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8 Reasons to Not Cancel ABA Sessions and Complete Services!

8 Reasons to Not Cancel ABA Sessions and Complete Services!

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If your child or loved one is receiving Applied Behavior Analysis, also called ABA therapy, you likely understand the significance of this evidence-based therapy in helping manage many complex features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ABA is a structured, personalized behavioral approach that aims to improve socially significant behaviors in those with ASD, offering a path to enhancing the quality of life for clients and their families and achieving greater independence overall.

Despite these favorable outcomes, caregivers cancel ABA sessions for various reasons, like being sick, taking a trip, or having another obligation. While standard, these cancelations can sometimes leave parents and caregivers questioning the impact of missing ABA sessions. While a few ABA cancelations won’t cause complete havoc, if cancelations in ABA become a treatment trend, they can become a problem and genuinely hinder progress for those receiving ABA care in the long term.

In this article by ABA Centers of Florida, we will discuss eight reasons why canceling ABA sessions may be detrimental to your loved one’s treatment and how to prevent them from becoming a habit. Additionally, we will discuss alternative solutions to ensure that ABA therapy sessions remain consistent and adequate. So, please keep reading to learn more about the effects of cancelations in ABA and how to make them less frequent and impactful overall. 

Click here to learn more about ABA care and autism diagnostics with ABA Centers of Florida or to review our other thoughtful autism resources.

The Value of ABA Therapy for Autism

ABA therapy is considered a medical necessity in most states, including Florida, for managing autism symptoms. According to the American Psychological Association, at its most basic level, ABA focuses on transforming socially significant behavior using behavioral principles so that individuals on the spectrum can experience more autonomy and increased participation throughout life and within their communities.

In other words, by teaching new skills and reducing problematic behaviors using reinforcement and redirection to secure the same desirable outcomes, alongside systematic data collection and overview, ABA fosters better outcomes for those living with the condition. ABA additionally highlights an individual’s strengths while establishing positive behaviors and relationship bonds.

Here are eight reasons why canceling sessions may be disadvantageous to the progress of ABA therapy:

1. Medical Necessity

ABA therapy is not just a choice for many diagnosed with ASD; it’s a medical necessity. According to Autism Speaks, the American Psychological Association and the Surgeon General have recognized ABA as an evidence-based best-practice treatment for autism. The inherent neurodiversity in individuals with ASD mandates therapies such as ABA to bridge the developmental gaps they might face.

Researchers in Autism Spectrum Disorder highlight the direct correlation between consistent ABA therapy sessions and improved functioning and social behaviors in individuals with ASD, meaning parents should treat ABA sessions like they would any other medical appointment and avoid missing ABA sessions whenever possible.

2. Impact on Behavioral Patterns

Every child or individual’s behavioral pattern in ABA therapy is meticulously monitored and addressed. Sudden changes and cancelations in ABA can impact these patterns, leading to confusion and sometimes regression in skills. In fact, those who frequently cancel ABA sessions with qualified ABA professionals often see an uptick in challenging behaviors or a reversion to earlier, less preferable habits.

3. Breaks the Consistency of Therapy

ABA therapy works by implementing structured and consistent ABA interventions that help individuals with autism develop, maintain, and generalize helpful behaviors that stack upon each other. Missing ABA sessions breaks consistency, making it difficult for ABA professionals to track progress accurately and make necessary adjustments to the treatment plan. This inconsistency may also cause confusion and anxiety in individuals receiving ABA therapy, potentially harming their progress and their relationship with their ABA providers.

4. Disrupts the Learning Process

ABA therapy involves repetition and reinforcement of specific behaviors to shape them into naturally occurring habits. However, ABA providers don’t achieve this through route reputation or unnecessary trials. Unfortunately, with cancelations in ABA, individuals with autism miss out on crucial learning opportunities, which can significantly impact their accuracy and even leave them feeling left out in comparison to the achievements of peers.

Missing ABA sessions can disrupt the learning process and require additional time for the client to catch up, ultimately delaying the individual’s learning and sometimes even making ABA sessions less enjoyable or frustrating.

