Importance of Early Intervention for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Services

Sep 13, 2019 | Caregiver Resources | 0 comments

Evidence has shown that early intervention is key in helping to improve challenging behaviors, but when do you begin to seek out ABA services to support you and your family in overcoming those challenges?

Special thanks to Collaborative Corner and their help in providing this resource.

Early intervention services are provided to children from birth to 3 years of age. However, some early intervention programs will service a child up to 5 years of age. Once a diagnosis has been specified, it is critical to start early intervention services immediately.

Here are a few critical reasons why:

• Long wait lists

• General ABA education

• Worsening behavior

• School readiness

• Safety

Long Wait Lists

• Wait lists for ABA services typically range anywhere from 6 months to 1-year long wait time.

• Before services can begin, a consultation and initial assessment must be conducted.

• Insurance information and an approval for services must be obtained.

• Insurance approval time will vary from carrier to carrier.

• Depending on the facility, clinic, or school providing the ABA services, additional paper work, caregiver interviews, etc. might be needed prior to starting services.

• Once all paper work, approvals, and documents are collected, the child will most likely be added to a wait list.

• At any point, wait time can change to a sooner or later date than originally predicted.

• It is critical to find a local ABA provider immediately to initiate the start of services.

General ABA Education

• ABA is science dedicated to the study derived in the principles of behavior to systematically improve socially significant human behavior.

• It is not common knowledge and will require caregivers to become more educated on the topic to better understand how these services will affect their child.

• The sooner early intervention services are started, the sooner a caregiver can become educated.

Worsening Behavior

• If you are obtaining services to target problem behavior such as tantrums, meltdowns, or outbursts, education on ABA services will aid in preventing precursor situations at home.

• Obtaining early intervention services as soon as possible will help caregivers manage or limit worsening behavior as the ABA provider can offer advice on how to prevent negative behaviors at home or in public settings.

Safety

• If your child engages in dangerous behavior such as biting, kicking, hitting, head banging, running away, or self-injurious behavior, then early intervention services can increase your child’s safety as you learn more about how ABA works.

School Readiness

• If problem behavior is not a reason for your child to obtain services, perhaps lack of school preparedness is.

• Do you fear that a public or private school is not an appropriate setting for your child now or in the near future?

• Does your child lack the appropriate social or cognitive skills needed for preschool or kindergarten?

• Early intervention with ABA services is critical in order to make appropriate gains for school readiness.

Overall, early intervention services are beneficial to all children. Your child does not need to have significant delays, problem behavior, or safety concerns to receive services. Any child can benefit from services at an early age to decrease inappropriate behavior and increase appropriate behavior.

For any other questions on how early intervention services in ABA might be beneficial to your child, please feel free to contact nikki@collaborativecorner.org. A timely response will be provided within 24 hours.

Reference:
Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Herward, W. L. (2007). Applied Behavior Analysis. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.

Resources:
Overview of ABA services

Importance of Early Intervention Article

Why Act Early

Nikki Waitt
Registered Behavior Technician and Varied Exceptionalities Teacher
nikki@collaborativecorner.org

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