Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between ABA and IBI?

No, there is no difference. The term 'Intensive Behavioural Intervention' or 'IBI' is simply referring to applying the principles of ABA in an intensive setting (20+ hours/week).

Who can benefit from ABA?

ABA can be helpful for a wide range of people and needs. ABA uses the science of behaviour to set up optimal learning environments and make socially significant behaviour change. Whether you are a child, teen, adult, or parent seeking support, your therapist can work with you to develop an individualized behaviour plan that works for you. Common areas of skill acquisition include language development, communication, early learning skills, academics, fine and gross motor development, play and leisure skills, social skills, self-regulation strategies, toileting, daily living skills, community safety, and even job readiness skills. Reducing challenging behaviours can also be an area of focus, such as reducing self-injurious behaviour, aggression, elopement, picky eating, and non-compliant behaviour. ABA sessions can look different based on who is receiving therapy and what they are hoping to learn and work towards. For example, an ABA session for a 3 year old will look very different from a session for a teen or young adult.

Do I need a formal diagnosis to benefit from ABA?

No! A formal diagnosis is not needed to benefit from ABA. It is common for many individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder or other diagnoses to seek therapy. However, it is also important to remember that seeking therapy when you are noticing skill gaps or are experiencing behavioural challenges is equally as important.

How many hours of therapy per week is needed?

Some learners can make amazing gains with just a few hours of therapy per week. Others require more intensive services. Focused service is typically 10-25 hours/week. It requires less hours and will target fewer goals. Comprehensive services target a wider range of goals and thus require more hours per week, typically more than 25 hours/week. We will often recommend starting with 6-9 hours/week of one-to-one ABA, but have some learners who start with less or who transition to more hours.

How long will my child be in therapy for?

Children can be actively enrolled in therapy for a matter of weeks, months, or even years. The duration of services can often vary, based on the learner's goals and the type of therapy they are receiving. For example, group therapy and parent training consultations can be delivered in shorter time frame (ex. 13 week block, January to June). One-to-one therapy is often continuous. We recommend a minimum of 6 months (the length of a typical service plan), but most of our learners are with us for 12+ months. It's hard to say how much progress a child will make in a short amount of time, so it's important to consider the duration of service when planning programs and goals. We would select different therapy goals for a learner in service for a short/fixed amount of time, compared to someone who is anticipating ongoing service.

How do I choose between home-based and centre-based therapy?

Every learner is different, and there are pros and cons to both. Home-based therapy allows the learner to practice skills in their natural environment. It also allows parents to be more involved, which helps with the generalization and maintenance of skills. Centre-based therapy is great for learners who benefit from being around other learners with similar skills. It also provides a very controlled environment to facilitate small group learning and teach a variety of social skills. Both settings allow for therapists to go out into the community, which is essential for many goals.

How can you practice social skills in a home-based program?

Community outings are great for practicing social skills with typically developing peers. Your local library, Early Years Centre, or YMCA may have many drop-in programs that therapists can attend with the learner.

We get many requests for after school sessions, which can be a great fit for older children who are learning at a rate that matches their peers. There are often more age-appropriate social opportunities in the evenings, compared to during the school day (when most peers are in school).

My child goes to school all day, so how are they supposed to access therapy as well?

Therapy time is learning time, so it is important to ensure each learner has therapy sessions scheduled during a time that is best for them. A time when they are awake, alert, energized, and ready to learn and play. We want to avoid therapy sessions during times when the child might be tired (ex. during nap time, at the end of the day). Morning and afternoon sessions work well for younger children who become tired by the end of the day, or children who are developmentally behind their peers. After school sessions can be a great fit for older children, who are learning at a rate that matches their peers. Due to the high demand for after school sessions, we do need to prioritize those time slots for learners who will benefit the most from therapy during this time. This often means we have a long waiting list for after school sessions. Those spots also tend to get filled with current learners before we're able to offer them to a family on our waiting list.

Do I get to watch or participate in sessions?

Parent involvement in sessions is always encouraged! Based on the learner's individual programming and goals, we are able to put together a routine that allows parents to participate meaningfully in sessions. This can include sitting in on sessions for regular observations or actively participating in various programs that have parent-mediated components. For some learners, however, it can be a distraction for parents to be present during session. In these cases, we can work on this by building flexibility while providing ways for parents to observe and participate incognito. Some learners may also have trouble transitioning away from their parents during session. It is important for the learner to feel comfortable working with our team without a parent present, and so this would be a skill to target as part of the learner's initial behaviour plan.

