ABA Schools for Autism Therapy

Learn how to find the best ABA schools for autism with trained therapists. Applied Behavior Analysis is currently the most effective evidence based autism treatment. It works best when a child receives intensive therapy consisting of 20-40 hours per week.

Different forms of ABA training may include discrete trial training, pivotal response training (PRT), applied verbal behavior programs (AVB), structured play, incidental teaching and the use of PECS pictures (picture exchange communication systems).

What to look for in ABA Schools for Autism:

  • Available parent skills coaching
  • The use of PECS and applied verbal behavior programs
  • Discrete Trial Training Programs
  • ABA Therapists that have been specially trained
  • Individualized ABA behavior support plans

Additional autism therapies, such as:

  • Music therapy for autism
  • Occupational therapy for children, that also focuses on sensory disorders
  • Speech therapy for children
  • Physical therapy to help with coordination and strength 

Having an occupational therapist available to develop a sensory diet and specific occupational therapy goals for children that also have sensory processing disorder is extremely beneficial as well. When a variety of ABA autism therapies are provided together, the child is much more likely to show improvement in symptoms.

One challenge to finding schools that provide quality intervention when teaching children with autism is that they can be very expensive. There are some schools that are attempting to obtain services by billing health insurance companies in states that have mandated coverage, but I believe this is rare to date.

Often times the school can only provide interventions in more of a group setting that involves setting goals/desirable behaviors for each child and providing positive reinforcement for displaying those behaviors. If you can find an affordable ABA school that provides one on one intervention, then that is very exceptional.

The only public school I am aware of at this point is Croyden Avenue School in Kalamazoo, MI where I was trained as a Discrete Trial Technician. This particular program uses undergraduate practicum students from Western Michigan University to provide one-on-one behavioral based instruction for each child in the pre-primary impaired classroom.

I did find a website that lists a large number of ABA schools and programs  throughout the world that you can check out by clicking on the link. However, it does not list all available schools as I noticed that there are some I am aware of that aren't listed.

You may also consider a new online resource from the organization Rethink Autism which teaches you how to implement applied behavior analysis and provides tailored programs to use yourself based on your child's specific needs.

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