What Are the Benefits of At-Home ABA Therapy?

Reviewed by:

February 13, 2022

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy can take place in a variety of different settings including at your home or in a center. However, at-home therapy can be particularly beneficial for your child with autism. This is because your home is your child’s natural environment and the place where they feel the most comfortable and safe. 

At-home ABA therapy can be done in conjunction with center-based ABA therapy or be your only method of care depending on your child’s needs. ABA therapy is the gold standard of autism care because it is an adaptive form of therapy. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) assesses your child, discusses goals with you and your family, and creates a personalized plan to reduce challenging behavior and ultimately, help your child thrive. 

ABA therapy targets specific skills and can help:

  • Develop better social skills
  • Increase your child’s confidence
  • Empower your child to perform self-care
  • Improve language and communication skills

This post will discuss at-home ABA therapy and the benefits of opting for it.

What makes at-home ABA therapy different? 

A natural, familiar environment

At-home ABA therapy takes place in a familiar environment. A therapist can observe your child’s behavior in their natural environment, which provides a full picture and allows the therapist to adapt care plans to meet your child’s specific needs.

Furthermore, your home is a safe and comfortable environment for your child. It eliminates the need for them to become familiarized with a new environment e.g., a center, which can be intimidating for some children. By having ABA therapy at home, your child may be able to learn new skills more quickly and more comfortably.  

Designated therapy space

Parents opting for at-home ABA therapy may need to set up a designated area for the therapy sessions. The space you choose can be an office, playroom, or anywhere else in the home. At times, this will be space for therapy sessions only. The designated therapy space helps your child stay focused on learning and not be distracted by things happening around the home. However, this doesn’t mean you or family members need to stay quiet during the sessions. A therapist will work with your child to help them stay focused on the task at hand. 

Parents are welcome to observe the sessions, and may be invited to participate from time to time, when clinically beneficial. Questions are also welcomed.

Tools within the home

A therapist may use items available in your home such as your child’s own toothbrush. For older children, it could be learning to prepare a meal in their own kitchen using a familiar fridge, pots and pans, and stovetop. Since the tools are readily available, it eliminates the need for your child to adapt to using new tools that would otherwise be used in a care center. 

An ABA therapist may also ask you to pick out certain toys that your child loves. These can help your therapist build rapport with your child in the beginning. They could also use them as props during the sessions.

What are the benefits of at-home ABA therapy? 

Besides being a natural environment for your child, having an ABA therapist come into your home has many other benefits.

Convenient & eliminates transitions

By having an ABA therapist come directly to your home, they fit into your routine and no changes need to be made to your schedule. You can reduce drive time that would otherwise be spent commuting to and from a care center.

If your involvement isn’t needed during the session, it gives you the opportunity to have time to yourself for a break or to do things around the house.

Develop better home-based skills 

At-home therapy is a great environment to learn independent living skills and social skills. For example, if your child is a toddler, it can help them learn skills like potty training and getting dressed. For older children, it can help improve their social skills with their siblings and caregivers such as learning how to eat a meal at the table. 

Other everyday skills that can be learned depending on the age of your child may include:

  • Bathing 
  • Preparing a meal
  • Cleaning up toys
  • Putting the dishes away
  • Playing games with siblings 
  • Managing time

Better parent and sibling interactions 

The ABA therapist eventually becomes a part of your “extended family” as they come into your home. They share the same goals with you, which are to ultimately have your child grow and thrive. They’ll be able to review your child’s progress with you regularly and make adjustments to your care plan as needed.

Not only will they be able to work with your child, they’ll also be able to incorporate you, other caregivers, and siblings into your child’s unique care plan. Parental involvement has been shown to be crucial in a child’s social and behavioral growth. As a parent, you can reinforce what your therapist is working on with your child and this increases the likelihood of your child mastering the desired behavior. 

By involving siblings, this could help strengthen their social interactions with each other. For example, siblings can help each other brush their teeth or cook a meal together. This involvement helps encourage your child to practice their communication and socialization skills. Through this, they will build confidence in their own abilities with the help of you and your family. 

Promotes parental involvement 

Parents are an essential piece in their child’s care plan. When a therapist comes into your home, they’ll be able to observe your child’s behavior and see what care plans best promote your child’s development. Then, they will be able to educate you on how to help your child overcome these challenges.

Conclusion 

Your home is an ideal place for ABA therapy because it enables children to practice essential independent living skills and social skills in a familiar environment. It can lessen the load on you by eliminating the stress of transitions and the time spent on traveling to and from sessions. It also enables therapists to involve parents and siblings in the care plan. By doing so, not only will your child be able to learn and practice new skills, but your entire family will also be able to better support your child.

At Songbird, we believe that your child should come first. That’s why we always put together a care plan that fits your child’s unique needs. Instead of 18 months, the average time it usually takes a family to get you care, you’ll have someone in your home to start your child’s care plan in weeks. Ready to get started? Get in touch with us today.

References

Get started with care from Songbird — covered by insurance