How Individualized ABA Therapy Plans for Children Can Be Highly Effective

As a parent or guardian of a child with autism, your primary goal may be to find an enjoyable and structured solution for their early development to help them meet milestones and thrive prior to beginning school.

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy is the gold standard of care for those with autism, but some programs provide more personalized care than others. When considering an ABA therapy center, consider whether or not they take an individualized approach to your preschool-aged child’s care.

Why Is Individualized Care Important for Preschool Children with Autism?

Growing children thrive with individualized attention from family, caregivers, and adults. As such, individualized care can be incredibly important for a child with autism as it can aid with their development and, by extension, their social skills. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) can custom-tailor plans to a child’s needs for optimal results.

Individual Plans Prioritize Strengths

Individualized plans are tailor-made to support and encourage your preschooler’s strengths. For example, maybe a child receiving ABA therapy loves drawing. In that case, a specialized plan can include drawing as a reward during one-on-one therapy sessions or in a group-based art activity. Taking personal interests into account works best for positive reinforcement — an important tenet of ABA therapy.

Individual Plans Bolster Abilities to Learn New Skills and Concepts

Personalized learning objectives help young children gain strength and traction in areas where it’s often most needed. A specialized plan helps ensure your family has every resource necessary to work on a new skill.

Individual Plans Support Families

A custom-fitted plan helps keep families focused on the same goal. BCBAs, parents, and caregivers can direct their attention to assisting with the same skills and developmental milestones simultaneously, providing support and fostering more positive outcomes.

Individual Plans Can Lead To Better Long-Term Outcomes

The end goal of an ABA therapy plan is to maximize potential, and a customized fit helps support a higher level of success with behavioral outcomes, language skills, and engagement. These outcomes help prepare a child for kindergarten readiness or new social interactions.

How To Find the Right ABA Therapy Center For Your Preschool Child

Finding the right fit can be a challenge. The right ABA therapy center should be staffed with BCBAs who are professional and experienced. Top BCBAs have the ability to adjust plans to fit a young learner’s unique needs.

1. Ask About Program Goals and Outcomes

When you tour an ABA therapy center, ask questions about the program, including goal-setting, time-frames, and expected outcomes.

It’s also crucial to understand the daily structure of the program. During the day, your preschool-aged child can enjoy a variety of activities, including individual and group play, as well as work one-on-one with their BCBA.

2. Consider Family Involvement

The involvement of family members and caregivers can play a major role in a program’s success. Fostering the same skills and goals at home can help your child excel. Inquire about how much involvement you can have as a family member or caregiver in your child’s therapy.

3. Ask About the In-House Diagnostic Team

While pre-schoolers generally work with BCBAs at every session, check in about the roles of other staff members, including licensed psychologists who may be involved in the treatment.

Celebrate Individuality

An ABA program can foster development and school readiness for a young child. An individualized approach can be essential for success as it can help your child meet milestones and achieve goals to support their future. The right ABA therapy center should have an individualized program that fully accommodates your growing child.

Check out Stride Autism Centers for individualized care options that support children from ages two to six years old, as they work on new skills and, of course, have a lot of fun in the process.

Brad Zelinger is the founder and CEO of Stride Autism Centers.


Sources: 

Scientific, Professional and Government Organizations’ Position on the ABA from the Neurobehavioral Unit (NBU) | Kennedy Krieger Institute