We recommend you watch our Welcome To Autism Series on our Web Series Workshops page where we go over in more detail the information listed below.
To begin your families journey with ABA, you will have to find a well qualified ABA consultant (sometimes called a Behaviour Analyst or BA or a Behaviour Consultant or BC). You will want a Board Certified Behaviour Consultant (BCBA) or a Board Certified assistant to a Behaviour Consultant (BCaBA). You can find behaviour consultants through the RASP list at Autism Information Services BC, but it is not easy to sort out who is well qualified and who isn’t. See the ASN’s Welcome to Autism Video (especially part 3) for what to look for in a Behaviour Consultant and whether to go with a Clinic setting or Home-based setting. You may also want to look at the ABA consumer guidelines to help you better understand what you want to look for. If you have narrowed down your choices for a consultant, you can ask for feedback from other parents on the ASN Closed Parent Facebook Group.
Once you have an ABA consultant lined up, you will need to hire a team of Behavior Interventionists (BIs) to work one-on-one with your child. See Connecting Families and Therapists below. New teams should start with 4 to 8 BIs as you may lose one or two within the first month. A child will often start with 20 hours and work up to nearly 40 within a few months. Number of hours will be determined by your consultant. It is important that BIs have at least 3 shifts per week if they are new, so that they get experience intensively. This is a difficult balance to work out. You don’t want to be short of BIs, but you also need to offer enough hours to the BIs. Better to be overbooked, than lose therapy hours.
You can advertise for BIs on ASN’s Facebook group, ABA Therapists in BC, at local colleges or universities (preferably in the Psychology dept), Starbucks coffee shops, on Craigslist and on Support Worker Central. Make sure to state
- your child’s age
- where you live (insist applicants are within 15 km)
- Name of behaviour consultant
- hours available or flexibility etc
- any talents you want your child to learn (biking, piano, cooking, etc)
You need at least one experienced BI. See if your own consultant can recommend someone from their other families or check on ABA Therapists in BC. Otherwise, you can hire “green” BIs (those who don’t have any experience). One advantage to green BI’s is that the BI will be loyal to your family first and will usually stay longer on the team.