Frequently Asked Questions
What is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)?
Behavior analysis is a scientifically validated approach to understanding behavior and how it is impacted by the environment. Positive reinforcement is an example of behavior analysis. When a reward follows a specific behavior, the behavior is more likely to be repeated. Through decades of research, the field of behavior analysis has developed many techniques for increasing useful behaviors and reducing those that may cause harm or interfere with learning. Applied behavior analysis (ABA) is the use of these techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive change in behavior. ABA has been used with young children with autism and other developmental delays since the 1960s. It continues to be recognized as a safe and effective treatment approach.
What is the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)?
ESDM is a cutting-edge, comprehensive behavioral early intervention approach for young children with autism and other developmental delays. This innovative program combines its relationship-focused developmental model with the well-validated teaching practices of ABA. ESDM has been validated in a randomized clinical trial for use with children with autism as young as 18 months of age. It has strong research support for improving language, cognitive, social, and play outcomes for young children.
What do ABA and ESDM therapy sessions look like?
Because each child’s needs are different, ABA and ESDM therapy may look different depending on each child’s individual needs and goals. In many cases, our therapy sessions for young children will look like play time to the untrained eye. Therapy is designed to provide both structured and unstructured opportunities to practice skills. A child’s goals will be intertwined within activities that he/she enjoys. For example, a child may be playing with a favorite toy, and the therapist may be using access to the toy to promote certain requests. In this example, the therapist is targeting language within a child-chosen activity. All of our therapy sessions focus on positive social interactions, enjoyable learning, and positive reinforcement.
How do I know if this therapy is right for my child?
Our therapy focuses on building social, language, and cognitive skills. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your child’s needs with you. Please call us for a free phone consultation to determine if your child would benefit from support in one or all of these domains. We can be reached at 303-564-0751.
How much therapy does my child need?
A supervising clinician will evaluate your child’s needs and determine the number of recommended hours. Research suggests that for children on the autism spectrum or with other developmental delays, 25 hours per week of intervention is optimal.
Where does therapy take place and how long is each therapy session?
Therapy sessions will usually take place at the child’s home. Depending on the child’s specific therapy plan, it may be helpful to hold some sessions in various locations throughout the community, such as parks, libraries, and grocery stores. If necessary, it may be possible to arrange for sessions to take place at your child’s daycare.
How involved are families in behavior therapy?
Most of the families that we work with find that being an active participant in their child’s therapy is incredibly rewarding for both their child and themselves. Since families know their child best, strong family involvement is a valuable part of ABA/ESDM therapy. Many studies have found parent training and involvement to be effective in promoting successful treatment in a wide range of areas including: decreasing problematic behavior, increasing intake of non-preferred foods, enhancing functional communication, improving compliance with parental requests, and teaching imitation of actions with objects. One study also showed that parent education and skill training was also beneficial to parents’ mental health and wellbeing. Even sibling involvement has a positive impact on both the child receiving treatment and his/her siblings.
Do parents/caregivers receive training on the techniques used during therapy sessions?
Yes, parents are their child’s most important teachers, and parents are a valuable part of therapy’s success. All parents will receive training in the techniques used by our therapists so therapy can be reinforced at home. Our therapists are always available to answer any questions that parents have regarding their child’s therapy.
Are your services covered by insurance?
Most of our services are covered by insurance. We are an approved Medicaid provider. We accept Blue Cross Blue Shield (Anthem) as an in-network provider. We will work with other insurance companies out of network. We contract with Developmental Pathways and Rocky Mountain Human Services to provide early intervention.