It’s a question that’s often asked- What are the indicators of a quality ABA therapy? How do you know if the ABA therapy you’re receiving is good quality? Perhaps you’ve been in therapy for a while, and something doesn’t feel right, or you’re new to ABA and want to ensure you’re getting the best possible service. Let’s explore a few key indicators that can help you determine the quality of ABA therapy.
Provision of clinical rationale in a common language for families
While ABA therapy is backed by decades of research, it can still be hard to understand all its jargon. A good ABA provider will be able to explain the rationale behind various interventions in a way that is easy for families to understand. Imagine you’re trying to potty train your child, and your therapist tells you they’ll be using a “prompt hierarchy.” This means that they’ll start with the easiest and least intrusive prompt (verbal prompting) and only move on to more intrusive prompts (such as physical prompting) if necessary. If your therapist can’t explain why they’re using a particular intervention in plain language, it may signify that they’re not as knowledgeable about the field as they should be.
Therapy doesn’t force unnecessary transitions
Sometimes, families feel like their child is being pushed too hard in therapy- that they’re being asked to do things they’re not ready for. For example, a child who is just starting to learn to communicate may be asked to use words instead of gestures, even if they’re not yet ready. While therapists need to challenge children and help them make progress, it’s equally important that they do so at a comfortable pace for the child.
A good ABA therapist will always consider a child’s readiness when planning interventions and will never force a child to do something they’re not ready for. If you feel like your child is being pushed too hard in therapy, it’s essential to speak up and voice your concerns.
Negative perceptions of ABA are not met with defense but compassion
ABA therapy can be emotionally challenging for both families and therapists. It’s not unusual for families to feel guilty or overwhelmed when their child is first diagnosed, and therapists may sometimes feel discouraged when they don’t see the progress they were hoping for. A good ABA provider will be able to empathize with these feelings and provide support to both families and therapists. If your therapist seems dismissive of your concerns or uninterested in your child’s progress, it may be a sign that they’re not invested in the therapy.
BCBA can admit when they missed something or can do better
We all make mistakes- even therapists. A good ABA provider will be able to admit when they made a mistake and will work hard to correct it. For example, if a child has trouble with a particular skill, the therapist may reevaluate their approach and try something new. If your therapist seems resistant to making changes or admitting when they’re wrong, it may be a sign that they’re not as flexible as they should be.
It’s normal to feel a little doubtful about the quality of ABA therapy you’re receiving. After all, it’s an important decision, and you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible service for your child.
By keeping an eye on the above indicators, you can ensure that you’re getting the high-quality ABA therapy you deserve.