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What to Ask Your Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Providers

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

Caregivers should always be informed and aware of how an ABA company operates.

1. What training/credentials do your staff have?

With increasing regulation, it is extremely important that the people providing ABA are credentialed or licensed to do so. In some states, it is illegal to advertise as an ABA provider if you are not a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (the supervisor) and a Certified Behavior Technician (the person working directly with your child).

2. What training specific to challenging behavior (aggression, self-injury, etc.) do your staff have?

Some providers have more or less experience with challenging behavior, but they should have had some basic training on responding to it. You should know how those working with your child will respond.

3. Is there a high turnover rate in direct or supervising staff?

Turnover isn’t always indicative of a lower quality ABA company, but it can be in some instances. Some companies over or under work their staff, or don’t give enough support, which translates to less quality therapy for the clients. Be sure to ask about it.

4. How do you decide how many hours of service my child will receive?

There are some companies that “prescribe” a number of service hours before even meeting the client. Ask about this and make sure the service hours are individualized and based in data from assessments.

5. How do you decide on my child’s goals?

Ask about the process for deciding on goals and don’t be afraid to question goals put in place. A good BCBA will be able to explain why certain goals or skills are necessary, and what they will lead to in the future.

6. What would you do if ___?

It doesn’t hurt to throw some curve-balls! Ask about hypothetical scenarios or what worries you the most. What would you do if my child fell and hit his head? What would you do if another child bites him? What if he runs away? What if he won’t stop crying?

7. How will you communicative with home/school/other services?

Care coordination is vital to a client’s progress. Make sure the ABA providers are willing to work with other services in the client’s life (teachers, psychologists, doctors, etc.). The school team and any outside providers are important voices in the overall well being of the child.

Remember, ABA is an evidence based intervention that is designed to meet the specific needs of the person with autism spectrum disorder or related disabilities. If something doesn’t feel right, ask about it. Caregivers should always, always, always be informed of what is going on during intervention and why ABA providers are doing what they are doing.

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