When trying to choose a therapist for their child, families can be overwhelmed by the options and decisions. For this blog post, I reached out to a dear friend who does great work with individuals of all ages at her ABA Clinic, Autism Centers of Tennessee, in Memphis, Tennessee. Alicia and her spouse Morgan have built their clinic from the ground up, and they are a testament to what is possible when you find the right behavioral therapy for your child. Alicia is the Program Director and Lead BCBA at her center.
I asked Alicia a few questions about ABA, and she was able to provide some valuable insight.
How should a family choose an ABA provider?
When searching for an ABA therapist that is right for you, choose one that is best for your child. Ask questions in the interview such as, have you worked with children with similar characteristics to my child? Ask how often the BCBA will be with your child and ask how closely are they supervising and monitoring the treatment plan with their supervisees. (A BCBA creates the initial treatment plan and oversees the treatment, but the therapy is typically conducted by RBTs, Registered Behavior Technicians—a child may work with one or more behavior technicians, depending on the provider and the family’s wishes.) The BCBA will create a plan that is tailored for you child, and then will train and supervise everyone on the treatment team to make sure it is implemented correctly. They should be monitoring it closely to see that the behaviors are decreasing, and the child is improving their communication and skill acquisition drills. BCBA’s are in high demand so they are often put on several cases. Feel free to ask how often they will be interacting with your child and monitoring your child’s therapy. Red Flags include not having frequent communication with your BCBA.