Overview of ASD

Some early behavioral patterns include:
  • Delayed communication
  • Signs of distress if routines are disrupted
  • Excessive interest with an item
  • Using objects in a repetitive manner
  • Lack of interest in others
  • Repetitive speech that is not directed to another person
Generally, symptoms are observed during the first 12 to 24 months, but they can also occur earlier or later than that period.
To determine if your child has autism, you need to schedule an evaluation with a license autism diagnostician, which may include
  • Licensed Psychologist or
  • Developmental Pediatrician
Typically, an evaluation consists of a caregiver interview or questionnaire and a clinical observation. Commonly used diagnostic tools include the:
  • Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS),
  • Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), and
  • Autism Diagnosis Interview (ADI)

No, but we partner with several professionals who are able to provide that service and can provide referrals upon request. Contact Us if you’d like for a KBH team member to help with an introduction to a diagnostician.

Intro to ABA

At KBH, a client’s services are provided by a treatment team, including Registered Behavior Technicians, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and parents/caregivers. Registered Behavior Technicians provide the majority of the one-on-one services during sessions, but each member has important roles. The BCBA’s role is primarily supervisory. She or he is responsible for collecting information about the client’s needs, identifying which skills therapy should focus on, designing programs to teach those skills, providing training to other team members about how to use the programs, and monitoring progress. In addition to providing the majority of one-to-one services, Registered Behavior Technicians also share insight with the BCBA about the rate of progress and make suggestions on how the session can be structured to maximize success. Parents and caregivers share ideas and provide input about what skills the client will learn and what those skills should look like. They also implement the behavioral programs outside of therapy sessions.

Board Certified Behavior Analysts must

  • Hold a master’s degree
  • Completed a series of graduate-level courses on ABA approved by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB), which is the organization in charge of credentialing for the field of applied behavior analysis.
  • Demonstrated the ability to use the principles of ABA effectively in a university practicum or supervised fieldwork experience
  • Pass an exam based on standards outlined by the BACB

Behavior Technicians must

  • Hold a high school degree
  • Complete a series of courses on basic ABA content
  • Demonstrate the ability to implement procedures commonly used in ABA

At KBH, we internally require higher standards for our Behavior Technicians as they must both hold a bachelor’s degree as well as pursue and receive a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential, a credential certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board. This credential requires demonstration of conceptual knowledge and skill competencies that ensure proficiency and effectiveness in their role. To support this, KBH provides specialized, in-person and virtual training on the content covered on the certification exam.

No, the team’s BCBA (in partnership with an LP/LPA) is in charge of creating, monitoring, and modifying a client’s behavioral program. However, we value the input of Registered Behavior Technicians and encourage them to share their ideas about a how client’s programming can be improved.

As a general standard of care, the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) recommends that Board Certified Behavior Analysts supervise 2 hours for every 10 hours of direct treatment hours (~20%). For example, if a client receives 20 hours of direct treatment per week, a BCBA would typically be recommended to provide the client’s case at least 4 hour each week of direct observation, family training or other dedicated support. The level of case supervision may vary based on a variety of factors, including the stage of treatment, changes in protocols, changes to a client’s other therapies or medications or a transition of care.

Given this high level of expected involvement by BCBAs, many organizations struggle to meet this threshold given their efforts to expand access to as many families as possible. We would encourage all families to directly discuss this topic with any prospective provider. At KBH, we are working hard to expand our access, but we foremost have an obligation and commitment to the quality of our services. With that, we require our BCBAs to oversee their client’s care at an average rate of at least 20% of the direct treatment hours, with many cases well over this threshold due to the complexity of their care programs.

Yes! The Kind Behavioral Health utilizes a HIPAA-Compliant practice management and clinical software program to collect and analyze data and complete administrative tasks. Parents/Caregivers are provided login information to the system’s parent portal, which allows them to view all collected data and sign any requisite documentation conveniently, securely, and electronically.

If a session has to be canceled, it is best to make up the time for the session. This can be done in a few different ways, like scheduling extended sessions over several days or scheduling a makeup session during a break from school.

To produce meaningful outcomes, clients should receive the medically necessary level of treatment.  If you believe you cannot meet the recommended number of treatment hours, your clinical team can work with you to identify different scheduling options to ensure your child gains access to the appropriate amount of therapy.

More Info on ABA

No, there is not currently a cure for autism. However, the socially significant detrimental effects of ASD can be minimized through ABA therapy.
No, in fact, we incorporate your child’s interests throughout treatment. One of the main goals of ABA therapy is to increase our clients’ functional language, which means being able to ask for their favorite toy, a hug, or for a break.
Each client has an individualized number of treatment hours. The number of hours is based on his or her needs. Research shows that earlier and more intensive services, which can in some clients’ cases reach up to 40 hours per week, typically produce the most meaningful and successful clinical outcomes.
People can learn a variety of skills by watching others. For instance, when a person watches a video to learn the steps to cook a dish or a person’s arm motion to throw a football, they are learning by watching others. Modeling (or showing a person how to do something) is a prompting strategy used in ABA therapy. However, some children need help understanding when to imitate another person’s behavior, which is why some clients work on that skill. After a person is able to imitate a variety of behaviors, they will move on to more complex skills.

When selecting skills to teach, our clinicians collaborate with caregivers to make sure that what is being taught is beneficial to the client and important to your family. Some of those important skills (e.g., hand washing) might be non-preferred, but it is still in the client’s best interest to teach him or her how to complete that task. As with other behaviors, our clinicians use reinforcers to make these activities less aversive and often preferred over time. While working on these skills and at all times during the course of treatment, KBH will maintain its focus on client preference and client dignity.

If this occurs, our clinicians identify the reason the client does not want to participate and takes steps to make the skill more fun. An example of a step is incorporating the client’s interests into the task or using additional positive reinforcement. If you would like more specific information about what the session would look like, please attend one of our Lunch and Learn seminars where we’d love to share more information.

To produce meaningful outcomes, clients should receive medically recommended levels of treatment. If you believe you cannot meet the recommended number of hours, your treatment team can work with you to identify different scheduling options to ensure your child gains access to the appropriate amount of therapy.

In some situations, our staff can provide services in a client’s school. The school district would have to approve our staff being in the school and the types of skills targeted would need to be appropriate for the setting. For instance, it may be possible to target social skills in a school setting, but a clinical setting may be more appropriate for pre-academic skills. If you have specific questions about treatment options for your child, please reach out to the clinic closest to your home and our staff will be able to help you navigate all of the options.
People have the ability to learn new skills before, during, and after therapy sessions; therefore, better treatment outcomes are achieved when caregivers or parents are active partners in treatment. Specifically, collaboration amongst treatment team members results in new skills being acquired more quickly and maintained for longer periods of time.