Top Questions to ask your ABA Provider…. ANSWERED!!

  1. What kind of oversight will the direct staff have? All direct care staff (RBT’s, BCaBA’s and BCBA’s) will be overseen on a weekly basis to ensure treatment fidelity of programming and continued learner success.

  2. Do you have team meetings? Yes, we have monthly team meetings in which we review our learners successes and difficulties, learn new concepts/review research in the field and work on team building activities! 

  3. How is data collected and graphed? Our data is collected and graphed on a daily basis via our online platform: Central Reach. The lead analyst reviews this data on a weekly basis to ensure that our learners do not need additional modifications and continue to make significant progress. 

  4. What kind of parent support is offered? What will this look like? Parent support is an extremely important portion of our therapy! We believe that all skills worked on should be generalized to the natural environment and with the caregivers involved with our learners. Parent support is offered with the lead analyst and usually follows the behavior skills training model: Instructions are presented, the analyst performs the skill, the analyst and caregiver rehearse the skill and then the caregiver receives feedback implementing the skill. Instructions are modified per family structure. We will always make accommodations on what works best for your family! 

  5. Can we do community outings? ABSOLUTELY! We go where you may need us the most. Community outings lets us put the skills we are working on to the test in the natural environment. 

  6. Do you coordinate with other service providers (e.g., school, OT, speech)? Collaboration is KEY! We love to collaborate with other service providers to incorporate whatever skills they want us to incorporate and vice versa. 

  7. What kind of teaching will be involved in my child’s program? We incorporate both Discrete Trial Instruction and Natural Environment Teaching. Click on the links for additional information. 

  8. How are the goals developed? Goals are developed using various methods. We will conduct an initial assessment to test the learner’s skillset, observe them in the natural environment and conduct a series of interviews with caregivers. Based on these results, we will develop goals for our learners to meet in the next 6 months. We will review with caregivers to ensure they are in accordance with these goals. 

  9. What will be in my child’s behavior intervention plan? We will include antecedent manipulations, consequences and replacement behaviors for maladaptive behaviors. 

  10. What services are available to my child? We offer one-on-one direct intervention, parent support services, school consultation, behavior based feeding therapy, and toilet training. 

  11. Ok so there was 11: Do you have social skills groups? At the moment, we do not. BUT stay tuned for future planning!

Teaching Your Child To Be More Independent

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Read Time: 5 minutes

Teaching activities of daily living are one of my favorite areas to teach as a behavior analyst. With each daily living skill I teach, I am able to provide each learner with a skill that they will be able to perform for the rest of their lives. We are able to teach a range of daily living skills from riding a bike, to getting dressed, to learning how to dial a caregivers phone number to making food for themselves.

As behavior analyst, we individualize our teaching procedures for each of our learners. We will talk about the three primary ways we teach a long list of steps like teaching activities of daily living. 

Selecting a teaching technique varies greatly by the learner. It is important to consider the following: 

  1. How many steps does the learner already know?

  2. Will the child need to access to reinforcement quickly (i.e. a break, praise, etc)?

  3. How strong are the child’s motor skills (as this will influence how much prompting will be required)?

The first technique is forward chaining. In forward chaining, we teach each learner to complete the very first step of the task and help them through the rest of the steps in the task. Once the first step has been acquired, the second step is taught. When the second step is acquired, the third step is taught and so on. For example, when teaching a child to comb their hair, the first step would be to teach him/her to pick up the hair brush and prompt through the rest of the steps. Once the child has acquired picking up the hair brush on their own, we would then require the learner to pick up the brush (step 1) and place the brush on their head (step 2) and so on until we are able to require them to complete the entire task. 

The second technique is backward chaining. In backward chaining we only require the learner to complete the final step of the task. Similar to forward chaining the learner is taught one step at a time and then required to complete the acquired step and the previous step in the routine. When teaching shoe tying, the learner would be helped through the entire task and then required to complete the last step (i.e. pulling the loops to complete the tie). Once this final step is mastered, the learner would be required to make the loops and also pull the loops to complete the tie. The same sequence would continue until the learner knows all of the steps.

The final technique used is called total task chaining. In this technique the learner is taught the entire task receiving assistance as needed. This technique is great to use if the learner already knows some of the steps and may only need a little assistance. When teaching to make a PB and J sandwich, the learner may know how to gather the ingredients to make the sandwich but may need assistance with spreading the peanut butter and jelly and putting the ingredients away. In this example, the person assisting would refrain from prompting the learner in the areas they know and assist in the steps the learner has not yet acquired. 

Our learner in this video, learned to complete his shoe tying task using forward chaining in which we taught the first steps of the chain and continued to add on to the task as he acquired the steps. In a very short period of time, our lovely guy was asking for the rest of the steps to complete the task on his own! We are so proud of him! You may also be able to hear his brother providing him with positive reinforcement by cheering him on!

Graphed through Central Reach

Graphed through Central Reach