ABA Therapy Programs
for Autism Spectrum Disorder
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for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Ascend Autism provides a range of treatment options for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), all based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. There is no cure for autism, but scientific studies report that children who receive ABA therapy see improved outcomes in terms of cognitive development, communication, social skills, and functional skills.
Treatment at Ascend Autism is not one-size-fits-all. Every child with ASD is unique, and the therapy they receive should be unique as well. Our services use evidence-based practices (EBP) to provide individualized treatments to support every child and their family’s journey. These services include:
Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA is a science devoted to the understanding and improvement of human behavior. ABA is the design, implementation, and evaluation of environmental modifications to produce socially significant improvements in human behavior.
ABA includes the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relations between the environment and the behavior. During an autism spectrum disorder treatment program, the principles of ABA can be utilized to teach new skills, shape existing behaviors into new ones, and reduce the frequency of problem behaviors. Encouragement and positive reinforcement – not punishment – is used to help form these new behaviors.
Ascend Autism’s service offering, while comprehensive, is entirely based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), which is accepted as the most effective intervention for the treatment of ASD for children, adolescents, teens, and even adults.
Our therapy sessions are conducted in the child’s natural environment in order to encourage functional learning and help them feel more confident with the skills they learn during and after the session. Ascend Autism offers ABA therapy at our Hawthorne, NY ABA center as well as in-home throughout Connecticut and Westchester County, NY.
Read more about ABA: What is Applied Behavioral Analysis?
There is not a standard length of therapy recommended for every person. Instead, the need is determined on an individual basis by the BCBA and treatment team working directly with the child and family. ABA is an ongoing therapy that can grow with your child catering to their ever-changing needs as they continue to grow older. Although, some people may utilize ABA therapy for less than one year and some may utilize ABA therapy for 10+ years.
ABA treatment is most effective when deployed as early as possible upon diagnosis. Early Intervention is typically utilized when treating children from 18 months to seven years old. The therapy is usually more intensive and consists of a weekly program of 20 to 40 hours of treatment.
If the child is older or if the broader set of autism behavioral challenges has already been met, an autism spectrum disorder treatment program can be pared down and focused on more functional activities including hygiene, feeding, chores, and social interaction. This level of targeted intervention usually requires fewer hours of therapy per week (typically 10 to 25 hours).
Participation by the parents is inherent to the core set of therapy services. Additional sessions targeted toward parental-driven activities in the home can further assist the child’s development with regard to autism therapy.
Not all organizations operate the same way, but there are some general steps you can expect to go through when starting out with a new ABA therapy provider. If you decide to work with Ascend Autism, we will assist you through each of these steps in order to begin scheduling therapy sessions as quickly as possible.
Step 1: Contact an ABA Services Provider
After receiving a diagnosis, you should contact a clinical professional to set up an initial consultation for ABA therapy. For this meeting, you should be prepared to answer several specific questions about your child and your family. This information will be used when developing the most appropriate treatment plan.
Step 2: Assessment for a Customized Treatment Plan
Once your insurance benefits have been verified, you will schedule an assessment with a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). The BCBA will determine which assessments are the most appropriate for your child.
After all assessments are complete, the BCBA will develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Included in this will be assessment results, treatment goals, therapy schedule, as well as teaching procedures, and data templates used to track progress during therapy.
Once a plan is ready, the BCBA should schedule a meeting with the family/caregivers to review the treatment plan and make any final tweaks before the first therapy session.
Step 3: Begin Therapy Sessions
Usually, direct 1:1 Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is performed via experienced technicians or RBTs (Registered Behavior Technicians). The BCBAs are also intimately involved with all of the programming and treatment planning evaluation for tweaks and improvements.
Throughout therapy, the entire team will provide updates and feedback regarding your child’s progress. Generally, the BCBA will set up monthly meetings to provide formal updates regarding progress and the treatment plan, as well as implement family training.
There is no single correct answer for how long it will take to see improved outcomes from Applied Behavior Analysis therapy. ABA is considered an evidence-based practice (“EBP”) treatment by the U.S. Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association.
More than 20 studies have established that intensive and long-term therapy using ABA principles improves outcomes for many, but not all children with ASD. “Intensive” and “long-term” refer to programs providing 25-40 hours per week of therapy for 1-3 years. These studies show gains in language development, social functioning, intellectual functioning, and daily living skills. Studies with adults show similar results.
At Ascend Autism, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst is responsible for evaluating your child and determining the most appropriate treatment plan for their needs.
A BCBA is an individual with expertise in the field of behavior analysis who is responsible for designing targeted intervention and assessment plans while overseeing Registered Behavior Technicians (“RBTs”) and other therapists. All BCBAs are required to possess a Master’s Degree in ABA, Psychology, or Education. They are also required to complete over 1,500 hours of direct fieldwork with ABA programs, spending about 50% of those hours learning how to work on ABA programming and data analysis. During the fieldwork, existing BCBAs supervise BCBAs in training helping guide them through their fieldwork. After all coursework and fieldwork are complete, BCBAs are required to pass the BCBA examination through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB), a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1998 to meet professional credentialing needs identified by behavior analysts, governments, and consumers of behavior analysis services.
A BT or RBT is primarily responsible for the direct implementation of behavior-analytic services and practices under the close supervision of a BCBA. Behavior Techs typically work one-on-one with the child in therapy sessions but do not design the intervention or assessment plans.
Following successful performance as a BT, many pursue the advanced step of becoming an RBT. RBT is a nationally recognized certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). To achieve the certification, one must complete 40-hours of training, pass a competency assessment, and a proctored exam. After receiving the certification, an RBT is cleared to work with children with ASD. RBTs are required to complete annual competency assessments to maintain their credentials.
Enroll with Ascend Autism either online or by phone. To move forward with the registration process, parents must submit:
Our office will contact your insurance company to verify benefits and we will send you an intake packet for your child.