ABA Therapy uses observation and collection of behavioral data to analyze a child's abilities and weaknesses, and then breaks down simple and complex behaviors into commensurate steps. Using their expertise, ABA therapists develop programs that motivate children to improve behavior and cognitive function; and also to promote independence in everyday tasks and learning. According to the Surgeon General's reports on Autism treatment, ABA therapy accounts for 45% of therapies that develop long-lasting and observable results.
While cost for the therapy can run fairly high, many practitioners offer both in-clinic and at-home options for therapy and consultation sessions. Since ABA therapy itself requires virtually no medical equipment or special tools, most practitioners and parents that incorporate an ABA program in their homes pay little costs for materials and environment modification. ABA can be performed in the home, in play areas, at school, or any location the children find themselves on a day-to-day basis.
ABA Therapy typically is administered to a child through a hierarchical treatment structure, meaning that there will be a team of individuals led by a consultant. Consultants are almost always Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA), which means they have gone through the requisite education programs needed to effectively develop and administer individualized ABA treatment programs. BCBAs are the only individuals parents should rely on to create or execute an ABA treatment program. Checking credentials is an essential step to finding an adequate ABA Therapy consultant.
Under a consultant, there will usually be a team of non-BCBA technicians perform line-treatment, which means these technicians are the ones administering therapy on a regular basis, in the average case three to four times a week. They adhere to a BCBA consultant's treatment program, and any deviation or amendment to a treatment plan can only be made by a BCBA.
The cost for ABA Therapy is sometimes quite high, depending on the full measure of your treatment plan, and how often you see a consultant or technician. For ABA Therapy with a BCBA who charges $120 per hour for consulting services, the cost could run to almost $50,000 per year, including average supplementary materials costs.
Special Learning seeks to make the ABA treatment process more effective and accessible to families with children in the spectrum. One way we do that is to help parents, family members and friends learn the skills to be part of the team that administers therapy to the child, dramatically cutting the cost of services.