Located in Pittsburgh, PA, Keystone Applied Behavior Analysis provides intensive ABA therapy for young children with autism, between diagnosis to kindergarten.
Therapy is delivered in a child-friendly clinic in Oakland with on-site parking. Children start their therapy session in one of the natural environment teaching areas – the quiet play room, the bubble area, the building room, or the gross motor room. Later, children play with their behavior technician in one of six therapy rooms with their individual treatment materials. Snack and lunch are enjoyed in a group area, with strategic seating so that staff can address treatment goals related to communication or adaptive skills. An ADA-compliant bathroom is located within the suite for toileting and diapering needs.
Areas of Treatment
An individualized behavior plan is developed for each child, based on a functional behavior analysis. Problem behaviors are assessed and staff teach the child new behaviors to meet his or her needs. Based on the results of the VB-MAPP, communication skills are systematically taught using developmentally appropriate materials. Children will learn how to ask for what they want, label what they see, answer questions, imitate the behavior of others, and play, both independently and with other children. Toileting and other self-help skills are taught with generalization in mind, so that skills can carry over into the home setting.
Families play an important role in the progress of their children and are involved in program development from the very beginning. The initial assessment process includes parent rating scales and interviews, as well as open-ended questions about the family’s long-term and short-term goals for their child. The child’s parent(s) and/or guardian(s) contribute to the treatment plan and approve any updates. Our practice management software, ReThink, includes a parent log-in so that staff can share session notes on a weekly basis and progress reports quarterly. Family members are welcome to drop-in for 30 minute observations anytime during their child’s therapy session. Longer observations and meetings with the BCBA are scheduled in advance. Parent training is suggested at a ratio of 5% of the child’s one-on-one therapy hours (e.g. 1.5 hours per week for children that receive 30 hours of therapy per week).
Children participate in 15 to 30 hours per week of one-on-one ABA therapy with a trained behavior technician. All behavior technicians have formal training in ABA and are pursuing master’s degrees in ABA or a related field with ABA coursework. Behavior technicians implement the treatment plan, collect data, and address the child’s behavioral needs through incidental teaching, discrete trial training, mand training, natural environment teaching, and functional communication training. Goals are addressed by following the child’s interest and embedding targets in play.
Treatment plans are written by a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), who makes sure that the child is making progress toward their treatment goals and adjusts programming based on data collection. Behavior Technicians work with clients one-on-one under the close supervision of the BCBA.