Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best age to start an ABA program?
The sooner you begin intervention the better. Don’t wait! Research into the effectiveness of intervention with students demonstrates better outcome with early intervention. But, it’s never too late to start. The strategies of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) can help individuals of all ages.
My child is still young, won’t he get tired?
A key to ABA success is to immerse the child into treatment for as much of the day as possible. We don’t want to lose valuable time. Young children are able to not only tolerate intensive intervention but thrive on the stimulation. It is important use as many opportunities throughout the day to teach appropriate skills and to reduce the child’s opportunity to engage in detrimental behaviors. Working regularly with children as young as 20 months, Autism Partnership staff have unequaled expertise in providing treatment sessions that are age-appropriate, energetic, playful and full of reinforcing activities, while respecting the natural stamina of the child. When intervention is creative, natural and fun children are eager participants. Fatigue and ability to engage are closely monitored and the number of weekly intervention hours are adjusted accordingly.
How many hours of treatment should my child receive?
Our goal is to achieve the best possible outcome for your child. Since research and our clinical experience confirm that children who receive more hours of quality behavioral intervention make better progress, it is common for many children served by Autism Partnership to receive between 20 and 45 hours per week when services begin. Mastery of skills, reduction of interfering behaviors, increased attendance in school and/or more involvement with friends and community activities may result in a recommendation for a reduction of time spent with Autism Partnership staff.
Does this treatment work for high functioning children?
It’s a common misconception that ABA doesn’t apply to children who are at a higher functioning level. ABA is designed to provide a varying level of structure according to the need of the student. High functioning children are better able to learn in a less structured format and the program is adjusted accordingly. In fact, ABA strategies are incredibly effective and important for this population. Autism Partnership has expertise in concentrating on sophisticated skill sets that are often overlooked including development of meaningful friendships, operating independently and the self-monitoring their behaviors are an essential part of therapy.
My child has an IEP. Can Autism Partnership help?
Autism Partnership is a non-public agency (NPA) as certified by the California Department of Education. School districts may contract with Autism Partnership for children with an Individual Education Plan that authorizes ABA services.
Exactly where in Southern California are you located?
Autism Partnership conducts clinic-based instruction in our Seal Beach, California office. Supplementary services can be provided in schools, homes and community settings near Long Beach. Orange County and (sometimes) the South Bay areas
Can Autism Partnership provide services in my home?
After providing intervention since the early 1970’s, we have concluded that providing the initial bulk of intervention in our clinic offices is consistently more effective than working in alternate locations exclusively.
This allows for:
- Greater opportunity for clinical oversight by our senior staff. Consistency in treatment styles can be better achieved across all staff.
- Opportunities for social interaction with other children.
- Utilization of open staff for double treatment, data collection and program refinement.
- A wide variety of toys, activities and program materials to be available.
- Parent participation without the distractions of home.
Some services may occur in the home when it is mutually agreed this will provide clinical benefit, such as for purposes of generalizing skills and behavior into the home environment.
As a parent, will I be involved in my child’s treatment?
Parent involvement and ability to implement Applied Behavior Analysis strategies are essential for obtaining the best long-term outcome for a child. Therefore, we are committed to our partnership with parents. Once receiving services from Autism Partnership, Program Coordinators will invite you to training workshops and seminars and will schedule individual parent training sessions on a regular basis. To improve skills parents participate in some of the weekly ABA sessions with our staff and attend monthly clinic meetings with their child’s team and psychologists. We recognize this is a tremendous commitment of time and energy, but we know it is critical to success of the child’s program and both the child’s and the family’s quality of life. All of work the AP team does with a child is greatly amplified by the involvement and expertise of parents.
As a parent, I’m concerned I’ll have too much to do. Any advice?
Research indicates children make the most significant progress in the first two or three years of intervention. While the initial learning curve is steep, many parents adopt a mind-set that the extra time and effort spent now will reduce stress on the in a very short time and result in the children requiring less intensive intervention in the future.
Many of our parents have been successful in committing to the process by building a solid support system. By having family members and friends help with babysitting other children, commuting to our clinic or cooking dinner once in a while, parents have been able to maintain focus (and sanity). Although we know this is difficult, some families have found it is worthwhile for one of the parents to to reduce their work hours.
What is the length of your program?
That’s a difficult question to answer. The vast majority of our families require services for two to four years. Prepare yourself to give 100% during that time. Some students stay longer, but with a reduced model of service (e.g., school support, case consultation, etc.). If you’re going to embark on an ABA program, you should prepare for a long, but incredibly rewarding journey.
How do I know if Autism Partnership is a right fit for our family?
We are not the agency for you if you are interested in:
- using a variety of treatments that do not adhere to a behavioral model, follow an eclectic approach, or do not make treatment decisions based on solid research
- not participating in the intervention process or parent training
We are the agency for you if you are interested in:
- utilizing treatment strategies that are scientifically supported
- working with professionals who have been providing effective ABA treatment since the 1970’s with students on the autism spectrum
- actively participating in the process by learning all you can to effectively relate to and respond to your child
If you have high expectations for your child’s future we would like to be a partner with you in their treatment process.