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Applied Behavior Analysis Program Options During COVID-19

While COVID-19 has been the topic of everyday conversations for several months, applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy providers have been working around the clock to provide quality care and therapy for clients. So, as a parent of a child with autism, what are your program options at Circle City ABA or an applied behavior analysis therapy provider during the pandemic? Regardless of the program options you choose, it is key to keep the progress of your child in mind, no matter where they are.
 

Below are questions to ask your potential, or current, applied behavior analysis provider.

1. See if your current provider or other area providers offer in-home ABA services

With many essential healthcare services transitioning to hybrid and virtual offerings, your child may qualify and be a good fit for Telehealth ABA therapy. Be sure to ask your insurance provider if they cover Telehealth. Of you believe this may be a good fit, your child’s Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will be able to assist and direct you further. The benefits of Telehealth therapy is that your child will be safe in the comfort of their own home while still receiving quality Telehealth services from the BCBA working in the center.

2. Weigh the risks of safety in the home due to behaviors vs. the risk of leaving the home and contracting an illness or virus

It is essential to weigh out the pros and cons of each situation with any therapy or service. If you have questions, please speak to the center directly and your child's current clinicians and care team for guidance. Applied Behavior Analysis therapy is not a one size fits all approach. At Circle City ABA, programs are designed with each child in mind. When your child begins services, you will work closely with your child's BCBA's to go over options and goals that best fit your child's needs.
 
It is important to ask questions about each therapy option and to discuss the pros and cons. Be sure to consider the intensity of your child’s behaviors when making your decision. We encourage you to collaborate with your child’s clinical team to determine whether the intensity of the behaviors are worth continuing therapy outside of the home. Sometimes, Telehealth therapy is a great fit, while other times, in-center services may be best for your child.

3. Consistency may be crucial to your child's progress.

Research shows that consistency is key to many children who are in ABA therapy programs. The Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis found that Telehealth programs' use indicates positive outcomes from both clinicians and caregivers. Many clinicians, therapists, and BCBA's have adapted quickly to model their in-center services to work in Telehealth settings. Many providers are approved for Telehealth services and payment. It is essential to ask your child's BCBA about the differences in services and ask how they approach Telehealth services.
 
Whether your child participates in ABA therapy in the center, Telehealth, or in-home therapy, the success depends on your child's programming. If your child's current program is not working, please reach out to your BCBA so you can determine the next steps.
 
By taking extended breaks from ABA therapy, as a caregiver, you should strongly consider the risk of your child losing skills by taking a break from therapy or scheduled adjustments. At Circle City ABA, we understand that we are in unprecedented times. We also know how essential it is for children with autism to have a routine during challenging times. Consistency, support, and a routine all play a part in your child reaching their goals.

4. Consider the potential benefits of learning self-help skills.

As you may know, ABA programming includes self-help skills. Self-help skills include life skills such as using the toilet, washing your hands, and brushing your teeth. Please check with your BCBA to see if skills such as hand washing, coughing and sneezing best practices, and keeping their hands out of their mouth can be added to your child's programming. These essential life skills are important in keeping your child safe while following best practices while participating in ABA therapy.

5. When masks are required, desensitization may help.

Masks are often required depending on where you are and what you are doing. Simultaneously, many children with autism have sensory needs that make wearing a mask complicated. Your BCBA may be able to design a mask desensitization program to assist your child in tolerating wearing a mask.
 
Ultimately, the decision should be based on a conversation within the family and with the child’s clinical team to determine the best situation for everyone involved.

 

About: Circle City ABA is a state of the art autism center in Evansville, Indiana and Lafayette, Indiana. Specializing in applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy for children with autism and related conditions, Circle City ABA is a destination where play meets progress. Programs are designed with each child in mind. Circle City ABA offers in-center, Telehealth, and in-home services.
The journey begins at initial assessment from our qualified team. Several Hoosier's in the Evansville and Lafayette area are already loving Circle City ABA. Learn more about our services below. Request enrollment information at info.circlecityaba.com/enrollment.
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