Finding ABA-based services can be hard. Finding quality ABA-based services can be even harder. We are here to make things a little bit easier for you. As you might recall from one of my previous posts one of the steps after finding out your child has autism is to ask questions. So, whether you are a seasoned pro or brand new to the world of ABA these provider questions are for you!
Wondering where to start? Don’t worry I got you! Finding out about the ABA company in general is a great place to start. Knowing more about the company will allow you to develop a foundation before you jump into the nitty gritty questions. Here are some questions to ask about the ABA company:
- What is your mission and vision?
- How long have you been providing ABA-based services?
- What motivated you to start providing ABA-based services?
- Are you BCBA owned?
- How big is the company?
- Do you require your staff to be background checked?
- How do you address caregiver or client concerns?
- What is your crisis intervention plan?
- What type of quality assurance procedure do you have?
- Has their ever been a complaint filed against you to the BACB board or licensure board?
It is important to know about the individuals who will be working with your child. Identifying certifications and licensure are very important. Additionally, knowing the training process, amount of supervision, and team size are important factors that should play into your decision to go with an ABA company. Here are some questions to ask about staff:
- Are the staff certified or licensed (BCBA, BCaBA, RBT)?
- How many BCBAs and RBTs are in the company?
- What type of experience do the employees have?
- What is the training staff receives before working with my child?
- Will there be ongoing supervision of the direct care staff?
- What is your staff turnover rate?
- How many individuals will be on my child’s treatment team?
- How often will I see the BCBA?
- What other support staff does the company have?
- Do I get to meet the staff before they begin working with my child?
It is extremely important to know how your child will be treated. This means what interventions/approaches your providers is using and make sure they are evidence based. Here are some questions to ask about the intervention:
- Do you used evidence based practices?
- What approach/intervention do you use?
- Why do you use that approach/intervention?
- How is your team training on this intervention/approach?
- What if the intervention is not best for my child?
- What other therapies does you company provide?
- What type of collaboration occurs?
- Do you differ your intervention/approach based on client age or abilities?
- What if I want you to use a different approach/intervention?
- Do yo use DTT, NET, incidental teaching, or direct instruction?
You play a key role in you child’s success! Here are some questions to ask related to caregiver involvement:
- How do you involve caregivers?
- Can I participate in the sessions?
- What caregiver support tools do you have?
- Do I get to meet the staff before they start working with the family?
- What if I do not like my assigned provider?
- Do I have a say in the goals ran during session?
- Are siblings or other family members involved in sessions?
- What do the caregivers have to do outside of sessions?
- What are caregivers required to supply for sessions?
- What is the cancelation policy?
Sessions are a major area of focus for questioning because behavior change is going to occur during them. Sessions can look different depending on the client and the provider. It is important for the session structure to work for the client and the family. Here are some questions to ask related to session structures:
- What do sessions look like?
- How long do sessions last?
- How many sessions occur per week?
- Are caregivers involved in sessions?
- Do you adjust structure or is it set in stone?
- How do you collect data?
- How often do you update caregivers on session progress?
- What if no progress is occurring during sessions?
- How do you plan for generalization and maintenance?
- What items are used during sessions?
- Are sessions inperson or remote?
- Are sessions in home or center based?
It is important for the BCBAs to know what to teach and when to teach it. This is done through an assessment. There are a number of different assessments that can be used based on age, diagnosis, ability, etc. Here are some assessment focused questions to ask:
- What type of assessments do you utilize?
- How often do you complete an assessment?
- How do you know what to teach?
- How do you know what behaviors to target?
- How long do assessments last?
- How do you decide what assessment to use?
- What is the caregiver role in assessments?
- Are assessments done inperson or remotely?
- Who all is involved in assessments?
- What do you do with the assessment results?
Understanding your obligation financially is your right. Make sure you understand your fiscal responsibility. Here are some financial focused questions to ask:
- What is the cost of therapy?
- How much am I responsible for?
- Do you have payment plans?
- What is the late payment policy?
- Is financial assistance available?
- What insurances do you accept?
- What billing practices do you use?
- While we every run into unexpected expenses?
- What will the caregiver be required to purchase?
- Do you bill insurance directly?
Wow! That is a lot!! If a company is hesitant to answer any of these questions you may want to think twice about using their services. Remember you can never ask to many questions!