5. Creates Difficulty in Generalization of Skills

A primary goal of ABA is to help individuals with autism generalize the skills they learned from the therapy sessions in their daily lives so they can apply skills to real-world applications. Cancelations in ABA can make practice and role-playing more challenging to achieve. By missing ABA, individuals may need more training and reinforcement outside of the therapy setting, making it difficult for them to apply these skills in different environments and situations or with other individuals.

6. Financial Burden and Waste of Resources

ABA therapy can be a costly treatment. Canceling ABA can result in an increased financial burden for families and caregivers who have invested time, effort, and money into ABA care, as described in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics. In many cases, before ABA providers can offer care, families must present insurance providers with a diagnosis or other documentation or required referrals, which can be highly time-consuming for all parties. Cancelations can make all this preparation a waste of time and make it more difficult for ABA providers to keep their doors open.  

In other cases, clients with autism who do not cancel ABA sessions in their appropriate windows can receive costly fees, as most ABA companies must receive at least 48 hours to cancel appropriately. Checking with your ABA provider directly pertaining to their cancelation policy is generally best to ensure you follow guidelines and avoid fees. At the same time, appropriately canceling helps maintain a positive relationship with your ABA company.

7. Additional Pressure on Therapists and Caregivers

ABA therapy requires a collaborative effort between therapists, family members, and caregivers to achieve desired results. Cancelations in ABA can put additional pressure on these individuals as they must make up for lost time and potential progress during the missed session. This added stress can also impact the overall effectiveness and quality of the therapy. Fortunately, communication can significantly address this burdensome aspect of cancelations in ABA.

8. Support for the ASD Individual and Family

The guidance and support that ABA professionals like Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) provide ASD families extends beyond the individual with autism, often offering support and strategies tailored to families and caregivers through ABA parent training sessions or just observing. By canceling ABA sessions, families not only restrict the support for the individual receiving care; they’re also temporarily depriving the entire support system of the necessary guidance.

The Importance of Communication

To prevent the negative impacts of cancelations in ABA, parents, and caregivers need to communicate effectively with ABA therapists about any upcoming schedule conflicts or changes. Additionally, families should also discuss alternate options, such as virtual sessions or make-up sessions, to ensure consistency in therapy. Ultimately, prioritizing attendance and avoiding cancelations in ABA can significantly benefit individuals undergoing ABA therapy and help them make progress toward their goals.

So, remember to discuss any concerns or conflicts with your ABA therapist and work together to maintain the consistency of therapy sessions. With dedication and commitment, ABA therapy can continue to be a valuable tool in improving the lives of individuals with autism. Keep up the hard work!

Missing ABA Sessions Doesn’t Have to Be a Disaster!

The goals of ABA therapy are always long-term, with an eye on improving daily experiences and establishing more appropriate conduct and responses over time. Missing ABA sessions set back these long-term targets, which are so vital for the individual’s future.

Caregivers shouldn’t decide to miss ABA lightly, as explored in the reasons outlined in this post. While our list isn’t exhaustive, it does stand to show just how critical attending all ABA sessions is for your child or teen’s growth and evolution through ABA care.

Ultimately, the commitment to ABA therapy is a commitment to the person undergoing treatment, their progress, potential, and the promise of a more inclusive future. It’s about finding success in every session because, in ABA, every session truly counts.

More about Consistency in ABA with ABA Centers of Florida

ABA Centers of Florida provides consistent, high-quality ABA therapy to individuals with autism so they can reach their goals on their level. Our team of specialized ABA professionals understands the importance of every session and works tirelessly to provide the best possible outcomes for our clients with ASD.

So don’t hesitate to reach out and start your journey towards progress and success with ABA therapy today! Contact us today at (772) 773-1975 or via this online link to learn more about how we can support you and your family on your journey with ABA therapy or through autism diagnostic services. We serve regions of Florida, including:

  • Doral
  • Miramar
  • Jensen Beach
  • Tampa
  • Orlando
  • Boca Raton
  • Melbourne
  • Davenport
  • Kissimmee
  • Bradenton

So, let’s commit to ABA consistency, and together, we can make a lasting impact in the lives of those with autism.

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