ABA programs can be provided by a variety of different entities include, but are not limited to, private companies, schools, local government agencies, and collaborative partnerships and foundations. Moreover, they can be provided by consultants and therapists in separate packages.
Commonly, several tutors, a senior tutor/supervisor, and a consultant/case manager form a team to employ the program. Tutors are trained by the service provider and are closely supervised, thus they aren’t necessarily required to have previous experience.
Family members usually complete two or three sessions per week. Some families prefer to hire tutors that are family members, or volunteers, such as from local church groups. However, most families hire tutors through universities or by placing classified ads.
In general, ABA programs involve:
- Evaluating the skills and difficulties of the child.
- Determining goals and objectives, e.g., learning how to say ‘hello’.
- Assessing behavior frequency.
- Plan and implement a program that teaches the preferred behavior.
- Continuous measurement of required skills to ensure the program is effective.
- Continuous program enhancement, making corrective actions when needed.
The way these components are applied differs from one child to another. For instance, an ABA program can be applied in the home of the family, clinic, school, or center. However, it can also be applied in two or more settings. The behavioral intervention program initially takes place in the child’s home by a group of tutors under the supervision of a consultant/case manager. The program can then be applied to other environments whenever the child progresses.
Originally, Professor Lovaas’ research recommended between 32 to 40 hours of tutoring per week – 2 or 3-hour sessions at a time. Some families apply the program 5 days a week, continuously working on general skills on weekends. Whereas others include nursery placements and behavioral interventions, thus they apply for the program on weekends as well.
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