Frequently Asked Questions
Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the science in which the principles of behavior are applied systematically to improve socially significant behavior and experimentation is used to identify the variables responsible for behavior change” (Cooper, Heron, & Heward, 2007). In simpler terms, ABA is the science of altering the environment and applying strategies to reduce challenging behaviors while increasing adaptive behaviors. We believe that each individual should be part of the planning process for their engagement in ABA therapy. ABA therapy targets social skills (in a neurodiversity affirming way), communication, daily living skills and more by applying evidence-based methods to improve a child’s ability to interact with their natural environment. We focus on the use of intrinsic motivation to work with the child while promoting a safe and controlled environment, giving them the best chance at success. Our approach is completely individualized to each child. We seek to understand the function (or the reason) behind each behavior with the knowledge that behavior is communication. We attempt to listen to this communication by implementing evidence based interventions while keeping a neurodiversity affirming approach in mind each step of the way.
- In this context, ABA therapy is designed for those with an autism diagnosis or those who are neurodivergent. ABA therapy is also designed for those who need 1:1 support and attention. That being said, ABA principles and methods can benefit anyone!
Before discussing neurodiversity affirming practice, it is important to understand neurodiversity. Neurodiversity is the concept of natural differences across the spectrum of human brains. Each person has something unique and valuable to offer the world due to their neurological differences. Neurodiversity can include individuals across the spectrums of Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, Dyspraxia, etc. Our approach to neurodiversity affirming practice is one we are actively learning about and working to improve upon daily. As a neurodiversity affirming practice, we use methods that allow children to exercise their right to bodily autonomy. This means that we listen to both verbal and nonverbal cues (e.g. body language). We reinforce attempts to communicate the need for personal space, breaks, sensory interventions, assistance, etc. We use hand over hand prompting as a last resort, as this is considered an intrusive intervention and we strive to create an environment where children can learn with the least restrictive supports in place. Statistically, Autistic children are 6-7 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Our mission to reduce physical prompting and teach self advocacy skills and bodily autonomy has a lot to do with keeping every child safe throughout their lives. Furthermore, we are looking into alternative assessments that do not focus on deficits. The current assessment methods hold neurodivergent kids to neurotypical standards. It’s unfair and frankly, unethical. These types of assessments do not foster a positive sense of self for our learners. Unfortunately, the way funding sources are set up requires us to use these deficit based measures in order to obtain the necessary authorizations for insurance coverage. As more practitioners join the neurodiversity movement, we hope to see this change in the near future
Advanced Behavior Analysis is working hard to set itself apart from other ABA companies. Here are a few ways we are working toward that.
- As a smaller company, we focus heavily on a teamwork approach when it comes to the individual treatment of our clients. Each of our team members have unique knowledge and a unique approach in which combining them creates something truly special and unique.
- Our analysts have small caseloads, allowing them to have more time with their clients and provide quality service to each of them.
- Our training process for our incoming team members includes an in-depth training of not only company policy, but also clinical information to make them fully prepared and ready to implement behavior plans and skill goals with accuracy and fidelity. Not only are our team members trained from day 1, our training continues during each supervision and during monthly meetings where the team can learn, grow and collaborate with one another. Our team members are also required to complete the Registered Behavior Technician training and certification process to ensure the best quality of treatment.
- Our clinic space contains a state of the art sensory gym designed by an occupational therapist as well as a unique circle time and center rotation system that includes use of private work rooms to allow clients to focus.
- We are one of the only practices in Utah who use a neurodiversity affirming practice model. As a neurodiversity affirming practice, we use methods that allow children to exercise their right to bodily autonomy. This means that we listen to both verbal and nonverbal cues (e.g. body language). We reinforce attempts to communicate the need for personal space, breaks, sensory interventions, assistance, etc. We use hand over hand prompting as a last resort, as this is considered an intrusive intervention and we strive to create an environment where children can learn with the least restrictive supports in place. Statistically, Autistic children are 6-7 times more likely to be victims of sexual assault. Our mission to reduce physical prompting and teach self advocacy skills and bodily autonomy has a lot to do with keeping every child safe throughout their lives.
- We are constantly updating and improving upon our policies and procedures as well as how we train our team to ensure the best quality treatment for our clients and staff.
- Our administration model is unique and offers heavy oversight to our technicians and behavior analysts to ensure quality treatment and experience for our clients and their families.
Yes! We love collaborating with other professionals to ensure each of our clients gets the best quality of care. Working together with other professionals ensures all treatment is aiming toward the same goal and that all treatment objectives align with one another. We truly see the value in collaboration and enjoy the connections we make with each professional working with our learners.
We accept the following insurances
- i. Select Health
- ii. UHC / Optum
- iii. Regence / Blue Cross Blue Shield
- iv. Medicaid
- v. Aetna
- vi. Cigna / Evernorth
- vii. PEHP
- viii. University of Utah Health Plans
- ix. EMI
Yes! Each treatment package contains parent training and goals for each parent that are designed to further the skills being targeted during ABA. We also send a parent newsletter monthly on relevant topics within the field to keep our parents up to date on the most recent research and field development. Finally, we frequently post educational content on our blog and on our instagram that is created by our team of analysts. We are always looking for new ways to serve our community and have some projects we are currently working on to continue to offer more support and resources to our families.
With the pandemic’s numbers and most recent recommendations always changing, we keep a close eye on the most recent recommendations from the state and the CDC. We have a strict illness policy that is in line with CDC recommendations that our administration team consistently monitors. We also have intensive cleaning protocols within our clinic space to ensure it is sanitary and sterile for each of our clients receiving services within the clinic space. While the pandemic has presented many challenges, we have weathered the storm well and continue to provide services to our clients during this unprecedented time.