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  • Writer's pictureAshley Lara

Parent Involvement in ABA

It can sometimes feel like a difficult dance when your child is receiving ABA services from a provider, but this appears to be emphasized when services occur in your own home! Someone who you may have never met before comes into your home, your safe space, for anywhere from 10-30+ hours per week! How do you stay involved? What is expected? What level of participation should you provide? Here is how to find out.

When you first start services, you likely should be provided a copy of your child's treatment plan that outlines all the goals to be targeted within the (typically) 6 month authorization period approved by your insurance. Within this report will be listed parent training goals and an approved number of parent training hours. It is during this time that you should be meeting with your child's BCBA and working on goals related to understanding the program, theoretical components of ABA as an applied science, or running the program itself with the BCBA and technician. It is highly advisable during initial meetings that your participation expectations are outlined. Most often when working with families we will set specific areas based on parent priority for participation so that you do not have to feel "on" all the time.

Parent or guardian presence in the home is a requirement of our services not just for safety reasons, but to ensure parents and guardians feel comfortable with what service delivery looks like; if there is every something which feels "off" or out of alignment with your values, this should be openly discussed.

Here is a breakdown, from a BCBA, on basic commitments and expectations of parent involvement:

DO feel comfortable bringing your concerns to your BCBA.

DO document programs you have observed and would like to learn more about.

DO feel free to ask the technician or BCBA providing services when you should participate in the session for the day.

DON'T feel guilty if your schedule is tighter in the after school hours prepping dinner one day. Participation is flexible and can be adjusted through the week.

DON'T hesitate to ask questions, ask the behavior technician questions, while also knowing they may not have the full answer. Most questions will be answered by the BCBA.

DO get comfortable with the behavior plan. When responses to targeted behaviors occur, everybody should be on the same page on how to react.

DON'T be afraid to speak up in the moment if you do not feel comfortable with the way a program is being ran. You can always contact your BCBA and ask the technician to hold off on the program for the time being.

Your presence and participation is cherished, valued, and very necessary to child progress.

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