Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I know if the UKYAP ABA programme is right for my child?
All parents are welcome to have a chat with us regarding the programmes we provide. We appreciate that starting an ABA programme involves significant commitment and we want to be sure that you will be happy with our services. Where possible we can also put families in touch with other parents who have UKYAP programmes.
2. Why is having a research-based ABA programme important?
We believe that every child with autism should receive intervention that will enable them to achieve their full potential. We understand that identifying the most appropriate provision for your child can be difficult.
In order to identify which provision to choose we believe scientific validation is important. Education and autism treatments should undergo scientific research to ensure treatments are proven to result in an effective outcome.
3. I don’t live near your hubs in London or Birmingham; can we still have an ABA programme?
Families who live outside these areas qualify for the Parent-Managed Workshop-Based service. Our Fully-Staffed Core Programme does cover large areas around Birmingham and parts of greater London and surrounding counties.
4. How much does an ABA programme cost?
Full details of the costs for the Fully-Staffed Core Programme and Parent Managed Workshop-Based Programme can be found in our information pack.
5. When can we start? Is there a waiting list?
Waiting times vary depending upon your location and the location and case loads of our staff. Where we have space for Fully-Staffed Core Programmes there is an 8-week preparation period for organising staff for the programme. Parent-Managed Workshop-Based ABA Programmes can begin as soon as we have a consultant with availability.
6. Is my child too old for an ABA programme?
There is no age-limit to starting an ABA programme. However, early intervention is known to be important for children with autism and therefore it is best to start as early as possible. Research shows that the most significant gains have been observed in those starting at a young age; however those who have started at a later age have also made significant progress.
UKYAP also works with older children and young adults. For this client group, individualised ABA programmes are devised to focus on areas of need. Some individuals may need help in specific areas, while some may benefit from a comprehensive programme. Through discussion with a UKYAP consultant a programme can be devised to address the individual’s needs.
At present, for children over 6 years old, UK YAP is conducting a detailed telephone assessment to identify whether we are able to provide a service. We may also conduct a 1-2 hour visit to assess whether we can meet your child's needs if they are over 6 years old.
7. My child is in school full time, can we have a part-time ABA programme?
UKYAP provides research-based ABA programmes. Our research shows that optimal progress is made by those children who follow a waking-hours ABA programme. At the onset of an ABA programme, we recommend that children begin a full-time programme immediately as this is a key period for teaching learning and attending skills. Children move to part-time ABA programmes as part of the gradual integration in to mainstream environments which is entirely dependent upon the child’s progress. We will discuss your child’s individual needs before you begin a programme and advise whether a part-time ABA programme is an option.
8. I think my child will get too tired
The recommended number of hours is 40 hours per week. This provides the intensive learning opportunities required for optimal progress. This may sound extreme for a young child, but when thinking of typically developing children around the age of 2 and 3 years old, the level of activity and stimulation they receive from their environment is constant and lasts throughout their entire waking day. Children with autism need to learn to learn from their environment in the same way, and as such their day needs to be an optimal learning environment.
The weekly teaching is varied, and incorporates play and natural environment teaching (NET, which involves teaching behaviours in the situation in which they naturally occur), as well as incidental teaching (where the teaching environment is structured to facilitate spontaneous initiations on the part of the child). A child’s day may include learning to play games, eating a snack with their tutor, learning receptive and expressive language skills, reading stories, and going to play in the park or the garden. The session is quick-paced, and should always be fun! Young children may still need their afternoon nap, and during the early stages of the programme, the teaching schedule can work around this.
9. How do I find tutors? Can you provide tutors for me?
UKYAP provide tutors for the Fully-Staffed Core Programme. If you are looking to run a Parent-Managed workshop-based programme, then you will need to recruit individuals to work as tutors.
Local colleges and universities are often fruitful places for recruiting tutors as psychology and/or education students are often looking for this type of experience. Finding experienced ABA tutors is not essential as the consultant will provide full training to the team. We advise parents to look for individuals who are energetic, creative, have a sense of fun, and are willing to learn. Previous childcare experience is also an advantage. Family members and friends may also wish to become part of the team and can be trained as tutors.
10. We can’t afford a 3-day initial workshop – can we have one or two days instead?
The initial workshop is designed to cover all elements required to set up your child’s programme. Over three days the consultant will be covering theory training, assessing your child’s needs, designing and implementing a programme, providing hands-on training for you and your tutors, and teaching data collection skills. This workshop is essential for ensuring that your programme is established in full and that everyone on the team is able to implement the programme effectively. It would be not be possible to cover all aspects of the programme over two days.
11. My child doesn’t have a diagnosis of autism – can we have a programme?
UK Behaviour Analysis and Research Group provides services for children with related developmental disorders, including Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD), and Global Developmental Delay. Our teaching procedures are aimed at increasing skill levels through the continuous monitoring and consistent teaching that ABA facilitates. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the applicability of services for your child.
12. My child has Asperger’s Syndrome – can we have a programme?
UKYAP also works with children and young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. Although individuals are often diagnosed later than those with autism, ABA programmes can still be devised to focus on areas of need. In this client group, ABA programmes may focus on teaching children to use their skills to their full ability, teaching play and social skills, and behaviour management.
13. Do you do “VB”?
Families looking at behavioural interventions may come across the term “VB” when looking up ABA. VB or Verbal Behaviour was first described by B. F. Skinner in his book Verbal Behaviour (1957). This book is a largely theoretical analysis of language and in relation to behaviour. The phrase “VB” has been coined by some ABA providers.
UKYAP ABA programmes utilise the UCLA model of Applied Behaviour Analysis. This model was developed by Dr. Ivar Lovaas and is based on extensive experience and more than 40 years of research into the application of ABA to treat children with autism. This model includes teaching verbal behaviour skills (VB).
Essentially there is no difference between “VB” and “ABA” – verbal behaviour is a concept within ABA.
14. How do I approach the Local Authority to request funding?
If your child does not have a statement of Special Educational Needs (SEN), your local authority will need to conduct a ‘statutory assessment’ in order to establish your child’s specific needs and identify appropriate provision.
You can ask for an assessment for your child and so can your child's school. If the school wants to ask the local authority to carry out an assessment, they should always talk to you first. If you would like to approach the local authority, it's best to talk to your child's teacher or SEN coordinator (SENCO) first.
If your child is not attending school or nursery then you can contact the local authority yourself. You will usually find the relevant contact details by searching online for the authority name and special needs department.
If your child does have a statement of SEN we can discuss this with you on an individual basis.