Caregiver Training is a model that can be used both independently and also in conjunction with ABA therapy. At AnswersNow, we offer both options delivered by one of our incredible Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs).
While most of our families receive Caregiver Training in conjunction with ABA therapy, we do have instances in which our BCBAs are solely supporting caregivers, and do not work directly with the child.
For these families, we can offer either:
If your child is receiving ongoing ABA therapy with us, then our Caregiver Training is directly correlated with the goals laid out in the therapy program, and usually focuses on one to two topics or issues to address throughout the six-month period that we’re working with your child.
Overall, it’s important to note that Caregiver Training is extremely flexible. What is covered can change based upon the needs of your child. It’s a time for you to sit down and chat with your child’s dedicated BCBA and tell us what’s on your mind.
One day you may have a concern about a problem behavior like hitting, and two weeks later, you might say, this behavior has disappeared but something else has come up. We're here to listen and to support you.
Similar to ABA therapy, Caregiver Training has the ability to benefit the entire family. BCBAs can work with families on things like addressing problem behaviors, improving sibling interactions, or helping a child more clearly communicate. Each adjustment of these skills can impact the child’s relationship with the entire family unit.
An example of something we’ve done for improving sibling interactions is to write a social story for the sibling of the child with autism. The social story is meant to help them better understand their sibling’s needs and how to better support and communicate with them. Pairing a social story with direct teaching, as well as providing opportunities to practice the skills outlined in the story with the family in this instance, led to increased appropriate interactions and play with the siblings. Our BCBAs have also run joint activities, so if a child with autism is learning how to roll a ball, we’ll invite their sibling to come over to the computer and go through the exercises as well.
It can be intimidating to show up to a Caregiver Training session if you don’t have a specific topic or issue in mind. Here are few questions that can be helpful to get started:
The traditional model of ABA therapy utilizes BCBAs, who often oversee the progress of therapy programs, and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), who have a high school diploma and have completed a 40-hour training program, to deliver the majority of the therapy sessions to the child. The RBT runs all sessions and the BCBA comes to observe RBT implementation and explore new programs.
AnswersNow differs from the traditional ABA therapy model in several ways. When it comes to care delivery, we work only with Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) who must have a Master’s Degree or PhD and over 1,000 hours of training.
A lot of times, in the traditional model’s Caregiver Training, the BCBA works with the parent or caregiver, and together they observe the interactions of their child who is working with the RBT.
With our direct remote ABA therapy, we require more hands-on involvement from both BCBAs and parents, especially for early learners. This level of involvement often leads to more learning and improved confidence for the caregivers. We highly encourage caregivers to be directly involved in every session that takes place. By being directly involved in each session, you will have a more hands on approach instead of observing and checking in occasionally with the BCBA or RBT.
In a traditional in-home model, the RBT is scheduled to be at your home for a fixed amount of time.
Because we use a digital platform, we do have a set schedule, but we can be a bit more flexible. For example, your child might be scheduled for direct ABA therapy from 1:00 to 2:30 PM. However, you might decide to have your child receive therapy for one hour and then jump in for Caregiver Training for the last half hour.
There can be a lot of reactivity when BCBAs physically come into your home or when the child is taken out of their everyday environment and goes to a therapy center. The physical presence of a new person or change of environment can cause children to behave differently, and as a result, they may never present the target or problem behaviors that your BCBA is hoping to address.
When we dial in over our digital platform on a computer screen, we’re able to see you and your child in their natural environment, and oftentimes, we can get a sense of their natural tendencies and behaviors.