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July 27, 2022

How Can Family-Focused ABA Therapy Help Your Child?

You can do Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy in a center or at home. It can be very beneficial for families to be involved and lead to positive outcomes for both children and parents/caregivers. Here’s why you should consider family-focused ABA Therapy.  

Key takeaways:  

  • You can do ABA Therapy at home or in a center.
  • Family-focused ABA Therapy typically occurs in the home.
  • Family-centered ABA Therapy can help provide parents and caregivers with training.
  • Parent/caregiver training increases the sustainability of interventions.
  • Both children and their caregivers benefit from family-focused ABA Therapy.

If your child has behaviors that you need assistance managing, finding the right services and the right therapist for your family can be overwhelming. Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy is a unique modality that teaches children new skills, improves communication, and encourages more positive behaviors. This modality is especially helpful for children with ASD, reactive attachment disorder (RAD), and other diagnoses.

ABA can be done either in a center or at home. When ABA is done at home and is family-based, it’s referred to as “family-focused of family-centered ABA Therapy.” Family-focused ABA Therapy can help provide parent and caregiver training and allows the therapist to see how your child behaves in their natural environment. Services are generally more effective when they’re family-focused. ABA also makes early intervention possible.

Why is ABA Therapy and why is it beneficial for families to be involved? We explain below.

What is ABA Therapy? 

ABA Therapy is one of many therapeutic modalities available for children struggling with challenges, whether they be developmental, sensory, behavioral, or other. ABA Therapy is a safe and effective modality that works to teach new skills, including improving social and communication skills, and works to extinguish challenging behaviors while focusing on increasing desired behaviors. Although its primary purpose is to benefit the child being treated, parents, family members, and other caregivers can learn a lot with family-focused ABA Therapy.

ABA Therapy has seven primary goals, regardless of whether it is center-based or family-based:

  1. Identify behaviors that need modification.
  2. Set and define realistic goals and outcomes.
  3. Determine a viable way to measure progress/improvement.
  4. Evaluate the child’s baseline.
  5. Assist the child in learning coping skills and other behavior management strategies.
  6. Monitor and review the child’s progress.
  7. Evaluate the need for further treatments or therapies.

To commence ABA Therapy, an ABA therapist will complete an initial evaluation with your child. After the evaluation, the therapist creates an individualized treatment plan to address improving behavioral, social, and communication skills. The development of a treatment plan is a collaborative process. Parents, teachers, family members, and other caregivers are encouraged to participate so they can gain an understanding of how to reinforce the desired behaviors at home, school, and in other community settings.

What are the benefits of ABA Therapy? 

ABA therapy has numerous benefits that your child may gain from, regardless of their diagnosis. Some of the benefits of ABA Therapy include:

  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Customized to the unique needs of the child
  • Services can happen anywhere
  • Can be used one-on-one or in group/family settings
  • Sustainable interventions that teach caregivers to manage behaviors
  • Increases child functioning
  • Uses positive reinforcement instead of punishment

Best of all, ABA therapists can interact and work as part of a multi-disciplinary team with other professionals such as social workers and psychiatrists to help children and their families manage challenging behaviors.

Why family-focused ABA Therapy? 

Family-focused ABA has many benefits for both children and their caregivers. Here are just a few:

  • A familiar environment –  It’s easier for therapists to see the child’s behaviors when they feel comfortable and safe, as they would in their normal environment. This is less stressful for the child and the caregivers.
  • Sustainable interventions – Interventions are more likely to be sustainable when they’re created to work with a family’s specific dynamics, activities, and environments.
  • Convenience – Center-based therapy means that families need to adhere to the center’s hours, which are typically traditional 9 to 5, Monday to Friday hours. This may not always be doable for caregivers.
  • Consistency – Because of their convenience, home-based services have higher rates of consistency and compliance.
  • Family involvement – Studies have shown that family involvement improves the efficacy of services.
  • Empowers parents and promotes parental involvementStudies have also shown that family-centered approaches empower parents/caregivers.
  • Presence of natural reinforcers – Positive reinforcers are generally used to help shape desired behaviors. Doing ABA therapy in-home allows the therapist and family to work with the natural reinforcers that a child would experience in their home or throughout their daily routine, such as getting TV time after dinner.
  • Tools available in the home – Home-based services allow therapists to work with items that are currently present in the home, such as a child’s hygiene and grooming items like a toothbrush. Family-focused ABA Therapy can also help eliminate the learning curve children have when they learn center-based behaviors and struggle to apply them in the real world. Parental, family, and caregiver involvement correlates with having a positive impact on the lives of children and their families.
  • Get support from a qualified ABA therapist in the Chicago, IL area

Having a child who needs behavioral interventions and therapy can be challenging for parents and other caregivers. That’s why Lumiere Children’s Therapy offers in-office and home-based ABA Therapy from board-certified behavior analysts. Family-centered ABA therapy can be customized to your child’s and family’s needs while helping your child learn more desirable behaviors. It also teaches parents and other caregivers how to reinforce and manage those behaviors in a variety of different settings, including at home or school.

We specialize in helping children and families who are experiencing many types of challenges, including:

  • ASD
  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Developmental delay
  • Prematurity
  • Fine motor delay
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Brachial plexus injury
  • Down syndrome
  • Learning delays
  • Visual processing disorders
  • Motor incoordination
  • Chromosomal abnormalities

Lumiere Children’s Therapy is proud to provide many other pediatric therapies to help children with a wide range of physical, emotional, and developmental conditions achieve traditional childhood milestones.

Services  include:

  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Developmental therapy
  • Social work
  • Early intervention
  • Augmentative and alternative communication (AAC)
  • Teletherapy

Be sure to learn more about how our clinicians work diligently to improve the lives of the children and families they serve.

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