Fort Myers ABA therapy for kids with autism

How Do I Know if Fort Myers ABA Therapy is Right for My Child?

As Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) who provide Fort Myers ABA therapy, we understand the importance of carefully considering whether this type of intensive intervention therapy is the right fit for your child.

Because the practice of ABA (short for Applied Behavioral Analysis) is relatively new compared to other therapeutic interventions like speech therapy or occupational therapy (it emerged in the 1970s), it’s still the subject of some controversy. But there is a reason so many highly-educated and experienced pediatric specialists who work with children with autism and other neurological disorders and disabilities on a daily basis continue to refer so many of their young patients to it. Quite simply: It works.

There is a mountain of evidence that establishes the clinical effectiveness of ABA, particularly for kids on the autism spectrum. It is recognized as an evidence-based practice. That means that all the strategies we implement in our Fort Myers ABA therapy sessions are supported by ongoing evidence.

At its core, ABA is about improving communication and effectively reinforcing expected behaviors so that a child is able to safely and successfully navigate everyday situations – from self-grooming to social interactions to classroom rules.

If you’re considering whether Fort Myers ABA therapy is right for your child, these are the steps you’ll take:

  1. Assessment and Diagnosis: The first step is to have your child assessed by a qualified professional for a potential autism diagnosis. This assessment will help you understand the specific areas of need and the challenges your child faces. ADOS testing is the most widely-used – and it’s something FOCUS offers.
  2. Functional Assessment: BCBA will conduct a functional behavior assessment to understand the reasons behind challenging behaviors and develop targeted interventions. If your child struggles with behaviors that impact their daily life, ABA therapy can help address these challenges.
  3. Verify Insurance Coverage. If your child has a medically qualifying diagnosis for which ABA therapy is an approved treatment, your insurance may provide coverage. At FOCUS, we are advocates for our patients and will go to bat for our patients if they’re facing resistance from insurers to cover medically-approved therapies. (If this continues to be an obstacle, we do have self-pay options, as well as Behavior Consulting services that could at least be a starting point.)
  4. Commitment to the process. ABA therapy is grounded in evidence-based practices that have proven to be effective in treating individuals with autism (and sometimes other conditions, like Down Syndrome). We aim for a family-centered approach, and prioritize improvements in communication, social skills, and adaptive behaviors. But it only works if families are committed to the process – not only showing up to each scheduled therapy session, but also to carrying over these lessons at home and in the community. This always leads to the best long-term results.

If you’re unsure about whether you want to initiate these services, you might consider Behavior Consulting (as previously mentioned) or committing to it for at least a trial period of 4-6 months. See how your child responds, whether they positively engage with the therapist, if they’re comfortable with the clinic/staffers, and whether they’re making some measure of progress.

The benefits of ABA therapy are many, but progress never happens overnight. And every child is unique, so there’s never a one-size-fits-all approach that will work for everyone. But we’re committed to figuring out what DOES work – for each and every one of our patients. We don’t want anything holding them back in life!

If you have questions about our Fort Myers ABA therapy services and would like to schedule a time to meet with our team and/or tour the facility, please reach out to our team at FOCUS Therapy!

FOCUS offers pediatric speech therapy in Fort Myers and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.

Additional Resources:

Debunking 7 Common Myths About ABA Therapy, Aug. 29, 2022, Pepperdine University, Graduate School of Education & Psychology

More Blog Entries:

FOCUS Therapy Now Offers Behavior Consulting for Southwest Florida Kids, May 24, 2023, FOCUS Therapy Blog

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