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Let's learn together

Navigating the world of Autism Spectrum Disorder is tricky. We get it! At Unlocking Abilities Behavior & Learning, it's our mission to work beside you. Ensuring your entire family has ample access to support, knowledge and resources is essential to your kiddo's success.

Don't see the answer to your question here? Reach out to us! We would love to help. 

ABA Therapy FAQ's

What is ABA Therapy?

Applied Behavioral Analysis (or ABA) Therapy is the only autism intervention endorsed by the U.S. Surgeon General. ABA is based on the science of human behavior, focusing on increasing desirable behaviors and minimizing maladaptive behaviors. A maladaptive behavior is any behavior that interferes with a person's daily living or ability to participate in and adapt to particular situations. There are countless evidence-backed practices and techniques that fall under the umbrella of ABA. This allows for highly individualized treatment programs that meet the unique needs of each child. 


How often will sessions happen?

Our ABA Treatment plans are designed to achieve your child's goals and your families lifestyle. The amount of time required for therapy depends on several factors, including the child's level of need,  rate of learning, and their level of improvement as services progress. 

Clients who have a large number of goals will receive Comprehensive ABA Treatment. These kiddos may receive sessions amounting to 25+ hours a week of 1:1 therapy sessions. Depending on the child and situation, those hours can increase or decrease. It varies vastly and is dependent on the individual. 

Clients who have a limited number of behavioral targets or goals benefit from our Focused ABA Treatment programs. Clients receiving Focused ABA Treatments dedicate 1 - 20 hours per week to sessions. These programs can be delivered in a 1:1 setting, or in a consultative model. The goal of the consultative model is to provide families the knowledge and confidence to implement ABA principals in their everyday lives by replacing the clients difficult behaviors with safe alternatives. 


How does therapy begin?

To begin, one of our Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) will complete professional assessments and collaborate with the child's caregivers. This allows us to create and prioritize goals that meet your child's unique needs and situation. Each and every session will be designed to achieve these individual goals. 


What does an ABA Therapy Session look like?

ABA is wholly tailored to the individual. It's been said that "if you meet one person with autism, then you've met one person with autism!" ABA Therapy takes the same approach.  Our sessions are highly individualized, adaptable, and based on the client's needs and the therapist's approach. 


At Unlocking Abilities, we offer both Comprehensive and Focused ABA Treatment. Our sessions are 1:1, meaning one client working with one therapist. Sessions occur in our Autism Learning Center, located in Morris, IL.

Our Behavioral Therapists develop strong relationships with our clients. Sessions vary based on the skills being developed. Skills may be taught in the natural environment through play or in activities the child enjoys. Other skills may be taught while sitting at a table, working with materials. One thing that remains consistent is that our Behavioral Therapists are passionate about helping your kiddo thrive. 


What kind of skills do you focus on?

Our treatment approach focuses on reducing those maladaptive or challenging behaviors and increasing the skills that our kiddos need to thrive. To do this, we break big goals into small chunks and teach those pieces in a systematic way. Some of  the areas we focus on include:


Functional Communication
Verbal and non-verbal kiddos learn how to request their needs and wants in an effective, understandable wa

Social Skills Development

This covers everything from understanding facial expressions to taking turns and being a great friend.

Pre-Academic Skills

These are skills necessary to learn effectively in structured (school) settings, such as sitting appropriately, attending, and being able to follow instructions.

Daily Living Skills

For little friends, this could be brushing our teeth or toileting. For older friends, this can include washing dishes, independent shopping, and other self-care skills.

Play & Leisure Skills

This allows our kiddos to appropriately entertain themselves during moments of downtime.

Coping & Tolerance

This area focuses on problem-solving skills and how to handle stressful situations in healthy ways.

Reducing Maladaptive Behaviors

Maladaptive behaviors meet a need of our kiddos. Our programs identify the need and provide alternative behaviors to meet that need in safe, healthy ways. 

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