Who will be a part of the therapy team?

Most teams will consist of at least one ABA Therapist, a Senior Therapist, and a Clinical Supervisor.

Best Behaviour Inc. will obtain copies of the following documentation from all team members: an updated resume, two (2) references, a Police Vulnerable Sector Check completed within six (6) months, proof of full vaccination against COVID-19, proof of two (2) million liability car insurance (if applicable), proof of professional liability insurance (if applicable), and proof of First Aid and CPR Training (if applicable), and proof of crisis management certification (if applicable).

What happens if I'm not happy with a therapist on my team, or have feedback to share about things I'm seeing in session?

When putting together a therapy team, we try to pair learners with therapists that we believe will work well together. For example, matching level of experience with the learner's individual needs. If at any point a team member or parent feels as though the pairing is not working, we work together to identify what additional training is needed to help with this. This feedback can be shared with the Senior Therapist and Clinical Supervisor, and they will determine next steps. For more information about conflict resolution, please see our Conflict Resolution Policy.

I am looking to work with therapists with specific qualifications, experience, and/or education. Can I choose the therapists on my team, based on my own requirements?

During your time in service, it is expected that you will work with a variety of therapists and team members. Best Behaviour Inc. cannot accommodate individual requests for therapists that meet certain requirements (ex. experience, certification, education, gender, race, age etc.). We are an equal opportunities employer, and select therapists to join our team based on a variety of factors. Related experience and qualifications is important, but so are many soft skills and shared team values. We pride ourselves in providing a supportive work environment that values growth and professional development. We welcome those who are new to ABA, who continue to add to their experience in the field, and who are looking to advance in their behaviour analytic careers.

Can we invite our therapist to attend social functions with our family?

The relationship between team members and clients is professional, so we cannot attend social events or recreational activities with your family. We can provide support during these events, as part of the learner's therapy goals and services, but it would be considered paid therapy time. Dual relationships and conflicts of interest will also be avoided (ex. providing respite and ABA services concurrently).

We want to show our appreciation to the team. Can we give our therapists gifts?

Gifts are allowable, provided that they are infrequent, they function as an expression of gratitude, and the monetary value of the gift is under $20.00.

How much does therapy cost?

The total cost of therapy depends on the number of hours of therapy per week. Services can be arranged by paying a fixed hourly rate for full service or individual charge out rates for specific team members. A detailed cost breakdown for each of our services can be found on our 'ABA Therapy' and 'Psychotherapy' pages.

What is your cancellation policy?

A detailed description of our cancellation policy for each of our services can be found on our 'ABA Therapy' and 'Psychotherapy' pages.

Do therapists work in the summer?

Our therapy sessions to not stop or end for any pre-determined holiday or summer breaks. Sessions are able to continue over Christmas Break (as defined as the 2 weeks that schools are closed for Christmas holidays), working around the necessary statutory holidays, at the discretion of the Parent/Guardian and Therapist, but it is not required. Similarly, sessions are expected to continue through Summer Break (as defined as the 8-10 weeks that schools are closed for summer holidays), working around the necessary statutory holidays. If a Therapist or Parent/Guardian choose to take a significant amount of time off (ex. 4+ weeks), this may result in the need to reallocate the learner’s current therapist(s). The Therapist may also lose their spot on the learner’s team, and/or the Parent/Guardian may lose their current therapy time slot if they choose to not remain in active service. There is no guarantee that therapists or time slots can be held after a significant cancellation, however every effort will be made to make temporary arrangements that allow the learner to resume regular sessions with their regular team upon return.

Are your services covered under the Ontario Autism Program?

Yes. All of our services are supervised by individuals on the OAP Provider List. We are an approved OAP provider, to be offering Core Clinical Services under the OAP. We are also able to service families who are currently receiving OAP budgets, childhood budgets, and interim one-time funding.

How do I know if I qualify for government funding?

AccessOAP is the agency responsible for registering, managing, and distributing funding. If you are a new family looking to register for the Ontario Autism Program, you can find more information here. If you are already registerd for the OAP and have questions about your transiiton to AccessOAP, you can find more information here. More information about the Ontario Autism Program is available here. You can also take a look at our 'Resources' page to browse through the various funding options that may be available to you.