The First Steps to Starting ABA

We know that deciding to enroll your child in ABA is a big decision, and we know that—like with any new beginning—there are a lot of unknowns. So, we wanted to share just a little bit about what you can expect when starting ABA for your child at Unlocking The Spectrum. 

The first step is always a conversation with you—the parent or caregiver. This conversation can be over the phone, in-person, or on zoom. It is an opportunity for us to get a picture of what is happening for your child and to gather some information that will help us plan for your child’s initial assessment. We’ll ask some questions about any problem behaviors you’re seeing, what skill deficits you have noticed, if there are any developmental delays, and what milestones your child has reached. We’ll also want to hear about whether your child has received any other kinds of therapies or treatments and how that went for your child and your family. We’ll also invite you to take a tour of our center!  

During this conversation we will also go over all the financial details. We’ll be able to let you know what insurance covers and if you should expect any out-of-pocket expenses. At Unlocking The Spectrum, we aim to make ABA as accessible as possible, and we understand that includes financial transparency and advocating for your child. 

Using the information we gather during our conversation we’ll make some decisions about what we’ll do during your child’s initial assessment. During the initial assessment we pay attention to developmental milestones, language skills, core symptoms of Autism, and behaviors for reduction. The initial assessment is play-based and is a great way for us to discover what items your child prefers and what interests help motivate them. 

Your child will be one-one-one with one of our Team Leaders or a BCBA for their initial assessment. At the same time, another BCBA or the Regional Director will meet with you—the parent—to get more details about your child’s speech, communication, and behaviors. We’ll ask about whether your child has spent any time in school or daycare and what barriers they encountered in those settings. This is also an opportunity to hear about why you are seeking out ABA, and what goals you have for your child and your family. 

During the initial assessment it’s important to have the autism diagnosis paperwork, IEP or ISP paperwork, as well as any materials or information that you have from previous therapies or assessments that your child’s school conducted. All this information will allow us to build off of what you have already learned about what works and doesn’t work for your child and what supports they need.  

And please come in with questions! At Unlocking The Spectrum, we strongly believe that parents are a part of our team and want to work together with you to be able to best serve your child and your family. In fact, we would consider it a red flag if an ABA professional did not take the time to hear from you and address your questions. 

All the information that we gather during the assessment and our initial conversations will be used to build an individualized treatment plan. We draw from different teaching methods while building this plan to best serve your child. Throughout our time working with each other, we will listen to any concerns that come up, continuously assess your child’s progress, and adapt the plan that we have in place as needed to ensure we are doing all that we can to help your child reach their maximum potential. 

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