How to Identify a Quality ABA Provider - Acorn Health

January 16, 2023

How to Identify a Quality ABA Provider

If your family is ready to find the best ABA therapy provider to support your child’s learning journey, there are many factors to consider. In this article, we’ve outlined what to look for on the facility’s website, what a conversation should be like with a provider, what to look for when you plan a visit, and more. At Acorn Health, we know that putting your trust in an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy provider is a decision not to be taken lightly. Here are aspects to consider so that you can choose a quality ABA provider that fits your family’s needs.

Beginning Your Search for a Quality ABA Therapy Provider Online

Before stepping foot inside an ABA therapy facility, begin with searching for providers nearby. While many organizations can create impressive websites with informative content, it only be your first step before committing to ABA therapy at the organization. When reading the website, start with reading their company values. Do these align with what is most important to you and your child?

A quality ABA therapy provider will explain their preferred treatment approaches and how positive reinforcement is incorporated. Their website should also include a list of services provided and how families are involved throughout the ABA therapy journey. Possibly most importantly, look for CASP and/or BHCOE accreditations to be prominently displayed and easy to find on their website. These accreditations speak volumes to the standards that their BCBAs and administrators adhere to.

Calling an ABA Provider

After you have reviewed an organization’s website, your next step will be to call the facility and speak with one of their employees. From the very first time you speak with their representative, notice if the person you speak with is an active listener. Are they more interested in providing you information immediately, or do they ask questions about your child’s goals, preferences and progress so far? As a representative takes the time to understand your child, they should also ask about your child’s age, school placement, school progress and then your goals for your child as a parent. They should also ask questions to learn more about your child’s journey, where they have had success, and where they have struggled. After they gather information about you and your child, there should be a time where they invite you to ask for more information about both the organization and their BCBAs.

Scheduling a Visit with an ABA Therapy Provider

Your first impression of an ABA provider’s facility should be an overwhelming positive one. From the moment you first step inside the location, a quality ABA facility will be one where there is positive, bustling energy and it should feel active. The employees that greet you should be welcoming, smiling and pleasant. Before you view therapy spaces, it is best practice that the facility prompt you to sign a confidentiality agreement.

If you have the opportunity to observe BCBAs with children, look for them to be actively engaged with learners, which often looks like being on the ground with them. If you do witness problem behaviors, are BCBAs addressing them appropriately and positively?

When you speak with representatives whether on the phone or in person, be wary if they overpromise outcomes or state specific goals or time frames for your child. ABA therapy outcomes are very individualized based on the child and their own development. A quality ABA therapy provider will acknowledge this and not promise an outcome that is impossible to predict. You want to select a provider who knows there is no “silver bullet” and doesn’t set unfair expectations for your child or your family.

How to Switch ABA Therapy Providers

If you are unhappy with your current provider, it’s important to provide feedback and open up dialogue with your BCBA or one of their leaders. If you think it will be necessary to switch providers, begin this search before you actually make the switch, as you may need to get on a waitlist first, and depending on where you live, these could be long. If you have Medicaid, discuss options with a Support Coordinator.

Acorn Health takes pride in being a quality ABA provider with locations across the country. In fact, 15 of our locations have achieved Behavioral Health Center of Excellence certifications in 2021, among other designations. All of Acorn Health’s locations are renewing their certifications in 2022. In addition to these certifications, our BCBAs are held to the highest standards of care, and receive ongoing training to ensure we are providing our learners and families the most effective, consistent and updated programs to achieve their goals. 

If you are interested in learning if Acorn Health is the right place for your child to begin their ABA therapy journey, call us to schedule a free consultation at 844-244-1818.

What qualifications should an ABA provider have?

A qualified ABA provider should have a graduate degree in a field that's relevant to ABA and autism therapy. For example, behavioral psychology or behavioral analysis. The person should also be certified by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board.

What is the best way to analyze a provider's background in ABA therapy?

Find out how many individuals they've worked with and how long they've worked in ABA as a whole.

How important is it for family to be involved in ABA therapy?

It's vital for the child's primary caregivers to be involved throughout the ABA process. A qualified provider should help the parents and family feel more integral to the treatment process. They should be equipped to take care of the child in an at-home setting

How can caregivers evaluate an ABA provider's ability to report progress?

It's important to ask the provider to detail their system for progress tracking and provide critical updates about data collection. The provider should be more than willing to share every detail of their progress reports to help parents and caregivers along the way.

For more information on ABA therapy, see:

10 ABA Therapy Terms to Know

What’s in an ABA Assessment?

The Value of Early Intervention in ABA Therapy

How ABA Therapy Benefits Preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder