Over the last several years, treatments using the science of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) have evolved. Thanks to the many families and autistic adults who have received ABA services and shared their experiences, providers have gained an increased sensitivity to the needs of those we serve. Now more than ever, providers are aware of the critical importance of providing a service that is compassionate, individualized, and focused on improving the quality of life for the entire family.
AZA United’s CEO, Vice Presidents, Clinical Directors and staff supervisors are all BCBAs. Therefore, not only are we committed to upholding the professional code of ethics for behavior analysts, but we have experienced first-hand the importance of a strong partnership with families when leading an ABA Treatment program. From this perspective, our leadership team prioritizes setting policies and expectations that focus on achieving effective outcomes and creating a positive client experience, rather than being financially driven.
To make sure every family receives the best possible experience, we ensure that our BCBAs are trained to deliver services that align with our ABA treatment philosophy. Every BCBA receives training resources and mentoring opportunities that help meet our high expectations.
1. Family-Centered Care
Compassionate | Positive Relationships | Empathy
All services should be compassionate and family-centered. We strive to build positive relationships with our clients by actively listening to their concerns and understanding their perspective and feelings. We empathize with our clients and their families and make recommendations to help achieve their desired outcomes while alleviating undue stress. We believe that all treatment should be acceptable to the person served and that caregivers should feel empowered to implement the treatment.
2. Culturally Responsive Care
Awareness | Inclusive | Individualized
AZA United is committed to creating systems and staff training that provide quality care to our clients regardless of social, cultural, religious, socio-economic status, spoken language, sexual orientation, identity, age, gender, values, or beliefs. We are committed to focusing on the individual and the distinct intersecting cultural variables impacting the client’s needs. Providers work collaboratively with clients to achieve effective and meaningful outcomes by identifying cultural aspects of the environment that impact behavior and effective care. Services are individualized to meet the cultural needs of our clients. Providers actively work to identify and address barriers to culturally responsive care.
3. Humble Collaboration
Cooperation | Open-minded | Humility
AZA United adopts a position of humility when engaging in interprofessional collaboration and consultation. We demonstrate willingness and openness to working with other disciplines in the service of supporting our clients and their families. We enter into collaboration with an open mind and a willingness to learn. We do this by inviting collaboration, building bridges with other service providers, and incorporating recommendations from other members of the client’s team. We recognize the expertise that caregivers and other professionals bring to the table.
4. Assent-Based Practices
Choice | Rapport | Freedom
AZA United utilizes assent-based practices that ensure client choice and freedom. Providers teach individuals to make choices, advocate for their preferences, and we emphasize skill building over compliance. Providers aim to develop a strong rapport with clients, ensure safety and trust. We recognize that many autistic individuals, including the clients we serve, may experience trauma in their life. Traumatic events impact a person's emotional and physical well-being and can affect behavior. Practices that force participation or that rely on coercion have the potential to cause trauma. AZA United providers honor the individual’s right to withdraw their assent when doing so does not put their safety, or another’s safety, at immediate risk.
“The science of ABA is all about demonstrating effectiveness and using evidence-based procedures, but the service is all about people. Being able to demonstrate that your treatment is effective is fantastic and every ABA provider should be able to do that, but how you do it is equally important. ABA providers have learned a lot over the last several years about how to improve our practices to align with contemporary approaches to treatment. This philosophy was developed by our BCBAs for our clients and their families to deliver the kind of care that families and autistic people demand and deserve.”
- Carey Beranek, BCBA, Vice President of Children and Youth Services
Empowerment | Clarity | Observation
AZA United embraces transparency in all aspects of service delivery. We believe in empowering others by keeping them informed. We set clear expectations throughout the treatment process and help families understand what we are recommending and why. As an organization we encourage caregivers to observe sessions at any time. In clinic settings, sessions are always viewable. We are proud of the work we do to support our clients and welcome observations and questions from stakeholders.
6. Neurodiversity Affirming Support
Inclusive | Integration | Awareness
AZA United embraces everyone for who they are. We welcome and actively seek the input from the autistic and neurodiversity communities to help us understand how we can best serve our clients. We understand that neurotypical individuals have biases and we strive to bring awareness about how those views may be different from neurodivergent perspectives.
7 Community Participation
Relationships | Inclusion | Independence
We support the client participating in meaningful activities and develop interests and relationships in the community. We believe in full community participation for all autistic people and the need for natural supports. In addition to helping teach skills that foster community inclusion, individual preferences are used to help individuals explore their communities and attend social and community activities. Natural supports should accompany or complement formal supports and promote maximum independence and quality of life.
8. Improving Quality of Life
Meaningful | Service | Fulfillment
We believe that improved quality of life should be the ultimate outcome for clients receiving behavioral interventions. When developing a plan for services, AZA United starts with a fundamental question: How can we improve the quality of life for the person we serve? Services should be customized to meet long-term outcomes, and goals should benefit the individual's independence and happiness in a meaningful way. We work with families and the individuals we serve to uncover the most important skills needed for long-term success. We evaluate the effectiveness of treatment by asking if the new skills have made a meaningful and practical improvement in how the person lives.
Connect with Carey on LinkedIn.
Contact our Family Support Team if you would like to learn how to get started with ABA Therapy or any other programs and services that we offer. Our Family Support Team is always available to help and is available at no charge to all members of the autism and developmental disability community. Schedule a free phone appointment that works with your schedule by visiting azaunited.org/supportcall
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