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ABA DIY in HERTS?

(12 Posts)
amunt Tue 17-Mar-15 21:27:17

My 3 and a half year old son was recently diagnosed with autism and I think he would benefit from ABA therapy, but we can't afford it. My head is swimming because I have been round and round in circles to try and get the following info:
Is it possible to have a consultant/expert observe him, write an ABA programme and me deliver it at home. And then consultant comes back, say 6 weeks later, assesses progress and gives next programme. Although I wouldn't be as good as a trained tutor I am a teacher and think I could learn fast. And it's that or nothing.
Is this actually possible? And if so can anyone recommend said expert in Herts (St Albans) area?

I know that this has been touched on often, but I can't find concrete answers and I'm going mad not knowing where to start.

Many thanks for any advice.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 17-Mar-15 22:52:38

We did similar with Autism Partnership in Leeds. We had to fund an initial 3 day workshop and intake assessment tests (which was expensive c.£2000) but then got their supervisor to train us to be tutors. We hadn't intended to do it that way but it was obvious the LA were going to force us to appeal at least twice & we realised we would run out of funds for reports etc.
The supervisor fee is about £55 per hour and she came 2 hours a week (so about £4000 a month) which we funded via family contributions, DLA etc. We also had to pay for the USA consultant to see DS every quarter.
DS was a similar age when we did it. To be honest the easiest part of ABA is the beginning as there are usually only 5/6 programmes to start with and pretty easy to pick up.
I wouldn't want to do it solo long term though, we did it pending tribunal (about a year) and I was very happy to hand it over at the end when we won.
AP now have a base in North London (Islington) which is not too difficult for you to get to even if they couldn't come to you.
Also have a look at Giving Tree Foundation which has a grant avail at moment for £45k ABA. Or Caudwell will I think fund £2-3,000 which would fund the initial costs. Other charities details on ABA4ALL Facebook.
I would say a few hours weekly is better than 6 weekly. I know people who have done say a whole day every few months but i think its hard to keep that going / not to get into bad habits. Also DS made a lot of progress in first months so we really needed to update programmes very regularly.
There are some online training resources too - e.g. Simple Steps by PEAT charity and AP has DVDs but I haven't seen any of these so don't know if they are any good.
We are still with AP now (he's 8 and in mainstream with ABA) and they have been brilliant for DS.
You can also try and get social care direct payments for respite care and use that to hire someone for a few hours.
You should apply for EHC Plan asap though as it takes so long to fight for ABA and you would have evidence you needed by time of a tribunal.

AgnesDiPesto Tue 17-Mar-15 22:52:55

£400 not £4000!

Elisabennet Wed 18-Mar-15 09:22:05

Yes, absolutely. This is what we did, and actually it is very empowering to see you can help your child, and you will follow the principles all the time and for anything before you know it! The key is getting the right consultant to train you and set target. Just one thing I would like to say. I called peach initially to ask info, and they told me if you didn't do it full time it didn't work. Actually i wish I had not listened to that and went ahead anyway (with the plan to do as much as I could) because that delayed my decision to start. All the best.

sickofsocalledexperts Wed 18-Mar-15 16:49:36

Do look also at The Giving Tree Foundation which is offering bursaries for families new to ABA, in London or B'ham

amunt Wed 18-Mar-15 19:47:07

Thank you so much guys! We're still reeling a bit and your posts have made me feel more positive and given a starting point. It's the getting the right consultant that I find daunting. I'll definitely start with your suggestion of AP in London AgnesDiPesto. Can anyone recommend anyone/anywhere else to try if they can't help?

Elisabennet, that's interesting (and disappointing) about Peach, makes me less likely to trust them. I agree with the empowering aspect - from the little I've tried by myself.

One other thing. Our son is verbal, but has real behaviour problems which don't seem to have obvious triggers/functions apart from control. He can rarely sit with the others at nursery storytime and is incredibly non compliant. Can ABA help with this as well as the social interaction side?

Thanks again for your help.

boobybum Wed 18-Mar-15 21:34:21

ABA can definitely help with the behaviour side of things.
I'd recommend you read a book by Robert Schramm called 'Motivation and Reinforcement' as a good introduction to ABA.
In terms of finding a consultant you can look on the BCBA website for ones local to you (bear in mind that they do travel/Skype so don't let distance be a limiting factor). Also there is an ABA yahoo group and the ABA4all group for recommendations. Consultants should be able to put you in touch with families that use them.

When we first started we had an experienced tutor for 3 hours a week and I did a couple of sessions a week myself. I found doing the sessions incredibly useful in helping me to interact with our DS. You might want to consider just having a tutor to do one session a week if you can afford it as it can be useful to have someone to keep you on track in between consultant visits.

Definitely try Caudwell for funding if your household income is less than £50,000 I think? And I presume you are claiming DLA and associated tax credits?

Good luck.

manishkmehta Wed 18-Mar-15 22:00:18

Firstly, please get in touch with this charity as they help families with children who need "help" - i'm not sure of all the terms and conditions but i know that they can, and do fund ABA "start-up" costs. I can't say anymore, but i strongly recommend finding out more about them.

www.caudwellchildren.com/

ABA costs... Ahhh... this subject is complicated,... In the old days ABA used to be expensive... When we started it cost a lot of money.... that was about 5 years ago! Now i have seen that ABA is becoming more widespread and costs are falling.... I have seen and heard of providers cutting their costs as there are more and more BCBA consultants who have qualified... You'll find lots of BCBA's on this site...

www.bacb.com/index.php?page=100155

I know of newly qualified BCBAs that are starting out and charging £30.00 per hour... They have worked at great ABA School and are really good, but JUNIOR... I know of SENIOR BCBA's who charge £150.00 per hour...

There is no right answer, budgets for all parents are tight, but it's key to get references and to talk to as many parents on this forum before jumping into any decision...

I really hope you get the funding to start the programme, and please speak to LOTS of parents before hiring anyone... I really hope it goes well.

M

AgnesDiPesto Wed 18-Mar-15 22:17:06

Peach said same to us. We managed about 15 hours a week and we were able to show good progress on that and yes we addressed behaviour and control from day one. that was the key to getting him to start learning.

Elisabennet Wed 18-Mar-15 23:51:02

I understand your concern about finding the right consultant. I am happy overall with our consultant Slaveia Christoff. We also started with approx 15 hours and we had rapid progress. I feel for you because I remember being in your shoes with the dilemma to ABA or not to ABA (because of the cost), but I am so glad we did!

amunt Thu 19-Mar-15 20:21:56

I've made an appointment for telephone meeting with Autism Partnership, bought the Schramm book and started application Caudwell Children funding. Feels good to get the ball rolling!

Your advice is so useful and appreciated.

user1469789422 Wed 10-Aug-16 12:21:49

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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