ABA and Other Therapies
1. What is ABA? How can I find a good provider?
ABA stands for Applied Behavioral Analysis. It is considered an ‘educational' treatment for Autism. Scientific testing has shown ABA to be a valid and helpful intervention for Autistic Children and has shown a percentage of children that have recovered with ABA alone.
Most of this testing was done as biomedical research was emerging. The combination of healing a child from the inside while using ABA to make up for deficits, gaps in learning, or catching up a child to their peers may increase the percentage of recovered children.
The value of a good consultant is that ABA can be a very complex program and having the expertise of a good consultant who has a deep well of knowledge to pull from is priceless. Thanks to advances in all treatments, today it is recommended to use a combination of approaches (e.g. biomedical and ABA, RDI, etc.) ABA alone cannot heal your child's medical conditions and a medical approach cannot make up for deficits with your child's peers.
Many parents feel an all around approach covers all bases. To find the most qualified provider, be sure they are a "Board Certified Behavior Analyst" and contact the nearest FEAT(Families for Effective Autism Treatment) organization for provider information.
Always consult a licensed healthcare professional with questions regarding prescription medications.
For a list of practitioners offering auditory integration therapy, see: Berard AIT Practitioners
4. Where is the best school for my autistic child?
There is not one "best" school for every autistic child. ARI recommends networking with local parents and advocacy groups to find the best educational program/setting for your child. To find a local Autism Society of America Chapter near you, See: Autism Society of America
You can also search on the internet for Yahoo Groups in your area - parents are often the best resource for educational support – for example, "Autism + (your state)."
5. If I do ABA, do I need Speech, Occupational and other therapies?
Supportive speech and language pathologists and occupational therapists are great assets to therapy teams and may be covered by insurance (check your plan). It's critical to find practitioners who support your behavioral and biomedical approach and are willing to integrate your strategies into their treatment plans. Consistency in your child's educational experiences is key to success using an ABA approach.
5. There are so many options. I don't know what to pick for my child. This is expensive. I don't want to make a mistake.
Selecting the right education therapy for your child is easiest when a child is feeling well. We suggest you start with traditional therapies while implementing appropriate biomedical care. As your child's health improves the correct educational therapy may be more apparent. Therapies often become dramatically more effective once the fog of poor health is lifted.