Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions about the Field of Behavior Analysis

What is Applied Behavior Analysis?

  • Behavior Analysis is a science devoted to understanding and improving human behavior. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the application of the principals of motivation and learning to socially important behaviors for improvement and lasting change. When analyzing problem behaviors, Behavior Analysts consider the relationship between the individual’s behavior and the immediate environment.

How does ABA differ from Clinical Psychology or Mental Health Counseling?

  • Applied Behavior Analysis does not delve into the “inner” person, nor try to help individuals rationally understand their behavior. Behavior Analysts do not offer “talk” therapy. Instead, using the principles of learning and motivation, we work to change the dynamics of a given situation such that the individual will be highly motivated to engage in the behavior we are teaching. The interventions are generally taught to and implemented by the parents, caregivers or other important people in the individual’s life. In this way, we assure that treatment is more likely to result in lasting change.

Do Behavior Analysts offer counseling services?

  • NO. Behavior Analysts distinctly do NOT offer counseling. Our expertise is in analyzing the variables involved in a particular behavior, assessing where the skill deficit is, and then breaking the skill down into small steps. We specialize in teaching, not in counseling. We use only empirically-validated strategies based on the principles of motivation, positive reinforcement, and systematic shaping procedures.

How does a Behavior Analyst change problem behaviors?

  • First, we do a functional behavior assessment in order to discover what function the behavior has for the individual. We believe that all behaviors are adaptive. That is, they are a way for the individual to adapt to their environment in order to get their wants and needs met. Our initial assessment will tell us under what circumstances the behavior in question is likely to occur: when, where, how, and with whom. It will uncover the possible triggers and, most importantly, the consequences. This will allow us to see how the behavior is being reinforced and why it continues to occur. Once we understand that, we ensure that the problem behavior is no longer reinforced, and we begin to teach more appropriate and socially-acceptable ways to get those needs met. Our ultimate goal is for the individual to be able to demonstrate the new skills in a variety of natural contexts, and thus benefit from richer personal and social experiences.

Specific Questions about Behavioral Learning Systems, Inc.

Do you work only with problem behavior?

  • Because problem behaviors are usually a sign of a skill deficit, whenever we target a problematic behavior for decrease, we also target a replacement behavior for increase. Teaching positive behaviors to replace socially unacceptable behaviors is what we are really all about. In fact, broadly speaking, ABA is the science of teaching skills, using only those procedures that have been demonstrated to work.

What types of services do you offer?

  • We provide the following services:

        • Autism Screenings

        • Developmental Assessments

        • Behavioral Assessments

        • Individualized Treatment Plans

        • Early Intervention (Autism and other Developmental Delays)

        • Hands-on ABA training for parents & professionals

        • Parent / Caregiver Education and Training Classes in a variety of special topics

        • Professional Continuing Education Training/Workshops

        • Small-group Social Skills classes

Where do you offer your services?

  • Our services are provided in the environment that best suits our clients and the type of service provided. Some are offered in our clinic; others are offered in the client’s home or in the child’s natural environment, which may even be a childcare center, a school, or out in the community, depending on the need and funding source.

What types of payment options do you accept?

  • We are a provider through the following programs:

        • The Medicaid-Waiver Developmental Disabilities programs (for adults 21 years of age or older)

        • Florida Medicaid (for children under the age of 21, diagnosed with Autism)

        • Other Insurance (for children under the age of 21): United, AvMed, Optum, Aetna, Cigna, TRICARE/Humana, Sunshine, BlueCross BlueShield Plans (including but not limited to Florida Blue and other plans managed by New Directions)

        • Family Empowerment Scholarship (formerly Gardiner Scholarship, AKA Step Up for Students)

        • Private Pay

What are your rates?

  • We offer an initial consultation to see if we can help and to discuss possible programs for you and your child. During that time, we will discuss with you our rates, based on your/your child’s needs.

  • When the therapy is not covered by the health insurance carrier, we try to work with each family to develop a reasonable solution that will help meet the child’s and the family’s needs.

  • Private, individual sessions are available with a:

        • Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)

        • Registered Behavior Technician or a BACB student intern (under supervision by a BCBA only)

        • We also have group rates, workshops, and classes

What if we can’t afford your services but we really need help?

  • We occasionally offer small group classes on positive parenting for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or behavioral issues. We also offer separate group classes for parents of children with behavioral disorders such as Bi-Polar disorder, ADHD, etc. These classes are affordable and provide parents with a supportive group in which to discuss issues and share positive strategies and results. We offer workshops on a variety of topics to help teach parents about Behavior Analysis concepts and strategies, and how to apply them at home with your child. For families whose insurance doesn’t cover our services or for those who cannot afford the co-pays, we have a “Financial Hardship Policy”. We do our best to make our services available to all who need them!

What if the parents or caregivers do not speak English?

  • Servicios de traducción está disponibles.

  • Services de traduction sont disponibles.

  • We utilize translation services for any language needed.