Full-Time ABA Day Program
Our ABA Therapy Goals and Objectives
When it comes to our ABA day program, there are several goals and objectives we hope to achieve. ABA therapy is designed to help individuals with autism improve their communication skills, verbal behavior or language skills, social skills,self-help and much more.
Other ABA therapy goals also often include:
- Building positive social interactions and social skills
- Developing coping mechanisms for anxiety or stress
- Overcoming self-destructive behaviors
- Developing self-help skills such as brushing teeth and bathing
- Feeding and increased food variety
- Toileting and bathroom independence
While there are many skills patients can learn, our day program is personalized to align with your child’s needs. We also make sure the skills learned are developmentally appropriate for your child’s age.
Full-Time ABA Day Program
Our ABA Therapy Techniques
ABA therapy for autism focuses on changing behaviors. One of the most common ABA therapy techniques, and a primary technique used by Empower Behavioral Health, is positive reinforcement. There are a variety of techniques that we use to address different behaviors in our day program. Your child’s BCBA will work with you to identify which ones are the most effective for your child and their needs.
Functional Communication Training
Functional communication training (FCT) is a type of differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) intervention that is often used in ABA therapy. The goal of FCT is to teach children with autism new skills to help them communicate more effectively. This might involve teaching them how to use alternative modes of communication, such as sign language, picture boards, or an augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) device.
A token economy is a positive reinforcement system used in ABA therapy, as well as in general settings such as the home or classroom. Token economy helps to increase desirable behaviors by providing positive reinforcement in the form of tokens, which can then be exchanged for other rewards like a toy or activity. Token economy can be customized to meet the individual needs of each child and is often used in combination with other ABA teaching strategies.
Discrete Trial Training
Discrete trial training (DTT) is a common intervention used in ABA therapy and for autism. DTT involves breaking down a skill or behavior into small, discrete steps. The child then practices each step until they can perform the entire skill or behavior independently. Tangible items, such as a preferred toy or candy, are typically used as positive reinforcement to increase the child’s skills.
Natural Environment Training
One of the hallmarks of ASD is a naturally repetitive and restricted interest in the environment and surrounding objects. This can often be addressed with natural environment training (NET). NET is a strategy of ABA therapy that uses an environment that closely resembles the natural environment to help children with autism develop new skills. It’s critical that the skills being taught are relevant and generalize to the learner’s natural environment.
Led by the child’s motivation, we use toys, games, and other materials to help the child understand the function of different objects and things. This helps reinforce the needed behavior. NET is flexible and can be adapted to meet the changing needs of your child as they grow and develop.
Other ABA therapy strategies we use include, but are not limited to, task analysis, prompting and fading, Premack principle, video modeling and much more.
Full-Time ABA Day Program
What to Expect During Our ABA Day Program
During our ABA day program, caregivers can expect their child to learn and develop a variety of new skills based on their personal needs. We utilize positive reinforcement rather than punishment-based ABA to ensure long-term behavior changes across different people and settings.
Daily sessions are geared towards play-based ABA so your child’s motivation can help guide the sessions. Although we utilize positive reinforcement strategies that may include rewards, we do not utilize bribery to achieve a desired behavior.
We utilize group activities throughout the week to work on social skills. Our group activities are used to mimic those of school settings and include age-appropriate settings such as circle time, art, music and PE. Each patient is placed in group settings with same-age peers.
Outside of new skill development, we teach children to be flexible and how to adapt to changes in routine or unpreferred situations. We also teach children with autism to be self-advocates. By empowering children to self-advocate, they can gain confidence despite their disability and not feel like they need to be “less autistic” to fit in or make friends.
Full-Time Day Program FAQs
Is this program an ABA daycare?
No. While this program takes place during daytime hours, this is a comprehensive ABA therapy program where children focus on developing new skills.
Is this program only for children?
At Empower Behavioral Health, we provide services for individuals of all ages including our full-time day program. While some ABA providers may include an age cap around 8-10 years old, there is no age cap for any Empower Behavioral Health services.
Is an official autism diagnosis required to enroll in the full-time program?
No. An official ASD diagnosis is not required to utilize our ABA therapy services, but is a requirement to receive insurance coverage.
Will insurance cover full-time ABA therapy?
Empower Behavioral Health is in-network with a majority of private insurance companies. During our intake process, we will verify your benefits and walk through them with your prior to completing an ABA assessment.
How will I be involved in my child’s treatment?
Caregiver involvement is an integral part of ABA therapy and a child’s progress. We require caregiver sessions monthly to reinforce what is learned in your child’s sessions across different settings and people.
I’m skeptical of ABA therapy due to things I’ve seen online, how is Empower Behavioral Health different?
There’s a lot of misconception on the internet about ABA therapy but we can assure you that we do not utilize electric shock or abuse in any of our programs. We also do not utilize any form of punishment unless a behavior is extremely harmful to the child or others, such as eye-gouging, or running into a street with moving cars.
The goal of our ABA therapy is to reinforce positive behavior through evidence-based strategies suited for your child’s age and needs. We utilize a variety of positive reinforcement techniques that reward and empower your child to reach their potential.
Do you work with individuals with aggression and severe behavior?
We work with patients who exhibit aggression and severe behavior when clinically appropriate. We want to make sure our staff are trained to provide the right support, and that the environment is safe for the individual and others. The Empower Behavioral Health intake team will help determine if we are the right fit if this is a concern.