Deciding on a home-based vs center-based ABA program depends on a multitude of factors including family scheduling and availability, available transportation, and the unique treatment needs for your child. ABA techniques are affective across both center and in-home environments and Behavior Therapy Specialists offers a center only model, in-home only model, or a hybrid of the two. During the in-take and assessment process, your behavior analyst can help you determine a therapy model that works best for your child and your family.
Advantages of a Center-Based Program:
- A highly structured environment: In a center, the many different variables (such as access to toys, siblings, pets) that may prove distracting in a home environment can be controlled so that goals can be targeted without interruption. This may lead to a more rapid acquisition of skills. Once skills are mastered in the structured environment, the team works on transferring those same skills into other settings.
- Therapy Schedule: Center based therapy does not require the caregiver to be present during the therapy session (although they are always welcome to come and participate!). This frees up the caregiver to attend to other events, child’s schedules, etc while ensuring that a consistent, un-interrupted therapy schedule is kept, one of the key components of successful intervention! There is also an on-site BCBA in the clinic which translate to increased time and supervision of your child’s programming by a BCBA.
- Opportunities for Small Group Programming: In the center specific social skills and school readiness skills can more easily be addressed with other peers attending the program.
- Research indicates Increased Outcomes for Early Learners: A well-controlled study examining outcomes for children diagnosed with autism who participated in Center-Based programs or Home-Based programs indicated that children in the Center-Based program improved the most in social and communication skill development. Parents of the children in the Center-Based program also reported the most gains in “perception of competence and quality of life. Roberts, J., Williams, K., Carter, M., Evans, D., Parmenter, T., Silove, N., Clark, T., Warrant, A. (2011). A randomized controlled trial of two early intervention programs for young children with autism: Centre-based with parent program and home-based. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 1553-1566.
Advantages of a Home-Based Program
- Skills Targeted in the Natural Environment: Skills and behavior reduction programming occurs in the environment in which your child encounters daily which may promote generalization of skills.
- Caregiver Involvement: Caregivers are required to be present for all in-home services which allows them to see the services their child is receiving and be an active participant in the therapy process.
- Inclusion of Sibling: Siblings can be included during the therapy session to target skills such as appropriate play and interactions.