A Comparative Look at School-Based Programs and Clinic-Based ABA Therapy for Autism

Insights from Child Behavior Therapists in Dallas, TX

The prevalence rate of Autism has increased by about 10 percent in the last 2 years, and has almost tripled from about 0.67 percent in the year 2000, to about 1.85 percent in 2020. A growing awareness of Autism symptoms, along with improved diagnostic tools, has led to a steady increase in the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) over the last few decades. Due to the inadequate spread and reach of specialized Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy centers, more and more children started receiving Autism therapy and services through community-based public school environments.

Over the years, public schools have made great strides in developing in-house ABA programs to better address the needs of children with ASD. Today, parents of children with ASD have fairly comparable and competitive options. However, choosing between community-based public school programs and private, center-based educational environments may require further considerations in keeping with the child’s specific needs and characteristics.

Key Differences Between Community-based and Center-based ABA Therapy

Community-Based Learning: In a community-based public school environment, the therapists assess the educational impact of a child’s social, community, behavioral, learning, and language functioning. Based on this review, they determine the amount, duration, and frequency of therapy and recommend suitable education plans and related services.

Here are some of the advantages of enrolling your child in a community-based therapy setup:

-Opportunity for Community Immersion and Integration: The child gets to attend school with siblings or other children from the neighborhood, giving them a sense of belonging as well as exposure to social settings.

-Tailor-made Inclusive Experience: The school can create numerous types of inclusive opportunities customized to the child’s individual educational needs. For example, if the child shows an inclination towards a particular sport, music, or art, they could be included for such special subjects in a cohesive learning environment. Similarly, if the child requires additional attention for certain pre-academic or academic activities, they can arrange for individualized instruction for such activities outside of the inclusive experience.

-Access to Resources: The variety of resources in a community-based placement is huge. Besides vast knowledge and expertise, special educators have exposure to students with a wide range of symptoms and learning styles. The sheer depth of experience allows them to manage the educational needs of children with Autism efficiently.

-Opportunities for Peer Training and Buddy Programs: There are immense opportunities for peer training and peer buddy programs in a community setting. Essentially, these programs identify motivated neurotypical peers who can become potential mentors to children with ASD. The therapists equip the peers with the skills and interventions needed for successful interactions with fellow students with ASD.

Building friendships, fostering social connections between students with similar interests, and reducing the chances of isolation or bullying are some of the other ways that a community setting can help children with ASD.

Clinical Therapy: Clinic-based ABA therapists cater to every child’s individual developmental needs and every family’s specific treatment goals. While one child may need more focus on sensory integration, another may need soft tissue mobilization or neurodevelopmental treatments. Typically, in a center-based ABA therapy clinic, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) conducts the initial assessment, develops a customized ABA treatment plan, and supervises the one-to-one therapy delivered by the Registered Behavior Therapist (RBT). Wherever required, the BCBAs and RBTs can also provide access to medication for the child with ASD.

Here are some of the advantages of ABA therapy in clinical settings:

-Progress Tracking and Measurement: ABA therapists actively track and measure the child’s progress against predetermined treatment goals and adjust the therapy plans for maximum effectiveness.

-Therapy beyond Therapy: ABA professionals encourage and train parents and caregivers on ABA-based techniques and interventions to help the families continue the child’s therapy beyond the formal sessions.

-Hybrid Services: Autism treatment centers can offer hybrid ABA plans, including clinic-based therapy, in-home sessions, and telehealth services. They also help the families through ancillary support services, including parent training programs and sibling support groups.

Since both settings are individualized and have their own advantages, wherever possible, it may be beneficial to combine the Autism therapy plans of community-based placements with clinic-based treatments.

Behavior Pioneers, LLC, a leading Autism treatment center in Dallas, TX, specializes in ABA therapy for treating children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Led by Clinical Director Brian Tanenbaum, their team includes qualified and experienced Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) and Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs). With additional specializations in Educational Psychology, Special Education, Child Development, Low Incidence Disabilities and Autism, and Early Childhood Disorders, their ABA practitioners bring a depth of expertise to their Autism therapy offerings.

At Behavior Pioneers, the focus is on designing tailor-made ABA plans that enhance essential skills and decrease problem behaviors in individuals with Autism. The ultimate goal of their Autism treatments is to help children or adults with ASD thrive in their academic and professional endeavors and assimilate better in society. Behavior Pioneers provides clinic-based child behavior therapy in Richardson, TX and Carrolton, TX, along with in-home ABA sessions throughout Dallas, TX and Fort Worth, TX.

For more information on Autism therapy, search for “child behavioral therapist near me” and reach out to the child behavior therapists at one of the Behavior Pioneer Autism treatment centers near you. Call 877-725-8397 or contact them online.

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