siskin children's institute
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applied behavior analysis (ABA)
Frequently Asked Questions

What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy?
ABA is a therapy based on principles of learning and behavior. ABA focuses on how behavior works and why behaviors are occurring in order to identify replacement behaviors. ABA also focuses on socially significant behaviors and behaviors that will help the child become more independent

What kind of skills do you work on with children?
We work on functional communication during routines, in a child’s natural environment, and during preferred activities with the goal of increasing communication.

How long has ABA been recognized as an effective treatment?
ABA has been widely researched since the 1960s and is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics as an evidence-based, effective treatment for children with autism. 

What kind of behaviors does ABA target in children?
ABA focuses on increasing functional skills with the goal of increasing a child’s independence. ABA also focuses on increasing social skills while allowing the child to participate in school and community settings.

I have a referral from my child’s physician. What now?
You and your child will come to our clinic for an assessment. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) will talk to you about your concerns, behaviors that your child is engaging in, and your child’s skill level. The BCBA will then assess your child’s skills.

What do you look for during the ABA assessment of a child?
We look at their ability to communicate, their social skills, and behaviors they have which may prevent them from participating in school or community activities. 

Do therapy sessions occur at Siskin or in the home?
The program here at Siskin is primarily home-based. However, we work with children in their natural environment, including their school. We also offer services in our clinic. However, we work primarily in the child’s home because that’s where most of the learning for the child can take place.

What should a family consider when selecting an ABA program?
When choosing an ABA program, parents should decide if they prefer home-based services or clinic-based services. They should also decide on the number of hours they feel comfortable with their child receiving based on the BCBA’s clinical recommendation. 

How many hours of therapy a week can a family expect?
Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention typically takes 20-30 hours a week based on research showing that this amount of hours leads to the most effective outcomes, but it really just depends on the child’s skill level, the behaviors and behavioral concerns, and what’s going to work best for the family.

At what age should I start thinking about ABA therapy?
ABA therapy can be effective for children of any age. It is not limited to young children. The therapy may look different depending on the age of the child and the goals that they’re working on. 

What makes the Siskin ABA program unique?
We really gear the program around each child’s needs, the family’s concerns, and their goals for therapy. We want to work with the families in a way that works best for them and will be most beneficial for the child.