Hello, everybody! For this blog post, I wanted to open up the floor to parents. For those of us who work with children, our main focus is the child. But we cannot forget to think about the parents and families! I decided to get parent feedback and ask three of the parents that I have worked with in the past to tell me three pros and three cons regarding their experience of in-home ABA for their children. I gave them no boundaries, and asked them to be honest. Originally, my thought was that I would take their answers and form broader categories to then dive into within this blog, but interestingly, answers were very unique. Instead, I will simply give you the answers raw, and discuss my thoughts. My goal is to share some insight from parents who open up their home and witness their children’s daily services.
We will start with the cons.
- Reviews of ABA are often good, but there are also bad ones, so you start wondering if this is the right answer for your child.
- Our family’s life changed tremendously, therapists are in and out of your house every day.
- Before therapy started, we had a certain way we did things, then therapists come in and change everything.
- There are not enough technicians to serve all of the kids in need.
- Insurance for ABA services is a pain to deal with.
- We were on a waiting list for services for 2 years.
Whoa! When I received these answers, I was nodding my head. I especially appreciated the parent feedback on their in-home ABA experience on how much family’s lives change. This is where it becomes important to ask parents how they are doing, and where our ethics code of no multiple relationships actually benefits the families too. Mom does not have to feel like she needs to offer you a drink every 20 minutes, because we cannot take it anyway! But on the other hand, we naturally start to feel at home, because we do spend so much time in these homes.
#4, there are not enough technicians to serve all of the kids in need. This may be true, but I also argue that retention rate needs to increase. RBT turnover is so high for a variety of reasons (low compensation, lack of benefits, daily drive time, poor supervision, the list goes on and on) and it disrupts services. A tangent, but an important one, nonetheless.
Now onto the pros.
- Saw rapid, positive progress.
- Saw an immediately happier and more engaged kid.
- My child’s language went up and tantrums went down.
- Techs and BCBAs took the time to explain strategies and listen to us.
- Therapists became such a big part of the family.
- We saw a calmer and more organized child.
- Definitely see how interventions help our child’s tantrum behaviors, and we can implement them on our own.
- Therapy has brought stability and structure to our home.
- Techs and BCBAs are willing to find what motives each child.
- Techs and BCBAs offered support to the whole family.
- COOL. These are reasons we do what we do! I loved to hear that the families saw a change in their child, because they are the ones whose opinion on the change matters. The two biggest takeaways I found in these 10 pros is that 1. Consistency is key, and 2. Caring about the whole family goes a long way.
While this is not a super in-depth study on parental feedback, I think there are some valuable points made. Parents want to be heard, it can be hard on families when therapists are in and out of their home all day every day, they can be placed on waiting lists for years before being set up with a BCBA and technician(s). To address these concerns, I will be making a bigger point of praising families and offering more support. Additionally, continuing to provide the structure and stability that they have enjoyed.
If you have thoughts on this topic, please comment or shoot me a DM! I think it’s an important narrative.
Meet the author: Hey hey! My name is Alice Okamoto. I am an RBT in graduate school, working to become a BCBA. I love ABA, food, wine, my dogs, and my family and friends! I live in Raleigh area, North Carolina with my boyfriend and two dogs. Comment or DM and say hey!