The day has finally come for your child to start ABA Therapy. You’re probably wondering what a day in the life at PediaPlex is going to look like for your child. While this experience will vary for each child, we want to give you a rundown of what a day in the life at PediaPlex might look like. Since every child is following an individualized therapy plan, their protocols and plan of care is going to involve different goals and activities, all of which your BCBA will go over with you! Keep reading to see a day in the life in ABA Therapy at PediaPlex!
What to Expect
Before your first day of ABA Therapy, you will receive an email from the BCBA (Board Certified Behavior Analyst) who supervises your child. This email will describe everything you should pack for your first day/week of ABA. This will tell you where to park, how early to arrive, when dismissal is, and any details you might night to know prior to starting that day.
A typical ABA Therapy day will start at either 8:00 or 9:00 a.m. in the morning and end around 4:00 p.m. When you drop off your kiddo for ABA Therapy, you will meet their behavior technician at the ABA door and then proceed to the front desk to finish checking your child in. Your child will have their very own cubby at PediaPlex that will hold their items they might need for the day. You can help prepare them by packing their backpack with snacks, a change of clothes, water, and any devices they might need for communication. Their therapist will take them to their cubby each morning, have them put up their bookbag and then get started with their 1-on-1 behavior therapy.
While in ABA Therapy, there is a schedule that consists of a variety of different activities.* Some of the different activities you will see on your child’s schedule are:
-1-on-1 Instruction: While ABA is always 1-on-1, this time is dedicated to working just with the child’s therapist to work on their individual goals. Goals we might be working on include requesting for preferred items, labeling pictures/objects/actions, identifying pictures from a book, appropriate toy play, matching, sorting by categories/colors/shapes, or following common instructions.
-Circle Time: During circle time we will have a group of 4-5 kids, with their therapists, working on different skills. This can range from singing and reading together while practicing sitting in our chairs to learning the days of the week and seasons.
-Social Skills Activities: A huge focus in ABA therapy is teaching your child social skills. Many times, this will look like the child participating in an activity with another child and having conversation with them. It could include asking for the dice because it’s their turn, requesting a puzzle piece from them, or asking them if they want to play a game with them. We will help your child to initiate conversation and how to properly respond.
-Arts & Crafts: During this time, your child will create a beautiful art project to take home with them. This time helps to work on your child’s fine motor skills and also gives them more opportunities to work on social skills.
-Learning Readiness: Our goal at PediaPlex is to help transition your child into a school setting. Skills we will work on to assist with school readiness is teaching how to tolerate instructions from an adult, walking with a teacher, waiting in line, and remaining seated at a table for a duration of time.
-Daily Living Skills: We will also work on independent living skills with your child. These skills include toilet training, dressing, cleaning up after meals, handwashing, and other areas of concerns you might have at home.
While your child is at PediaPlex for ABA Therapy, they might also be receiving speech, feeding, or occupational therapy. Because all of our services are in one location, your child’s therapist can walk them down the hallway at the time of their sessions. We build these sessions into your child’s plan of care and all therapists work in collaboration around your child’s individual goals.
Principles Used in ABA
During ABA therapy, there are a few main techniques we will use during the day to help keep your child engaged in therapy. Some of these techniques are shaping, chaining, and motivation/reinforcement.
- Shaping is when we work around the skills that a child already has and then slowly start to build on those skills. A great example of this is when you are trying to get your child to sit down at the table for a certain amount of time. If they are already able to sit still successfully for 45 seconds we would start there and then reward them every 45 seconds that they stay seated to encourage them to remain seated. We would slowly build this time up to the desired time.
- Chaining is when we divide a large task into smaller tasks for your child. For example, if you’re trying to teach your child how to tie their shoelaces, we would divide this into smaller tasks. We can break this down into these smaller tasks and let them focus on accomplishing one of the tasks before moving onto the next one. Once they are able to do each small task independently and without assistance we would move onto to the next small task.
- Motivation/reinforcement can look like a variety of different things, depending on the child. Positive reinforcement is when we encourage a child’s good behaviors. For example, giving a high five or clapping when they do a task correctly. When you encourage a child’s good behaviors, it motivates them and encourages them to keep going.
Throughout your child’s time at PediaPlex we will work with you as parents and teach you these techniques. We want you to be able to do these things at home as well so that your child is continuing to make progress all day long. We will continue to monitor your child’s goals and achievements and adjust as needed.
Pediatric Therapy at PediaPlex
At PediaPlex, we offer collaborative therapy services all in one location. We offer ABA, speech, feeding, and occupational therapy for your child which makes it convenient for your child to receive all of their services in one day. If this is your first time looking into ABA therapy, we know it’s a lot of information to take in. We’d love to give you a tour of our facilities and answer any questions that you might have. Call our office today to schedule a tour at one of our locations in Southlake, Fort Worth, or Frisco! 817-442-0222
-The PediaPlex Family
*Due to COVID-19 and social distancing, we have implemented strict social distancing protocols so we can limit the amount of contact between clients. Some of our therapy practices look slightly different during this time.
All photos were obtained with informed consent.