Tips On Looking For A Therapist

Tips On Looking For A Therapist

Hiring the right therapists for your child diagnosed with ASD is an essential step to jump-start your child’s treatment program. Finding the best one is easy, but finding the right one for your needs is a totally different issue. Not only is your child’s development at stake, but also your finances, time, and effort. Here are some tips that can help ease the task of finding the best therapists for your specific needs.

1. Look into lists of registered therapists. Do not rely on the first person that you meet or find. There are hundreds of therapists that you may choose from. Special Learning has a database full of registered ABA therapists in every state. Browse over it and choose several potential candidates to interview.

2. Network with parents that are in similar situations to yours. There are groups that you may join in most large communities and you may also participate in online networks as well. Special Learning has a forum dedicated to parents, providers, and educators for children with autism. It is a good place to start for finding vital information and even referrals to therapists other parents have used with their own children.

3. Call your selected few therapists from the database or from referrals. Here are some basic questions that you may ask:

●        How much do they charge per day/per week/per hour?

●        Do they do in-house therapies?

●        Do they charge for telephone or email inquiries?

●        How long is the waiting period to start your child’s program?

●        How far away do they live?

●        For out-of-the-house therapies: Do they have any other clients in your area which you can ask to share travel expenses?

●        What is their educational background?

●        How extensive is their experience in one-on-one sessions?

●        Ask for some references.

4. If you have your eye on one or two therapists, get into their waiting list even if you haven’t firmly decided on one yet. If you find somebody else you can always cancel, but if you ultimately go with that person you will already be in the queue and won’t have to wait as long for your child’s turn for his or her first therapy session.

5. If you have a tight budget, look into local universities and colleges that offer courses on the kind of therapies you are interested in. Post a notice on bulletin boards in the psychology department letting students know you are interested in hiring a therapist. Graduate students may be short on experience but they have knowledge of the basic principles of their chosen profession and should be familiar with Autism Spectrum Disorder and therapy techniques. Therapists from universities and colleges are likely to charge a lot less than a well-experienced therapist.

Hiring a therapist for a child diagnosed with autism needs careful planning and research.  The right therapist should not only be able to answer the needs of your child but of your whole family as well.


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Being an RBT for me was extremely fun because where were you going to find a place where you can be completely silly without having to worry what people thought about you? This was the only job that made me feel like I could make a dramatic difference while being myself.

I also liked to be surrounded by people that had the same goals of wanting to help kids and the teamwork made the job much easier and more enjoyable.

Change and progress was the ultimate goal for our kiddos. The early intervention program was seriously only a miracle because I saw changes in the kiddos that from day one, you wouldn’t even recognize who they were.

Changes from being able to utter 3-4 words where they can only make a syllable from when they started, the behavior decreases in which kiddo that used to engage in 30-40 0 self-harm to only half, learning how to wait during games, table work where they use to swipe and drop to the floor if they had to.

My favorite was when the parents would tell us what amazing progress they were making at home. I used to tear up and felt for these parents so much because it was already difficult for them and now, they can trust and rely on ABA and the therapists knowing their goal was ours.

By Emma Rogers, BA, RBT

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