When your child has benefited from ABA therapy, you might wonder whether this methodology can be included in their Individualized Education Program (IEP). Even though your child has progressed due to an ABA program, this does not require the school district to include ABA in the student’s IEP. This is because teaching strategies are usually left to the teacher’s discretion, and the district is not necessarily required to specify it on an IEP. There are certain circumstances where a school district can be convinced to include ABA as a mandate on the IEP. This is done by presenting evidence that ABA is essential for the child to continue to make educational progress and that without ABA, the student will regress.
What is an IEP?
It first helps to understand what an IEP is. Simply put, an IEP is a legal document detailing your child’s needs to ensure they are successful at school. It will define specific supports, accommodations, and services your child needs and individualized annual goals they will work on with your child. IEPs are governed by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
Why is an IEP Beneficial?
IEPs are individualized, child-specific documents to help teachers navigate the best approach for helping children learn. Collaborating with your child’s school to make sure everyone understands the different ways your child learns best sets them up for success in the long run.
What to Bring to Your First IEP Meeting
When preparing for an IEP meeting to discuss implementing ABA methodology, have all relevant documents on hand. This includes educational and psychological evaluations, progress reports, and other data from teachers and other specialists.
You should try to arrange for the participation of educational professionals who have worked with your child and can attest that ABA instruction and support are essential for their academic progress.
Getting ABA Therapy in your IEP
Regarding getting an ABA placement or programming, you must document the need for the therapy. In some cases, it is a matter of showing your child was unsuccessful at other interventions. Technically a child is not required to fail first. But if your child has yet to succeed in other ways, educate yourself on ABA to see if it can be successful for them.
You want to define your child’s ABA plan and choose the best placement to implement ABA programming. If there are no schools for out-placement and your team decides your child needs ABA, then the team has to find or create an ABA therapy program.
Encourage Communication Between Your IEP Team and ABA Team
You can request that your home ABA team share documents, reports, or data with you at any time. Your team may even appreciate it because it shows you want to collaborate. However, it is important that your ABA team communicate with the IEP team at school. Your child’s teachers can let the ABA therapist know how your child is doing in class, whether they’re making friends, problem behaviors, etc. It is beneficial for ABA therapists to know this information to understand your child’s needs and how they are progressing.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.