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What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a well-developed scientific discipline among the helping professions that focuses on the analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of social and other environmental modifications to produce meaningful changes in human behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis is used across many areas and interests including autism, sports, weight loss, music, education, substance abuse, counseling, business management, pediatric feeding disorders, dementia, traumatic brain injury, among others. ABA is used with learners of all ages and backgrounds. ABA therapy includes the use of direct observation, measurement, and functional analysis of the relations between environment and behavior. ABA uses changes in environmental events to produce practical and significant changes in behavior. These relevant environmental events are usually identified through a variety of specialized assessment methods. ABA is based on the fact that an individual’s behavior is determined by past and current environmental events in conjunction with organic variables such as their genetics and physiology. When applied to ASD, ABA focuses on altering the individual’s social and learning environments.​ ABA is the standard of care for ASD and has been documented in hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that have been published over the past 50 years.

What skills are taught in ABA, and why is it an effective teaching method for learners with autism?

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the science of learning and behavior where skills are taught continuously throughout an individual’s life. Skills commonly addressed in ABA therapy include components from the following areas: - Language and communication - Adaptive and self-care skills - Emotional regulation - Self-management - Reduction of interfering or inappropriate behaviors - Learning to Learn skills to promote school readiness - Play and leisure skills - Social and friendship skills - Safety skills - Vocational skills  - Self-advocacy and independence ABA therapy is effective for learners with autism; teaching is individualized and skills are broken down into components that make progress and independence possible. At One of the Kids, learning happens at the clinic with certified professionals, as well as at home. Families are involved in ABA therapy through regular one-on-one caregiver coaching sessions, in which they learn hands-on and practical skills to effectively support their learner.

What is the best age to start an ABA program?

Evidence shows that the earlier treatment begins, the greater the likelihood of positive long-term outcomes. It is recommended ABA treatment be provided as soon as possible after diagnosis, and in some cases services are warranted prior to diagnosis. ABA treatment should be based on the clinical needs of the individual, not constrained by age. While there is no age cap for the field of ABA, One of the Kids specializes in ages 2-9 years old. Please contact us for more information and current availability.

My child is young, won't he get tired?

ABA is most successful when children are fully immersed in a supportive and engaging environment for as long of the day as possible. Our staff at One of the Kids are given the resources to enhance their expertise towards providing treatment sessions that are energetic, playful, and full of reinforcing activities. With each intervention, our clinicians remain mindful of the stamina, age, and unique needs of the child, while creating natural and fun instructions to help them stay engaged.  If a child is young and is still napping, we can gradually increase services over time as they fade naps to include afternoon services.

How many hours of treatment should my child receive?

Our treatment programs are designed and created with the utmost attention to the specific needs of your child. It is common for the recommended hours of treatment to fall between 20-40 hours per week to address needs in a comprehensive manner.  More focused programs fall between 15-25 hours per week and address priority areas only; these are more common for older children, or during transition planning to fade services as children become ready for school or other settings. Our staff will continue to evaluate and adjust your child’s treatment plan, ensuring they make appropriate and successful transitions throughout their time at One of the Kids. 

Will my child receive speech and occupational therapy at One of the Kids?

Our team collaborates with speech and occupational therapy professionals to provide attentive care for your child on One of the Kids campuses. 

What are the benefits of a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to treat autism?

Autism is a complex diagnosis and navigating the vast number of valid and appropriate services available can be overwhelming. One of the Kids uses a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to design an effective and beneficial treatment plan for your family. Our team believes your family deserves the best care possible, which means communication and collaboration with key providers and specialists in the field of autism.  We communicate regularly with your child’s treatment team to ensure we are all working from the same treatment plan and toward common goals. We collaborate with each other to support your child and your family in a comprehensive and compassionate manner for the best possible outcomes. 

Does One of the Kids provide services in my home?

Each family at One of the Kids will have a program individualized and designed specifically for their child’s needs, however our services are primarily based on-site in our clinic setting.  Our campus allows for: - Greater opportunity for clinical impact with our providers and consistency in treatment styles - Opportunities for social interaction and inclusion with developmentally appropriate peers - Access to all of our amenities, including our pool, indoor gym, outdoor playground, and more - Specialized programs that prepare clients to transition into school and other community settings

Does One of the Kids provide services at pre-school?

