ABA therapy

Benefits of Clinic-Based ABA Therapy vs. In-Home Treatment

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA therapy) is considered the most effective, early-intervention treatment for kids on the autism spectrum. It can take place in several settings: Clinic, home or some combination of the two. At FOCUS, we have chosen the clinic-based model for a number of reasons that benefit our patients.

One of the primary reasons is that we believe children benefit from being in a multi-disciplinary setting. It’s not just that it’s convenient for parents of children who need multiple therapies to have a single, physical location for all of them. (Families in Southwest Florida may find it very difficult to arrange all of the therapies their child needs in a home-based setting.) It’s the fact that in a clinic-based setting, supervisors are more available to provide additional direct observation and guidance compared to in-home services.

This point was underscored in a recent study published by the National Institute of Health. In that analysis, researchers controlled for individual differences by comparing and contrasting at-home and clinic-based ABA therapy treatment for the same kids. What they found was that kids demonstrated far higher rates of learning during treatment provided in-clinic compared to in the patient’s home. In fact, they mastered 100 percent more skills per hour while receiving in-clinic treatment compared to home-based treatment.

FOCUS Offers ABA Therapy at Our Fort Myers Clinic

Our clinic-based ABA therapy at FOCUS is designed to optimize your child’s growth in numerous areas of development, including:

  • Social interactions.
  • Play skills.
  • Adaptive skills.
  • Communication.

We make it fun. Our facilities are fully equipped with a wide range of motivating rewards and communication temptations, and we ensure kids always enter a warm, welcoming environment with enough space to work without distractions but enough support from other therapists and staffers. It’s the kind of environment where social interaction and learning happen more naturally.

Many parents whose kids are involved in early intervention want their kids to ultimately transition to a mainstream learning setting – school, in particular. At-home based ABA therapy doesn’t achieve that as quickly.

Some of the direct benefits we see with clinic-based behavior therapy include:

  • The presence of peers, allowing for more opportunities to socially interact and imitate appropriate peer behavior.
  • More supervision and opportunities to consult with numerous board-certified behavior analysts (BCBAs), as well as therapists in other disciplines. Clinicians are able to watch together, discuss programming, opinions and solutions.
  • A better setting for generalizing skills to a setting not so familiar as home. It’s one thing to learn these skills in the safety of the home environment. Generalizing skills to places outside your home – where so much critical social interaction takes place – is invaluable. We offer more chances to practice things like transitions in a school environment – something that isn’t as easily replicated in a home setting.
  • Reducing difficulty with staff transitions. Not every therapist works at every facility for life. If there does come a time that your child needs to transition to a new therapist, odds are in a clinic setting your child will have met their new therapist at some point at least in passing in previous sessions.
  • Instant oversight. Much of our ABA therapy is carried out by RBTs (registered behavior technicians) with the oversight of a BCBA. In a clinic setting, the BCBA can see what’s going on in real-time (rather than relying on the RBT’s notes or accounts). They can step in and help assess and modify the therapy approach in real time.
  • Access to a wide range of reinforcers. Positive reinforcements and communication temptations are key in ABA therapy. At the clinic, our therapists have access to everything they need to initiate effective therapy – and they have easy access to alternatives if something isn’t working.

ABA therapy in the clinic offers more structure, reduced distractions and more opportunities to facilitate learning. The analysis by NIH indicated that when kids are treated in-clinic, evidence shows it helps them more easily acclimate to new situations, new faces and new challenges.

Although providing ABA therapy in-clinic is actually more expensive for providers because of the overhead costs, we believe it’s well worth it!

If you have questions about our ABA therapy clinic in Fort Myers, we welcome tours and individual consultations.

FOCUS offers ABA therapy to children in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and throughout Southwest Florida. Call (239) 313.5049 or Contact Us online.

Additional Resources:

A Program Evaluation of Home and Center-Based Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sept. 10, 2017, Behavior Analysis in Practice

More Blog Entries:

FOCUS ABA Therapy Tips to Tackle Problem Behaviors, Nov. 17, 2020, FOCUS Fort Myers ABA Therapy Blog

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