How to choose the right ABA provider for your child

by | Jan 25, 2021

Parents know best

Regardless of the accolades on the wall of a center, you need to trust your own intuition about whether it’s a good fit for your child. Every child with Autism is unique, and you want to ensure that the center you choose is meeting your child’s specific requirements to help him or her thrive.

ANYONE can open a business and call it “ABA” and NO ONE checks to see if they are doing it properly

The Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE) is the only organization that evaluates an ABA clinic’s standards and quality of treatment. A BHCOE auditor thoroughly reviews a clinic’s records, programs, and behavior plans. They directly observe the technicians with the children.They compare the clinic’s employee turn-over rate,education levels, and pay rates and benefits to the national average. They evaluate a clinc’s operations manual and training schedule. They also conduct parent interviews and staff interviews.

Those facilities that meet their standards of science-based, high-quality ABA are given an accreditation. As such, parents can be confident that clinics holding the BHCOE accreditation have been thoroughly investigated and determined to be providing the highest quality services. However, the BHCOE accreditation is difficult to obtain and is not required by any medical licensing agency, so very few providers actually seek it out.

You can verify if a provider is accredited by visiting

Success On The Spectrum holds the rare BHCOE Accreditation, which proves our committment to QUALITY

Verify your provider’s credentials

The only requirement needed to become a Behavior Technician is a high school diploma. Many providers choose to hire inexperienced, non-registered technicians because they can pay them less.

The Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB) offers specialized training courses. After passing a certification exam, a Behavior Technician can become registered. It is important the the majority of an ABA’s behavior technicians be properly trained and hold this certification. You can verify if a technician is registered or not by searching their name at

Choose a provider that uses all POSITIVE methods

Reinforcing (rewarding) a desired behavior has been scientifically proven to be a more effective method of behavior modification than punishing an undesirable behavior. An ABA clinic should never put a child in isolation, spank them, withhold food, or yell at them. Punishment programs should be a last resort for stopping an undesirable behavior.

Parent Involvement is ESSENTIAL

There is extensive research proving that parent involvement increases the rate of progress. Parents should be in constant contact with the BCBA so they are able to discuss problem behaviors as they occur. High quality ABA providers value parent input and encourage them to participate in their child’s treatment. High quality clinics should also offer parent training. Staff should answer parent questions openly and non-defensively.

Success On The Spectrum centers have cameras in every room. We have a open door policy with parents… and they can come in at any time to watch their child live from our Parent Viewing Rooms!

Each week, we will provide training sessions to parents, grandparents, siblings and babysitters. Our lessons help caregivers to manage problem behaviors at home. We can help implement a routine that will ease your daily struggles. We will also help establish functional communication between you and your child.

Let kids be kids!

Children should be happy in their environment. Certainly, there may be a little anxiety when your child first starts at a new center, but over time you should expect him or her to bond with the staff and enjoy going. If fear is an ongoing issue, look for signs of abuse or neglect.

Success On The Spectrum provides play-based therapy with focus on “Natural Environment Trianing”. This means that our clients won’t sit at a desk all day doing flashcards… We make it fun and turn each lesson into a game!

Do not trust a provider that makes promises

While there is much data that proves that ABA therapy is beneficial to every age group and every severity of Autism, no center should promise that your child will be ready for a mainstream school in a fixed amount of time. Every child progresses at his or her own pace. If center staff is trying to sell you a guarantee, don’t believe them.

Choose a provider with low staff turn-over

The longer employees stay in the same place, the better they are trained. Therefore, a parent can safely assume that a clinic with lower turn-over rate can offer higher quality treatment. Turnover rates are typically lower when the clinic offers it’s employees benefits such as paid time off, retirement, and health insurance plans

The hand-picked staff at Success On The Spectrum hold weekly training meetings to ensure a deeper understanding of the science of human behavior. Each staff member is thoroughly background checked and holds CPR and Safety-Care certifications. Technician-to-child instruction ratios are 1:1 or 1:2. BCBAs directly supervise each child’s program implementation each week and make changes or give additional training to staff as needed.

Verify that the Technician to Child ratio is 1:1

Most young children with autism who are just starting an instructional program require a one-to-one ratio. Older children
who have had previous therapy can work in small groups for more social interaction. A child should never be unattended.

When touring a new facility, or visiting your current provider, look around and see if they are operating at a 1:1 ratio


The Behavior Technician should collect objective data constantly and the BCBA should evaluate that data often to maximize the effectiveness of instruction.

Decisions about when to change/add/remove program plans and whether or not a child is making progress should
always be based on data, not subjective opinions.

Clinics that use Electronic Medical Records are more likely to have accurate data reports than those that use paper.

Success On The Spectrum uses Central Reach as a electronic data collection platform. Each parent is given a login and password to view live progress details at any time!