Cleveland ABA therapy providers

Tips for Finding High-Quality Cleveland ABA Therapy Providers

Parenting a child with autism means constantly being on the lookout for ways to best support your child’s needs, improve their ability to communicate and be independent, and ensure they get as much out of life as everyone else. For many parents, finding high-quality Cleveland ABA therapy providers is an essential part of that.

ABA, or Applied Behavioral Analysis, is a type of one-on-one interpersonal therapy for people on the autism spectrum (and sometimes those with other conditions) that helps patients:

  • Increase their social abilities.
  • Maintain self-control and self-regulation.
  • Transfer learned behaviors to new situations and environments.
  • Reduce negative behaviors, like self-harm or aggression.

Although ABA therapy is considered “the gold standard” treatment for kids with autism, the quality of therapy can range substantially among Cleveland ABA therapy providers. Part of this has to do with the fact that most ABA is conducted by registered behavior technicians (RBTs) who may have little training and experience. Their work is overseen by a board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA).

A BCBA is a professional who has earned a graduate degree either in ABA or a closely-related field, has completed supervised work experienced, passed the BCBA exam and is certified by the state board every two years. Yet the extent of that BCBA’s direct involvement may vary, and some clinics have a higher RBT to BCBA ratio.

Credentialing standards for RBTs have improved the quality of these services across-the-board. But it’s still imperative for parents to find Cleveland ABA therapy providers who are staunchly committed to creating a great program with ample oversight and rigorous quality standards.

Tips for Finding the Best Cleveland ABA Therapy Providers

If you’re in the process of looking for an ABA therapy provider in Northeast Ohio – whether for the first time or because you’re hoping to switch providers – here are some general tips to keep in mind:

  • Know the basics. Understanding the basic foundational principals of ABA therapy and familiarizing yourself with some of the clinical language used in the practice can empower parents to ask informed questions and make educated decisions when weighing the quality of various ABA therapy providers. A few suggestions: Navigating ABA Therapy by Jennifer Meller, Understanding Applied Behavior Analysis: An Introduction for Parents, Teachers, and other Professionals, By Albert J. Kearney, An ABA Primer: A Caregiver’s Guide to Applied Behavior Analysis, By Reg Reynolds.
  • Seek recommendations. Definitely ask around to other parents of kids with disabilities, pediatricians, speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists and other sources you trust about how they recommend for ABA. Look also at the online reviews of local ABA therapy clinics.
  • Look for experience. You want to identify Cleveland ABA therapy providers who are not only credentialed, but also have extensive experience working with kids who have the same condition as your child. Ask them specifically about how they address the specific needs and challenge that your child has.
  • Visit several facilities and meet staff. Take a little time if you can to physically go see the place before signing up for anything. Take a tour. Talk to the clinic manager or owner, as well as therapists and other staffers. Observe the environment for how clean it is, how friendly folks are, and how safe and welcoming it feels. Ask to meet with members of the ABA therapy team to get a sense of how they work together, as well as 1:1 with kids.
  • Ask about their structure and therapy philosophy. Although we’re obviously biased about our own services, we’d urge any parent to go lean toward an ABA therapy provider that prioritizes positive interventions, individualized, evidence-based strategies, and the best practices of the field (which includes regular assessments, goal setting, and ongoing monitoring/evaluation of progress).
  • Inquire about parent communication and involvement. ABA therapy is best conducted 1:1 with the therapist and patient. That said, parents are a critical to effective ABA! Ask how parents and therapists communicate, how often, and through what channels.
  • Check your insurance. ABA therapy is worth it – but it’s not cheap. Sometimes, a big part of the decision will come down to whether a clinic’s services are covered by your insurance. Check with your insurance providers to make sure your child is covered for the service and through which providers.
  • Trust your gut. Ultimately, parents have great instincts about their kid. You need to start with a good, positive feeling about the provider and the clinic. If something feels “off,” trust that and find a place that leaves you with a better impression.

For more information about us as Cleveland ABA therapy providers, contact Therapy and Wellness Connection, Contact Us Online or call our office (330) 748-4807. Our services and multidisciplinary therapy are available in Brecksville, Broadview Heights, Cleveland, Akron and surrounding communities.

Additional Resources:

What is Applied Behavior Analysis? July 19, 2023, medically Reviewed by Smitha Bhandari, MD, WebMd

More Blog Entries:

A Parent’s Guide to ABA Therapy, Jan. 5, 2024, Cleveland ABA Therapist Blog