Parents are genuinely curious about how their child’s ABA program will look like. It is impossible to say for sure what an individual child’s program may be like; each child is very different with differing learning needs. While your child may not follow the progression plan outlined here, this fading plan generally reflects what a child’s program may look like over time. The length of time a child is in any phase will depend on the severity of the child’s interfering behaviors and the rate of skill acquisition.
The initial phase of treatment is typically conducted in a structured 1:1 setting, approximately 70% of the time; structured dyad training, approximately 20% of time; structured small group 10% of the treatment time. The primary focus of this phase of treatment are “learning to learn” skills, play skills, functional language acquisition and adaptive skills development; in addition, a child’s program will focus heavily on decreasing those behaviors that negatively impact his or ability to learn and be social with peers.
Second phase of treatment would have the child receiving treatment in a shared room with another (matched) client. Structured 1:1 treatment will occupy approximately 50% of the treatment time; 20% structured dyad time and 5% unstructured dyad time; 20% structured small group time and 5% unstructured small group time. Treatment focus is on increasing language complexity, greater play and social skills complexity, and learning to play and learn with others.
The third phase of treatment seeks to strengthen skills that are necessary to function in a larger group and generalize skills to multiple settings. Training will occur more frequently in group settings, such as schools, community centers, camps. In addition, 1:1 therapy will continue to address acquisition of higher-level skills (executive function skills, complex social interactions skills). The ratio of time spent in any setting and how treatment is delivered is highly individualized and difficult to characterize at the outset of therapy. We will meet continuously to refine the learner’s program to tailor all interventions to meet his or her unique needs.
The final phase is decreasing hours across the board, and remaining only in those areas where the learner still requires support. The emphasis at this point is the greatest degree of independence and functioning in the home, school and community.