Receiving a diagnosis of autism for a child can be a challenging time for a family. Early intervention for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can greatly improve the chances for children to live full, rich lives as they develop into adults.
ABA Centers of America has created therapy centers that provides proven, individualized care and supports its employees in a way that is truly disruptive to the therapy industry. With therapeutic support for children on the spectrum and a proprietary in-house training program for employees, ABA Centers of America is redefining how to approach therapy and care for young ones with ASD.
Becoming the ultimate in ASD care
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is a tested and relied-upon therapy technique that seeks to better clarify and understand an individual’s behavior. Based on the science of how people learn and behave, ABA therapy takes into consideration the real-life application of learned skills.
Because autism exists on a spectrum, the behaviors related to the disorder can vary significantly. Skilled therapists will consider a patient’s environment and how they learn best to teach behavior skills that will carry the patient through each stage of life.
At ABA Centers of America, therapists work with families to set goals and enact meaningful, lasting changes for children on the spectrum. The child’s strengths are evaluated, an individualized treatment plan is curated, and crucial life skills are taught in an interactive, play-based manner. The goal is to reduce problematic behaviors associated with autism and to offer alternatives, so that the child can acquire the daily living skills needed.
Learning in-house & tackling the issue of wait times
One of the most significant pain points in the autism treatment space is the wait time to access treatment. It’s an issue that ABA Centers of America CEO Christopher Barnett knows firsthand.
“Both of my nieces are on the autism spectrum and had a very difficult time getting treatment,” says Barnett. “They languished for years waiting even to get a diagnosis, then were put on another waiting list for ABA therapy. Leveraging my background in healthcare, I knew there had to be a better way.”
Waiting too long for a proper diagnosis and therapy can cause lifelong issues for those on the spectrum. Currently, the United States is suffering from a severe shortage of board-certified ABA therapists. Studies have shown that therapist shortages have led to doubled caseloads and a lower-than-acceptable number of therapists in 42 states. The rising number of ASD diagnoses is making the therapist shortage and waiting for therapy a critical situation.
Barnett has structured ABA Centers of America to address both the issue of long wait times and the therapist shortage by creating an innovative approach that offers in-house training for care providers. Their ABA Academy of Excellence seeks to equip providers with the tools they need to deliver effective ABA therapy. By providing real-life scenarios for employees, the ABA Academy of Excellence empowers them to learn the best approaches to help clients and build their careers within the organization.
Since implementing this in-house program, Barnett notes that it has proven exceedingly successful, resulting in higher-than-industry-average certification scores. Not only is the program helping to bring new therapists to the industry, but it also allows ABA Centers of America to offer the highest quality ABA therapy to more clients, tackling the therapist shortage issue from within.
ABA Centers of America also offers its providers with hands-on experience and guidance through its Precepting Program. This training program pairs Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) with an experienced RBT preceptor, who acts as a mentor and guide throughout the training period.
Barnett takes great pride in the supportive employee environment they have built. “This isn’t the kind of place where you clock in and check your mind at the door,” he says, “you are helping clients and their families in ways that impact their lives and we take that responsibility seriously.”
The typical industry standard of care can sometimes lead to one- or two-year waits to be seen by a trained therapist. With their in-house training program, ABA Centers of America has been able to provide service for hundreds of clients, maintaining an average wait time of only 21 days from the start of the process to a client being seen.
Indeed, Barnett’s dream of bettering the industry as a whole has largely come to fruition. “My background in building healthcare entities, our talented providers, and our investment in technology and education has allowed us to flourish in unforeseen ways in this space,” he says. In addition to reduced wait times, the in-house training and high-quality focus have allowed ABA Centers of America to offer a full continuum of care, leading to better outcomes for clients and employees alike.
ABA Centers of America represents a new phase in autism care, one laser-focused on quick access, highly trained therapists, and care that adapts as the needs of clients evolve. Their effort to transform the face of autism care has allowed people to access the best therapy practices available. In a world where more people than ever are aware of the myriad needs of people with autism, an approach like the one ABA Centers of America offers is bound to be well-received.