It isn’t uncommon for our kids to go through a period of resistance when they start a new program. Conducting therapy in a familiar environment reduces the time it takes to adjust. Home-based ABA eliminates the need for the child to spend time adapting to a new an unfamiliar environment. New environments are often scary or take added time to get used to.
Conducting therapy in the child’s natural environment will help to teach skills where the child needs them every day. When teaching how to brush teeth in a bathroom it may surprise you how important the bathroom setup itself can be. Imagine learning to find the toothpaste in drawers to your right then going home to find that they’re always in cabinets above you! Children may also need to learn how to use their specific appliances. Teaching these skills at home in the space and with the items that they will actually use can speed this up.
Transitions can be a challenge for many of the children we work with. In fact, transitions themselves are often a goal we are working on during ABA Programs. Home-based ABA eliminates any need for getting ready to leave the home, transportation, or entering a new facility. This means we can spend the entire time practicing skills instead of overcoming resistance to attend each session.
Conducting therapy in the home promotes parental and family involvement. Parents are encouraged to sit in or observe sessions when possible. Many family members want to learn the goals and programs their child is working on. They can then incorporate what is learned to better assist with their child’s programming when the therapy team is not there
Home-based ABA saves time for the entire family! Parents aren’t tasked with the extra errand of drop off and pick up from yet another appointment. Instead, they have ongoing support throughout the day incorporated into their typical routing. We save valuable time to spend productively with the therapy team versus in the car.
When ABA is done in the home, the child has a chance build rapport with new team members in a comfortable and safe space. They can focus just on a new team member and not have to factor in outside variables. It can be both distracting and scary to adapt to new children and unfamiliar spaces. With a therapeutic team in the home, the first step is meeting the therapists and building a strong relationship with them. Then, they can begin working to bring their new skills into other environments, on step at a time.
Reinforcers are a key part of behavior analysis. But the best reinforcers are the ones that motivate the child by using what they already love to do. These toys and activities are usually already in the home. Therapy teams can use the access to these reinforcers to spark motivation.
Conducting therapy in the child’s natural environment will allow for practice of skills directly related to family concerns.
For example, many of the kiddos in Cardinal’s home-based ABA programs are working on interactions with siblings. Therapy teams can work on this directly in their natural setting. They create programs that are structured around real interactions. Together, they can practice and improve communication with siblings. It doesn’t end with siblings, ABA can address any relationship or daily response.
Another common example is setting boundaries around electronics. At home, it isn’t unusual for a child to prefer to spend time on their iPad, video game, or other electronics. The behavior stops them from engaging with family or doing their homework. ABA teams wan work with the child to set limits with these items. ABA therapists motivate kids and teens to mange their time.