FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
If you think your child has autism, we recommend that you view our resource center where you can find symptoms and relevant statistics regarding autism. You will also find local and national resources that may be able to provide you with more answers. There is also a list of recommended professionals that can provide you with testing and diagnoses.
Symptoms are often either lack of verbal communication or a regression, atypical behaviors such as extreme temper tantrums, self-injurious behaviors, PICA (eating things which are not edible), lack of social interaction, lack of eye contact, picky eating. Please contact us if you believe your child should see a neurologist and we will gladly refer neurologists we trust.
A diagnosis for autism should be completed by a licensed neurologist or psychologist. At times, pediatricians and child psychiatrists can also perform diagnoses. A list of recommended professionals is available in our resource center; you can also speak with your child’s pediatrician for more information.
We are currently accepting clients from as far South as Key Largo up to Boca Raton.
Our programs are created based on the client’s individual characteristics and behaviors. Therefore, we treat a wide range of ages- anywhere from first diagnosis (a little over a year old) to adolescence.
There is currently no cure for autism. Research has concluded, however, that intensive ABA therapy programs (like ours!) can greatly reduce the maladaptive behaviors associated with autism and increase the individual’s quality of life significantly. Every child is different, and we are committed to taking each child to their highest potential. You can Google “Celebrities with autism” and you would be amazed at what is possible!
Our Breakthrough Leaders (Board Certified Behavior Analysts) all obtain Master’s degrees in a related field, have completed 2500 hours of supervised therapy by another BCBA, took six additional classes beyond their Master’s, and passed a Board exam which is very difficult. Our day to day one on one therapists all obtain at least a Bachelor’s degree, have their Registered Behavior Technician credential, and are constantly supervised to obtain their supervision hours to become certified. We believe in an internal growth strategy and we only employ our staff, so everyone is always on the same page!
We provide in-home therapy, therapy at schools who will allow us in, and around the community (you must be present). It can be your home or the home of another caretaker, but it must be consistent for the child and the therapist- the home environment and early intervention go together with success rates.
If your insurance changes, you just need to let us know as soon as possible so we can receive a new authorization from your new insurance company. If, for any reason, the authorization is pending, we will continue therapy with your consent until we receive the new approval.
You don’t necessarily have to be present, but an approved adult caretaker must be in the house during therapy. They don’t have to be in the same room as the therapy- in fact, they don’t need to be involved in any way, but they must be there.
Typically early intervention programs require anywhere from 20 to 40 hours of therapy per week. The recommended amount is determined by one of our Breakthrough Leaders on a case-by-case basis, but expect a number in that range when seeking an early intervention program.
Research shows that intensive programs with more hours show better, faster results. Since our goal is to increase the quality of life for your child and reduce the amount of care in their future, we follow these guidelines. Visit our resource center to see published research regarding the recommended amount of hours.
Your child will have one or two Breakthrough Team members assigned to them and two Breakthrough Leaders. The team members will conduct your on-going therapy, and your Breakthrough Leaders will over the program, update the behavior plan, perform assessments, and be available for you whenever you feel it is necessary. In case of sickness or an emergency, whenever possible, an on-call Breakthrough Team member will fill in for your regular team member, with your approval. We do this for socialization purposes and to have different ideas as to where the program should progress to next.
Starting an intensive, in-home ABA program is a huge change to your child’s life, your life and your family’s routine. Just like any other large change, it will take time to get accustomed to the program, but after a few months, you will be inviting us to stay for dinner (which we cannot do ethically!)! These programs will slowly become part of your daily routine, and eventually, the only change you will have to deal with is saying goodbye to your Breakthrough Team when the therapy is no longer necessary (don’t worry, we’ll still be around).
Depending on the case, your child will most likely need some sort of maintenance to their program to keep them on track as they grow. This may include shadowing in school classrooms, weekly therapy sessions, or other, different types of therapy. (As they get older hormones kick in and aggression may return, etc.; we would then suggest counseling, social skills groups, or minimal programming, depending on the situation).
Although your Breakthrough Leader may communicate with you in Spanish, this is solely for your comfort. Therapy sessions will be performed in English because this is the primary language spoken in schools and the United States.
Yes- when scheduling therapies, we will attempt to match your desired times for therapies with the availability of our Breakthrough Team members. This includes scheduling sessions at night and on weekends. Flexibility will be required on both sides.
Unfortunately, our Breakthrough Team members are not authorized to take your child anywhere in their cars. They can, however, meet you at a location close to your home in their own car. They can also go for walks or to nearby parks, with your consent, to work on specific skillsets.
We will provide most of the materials for therapy, but we may have some suggestions for great birthday presents! If your specific case requires some sort of material that is unique, we may ask you to purchase it. We do request, however, that materials used during therapy remain in a specified container and are used only during therapy. We may also occasionally use household items from around your home.
Yes- all of our Breakthrough Team members are well-versed in our emergency plans. Many are also PCM trained (professional crisis management).
We will determine areas that will be beneficial for conducting therapy at the initial consultation. We will ask you where you do not want us to go, and we will remain out of those areas of your home. If, for any reason, a Breakthrough Team member feels the need to enter an area you have instructed them to remain out of, they will only do so with your consent.
You will be receiving reports explaining behavior techniques- please read them! You may also be required to have parent training sessions, depending on your insurance.