior book” to write down behavior data. The “behavior book” MUST come with you each week to review during ABA appointments.
- The Behavior Analyst analyzes the behavior data the parents record in order to DETERMINE WHY the child is having problem behaviors, and then develops a behavioral strategies based on that data recorded by parents. Please note, the Behavior Analyst can not do a proper assessment and recommend proper behavioral strategies/treatment unless accurate behavior data is collected by the parents/caregivers and brought to the ABA appointments.
Who Participates in the ABA Appointments?
- BOTH the child and parents participate during ABA appointments.
- Our ABA is WORK and takes a bit of energy on both the parents’ and child’s part. Since you, the parent, are already using a lot of energy parenting, why not FOCUS that energy is such a way that you are being more efficient and reducing problem behaviors over time. It makes good logical sense.
Should Us Adults Really Talk About the Child’s Problem Behaviors in Front of Them?
YES. We, the adults, discuss what has been going well, and what has not been going well. We also include the child in the conversations as appropriate. Discussing this in front of and/or with the child helps them to process the information and know the difference between good decisions/behaviors and bad decisions/behaviors. It also includes them in some decision-making (when it is possible and/or appropriate) depending upon what we are working on.
By Writing Down Problem Behaviors My Child is Having, am I Saying They Are a Bad Kid?
NO. Not at all. There are no bad kids, just bad behaviors. Problem Behaviors occur because the child lacks certain skills to get their wants and needs met appropriately. Accurately recording details regarding problem behaviors enables us to help you build the skills that you are your child need.
Once we start ABA do Problem Behaviors Slowly Get Better over Time, or How Does That Work?
- Some do and some don’t. Once we start implementing new behavioral strategies there could be a temporary increase in problem behaviors. This is called an “extinction burst.” It can occur when the problem behaviors no longer get the child what they want. No worries though because we put a heavy emphasis on teaching you HOW to teach the child appropriate ways to get their wants/needs met so that problem behaviors decrease.
- Please note that children will make fast progress in some areas, and slower progress in others. There may even be times where it seems like the child may take “3 steps forward and 2 steps back.” This is due to uneven skill development, a child’s strengths and weaknesses, caregivers’ strengths and weaknesses, and other factors including but not limited to schedules, illness, medications, etc. Not to worry though because progress is progress, and as long as we continue to move in the right direction, we will get there!
If our Child Misses Some School Time Due to ABA Visits, How Do We Get Those Excused?
- We give you 2 copies of the school note at ach ABA appointment in order to excuse them from school (one for you to keep, and one to give to the school).
- You can also make sure it is noted in the child’s IEP or 504 plan (if they have one) that they leave school early those days for outside ABA therapy.
How Long Does a Child/Family Usually Receive ABA Services Before They Are Discharged From ABA?
- Everyone is completely different from each other. Therefore, the length of time that a child receives ABA is completely dependent upon their own unique situation and the progress that is made during ABA.
- Just be aware that OUR JOB IS TO WORK OURSELVES OUT OF A JOB. Our job is to teach the parents/caregivers the tools that they need in order to meet the behavioral goals, then move on to helping the next family.
- Please note that we will ONLY add 1-2 behavioral strategies/treatments at a time in order to make sure that the family is successful each and every step of the way during ABA therapy. We want to make sure that you fully understand what to do, how to do it, when to do it, what not to do, etc. before we add another strategy.
- We will work as quickly as possible to meet the behavioral goals, while also ensuring to keep a pace which is comfortable for you and your child.
What Does Being Discharged from ABA Mean?
- You no longer have weekly ABA appointments and no longer have to collect behavior data.
- You DO need to continue using ALL of the behavioral strategies learned in ABA therapy. If you stop using the behavioral strategies, the problem behaviors are likely to return.
What if Problem Behaviors Start Up Again?
- You can go through the ABA Intake Process again to receive our ABA services (there may be a waitlist).
- You can also contact the member services number on the back of your insurance card to get a list of in-network ABA providers if ABA is a “covered benefit” with your insurance company.