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About Applied Behavior Analysis

  • Treatment modality: MDS is dedicated to providing the highest quality ABA services to our clients. ABA is about understanding patterns between behavior and environmental events over time. We then use this knowledge to decrease unsafe behaviors and increase useful skills. Below are just some of the methods we use:

    • Functional Assessment: A variety tools help us discover how unsafe behaviors are actually meeting a need for someone. We then use this understanding as the basis to further investigate barriers to learning and independence, identify accommodations, and teach communication and other skills.

    • Skill Assessment: Additional assessments identify skills that might help our clients meet their goals. These assessments focus on anything from basic learning skills to daily living, self-help, and vocational skills.

    • Social validity assessment: We ensure that the goals and strategies used with each client are not simply pulled from a list, book, or article, but are meaningful and will improve quality of life from the client’s perspective. 

    • Common ABA teaching strategies:

      • Proactive strategies and accommodations: Planning ahead to ensure the client’s needs are met, caregiver communication is clear, and distress is avoided when possible.

      • Reinforcement: It seems simple but highlighting safe behaviors a la “caught being good” goes a long way!

      • Differential Reinforcement of Alternate Behavior: Teaching safe ways to communicate, cope with delays, problem solve, and/or accept challenges to meet one’s own wants and needs.

      • Natural Environment Teaching: Using the learner’s natural motivation to teach skills that will help them access more of what they want and need.

      • Discrete trial teaching: Breaking skills down to appropriate instruction-response units to increase success with learning.

      • Fluency building: teaching component skills until they are effortless so that they occur more easily in the natural environment.

      • Chaining: Teaching multi-step behavior chains like hand-washing, dressing, or making a meal by carefully teaching each step.

      • Teaching environmental cues: ABA doesn’t just focus on the behavior, but the context for the behavior – what to do on the playground vs in the classroom, what different community signs mean, what topics are safe for family members vs strangers.  

      • Generalization and maintenance of skills: Teaching so that new skills transition successfully to our clients’ natural environment.

      • Caregiver training: Our “Bridge to Home” program puts clinicians and families in contact twice per month to incorporate family needs, provide education on the above techniques, and ensure the client’s progress beyond the clinic!

      • Collaboration: Since ABA focuses on a powerful yet singular influence on behavior and learning (the environment), it pairs well with other services and perspectives to provide maximum support for each client. 

  • Population Served: Meaningful Day Service’s ABA program serves autistic individuals, as well as individuals diagnosed with Down Syndrome, TBI, developmental and behavioral disorders, and other varying disabilities.

  • Setting for Services: We provide 1:1 ABA therapy in a clinic setting. The Bridge to Home component of our program is provided by a BCBA and the setting of Bridge to Home can be determined by the individual's needs.

  • Hours of Service: Monday-Thursday 9:00 -5:00, Friday 11:00-3:00

  • Frequency of Service: Each client’s BCBA creates a service intensity recommendation based on individualized assessment. Recommendations can range from 4 hours per week to 30+ hours, depending on the number of treatment goals. Bridge to home sessions occur 2 or more times per month. Sessions may be less frequent when a client is graduating and transitioning to less intensive supports.  

  • Payer Sources: In network with all major insurance companies including but not limited to: Anthem, Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Behavioral Health, Humana, and Aetna. We are also able to accept most Medicaid strands, with the exception of Anthem Medicaid, and accept Indiana Medicaid Waiver.

  • Fees: Our fees are determined by insurance and Medicaid companies. Private pay rates are available upon request.

  • Referral Sources: We receive referrals from doctor's offices, school systems, psychologists, insurance companies, case managers, and other professionals in similar fields (SLP, OT, PT).

  • Credentialing of Staff: ABA uses a tiered model, with a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) overseeing each client’s programs and one or more Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) providing most therapy sessions. BCBAs are master’s level clinicians, and RBTs receive 40 hours of classroom training and additional time completing competency-based hands-on training. Both are credentialed and overseen by the Behavior Analysis Certification Board and have passed relevant exams

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