5 Ways to Prepare Your Home for In-Home Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) Therapy
Children who need ABA therapy have sessions at the clinic and their home. In-home sessions can be highly beneficial to your child and the entire family. Need to know how to prepare for in-home ABA therapy? Learn more to ensure your child can get the most from their time with the practitioner.
What Is In-Home ABA Therapy?
ABA therapy is an evidence-based treatment proven to be highly effective for children with autism. It involves using practices such as positive reinforcement to help children learn desired behaviors and develop social skills. ABA therapy can be implemented in clinics, schools or at home. When it is carried out in the child’s natural environment, their house, it is referred to as in-home ABA therapy.
Each treatment is tailored for the location in which it takes place, with the goal being for the treatment location to complement your child’s goals. The in-home therapist will use a customized treatment plan focused on skills the child uses at home. This treatment plan may include self-care skills like brushing teeth and getting dressed or emphasize improving social skills like sibling interactions.
This form of therapy occurs in an environment your child is familiar with and views as non-threatening, which can make skill development easier. They are also likely to repeat what they learn in outside settings.
In-home therapy provides parents and families opportunities to be present for the sessions. Exploring ways to prepare your home and family for ABA therapy increases the likelihood of it being beneficial.
How to Prepare Your Home for an In-Home Therapy Session
Conducting ABA Therapy at home requires certain considerations but has many potential benefits. Ensuring your home is conducive to your child’s learning is a crucial first step to seeing results. It is important to note that every child is different and will learn at their own pace. It might take time to note significant improvements, but with patience and consistency, you will start to see desired outcomes.
Here are five ways to prepare your home for an optimal ABA therapy session for your child:
1. Create a Clean and Flat Surface
Since ABA therapy is often a play-based model, therapists typically use activities and games to help children grasp new concepts. Ensure you have a clean, flat area free from debris like food or laundry, and remove dust or food residue. You can use a desk, table or the floor, depending on your child’s age and what the ABA therapist needs to do with them.
2. Minimize Distractions
Toys, games and electronic devices that should not be used during the session need to be kept out of the therapy area. People not involved in the therapy should also refrain from entering the area or causing a distraction. Additionally, do not ask your child to do activities like chores or homework unless that is part of the treatment plan.
3. Develop a Non-Threatening Environment
Therapists have the right to leave a session early if they feel uncomfortable or threatened in a home. To create a safe and non-threatening environment, put away any dangerous objects and substances.
Safety can also pertain to pets. Not all animals are friendly to guests, making it important to keep them in a separate location — like upstairs or in another room — throughout the session. If your child or someone in your household has a therapy or service animal, you can discuss the animal’s presence with your therapist.
4. Be Available
Therapy services often focus on issues that affect the family and home life, such as rule-following and sharing. In these scenarios, you, another parent or relative, or siblings or cousins can be present to help the child practice these skills.
Parents and caregivers also have an additional role to play in ABA therapy. It is integral to stay in the loop about your child’s progress. An ABA therapist will also provide family training to ensure you can help foster skill transfer outside sessions.
5. Get the Whole Family Involved
The family plays an integral part in the effectiveness of the treatment. As your child learns and develops new ways of coping, the family needs to be able to reinforce what they are taught even when the child is outside of the sessions.
By involving your whole family, you will be equipped to identify triggers and understand the cause of any negative behaviors your child displays so you can act to minimize them. Family members will also learn appropriate ways to communicate with your child. The aim is to make the child feel comfortable within the household’s daily routine and increase their confidence in social situations.
What Are the Benefits of In-Home ABA Therapy?
ABA therapy can be implemented in various settings, but for some children on the spectrum, the home is the best place to learn. It is easier to teach them new skills in a setting they are familiar and comfortable in.
The following are some of the benefits of in-home therapy:
- You don’t have to travel for the sessions, minimizing stress for you and the child.
- Your child learns in a familiar environment.
- One-on-one learning is tailored to and focused on your child’s needs.
- You and your child will learn how to deal with challenging situations at home.
- These sessions offer opportunities for parental and family involvement.
- The therapist can identify behaviors that may not occur outside the home.
Contact Effective Interventions for an In-Home ABA Therapist in North Carolina
After you prep your home for ABA therapy, you and your child should feel prepared for your first session. If your child is between birth and 21 years of age and has an autism diagnosis, Effective Interventions can help. Contact us online or call 910-725-0702 to schedule an appointment.