Blog: Collaboration & Clear Communication (April 28, 2021)

As an ABA instructor, I can attest that in our field of Applied Behavior Analysis, communication is priority number one. Maintaining a clear and accurate stream of communication between the BCBA, the team of ABA instructors, and the parents will determine the success of a well-designed treatment plan. To do this, you need all hands on deck.

Parents bare the responsibility of informing the instructors of daily circumstances that may affect a session. For instance, if their child did not sleep well the previous night, that could potentially affect how well he or she attends during a session. If an instructor remains uninformed about this, they may pass on notes to the BCBA that the child they are working with is not responding well to their programs, drawing up an inaccurate picture due to their lack of information. This is why it’s important for parents to pass along the daily circumstantial details that an instructor would not be able to account for. 

In addition to running programs and tracking data, the instructor has the role of taking note of the habits and interests their case kid is developing. This information will detail what changes their programming may need as sessions continue. For example, this week they might be into dinosaurs. Next week it might be race cars. Taking note of changing interests will allow the team of instructors to stay up to date on how to incentivize skill learning. But beyond taking note of evolving interests that can be used to encourage learning, taking careful note of changing habits is even more important.

Here is a good example. If a child’s goals were to improve verbal communication, an instructor may notice that communication is improving, but only in specific environments. They might find that in the house, around parents and siblings, tremendous improvements have been made, but on the playground with friends they rarely communicate. As an instructor, you take note of this distinction, and bring it up with the BCBA. From here, they might decide to integrate more social programs that encourage verbal interaction outside of the house. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to having everyone on the same page. Like a healthy neural network, clear communication ensures that a session is run efficiently and effectively. Parents communicate the day to day variables to the instructors, and the instructors take note. These same instructors keep track of developing interests and habits, and pass along the notes to their team and the BCBA. The BCBA assesses that information, and makes the necessary changes to the child’s treatment plan and program. Those changes are related back to the instructors, and they implement them universally. If clear communication is maintained, a child’s success is assured.

Thanks for reading folks.
See you next time!

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