Caregivers and parents of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have an integral role in the success of ABA therapy services. This role is not always easy, and these caregivers often need convenient and reliable resources to help them progress. From simple tips and tricks to life-changing behavior techniques, this educational support goes a long way in ensuring a child’s success.
ABA Centers of America has created an official Caregiver Handbook to facilitate these techniques and offer numerous considerations when caring for someone on the spectrum. Our team is committed to providing the highest quality evidence-based therapy to ensure each client receives comprehensive treatment for their needs. Simply put, this dedicated approach begins and ends with our parents and caregivers. While we highly advise reading through this entire reference regarding our ABA therapy services, this blog will highlight some of the focal points and key takeaways from the Caregiver Handbook.
Our Core Values
The Caregiver Handbook introduces the importance of our values aligning with our clients, staff, parents, caregivers, and others who promote ABA therapy. We are ethical, honest, and compassionate in our interactions with employees, clients, families, and the public. Regardless of the challenges, we work diligently to overcome these obstacles to ensure our clients receive the specific treatment they need.
Caregiver Handbook: Getting Started
Any new parent or caregiver working with ABA Centers of America must proceed through a few logistical actions before we begin our ABA therapy services. Following the preliminary communication with our intake coordinators, we’ve outlined the following steps that correlate with the beginning of our services:
- We request paperwork from your family with the required documentation for insurance authorization.
- We submit a request to your insurance provider to conduct an assessment. When we’ve received approval, we schedule the assessment.
- A BCBA completes the assessment with your child and creates a unique treatment plan.
- We schedule services following approval.
- We re-assess and resubmit for further authorization every six months.
Caregiver Handbook: Services Considerations
Part of what makes our Caregiver Handbook so valuable is the detailed considerations we supply in the many settings of ABA therapy. Providing for a child goes further than in-home care – community, clinic, school/daycare, and other contexts require similar evaluation when learning the best ways to offer reliable and comprehensive methodologies within an ABA setting. Below is a breakdown of some considerations for each specific ABA therapy setting where you may provide caregiving services.
Home Services – We understand the unique challenges faced during in-home ABA therapy services. A certain level of comfort must take priority when inviting a technician into your home, so we do everything we can to ensure this situation is stress-free and to your liking. However, there are many things caregivers and parents can do to make these environments ideal for learning and free of distractions. Here are some of the key considerations unique to home services:
- We ask that someone over the age of 18 is present in the home for the duration of therapy. At no time should the caregiver leave the client and technician at home alone.
- The family is in charge of who may be present during therapy, but caregivers are not mandated to be in the same room during the sessions.
- If you plan to develop setting-specific skills for your child, our staff will meet you at the location. We cannot transport your child or ride in the car with them unless deemed clinically necessary.
- We greatly appreciate your generosity, but our technicians cannot accept food, drinks, or gifts over $10 under the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) ethical code.
- If a person in the home is sick, please refer to our sickness policy. We ask you to cancel home sessions to maintain our staff’s and other clients’ health and safety.
- Each week, a BCBA will come to an in-home session one or more times to provide direction to RBTs and troubleshoot current programs as needed.
Clinic Services – Clinics often provide an ideal environment for children, especially those looking to develop social skills. However, they can still present some challenges without knowing how they operate. The following considerations are unique to a clinic setting:
- Children will be dropped off and picked up at the scheduled time unless a scheduling conflict has been pre-communicated.
- Parents must submit a list of approved people who may drop off or pick up their children. In addition, our team should know of any custody issues that may impact this scheduling.
- Make us aware of any food allergies your child may have and outline the appropriate procedure if the child has an allergic reaction.
- We will document any injury or accident with a report that will reach you immediately.
- We advise leaving extra clothes at our clinic, especially if your child is toilet training.
Community Services – Read below for considerations when utilizing ABA therapy in a community setting:
- Your child’s BCBA will work with you to determine a clear-cut plan for managing dangerous or challenging behaviors in a public setting before any community outing.
- Your child’s RBT is considered a personal aide and is not required to pay any fees associated with community expenses such as museum admissions, films, etc.
- Our staff cannot swim with your child but can accompany them to the beach or pool to work on skills from their treatment plan.
- We are not responsible for managing the behaviors of any other individual than the client we serve.
School/Daycare Setting – ABA therapy in school and daycare settings can greatly improve your child’s development when implemented correctly. Read below for some considerations if our staff attends these settings with your child:
- We must create an agreement with the school or daycare as to when/where they will provide ABA therapy services. We invite you to assist us in this process.
- Our staff can only work on skills in the treatment plan; we cannot provide academic tutoring and are not responsible for goals in an IEP.
- Our staff will collaborate appropriately with school staff and provide them with caregiver training as directed by the family, including private spaces if necessary for learning.
- We cannot assess, comment on, or make recommendations on the behavior of other students or clients.
Caregiver Handbook: Additional Information
The ABA Centers of America staff strongly advocates for caregiver training for successful treatment. We must uphold the importance of family and caregivers providing input regarding treatment goals, procedures, and outcomes. To ensure success, we will schedule caregiver training sessions at least monthly. During these sessions, we will review data regarding objectives and allow parents and caregivers to ask programming questions.
Our company complies with standards from the ethical guidelines established by the BACB, which we must follow to prevent loss of licensure and our ability to provide services. While the full list is available online, some actions we are not permitted to do include:
- Accepting gifts from families
- Giving gifts of money to families
- Exchanging our services for other services provided by a family
Caregivers should also be aware of our respite policy. We understand some individuals often engage in challenging behaviors which may require the assistance of respite care providers skilled in behavior management. For this reason, we do not prohibit our staff from providing private respite care for families. However, we do not allow technicians who provide ABA therapy to a family to provide respite care to the same family; we do this to prevent conflicts of interest arising from a dual relationship. You are responsible for payment if you utilize our respite services, as insurance does not cover these.
Learn More About ABA Therapy
Among our many priorities for caregivers, ABA Centers of America does everything in our power to provide ample resources regarding ABA therapy. Whether detailing the importance of early intervention, providing insights via our blogs, or showcasing the many events we put on for our clients, our website is your #1 source for all things regarding ABA therapy.
We couldn’t be more excited to begin this journey with you. Please note that the Caregiver Handbook acknowledgment form must be agreed upon and signed before our services begin. Contact us at (844) 923-4322 for additional information regarding our company or services.