What kinds of things can you target in therapy?
The possibilities are endless! 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.
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.
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 a Clinical Supervisor, Senior Therapist, and at least one ABA Therapist.
The Clinical Supervisor will be in charge of overseeing all programming and clinical decision making. They will determine appropriate assessment tools, work with parents to develop goals and a schedule that will most benefit their learner, review and contribute to all reports and programs, monitor progress, assist with parent/therapist training and inter-professional collaboration.
The Senior Therapist is also responsible for conducting assessments, preparing reports and programs/materials, monitoring progress, training parents and therapists, assisting with inter-professional collaboration (all under the supervision of the Clinical Supervisor). They may also be available to work 1:1 with the learner.
The ABA Therapist will be the one to come work 1:1 with your learner. They will conduct 1:1 therapy sessions, graph data, assist with completing assessments, and communicate progress with parents and the Senior Therapist. Depending on how many hours per week of therapy the learner is receiving, they may have two ABA Therapists on their team. This is especially important to help skills generalize, build flexibility in working with different people, and ensure that times of transition are supported and service disruptions are minimized.
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.
How much supervision does your team provide?
We allocate 20% supervision for everyone receiving one-to-one ABA services. For example, if the learner is registered for 10 hours/week of one-to-one therapy, the Senior Therapist will have 2 hours of supervision allocated per week. Of those 2 hours, we aim to complete 50% of those hours as part of their direct supervision (ex. observations, parent meetings), and the other 50% as part of their indirect supervision tasks (ex. writing programs, updating a behaviour plan, making visuals etc.). Clinical supervision is provided in addition to this amount, and is allocated at 0.5 hour per week, totalling 2 hours/month. These proportions are based on best practices as recommended by the Behaviour Analyst Certification Board (BACB), however we understand that each learner is different and some may require additional supervision. If this is the case, we will try our best to accommodate individual supervision needs at little to no additional cost.
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).
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.
What kinds of assessments can you do?
Our team is trained to complete a variety of different behaviour and skills assessments. Some of our favourite skills assessments include the Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-Revised (ABLLS-R), the Assessment of Functional Living Skills (AFLS), and Promoting the Emergence of Advanced Knowledge Relational Training System (PEAK). Depending on the service model, sometimes a full skills assessment is beneficial. Other times, a behaviour assessment is more appropriate, such as a Functional Behaviour Assessment (FBA) or Functional Assessment (FA). Indirect assessments, such as parent interviews and document reviews, may also be completed. Assessments are chosen based on individual client need, and a variety are often completed to help gather a wide range of information to be used during goal setting and program planning. Our team does not currently have the capacity to complete diagnostic assessments.
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 'Services' pages.
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 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?
Contact your local single point of access to get more information about eligibility for the Ontario Autism Program and how to apply for a childhood budget. Take a look at our 'Resources' page to browse through the various funding options that may be available to you.