The rates of a child receiving a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is currently 1 in 44, the highest rate since the CDC began tracking autism prevalence over 20 years ago (CDC, 2021). The increase is in part attributable to improvements in the early identification of ASD. Early identification of autism is of paramount importance because it allows children who are affected to access crucial services and support at earlier stages of life. Children affected by ASD demonstrate significant treatment gains when services are provided early and intensively in a child development (Irwin & Axe, 2019).
Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) based treatment is considered the most effective evidence-based service available to children affected by autism. ABA therapy may occur in a variety of different locations (home, center, community, or school). Although Butterfly Effects provides services across all settings, out team primarily conduct treatment in the families’ home or a center dedicated to an intensive services model for children affected by ASD.
Home-based therapy is a great place to teach children everyday skills in a comfortable and familiar environment, around individuals whom the child is closest to (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.). Daily living skills such as brushing teeth, bathing, and toileting are easily taught in the natural home environment. Center-based therapy gives families another environment for exceptional ABA treatment when living situations, work schedules, and other circumstances impede some families from home-based services. Center-based ABA therapy has been shown to produce tremendous improvement for children affected by autism for a number of reasons.
Why Does Center-Based Therapy Produce Improvements?
ABA Centers allows an intensive service model consistent with the best outcomes research for children diagnosed with ASD. These children may receive up to 35 hours per week in a single location designed address the core deficits of ASD (communication, socialization, and behavior).
Structure and Stability
Center-based ABA therapy provides children structure and stability. The staff in a center setting can create structured learning environments for children to learn a variety of skills. Young children preparing for school will benefit from the 1:1 staff support that the center provides while learning how to cooperate in a group setting. They will also learn to transition from one activity to the next, walk safely in a line, eat meals with peers, take turns during games, and many more skills that are essential for attending school.
Center-based ABA therapy provides children with a myriad of social interaction opportunities. As soon as a child walks into an ABA center, they are around peers in a controlled environment where they have opportunities to learn:
- Appropriate greetings
- Parallel and cooperative play skills
- Direction following
- Coping skills
- Identification of social cues
- Initiation of conversations
- …and many more skills!
An ABA center is an ideal environment that will focus on building meaningful peer relationships in a fun and interactive environment.
Dedicated, Highly-Trained Staff
Center-based ABA staff are highly trained. The center is supervised by Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and BCBA Clinical Directors who dedicate their time exclusively to the center. The center therapy team is able to collaborate, evaluate, and discuss programming on a daily basis, which fosters an atmosphere where the highest quality of service is the standard. The team of center-based ABA technicians are also trained to accept constant feedback, which helps to have their skills continually and effectively honed.
But Isn’t Home-Based Therapy Better Because Family Is Involved?!
Actually, Butterfly Effect’s center-based ABA therapy model also integrates active family involvement throughout the entire treatment process. We believe the child’s family is integral to their progress and success. Family collaboration and family training sessions will help children generalize the new skills learned in the center to different situations, settings, and individuals.
Whatever channel of ABA services you consider, know that Butterfly Effects is committed to providing the best quality care for all out families affected by ASD.