Hi BTL Fam!
Here at Beyond The Label, we have the opportunity to intertwine our therapy sessions into several aspects of our patients’ lives! BTL offers in-home, community, and clinic based services to meet the unique needs of each individual we encounter. Each approach has its own benefits depending upon our patient’s needs and skill sets!
Our in-home approach allows for us to implement ABA therapy in an individual’s most natural environment, their home! By providing therapy within the home setting, we are given an opportunity to place behavior change systems where the behaviors are typically occurring for most parents and caregivers. It also allows a convience of addressing naturally occurring skill areas. Many of the naturally occurring skills that will be addressed include: daily living skills (chores, organization, time-management, mealtime, etc.), social opportunities, family interactions, hygiene routines (toileting, bathing, grooming, dressing, etc.) and much more!
You may be wondering how an in-home program works. Where do the sessions take place? How long are the sessions occurring? What do I do while a technician is there? All of these are common questions when considering an in-home ABA program. The best answer for this is…. it depends! Each person and family are unique which also means each ABA program is unique as well! Typically, when the sessions are occurring in-home, the patient’s BCBA, BCaBA, or Treatment Consultant will determine a place to start a session. This may be a kitchen table, play room, or other clear area in the house that are free of distractions. However, you will notice that sessions will be occurring throughout other areas such as the bathroom(s), bedroom(s), living room, and other parts of the house that the patient, technician, and parents are comfortable interacting in. Sessions occur for a duration of time that is determined from an initial intake assessment as well as in consideration to the patient’s availability. Our consultants will discuss our availability with you before beginning services. Lastly, in-home therapy provides an opportunity for parents or other family members to observe or have planned-interactions within the session. Although there are typically no requirements to attend every session, being in the home will allow you a number of benefits in transferring learned skills and implementing different techniques from our team. As another option, some families find session times to be a good opportunity for them to catch up on other things around or outside the house, or with their other children’s needs.
Please note that family support and caregiver interaction is an important aspect for all settings of ABA Treatment and will be strongly encouraged no matter where the session is occurring.
How can I prepare for an in-home therapy session?
- Develop a good area to work: This could mean clearing out a spare bedroom, putting a small desk in your child’s room, or keeping a space in their playroom dedicated to learning. Any place is going to be feasible to work in as long as it is clear of distraction and pleasant for the learner. While we prefer to have a “home base” area, we will be utilizing as much of the home environment in order to capitalize on the patient’s learning opportunities and to truly maximize their skill acquisition, naturally.
- Make a list of preferred reinforcers: By letting your technician know which items/activities your child likes to do, they will have a good idea of which items to use to play and which items to avoid when pairing. Many of these items will be used as motivators and reinforcers during the child’s sessions.
- Let other family members know when sessions are occurring: It is important that everyone in the household is aware of session times. Not only does this help keep the session clear of unplanned distractions, but may also save your family members from a surprise of having other individuals in the house. Keeping the schedule in a visual place such as the refrigerator or by the door can be helpful!
- Discuss your household preferences with your consultant: Every household works differently and BTL wants to respect any guidelines you may have set. It is important to let your consultant know if there are any restrictions or set rules to be followed in your house!
In-home therapy can be beneficial for many families. Whether targeting natural environment skills or working to decrease problem behaviors displayed in the home, ABA is beneficial in multiple settings. Please contact us if in-home therapy is something you are interested for your child or you have additional questions!
-Heidi Mann, BCBA, Outreach Consultant
It really helped when you talked about ABA therapy and how to prepare your home for it! Recently, one of my aunts said she’s interested in learning more about ABA therapy. My aunt wants to help her child develop, so I’ll be sure to share your article with her! Thanks for the advice on designating a special area for your kid’s ABA therapy sessions!
This is a very insightful and informative comment. Thank you to the author for sharing this information.