It’s observed that people with autism generally have to wait for around 5.5 months before they can receive behavioral health services. The result is that parents and caregivers are forced to manage their child’s condition without the help of any formal therapy.
Board-certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) in the United States
Today, it’s estimated that there are only 60,000 board-certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) in the United States who provide crucial applied behavioral analysis (ABA) therapy to this population. This number is still small, especially when considering the fact that one in 36 children is diagnosed with autism.
Another issue is the significant disparities in access to these services in rural areas as children with autism living in these areas may face even more challenges in receiving the necessary therapy due to factors such as distance and limited availability of trained professionals. Parents & Caregivers, therefore, bear the responsibility of providing temporary support while waiting for their child to receive professional therapy.
Caregivers require proper guidance
However, it is evident that most caregivers require proper guidance and specialized tools to effectively fill in for the absence of in-clinic care during this interim period. This is especially paramount considering the crucial role that early intervention plays in improving outcomes for individuals with autism and related I/DDs.
When a child on the spectrum receives intervention as early as the first 12 months, they have a better chance of developing strong language skills and improved motor function. Additionally, research has shown that starting integrated developmental and behavioral intervention soon after diagnosis can even lead to progression of the autism spectrum.
A key question that arises in this context is how to effectively train and equip parents so they can provide adequate support before actual formal ABA therapy. This is especially important given the shortage of BCBAs. We’ve seen a surge in innovations, such as video modeling aimed at facilitating the implementation of ABA.
Technologies can be leveraged to support the training
There’s a chance that these same technologies can be leveraged to support the training of both caregivers and parents. An example of how that could be done is through online guidelines and resources designed explicitly for advocacy, which can assist caregivers in learning how to effectively deploy ABA therapy at home. This can lead to an increase in positive outcomes for individuals diagnosed with autism while they are waiting to receive formal services.
Yes, parent training cannot substitute ABA therapy entirely, but it serves as a valuable interim solution to equip individuals with autism and related intellectual or developmental disabilities with the necessary skills to navigate through waiting periods.
ABA treatment – Nevada
There are many specialized treatment centers, but here at Nevada Autism Center, we offer a holistic and comprehensive approach to ABA therapy, going beyond just providing direct services for individuals with autism.
We emphasize training and supporting parents and caregivers because we believe that a multi-faceted approach is crucial in helping families effectively support their loved ones with autism.