Q: Does my child have to be able to sit and remain at a table to benefit from an ABA program?
A: Absolutely not! While sitting at a table is important for the success of a student in a classroom environment, the KGH team will evaluate those skills that are developmentally appropriate and functional given your child’s chronological age and work towards creating learning opportunities to support skill acquisition in those deficit areas. Learning is not bound to a table and specific materials. Rather, learning can occur on the floor, standing, walking, etc. It is possible that an observer may not be able to tell therapy is taking place as it may look like play. However, from a therapist's perspective, play is systematic and goal oriented with a focus toward working on a variety of goals within a single play activity.
Q: What does an ABA session look like?
A: ABA sessions are set up so that the motivation of the learner is captured across all learning situations as KGH believes learning should always be fun and never aversive! Therapists will spend some time building rapport with your child to ensure a positive working relationship is established. They will then get creative in determining how to arrange the environment in order to produce effective learning. Teaching opportunities are varied across diverse acquisition programs and positive reinforcement is used to promote learning. Reinforcement may come in the form of social praise, tickles, high-fives, access to a toy/privilege, etc.
Q: Is ABA the same as VB?
A: Verbal Behavior (VB) has derived out of the science of ABA and is based on the work of B.F. Skinner. In his book, Skinner describes language functionally and has categorized language into a group of “operants” (i.e., functional units of language). The primary operants that are taught/strengthened are the echoic, mand, tact, and intravebral, with each operant serving a different function. By applying the principles of motivation and reinforcement, the goal is to create a full, productive, and enriched language repertoire within the individual.
Q: What qualities make up a “good” ABA program?
A: The following is a list of criteria that KGH believes make for a quality ABA provider:
- It is important that an ABA service provider be one that has appropriate expertise in the field as evidenced by their credentials.
- They have experience in developing programs that address areas of behavioral excesses and skill deficits. The programming should be individualized to meet the learning needs of the individual.
- The programs are written to address skill generalization across people, places, materials, and time.
- Regular supervision of a behavior consultant be provided as it is necessary to monitor program success.
- Parent/caregiver coaching and participation is recommended to ensure consistency in learning across people and environments.
Q: Will you be able to teach my child to talk?
A: Communication can come in various forms and is not isolated to vocal language. For example, some individuals learn to communicate with an audience via the exchange of pictures, through sign language, or via a voice output device. KGH recognizes and understands that various methods of communication exist and will work towards identifying the method that will produce the most benefits to an individual. Attention is always placed upon strengthening and shaping a vocal repertoire; however, this may be paired with teaching communication via an alternative method.
Q: What is a BCBA?
A: A BCBA is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. This professional will hold a Master’s degree or Doctorate degree in psychology or ABA specifically and will have obtained certification after passing the Board Certification exam. Behavior Analysts engage in activities by applying the principles of learning in order to address the behavioral learning needs of widely varying individuals.
To access the BACB website, please visit: www.bacb.com
Q: Can you help me with my child’s IEP?
A: Yes! Our consultants are educated on the IEP process and can participate in any school related meetings to help support your child’s learning. Additionally, KGH offers comprehensive services where we believe collaborating with your child’s school team to align goals and expectations will only help support meeting your child’s needs.
Q: How many hours of therapy are recommended?
A: KGH believes in quality of therapy hours, not quantity. As a result, we look to having families participate in sessions with their child to learn the effective strategies that they can employ outside of the clinic setting to allow for an increase in teaching opportunities throughout the child’s day.
Q: What about social skills training and social skills groups?
A: KGH does offer social skills groups to address a variety of social skill deficits. We do evaluate clients on an individual basis and would start the process with an individual assessment to determine the appropriate social skills group your child would benefit from. Enrollment for these groups is on a rolling basis and a recommendation for the appropriate group comes out of the social skills assessment session facilitated by a behavior consultant.