We are proud to collaborate with neighboring schools to provide evidence-based interventions to benefit children on the autism spectrum, as well as their neurotypical peers, with thoughtful planning and appropriate support.

What is next for my child after Early Learning Academy?

Enrollment begins at our Early Learning Academy (ELA). This is where foundational skills (language, cognitive development, play skills, etc.) are targeted for our youngest learners. Once these skills are developed and generalized across multiple settings, we then provide the opportunity for learners to transition to our Big Kid Academy (BKA). Transition planning is an essential and unique process for each family, and a foundational piece of our treatment care model. This process takes careful preparation and collaboration with your child’s treatment team to ensure success for each child. Here, our big kids are submerged into a pre-academic atmosphere where school readiness and social interactions are prioritized. At our Cedar Park location, we partner with our preschool next-door neighbor, Cadence Academy to provide a gradual transition towards a fully inclusive school setting.

Do you offer parent training and support?

At One of the Kids we understand that an autism diagnosis affects the whole family and we are committed to supporting each and every individual. Parent involvement is an essential component of effective ABA care; no one knows your child better than you. Weekly or bi-weekly parent meetings with your child’s BCBA are required to discuss progress and treatment goals. Additional training and resources are also provided during this time to further support you and your child in generalizing skills and providing behavior support in home and other natural settings.

What is offered at your in-door pool?

We have seen clients tremendously benefit from swimming and wish for other children on the spectrum to have the same experience without the challenges parents go through to set up lessons. We’ve partnered with Amy Linkous, an amazing swim coach and owner of Swim for All, to offer lessons to our clients at our Cedar Park location.  In addition to lessons, we offer swim therapy sessions rendered by one of our swim therapists with extensive swim instruction experience prior to joining OOTKS. These sessions are ABA goal-driven and allow us to provide effective therapy in a different and motivating environment with a big focus on water safety. Both the swim therapist and ABA therapist are present during the 30 minute session.

What other fun activities do you offer?

Optimal learning doesn’t just happen at a desk. That is why we organize engaging and fun activities that create meaningful opportunities for our children to practice their treatment goals and promote generalization. - Cooking classes - Learning and activity centers/circle time (priming for academics)  - Science experiments - Martial arts - Swim therapy and lessons  Client-led activities include: - Art - Scavenger hunts - Holiday safety practices - Themed spirit days to dress up and be silly - Celebrations for client achievements  - Water Day - Fall and spring festivals ​ Making the commitment to place your child in intensive therapy shouldn’t mean they miss out on being a kid. At One of the Kids, we strive to create fun and adventurous ways to learn that makes the experience fun and accessible to all!

What kind of progress can I expect?

The progress and length of treatment will vary greatly for each family. A number of factors contribute to a child’s long-term success; we are honored to support our families as they embark on this sometimes challenging, but always meaningful road to an improved quality of life.  We can’t guarantee with absolute certainty the amount or speed of progress your child will make, but we are committed to providing your family evidence-based treatment with careful consideration to the unique needs of your child and family in mind.  We will provide comprehensive Progress Reports and updated treatment plans and goals every 6 months to assess your child’s progress and make recommendations for the next 6 months of therapy.

What are the qualifications of your staff?

Our staff is composed of highly trained and skilled individuals in the field of autism and ABA, with experience spanning across in-home, clinical, community, telehealth, and school settings. Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) have master’s degrees in behavior analysis, autism, special education, or a related field, and over 1,800 hours of supervised fieldwork experience in ABA. Many of our Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) have master’s and bachelor’s degrees in related fields, or equivalent experience, and are certified through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.  With their passion, experience, and ongoing collaboration with other professionals, your child’s team exceeds the standards of the ABA industry.

Is ABA therapy covered by insurance?

ABA therapy is mostly covered by insurance. The amount and type of coverage will vary greatly on your insurance plan. Private insurers in Texas are required to cover ABA as specified by the individual’s physician for children aged 2 to 18 years old. We will work with you during our intake process to verify coverage with your insurer and provide you with the details of your coverage.

What insurance do you accept?

We work with BCBS-PPO, Aetna, and United Behavioral Health/Optum. Our team at One of the Kids are happy to check eligibility and verify benefits with your insurance company. Complete the application and we will contact you within 24 hours with your insurance coverage information.

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