5 minute read • July 20, 2023

Breaking Barriers with ABA

By Dr. Lauren Best, BCBA-D

Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is typically performed in a client’s home or in a clinical setting but why stop there? Here at Haim ABA, we want your child to have access to social opportunities in their community such as attending summer camp or participating on sports teams, or whatever social activities interest them. However, research shows that people diagnosed with autism may experience barriers to community participation (Budavaria, et al, 2022). Haim ABA aims to decrease these barriers by providing ABA in a variety of settings that meet your family’s needs. Imagine having a person in the shadows to prompt your child to advocate for themselves at soccer practice to request a water break. Or having someone model for your child how to order at an ice cream truck using their alternative communication device. Individuals with autism may be left out of community activities without support. 

​ABA can help your child learn the required social skills to thrive in community settings like sports practice, afterschool programs, and church events. Once you’re receiving services, you and your child would choose activities of interest. The board-certified behavior analyst (BCBA) would get permission from the community setting for a registered behavior technician(RBT) to accompany your child. Together, you and your child would develop a program with specific goals for success in the chosen setting. The RBT would provide support and track progress, supervised by the BCBA. As progress is made, the RBT’s support would gradually decrease, allowing your child to participate independently or with minimal assistance.

​At Haim ABA, we believe that every child deserves the opportunity to engage in community activities and develop vital social skills. By extending ABA beyond the traditional home or clinical setting, we strive to break down the barriers that individuals with autism often face in community participation. Picture the empowering sight of your child confidently advocating for themselves during soccer practice or skillfully using their alternative communication device to order from an ice cream truck. With ABA, we can unlock their potential and ensure they are not left out of these enriching experiences. Through collaborative efforts between you, your child, our BCBA, and the accompanying RBT, we create a personalized program with measurable goals tailored to the chosen activity. As progress unfolds, the RBT’s support gradually fades, empowering your child to fully enjoy community engagements with increasing independence. ABA can go anywhere—it travels to empower your child’s growth and inclusion in the community.

Budavari, A. C., Pas, E. T., Azad, G. F., & Volk, H. E. (2022). Sitting on the sidelines: Disparities in social, recreational, and community participation among adolescents with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 52(8), 3399-3412. doi:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-021-05216-0

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