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Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): Effective Teaching,  Brighter Futures.

Life Strategies provides the following services for Autism:

1. In-Home and Center-Based ABA Program
2. In-Office Therapy

Why Use ABA?

ABA's effectiveness has been widely studied, here are a few excerpts from some key health organizations:Autism Therapy
From National Institute of Mental Health, a section of the National Institute of Health:
"Among the many methods available for treatment and education of people with autism, applied behavior analysis (ABA) has become widely accepted as an effective treatment."

From the U.S. Surgeon General:
Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General states,“Thirty years of research demonstrated the efficacy of applied behavioral methods in reducing inappropriate behavior and in increasing communication, learning, and appropriate social behavior"

From the American Academy of Pediatrics:
"The effectiveness of ABA-based intervention in ASDs has been well documented through 5 decades of research by using single-subject methodology"... "Children who receive early intensive behavioral treatment have been shown to make substantial, sustained gains in IQ, language, academic performance, and adaptive behavior as well as some measures of social behavior, and their outcomes have been significantly better than those of children in control groups."

In addition to using sound principles, the National Research Council, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education says in their report "Educating Children with Autism" that "entry into intervention programs as soon as an autism spectrum diagnosis is seriously considered" is important.

There is substantial amount of research validating the effectiveness of Applied Behavior Analysis. We posted many of the questions we get asked. Our Frequently Asked Questions page has more information.

What is ABA?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientific approach to understanding behavior and how behavior is affected by the environment. "Behavior" refers to all kinds of actions and skills (not just problematic behavior), and "environment" includes all physical and social events that might change or be changed by one's behavior.

The science of behavior analysis focuses on principles about how behavior works or how learning takes place. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing behaviors that may be harmful or that interfere with learning. ABA is the use of those techniques and principles to address socially important problems and to bring about meaningful behavioral change and can be provided to children with Autism and other developmental conditions. Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) are trained in the science and application of Behavior Analysis. The BCBA is credentialed by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

In-home and Center-Based ABA Programs

Life Strategies provides intensive in-home and center-based ABA programs for children with Autism and other communication and learning challenges.

The use of ABA principles has expanded rapidly in recent years. Today ABA is widely recognized as an essential, safe, and effective treatment. ABA has been endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General and is considered to be the best researched treatment by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Programs are engaging and fun for children!

What is an ABA Program?

Our ABA programs work on teaching new skills, reducing problematic behaviors, and focusing on increasing language and social skills. Applied Verbal Behavior (AVB) incorporates a behavioral approach to teach and reinforce communication (such as speech or sign language) and other necessary skills. Programs increase socialization and teach prerequisite learning skills such as attention to task, waiting, responding to requests, sitting at a desk, etc. In addition, ABA programs can teach academic and life skills.

Our in-home and center-based ABA programs are tailored to fit your child’s specific needs. The number of hours a child receives depends on individual goals. However, most children receive between 25-35 hours of direct therapy per week and 4-10 hours of supervision hours per month, all managed by a BCBA. Research from the National Research Council suggests that at least 25 hours per week is critical for success.

Programs are individualized based on your child’s skill level. Initial assessments provide baseline information on your child’s current skill level. Common assessment tools include the A.B.L.L.S-R, the VB-MAPP, direct observation, previous educational assessments, and input from parents. This information is gathered to create an individualized set of goals and procedures. Program books with detailed data sheets are used to track progress throughout programming.

ABA Paraprofessionals (Paras), and/or Registered Behavioral Technicians (RBTs), are trained by a Behavior Analyst to implement the direct therapy goals. Each Para receives intensive training in Applied Behavior Analysis and utilizing the therapy specifically with your child. Home and center-based ABA programs can supplement school programs or can act as a stand-alone program to meet individualized communication, learning, and social goals.

Who develops and designs the ABA Program?

Life Strategies employs a team of Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) who oversee this specialized therapy. To be effective, ABA must be delivered by individuals with extensive training. It is essential that the program be supervised by a professional who has advanced training and experience in ABA principles and methods. Insurance companies often only approve programs that are supervised by a BCBA.

At what age can I enroll my child?

ABA programs are available for children ages 24 months and up who are diagnosed with Autism and other developmental, communication, and learning challenges. Intensive, well designed, and timely intervention can improve the success of your child.

What will my child do during the program?

A trained ABA Paraprofessional can provide therapy in your home and in our Blooming Potential Autism & Learning Center. The ABA Para provides direct, “one-on-one” therapy with your child. An ABA Clinical Supervisor provides a thorough skills assessment at the beginning of the program. Therapy is continually monitored by a BCBA and facilitated by your child’s teaching team.

Therapy time is comprised of instruction sessions that are designed to take place in your child’s natural environment(s). The day is filled with fun, interactive learning, reinforcement, and other positive learning activities. Instruction occurs both during play time and at a table for more traditional learning opportunities. The specific needs of your child, based upon collected data and assessments, will be addressed throughout the day. Progress toward each goal is monitored daily via data sheets and graphs.

What is the family’s involvement?

We value parent and family involvement with every aspect of the program. We ask that parents attend weekly to monthly meetings because we believe that parent involvement is a key variable in the success of the program. Parents can be taught to work directly with their child in typical day-to-day activities such as bath time, meals, TV time, getting dressed, play time, etc. These activities can be utilized to increase learning opportunities that support goals within the ABA Program.

Frequent communication between all parties involved in your child’s ABA program is essential for success of the program. To assist with this, weekly or monthly team meetings are held with the Behavior Analyst, Lead Therapist, parents, tutors, and anyone who is involved in your child’s program. Many parents observe quick progress after the first few weeks of the ABA program.

In addition, parents and family members are encouraged to attend instructional classes that are offered periodically. These classes are designed to expand your knowledge on basic behavior principles, addressing problematic behavior, and effective teaching strategies. Each component of parent training is designed to enhance the parent’s knowledge of how to structure an effective learning environment at home to support the skills your child has acquired in therapy.

Does health insurance cover ABA treatment?

Many major health insurance companies provide coverage for ABA programs in Indiana when supervised by a BCBA. Please contact us for more information, and we will help you assess your insurance coverage benefits. Click here for more information.

How can I enroll my child?

Please contact us and we will arrange an initial appointment and answer any questions that you may have about our in-home and center-based ABA programs. We will also assist you in determining if your health insurance covers ABA Therapy.

In-Office Therapy

In-office therapy encompasses the science and principles of behavior analysis and also utilize more traditional counseling strategies to address increasing coping skills, frustration management techniques, and addresses relational and peer concerns, etc. Typical sessions are approximately 50 minutes and generally occur weekly within the office setting. For children with Autism and other developmental, learning, or communication challenges, in-office therapy is offered for children who would not require a more intensive ABA approach and who can be supported by a more traditional counseling approach. Our therapists can assist you in determining what level of care your child will benefit most.

How can we help?

We hope our website contains information to help you make informed decisions for your family. We created a Frequently Asked Questions page which discusses Indiana Medicaid Waiver, ABA, insurance, as well as other topics. If you have a question we did not answer, please submit it and we will do our best to provide a timely response.