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Transitioning from Birth to Three to ABA Services

Birth To Three vs. Early Intervention ABA

At Ascend Autism, we provide Applied Behavior Analysis services, including early intervention and targeted intervention services for children diagnosed with autism.

It is universally accepted that parents should start early intervention services as young as possible. Early intervention services can be defined as applied behavior analysis services catered for children aged 18 months to 7 years old.

However, there is also a separate colloquial meaning of “Early Intervention” services that is synonymous with a state’s “Birth to Three” system. Instead of referring to these services as “Early Intervention”, it is more accurate to call them “Birth to Three” services. Birth to Three services are offered under the federal law known as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). IDEA mandates that all states must provide children, including those with disabilities, a free, appropriate public education. Part C of IDEA provides for early intervention (aka Birth to Three) services for at-risk children from birth to their third birthdays.

 Ascend Autism provides Birth to Three services as well as early intervention services for any children aged 18 months to 7 years old at our Early Childhood Center in Hawthorne, NY. Given that most commercial insurance plans cover ABA-based early intervention services (like those offered at Ascend), many families choose to forego Birth to Three services altogether and start directly with ABA services. However, some families do choose to start with Birth to Three services since they are offered at no cost. 

What if My Child is Too Old for Birth To Three?

Ascend Autism provides continuation services for many children that were previously enrolled in a Birth to Three program, but “aged out” once they turned 3 years old. Although many Birth to Three programs incorporate principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), the early intervention services offered at Ascend Autism are more focused on evidence-based programs and superior outcomes.

If your child is currently receiving Birth to Three services and you are wondering what to do once they turn 3 years old, you should strongly consider enrolling your child into an early intervention program like the one offered at Ascend Autism. The Ascend Autism team understands how difficult transitions can be for children with autism. That’s why we want to ensure that your child is completely ready before they make the transition from Birth to Three into a more focused applied behavior analysis program. 

What Is Applied Behavior Analysis?

Applied behavior analysis, also known as ABA, is the study of human behavior to understand and improve behavioral outcomes. There is no specific recommendation for ABA therapy duration, as that is determined by individual need.

Ascend uses ABA as the foundation of its treatment programs as it has been accepted as the most effective form of intervention for all ages. After Birth to Three services, the Ascend Autism team will use assessments to create an individualized treatment plan that is supported by principles of applied behavior analysis. Our team will make the transition from Birth to Three services to ABA services as smooth as possible for your child.

How Are Applied Behavior Analysis Services Different from Birth to Three?

Our applied behavior analysis services build upon the skills learned during Birth to Three services. However, ABA services require higher levels of cognitive function, which gradually increases your child’s progress as they go through the program. 

For example, children learn skills in early intervention autism services such as initiation of joint attention, affect sharing, and social imitation. Applied behavior analysis services help your child take these socialization skills and apply them in an appropriate setting, such as interactive play with other children.    

Also, applied behavior analysis services focus more on skills that build independence than early intervention services. The long-term goal for any parent is that their child grows into a self-sufficient adult. Applied behavior analysis services gradually makes this goal more of a reality for parents of children with autism.

Related reading: What Is The Timeline For Your Child’s Autism Treatment?

What Are the Benefits of Applied Behavior Analysis Services?

ABA services can be quite effective for children with autism. Some of the benefits of applied behavior analysis services include:

  • Improves language and communication
  • Significantly reduces behavior problems 
  • Teaches social skills: This occurs to varying degrees, depending upon the child and their abilities. Every child with autism spectrum disorder is unique; as such, each child will have a unique set of goals when developing new social skills. For example, those who are nonverbal may have a different set of goals for developing social skills than a verbal child. However, most can learn some form of social interaction through ABA to connect with others.
  • Improves independent living skills: ABA allows teachers, parents, and caregivers to teach independent living skills such as toileting, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and sleeping through the night. 
  • Helps parents and teachers: With the help of therapists trained in ABA, parents, and teachers can learn the best ways to work with children and reinforce the strategies utilized by the ABA team. 

Related Reading: Is Early Intervention Enough for Autism Care?

Discover How ABA at Ascend Autism Can Help Your Child

Our applied behavior analysis services are structured to prepare your child for long-term success. We use a practical approach in every area of our treatment and education. When you partner with Ascend Autism, you will see real results that promote a happy and healthy life.

For more information about the transition from Birth to Three services into an Applied Behavior Analysis program, call us or contact our team via our online form.

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