Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

My child was just diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Now what?

Contact Unlocking The Spectrum today to find out about enrolling your child in ABA therapy, the treatment that has been shown to be most effective for individuals diagnosed with autism through over 40 years of research.

What is ABA?

ABA therapy, or Applied Behavior Analysis, is an intensive treatment program that systematically applies principles and techniques based upon learning theory with the goal of improving socially significant behavior. Examples of socially significant behaviors that can be taught using ABA include social skills, language, communication, reading, academics, and adaptive living skills.

 

The principles of ABA can be used to help learners develop new skills, as well as to modify any problem behaviors. We do this by looking at the function, or the reason for, each behavior. The use of reinforcement is critical to ABA and allows us to make learning fun for your child.

 

AtĀ Unlocking The SpectrumĀ we use a Verbal Behavior (VB) approach when developing individual treatment plans. This approach is based on B.F. Skinner’s 1957 book Verbal Behavior in which a full analysis of language was conducted. Essentially, this means that we look at the function of each word, rather than the form. It is very common for a child with autism to be able to label an item (such as a cracker) but not know how to ask for one when they want it. In using a VB approach we take extra care to ensure that our learners acquire functional language skills. (please see our “What is ABA?” article for more detail).

Which areas does Unlocking The Spectrum service?

Unlocking The Spectrum currently provides services in and around these cities:

    • Indianapolis
    • Plainfield
    • Danville
    • Greenfield
    • Westfield
    • Fishers
    • Greenwood
    • Lafayette
    • West Lafayette
    • Terre Haute
    • Rockville
    • Bloomington
    • Bedford
    • Columbus
    • Seymour
    • Scottsburg

 

*If the city you live in is not listed, please contact us as we are currently expanding our employee base in order to allow delivery of high quality ABA services to families throughout the state.

Why use ABA instead of another approach for treating autism?

Because ABA is driven by DATA. Data is taken daily on every program that a child does. Analysis of this data allows us to quickly modify the procedures and techniques we are using to teach your child and ensure maximum success.
Because ABA is supported by years of research, the skills learned through ABA are generalized and maintained.

How do I choose an ABA Provider?

When choosing an ABA provider you want to ensure that the individual overseeing your child’s program has both an educational and experiential background in applied behavior analysis. There should be a BCBA experienced in programming and behavior support supervising the program on a regular basis. The program should be reviewed and updated continuously to ensure progress is being made.

 

At Unlocking The Spectrum our BCBA’s consult with our families every 2-4 weeks, Program Manager’s consult with our families a minimum of once per week, and our therapists receive ongoing supervision and training. We are constantly reviewing each child’s program to ensure maximum progress. One thing that sets us apart from other providers is that we provide ongoing parent training to all of our families to ensure that the skills taught during therapy are generalized at home and in the community.

What is a BCBA/BCaBA?

BCBA’s (Board Certified Behavior Analysts) are individuals trained in behavior analysis who can conduct behavioral assessments and develop behavior analytic interventions to increase adaptive behavior and decrease problem behavior. The BCBA trains caregivers to implement ethical and effective behavioral interventions that are based on sound research. BCBA’s must have either a Masters or Doctoral degree, over 200 hours of graduate behavior analytic coursework and 1500 hours of supervised independent fieldwork.

 

BCaBA’s (Board Certified Assistant Behavior Analysts) can also conduct behavioral assessments and train caregivers to implement behavioral interventions. They must be supervised by a BCBA and are typically bachelors level individuals with a minimum of 135 hours of behavior analytic coursework and a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised experience.

 

More information can be found at bacb.com

Is ABA only for people with autism?

No! ABA can work for EVERYONE! We frequently encounter the use of ABA principles in our daily lives. Would you keep going to work if you stopped getting paid? Your paycheck is most likely what keeps you going back to work day after day… that’s positive reinforcement (a principle of ABA).

How much does ABA therapy cost?

Thanks to the Autism Mandate in Indiana, ABA therapy is often covered by your health insurance. If the plan you have does not cover ABA therapy, we will work with you to secure an insurance plan that will. Contact us today and we will check to see if your plan covers ABA!

I don't want my child to spend all day sitting at a table working. Isn't that what ABA therapy is?

Absolutely not! There are many misconceptions about ABA therapy, and this is one of the most common. At Unlocking The Spectrum we use a variety of techniques and procedures to teach. This includes NET (Natural Environment Training), IT (Incidental Teaching), DTT (Discrete Trial Training), TA (Task Analysis), FCT (Functional Communication Training), PT (Precision Teaching), and other data-based empirically validated treatment strategies.

 

Which techniques and procedures are used the most will depend on your child’s needs, as each program is highly individualized. A child who is 2 1/2 will spend most of their day learning through NET, which we would use to teach a variety of early play and social skills in an age appropriate setting such as a play room. An 8 year old who has a lot of academic needs will spend more time working at a table, where we would use techniques such as DTT and PT to increase the rate in which skills are acquired. However, they would be balanced with NET or IT to target additional functional skills.

At what age can you start ABA, and at what age does ABA Therapy stop working?

It doesn’t. ABA Therapy can work for EVERYONE! There is no age limit when it comes to the use of ABA Therapy. At Unlocking The Spectrum we have experience developing programs for individuals of all ages.

At times my child will become aggressive towards others or attempt to injure himself/herself. Can ABA therapy help with this?

Yes it can and yes we are! When developing a treatment plan for your child we will address both behaviors that we want to work on increasing and behaviors that we want to work on decreasing. Aggression and self-injurious behavior (SIB) are behaviors that we frequently encounter and there are a variety of methods we can use to address these behaviors.

Family activities in the community are a struggle with my child. Can you help with this?

Absolutely! We will develop a program that will teach the skills needed for community-based activities to our client and then work directly with the parents to ensure that these skills are carried over into community outings with family members and other caregivers.

My child has a lot of trouble with social interactions impeding their ability to participate in a general education setting. Can you help?

Definitely! Two of our BCBA’s are certified General and Special Education teachers. They are experienced in developing programs that address academics as well as social and behavioral needs in children who fit this description. We will work with you to determine the most appropriate setting for your child, and when your child is ready we can work with you to provide school transition services.