ABA therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on improving socially significant behavior. It is based on the science of Behavior Analysis, which is scientifically derived and its principals can be used to understand and change behavior.
ABA therapy is the most effective evidence-based treatment for Autism and is recommended by physicians, the American Psychological Association, and the US Surgeon General.
Many children with autism may show developmental differences as babies, especially in areas of language and social development.
Early signs include:The aforementioned behaviors are not immediate indicators of autism. However, if you have observed any of these behaviors, contact your pediatrician immediately for information about the evaluation process.
- No babbling or pointing by 12 months
- No single words by 16 months or two word phrases by age 2
- Repeats exactly what others say without understanding the meaning
- Child does not respond to name
- Difficulty making or maintaining eye contact
- Does not point to indicate needs or wants
- Repetitive, stereotyped behavior
Childhood signs include:
- Difficulty maintaining or keeping eye contact.
- Unable to perceive others feelings or thoughts via facial expressions
- Uninterested in or unable to make friends with peers
- Pronoun confusion
- Does not start or difficulty continuing a conversation
- Difficulty using toys or objects for pretend play
- Rote memory for numbers, letters, books, songs, but unable to answer conversational questions.
- Insists on routines, difficulty with change, obsessions with rituals
- Obsessed with (often unusual) activities, repeating them continuously throughout the day.
If you suspect your child may have autism, contact your pediatrician right away. Currently, there is no medical test to give an autism diagnosis. Instead, physicians and psychologist administer a behavior evaluation.
Your pediatrician will be able to ask you questions and use screening tools to determine if further evaluation is needed. If your pediatrician suspects autism, you will be given a referral to a developmental pediatrician, neurologist, or clinical psychologist.
While ABA is an effective intervention for more than just autism, an autism diagnosis will ensure proper treatment is being delivered. With a diagnosis from a qualified professional, we can make sure we are treating the proper developmental deficits. In addition, proper diagnosis allows for proper screening of other developmental delays.
A child can begin ABA as early as 18 months of age.
Insurance can be complex, which is why we figure it out for you including checking your current policy as well as alternate funding sources if required.
We accept insurance coverage from most providers including Anthem, Tricare and Sagamore amongst others. Our billing department is set up to handle all insurance needs from authorizations to ongoing claims and billing.
In case you didn’t know: The State of Indiana issued an insurance mandate under Indiana code 27-8-14.2 to provide insurance coverage for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Your insurance company may pay for ABA. There are also other state funding sources available that may help fund services for your child.
The autism mandate requires commercial insurance plans covered by the state of Indiana to cover autism services such as ABA therapy.
Every skill, task, and behavior is measured. By measuring your child’s responses, their learning tells us what works and what does not. If they are not learning, then we change our tactic to get them learning. Data-based decisions are used daily to ensure efficiency in progress.
Precision Teaching is used to ensure we meet our learners where they are at with all skills, and systematically increase the complexity of the instruction as the data shows they are ready.
Fluency Based Instruction is used to promote high rates of responding which leads to fluency across skills and efficiency in teaching.
Naturalistic Teaching is used to make teaching and learning fun as well as imbed teaching trials into natural environment activities.
If you are looking at a center-based ABA program or autism school for your child, come and observe Bierman ABA. See first hand how the proven effects of ABA, with our genuinely happy and motivated staff can have a lasting impact on your family.
Your team will work with a team of educated, trained, and motivated ABA professionals.
Your child’s team will consist of:
ABA Therapist or RBT (Registered Behavior Technician)
A BCBA is a professional with a graduate level certification in Applied Behavior Analysis. The Behavior Analyst Certification Board certifies individuals as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. A behavior analyst will help you to clearly define the strengths and learning needs of your child. Your behavior analyst will address those needs using research-based methodologies.
Our BCBAs keep very small caseloads in order to deliver individualized treatment. In addition, our BCBAs are lead by a clinical leadership team to help make data-based decisions to keep your child progressing in the most efficient manner.
Your BCBA will:
- Observe your child's behavior in a variety of environments, to develop an accurate picture of his or her current learning strengths and needs.
- Interact with your child weekly to assess your child’s language, behavior, social interaction, and other developmental domains.
- train family members, so that your child will use his or her new skills across the many people and places in his or her natural environment
A child’s success begins the day they enter our clinic and should continue for a lifetime. Our commitment to family training sets our children up for success in our center, at home, in the community, and in the classroom.
Our BCBAs meet with each individual family to train on skill acquisition, behavior plans, and the basic principles of ABA.
BCBAs not only rely on assessment tools for program design but also listen to family needs and future family goals when designing a child’s program.
Bierman ABA has an open-door policy for outside providers. We are open to collaboration with your child’s Pediatrician, Psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, Physical Therapist, or any other related services.
