Applied Behavioral Connections offers experienced and compassionate ABA therapy services, including Assessments, 1:1 Therapy, Social Skills Groups, and Parent Training. We use an individualized, research-based approach with the principles of ABA to produce meaningful and positive changes in skills, learning, and behavior and decrease any challenging behaviors.
Applied Behavioral Connections will conduct an assessment with your child prior to beginning ABA services. Assessments will be conducted in multiple phases:
Upon receiving your intake paperwork, one of our BCBAs will contact you to set up an initial consultation. They will come to the meeting prepared to learn more about your family as a whole and ask questions that will help them determine your child’s primary areas of need. At this meeting, you should be prepared to answer a series of in-depth questions about your child, your family and goals for your child. This information will help guide the BCBA in determining the assessments that will allow them to develop your child’s treatment plan.
The BCBA will conduct a direct assessment with your child. A combination of 1:1 direct assessments, observations, data collection, and interview-based assessments will be administered.
Assessments can include:
- Functional Behavior Assessments
- Verbal Behavior Milestones and Placement Program (VB-MAPP)
- The Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised (ABLLS-R)
- The Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS)
- Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales
- Adaptive Behavior Assessment-3 (ABAS-3)
Once the assessments are completed, the BCBA will develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Our plans include assessment results, treatment goals, and recommended treatment hours. Following the completion of the treatment plan the BCBA will set up a meeting with the family to review the treatment plan. If you are happy with the direction of therapy we will have you sign the treatment plan and prepare to begin our direct therapy services.
Applied Behavioral Connections offers both a comprehensive ABA Treatment Program and Focused Therapy Program. The recommended program and treatment hours that will meet the needs of your child best will be determined at the time of assessment.
Comprehensive ABA Treatment
The goal of Comprehensive ABA treatment is to bring your child’s functioning to levels typical for his or her chronological age or to maximize independence in multiple skill areas. This approach is intensive, typically with 25 to 40 hours per week of direct treatment, depending on your child’s age and needs. These hours may gradually decrease as your child progresses in independence and begins to generalize behavioral changes to other settings.
Initially, treatment involves 1:1 staffing in structured therapy sessions. As your child gains ground, more naturalistic treatment approaches such as small group formats may be added. Training and participation by you and other caregivers are also important components.
With comprehensive therapy, we will typically work with your child over a course of multiple years. The precise duration of treatment will depend on how well your child responds to the treatment. Throughout treatment, we will frequently and consistently monitor your child and adapt the treatment plan according to the progress your child makes.
Focused ABA Treatment
The goal of focused ABA treatment is to address a limited number of areas of targeted behaviors, such as reducing dangerous behavior or improving social skills. Focused treatments can range from 9 to 24 hours per week of direct therapy. Focused therapy is sometimes part of a step-down or discharge plan from a comprehensive ABA treatment program. Focused therapy can also be appropriate for children who are reaching most age-appropriate milestones but need help in one or two areas.
Focused ABA treatment may be appropriate to help your child acquire or strengthen developmentally appropriate social skills, self-help skills, and advanced language and communication skills. These skills are often fundamental to maintaining health, social inclusion and increased independence.
When the goal of treatment is to introduce a desired behavior, particularly relating to social skills, treatment may be delivered in a small-group format consisting of peers with similar diagnoses. Together, we will practice the behavioral targets and work toward generalization of the desired skills in multiple environments.
Social Skills Group
The central goal of our social skills group is to pair other children with fun, reinforcing activities so that other children become more reinforcing and social interaction becomes more enjoyable, thus encouraging further appropriate social interaction and friendships. Each child’s behavior technician accompanies them to social skills group. Goals targeted in group are individualized to each child’s specific needs, but we also target the broader deficits common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. A scaffolding technique is used where the therapist will prompt the child when needed but will fade back and allow the child to interact independently.
We focus on individualized goals per each learner’s specific areas of need. Positive social interactions are contrived and encouraged for learners and their peers through interactive, cooperative play and fun social activities.
The following are areas of focus in our Social Skills Groups:
- Interactive play
- Initiating play
- Reciprocal play
- Tolerating changes to play
- Turn taking
- Following directions/ rules of games
- Social communication
- Functional communication
- Initiating conversation
- Appropriate eye contact and body position when speaking and listening
- Identifying and understanding social cues
- Identifying and understanding non verbal communication
- Understanding and using appropriate personal boundaries
- Identifying and using appropriate vs. inappropriate behavior
- Rule following
- Coping skills and strategies
- Reduction of problem behaviors
The parent-child relationship is a life-long journey of learning and training. This is even more accurate when you are a parent of a child with autism. At Applied Behavioral Connections, we understand the unique responsibilities. That’s why we offer the parents of children receiving Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, an opportunity to partake in our parent training programs. By providing tools and strategies, our programs empower parents and allow their children, our students, the opportunity to thrive in their own environment.
It is critical that parents and the therapy team work together to help promote better generalization. This means that once the parents have the tools, strategies, and the understanding of ABA strategies, the child will understand that the expectations for their behavior remain the same regardless if the parents or therapy team are present. Often the result is that the children grasp the techniques more rapidly and generalize learned skills in the home environment. Your child’s BCBA will meet with you on a regular basis to discuss progress in the home setting and to teach you ABA techniques that are used during your child’s treatment.
What are center-based programs?
Center-based services are those that are provided on-site at Applied Behavioral Connections’ Treatment Center, rather than in the home, school, or community. We have chosen, as an organization, to employ a center-based model in light of its many advantages. Advantages include: social interaction with peers, constant supervision from a BCBA, and access to a wide variety of curriculum materials that assist with generalization.