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What to Look for in an ABA Center

January 18, 2022

With so many different ABA centers to choose from, trying to determine the best ABA center for your child may be a daunting task. An ABA center that provides quality services with programming that is tailored to your child’s needs will have a huge impact on your child’s development and success. Here are some qualities to look for, and some questions to ask in your search for the right ABA center for your child.

1. The center is run by an ethical ABA company that is committed to quality programming.

Some questions you may consider asking are:

•  How long has the company been servicing families affected by autism?

• How does the clinical team measure progress?

• What are the clinical team members’ academic and professional backgrounds?

• What are the company’s treatment philosophy and core values?

2. Activities in the center are engaging and fun. From the moment a child steps through the door of an ABA center, they should feel welcomed and excited to participate in all the fun activities the center has to offer.

Some questions you may consider asking are:

•  Are there multiple learning areas in the center that promote movement, exploration, and leisure?

•  Do children have access to a variety of interactive and engaging toys and learning materials?

• Are the activities play-based?

• Are the learning activities designed to address the core deficits associated with autism?

3. The center’s floorplan is specially designed to target key developmental areas. The physical layout of an ABA center is critically important because every environment impacts the way your child learns and retains new skills.

Some questions you may consider asking are:

•  Why are the tables, desks, and chairs set up the way they are?

•  Does the center have flexible seating options to accommodate the sensory needs of the children?

•  Are there clear boundaries around the learning areas to make transitions easier for children?

4. The center is dedicated to safety and cleanliness. The staff at an ABA center must be dedicated to your child’s safety, health, and wellbeing. Look to ensure that the furniture in the center is durable and in good condition.

Some questions you may consider asking are:

•  How often are high-traffic areas sanitized?

•  What are the cleaning procedures that take place throughout the day and at the end of the day?

•  What types of cleaning products are used?

The center staff prioritizes family involvement. Family involvement, collaboration, and training should be a major aspect of the clinical programming of your child. Even though you may be dropping off your child at an ABA center for most of the day, the clinical team should be incorporating parent training goals in your child’s treatment plan to foster generalization of skills form the center environment to the home environment. The clinical team should be empowering the child’s family to build on the new skills that are learned in the center. Be sure to look for an ABA center that values family participation every step of the way.

Some questions you may consider asking are:

•  What kind of caregiver training does the clinical team provide?

•  How often do families receive updates on their child’s day at the center?

•  Does the center allow family members to observe sessions at the center?

Father playing with his little girl at home Father playing with his little girl at home