In-Home ABA therapy
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy is the most widely relied on technique for treating autistic children. However, you might find it hard to consistently take your son or daughter to the therapist when you have to work and handle other personal obligations.
It may also take time for your kid to get accustomed to the therapist’s office.
Luckily, many ABA therapists come to their patients’ homes. This makes things easier for the child’s parents. Moreover, a boy or girl with autism will get the most out of these sessions when they take place in an environment that they’re familiar with.
What is in-home ABA therapy?
As the name suggests, with in-home ABA therapy, the therapist would come to your house or residence. This is in contrast to other forms of ABA therapy, such as those that take place at your child’s school or the therapist’s office.
Simply put, in-home therapy sessions are conducted from the comfort of your home.
Advantages of In-Home ABA Therapy
The benefits of in-home ABA therapy are plenty. Here are some of the main ones:
● Your child gets treatment in a comfortable environment. After all, it is easier for them to cope with the sessions at home, as opposed to having to adapt to the therapist’s office setting.
● The therapist can use your autistic son or daughter’s favorite toys, snacks, and hobbies (all of which are already at your home) to reinforce desirable habits.
● Your kid’s therapist will observe their behavior in their comfort zone, such as how they communicate with other family members and the amount of time that they spend playing with electronics (video games and computers, to give a couple of examples).
● The therapist can efficiently help your son or daughter with completing day-to-day tasks. For instance, they could teach them how to take out toothpaste from the specific drawer that it’s in or use your home’s TV remote to turn down the volume.
● Both the parents and their children will save time on getting dressed, preparing to leave the house, and having to drive to and from therapy sessions.
Above all, keep in mind that you, as a parent, can watch and participate in the at-home ABA therapy sessions. In fact, when you do so, you will learn new therapeutic skills, manage your child’s behavior, and assist them with reaching their goals even after the therapist leaves.
How long is an ABA session?
There are several factors that determine how many hours of ABA therapy your autistic son or daughter may need. Among them are the severity of their symptoms and whether or not they received therapy in the past. Equally as important are the areas that they require help with (homework, communicating with others, and managing how often they watch TV are examples).
When you decide to work with a therapist, they will initially observe your child’s behaviors, autism symptoms, and needs. After that, they put together a detailed treatment plan that defines the hours and timeline of the child’s ABA therapy sessions.
You can expect the sessions to get shorter as your son or daughter improves and the therapy starts to achieve the desired results.
For instance, an extensive program may require your child to undergo at-home ABA therapy for 40 hours per week. Over time, your autistic boy or girl’s behavioral, academic, and social performances will improve. As a result, the therapist might reduce the sessions to 20 hours per week, and they could continue to make them shorter as the child attains more goals and gets better at managing their symptoms.
If you have any specific concerns or desired outcomes, write them down before the therapist visits your home to initially assess your son or daughter’s symptoms. This ensures that the therapist’s treatment plan gives you the results that you’re looking for.
Preparing for In-Home ABA Therapy
Before your child’s sessions begin, here is how you can best prepare for an ABA therapist who will be coming to your home:
● Let everyone in your household know that you will regularly have an additional person (the therapist) at your residence.
● Go over the treatment plan that the therapist set up for your son or daughter with other family members. This guarantees that everyone is on the same page, especially when it comes to achieving the goals of the plan and reinforcing desirable habits on a day-to-day basis.
● Have an adult participate in the sessions. Firstly, they learn how to communicate with the child and assist them with managing their symptoms. Secondly, your autistic son or daughter is likely to be more comfortable when you, your spouse, or their sibling is engaged during the therapist’s visits.
● A household member who is 18 years of age or older should always be at your residence when the therapist is there, even if they don’t participate in the session. This is important in case of an emergency or urgent situation.
● Video recording sessions can be a very valuable tool. Yet you should make sure that the therapist is fine with being filmed.
● Prepare a bathroom for the therapist to use, and let them know where it is.
● Go over any house rules with the therapist, such as taking off shoes at the entrance or restricting children from plating in certain rooms.
● Similarly, you want your child’s therapist to be aware of any cultural or religious aspects that you follow in the household.
You should remember that maintaining a comfortable and familiar environment for your kid is one of the biggest advantages to having a therapist treat them at home. This is even more important at the beginning, where the sessions could be as long as 40 hours per week.
By following these preparation steps before your autistic son or daughter’s first session, you are paving the way for a hassle-free and successful in-home ABA therapy program.