Schools offer a curriculum based around helping children meet goals, while ABA programs design an entire program based around your child’s needs. Curriculum is a “one-size fits all” model used to teach children. While curriculum may take into account the special needs of a learner, it is a pre-designed with pre-determined goals and teaching methods. Curriculum is created before the teachers even meet the child. On the other hand, ABA is a completely individualized program. A number of assessments are done to design not only individualized goals for your child, but individualized programing and implementation. Programs are often examined on a daily basis to make sure a child is always reaching his or her unique maximum potential.
No, Bierman ABA is not a daycare. Daycare merely provides supervision. Bierman ABA provides an effective, evidence-based intervention.
There is no typical day for a child at Bierman. Since we do not follow a one size fits all program, we do not have a typical day. Children will spend the day engaged in learning to help them reach their maximum potential in a happy, well cared for environment.
ABA is designed with all the same elements as natural learning. The difference is that (in the beginning), ABA exaggerates certain elements of learning to engage the learner in the process to offset the deficits of the learner. We will teach your children the pre-requisite skills they need to play with toys, engaged with peers, and carry a conversation.
We then provide opportunities for daily social interaction with peers both in our center, as well as natural environment training in the child’s community. We design our social skills programs with independence as the final goal, so that your child can enjoy social interactions with peers or siblings without relying on adult prompting.
Yes, we do provide services in the home. During the initial assessment, we will determine each child’s individual needs and place of service needed in order to meet goals. We may recommend services be performed in center, a combination of center and home as needed, or only in the home.
There are many factors that help us make a decision on placement. These include but are not limited to: specific skills being targeted, if certain challenges the child is facing are only occurring in certain environments etc.
We also take into consideration the number of hours requested and the parents ability to be home during therapy hours if the services are to be provided within the home. For example, it may be impossible for a child needing intensive services of 30-40 hours per week to receive these services if both parents work during the day. Therefore, the child’s needs may best be met within a center environment with parent training and occasional sessions provided within the home as needed.
In addition, if at anytime it is determine skills taught within the center are not generalizing into the home environment, or needs arise within the home that didn’t occur at the time of the initial assessment or development of a treatment plan, therapy sessions and parent training within in the home will be provided as needed to fix the problem. We take parent feedback seriously and also let the data tell us what to do!
No. There is no research that shows a child is unable to learn in a center environment. Think about it this way, with that logic, a child would be unable to learn at school, resulting in every child needing to be homeschooled!
ABA as a practice has continued to evolve and improve over time. In it’s earliest form, before insurance mandates existed allowing families to access services through medical insurance, therapy was often performed by parents instead of highly trained professionals. A majority of services also were also only performed in the home as the only option.
But as the field continues grow and evolve and more and more states pass insurance mandates, the center-based model has developed and become an option for families. The center-based model has many advantages to a home program, which includes a higher level of supervision oversight and training to BT’s implementing the programming designed by the BCBA, a safer environment for children with severe challenging behavior, access to peers to work on necessary play and social skills, and more contact and oversight by the child’s BCBA to monitor the child’s program and make frequent data-based decisions on programming to faster accelerate a child’s learning. This has been our experience as an organization as we started out only providing home services and quickly changed to a center model with home services available as needed.
In addition, as more and more centers appear, research is now beginning to appear to compare home vs. center model. Some research is actually showing kids are making better progress in a center model vs. home only modelResearch: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5621997/
Absolutely, and we program different than most ABA providers. The ability for a child to generalize skills is not necessarily determined by the environment therapy takes place but the way programming is designed.
A common practice within ABA is to teach with multiple exemplars or using a random set of stimuli and then testing for generalization and discrimination following the mastery of skills within the set of targeted stimuli. The problem with this is skills do not often generalize to different stimuli and different environments as the child will often respond incorrectly if all variable features of the skill concept are not systematically controlled for during instruction. The child’s inability to generalize into the home environment is often a result of poor programming that lead to the development of faulty stimulus control (i.e. teaching the child to respond only under a specific set of conditions and not adequately programming for all conditions). The child then learns to attend to the wrong stimuli when responding and makes generalize and discriminate errors. We program differently to prevent this from happening by programming for generalization and discrimination within our skill programming (Tiemann & Markle, 1990).
Examples of place of treatment decisions for ABA programming: The following are a few examples
Example- It was reported during the IA the child has difficulty cooperating with other children and will also engage in challenging behavior such as hitting other children. Parents reported the child will also often his younger sibling at home. We would write a program to decelerate hitting peers. Deceleration of the skill will be targeted with children in the center with peers and home sessions scheduled to target this specific problem in the home to build cooperation with the younger sibling.
Example – It was reported during the IA the child only engages in challenging behavior in the home and not in any other environments, such as school. It would then be recommended for the child to receive all therapy in the home as there is no need for center-based program as challenges are isolated to the home environment only.