Home Based or Clinic Based Services? – Which is right for my child?

Parents of children with autism often face the decision of whether to seek home or Clinic-Based treatment.  At the Blooming Tree ABA Clinic, one of our most important principles is that our clients can make educated and informed decisions.  With that in mind, we would like to share what scientific research has to say about home and Clinic-Based treatment, as well as our experiences in the matter when treating children with our Autism Programmes.

 

A well-controlled study conducted by behavioural researchers (Roberts J. et al., 2011), examined the treatment outcomes for children diagnosed with autism who participated in Clinic-Based programs or Home-Based programs.  Treatment outcome measures included: social and communication skill development in the children, quality of life and stress for parents.  Results from the study showed that children in the Clinic-Based programmes improved the most in social & communication skill development.  Furthermore, parents of the children in the Clinic-Based program reported the most gains in “perception of competence & quality of life.”  Researchers concluded that, if possible, Clinic-Based treatment was the preferred option for children with autism (Roberts et al., 2011).

 

While there may be multiple factors affecting the results in the study, our experiences at Blooming Tree ABA Clinic have led us to draw a few conclusions:

Clinic-based treatment (also known as centre-based treatment) allows the Behaviour Analyst (BCBA Consultant), to minimize or alleviate many variables that may prove very difficult to control in a home environment.  Such things as toys, entertainment devices, pets, and even siblings can cause unnecessary distractions that hamper a child’s development.  In a Clinic, a Behaviour Consultant is able to control events that would otherwise be distracting in a home setting, and in some cases, use those events to bring about effective changes in your child’s behaviour.

 

Clinic-based treatments generally allow the Consultant to spend more time working with your child.  It is a fact that aside from working or meeting family obligations, sometimes we are caught off-guard by emergencies and other events.  You may have ageing parents to care for or other, typically functioning children whose demands need to be met.  Now, imagine having to work around these events and maintain your child’s home-based treatment schedule.  Our 19 years of experience in early intervention, tells us that Clinic-Based treatment allows for your child to get more of the attention that will lead to positive, beneficial changes, and allow you to focus on the other aspects of your life while still benefiting your child.

 

Clinic-based treatment, while giving Consultant more time with your child, also gives them the ability to gather more information about your child’s development.  This information is used to better formulate your child’s programme of instruction, and allows you to better communicate with the Consultant about progress and concerns.

At Blooming Tree, we believe that keeping you informed and up-to-date on your child’s progress will also give you the confidence to handle the day-to-day challenges that you may face in meeting your child’s needs inside the home.

 

In the study previously mentioned (Roberts et al., 2011), researchers also found that parents involved in Clinic-Based treatment scored significantly higher in the following areas, overall:

 

  • Family interaction
  • Parenting skills
  • Emotional wellbeing
  • Physical wellbeing
  • Confidence
  • Coping skills
  • Knowledge
  • Understanding
  • Planning

 

Knowing your options is a vital aspect of selecting treatment for your child.  At Blooming Tree, your child’s progress comes first.  We want to make sure that you have all the information you need in order to make an informed decision regarding your child’s care and future

 

Research/Study:Roberts, J., Williams, K., Carter, M., Evans, D., Parmenter, T., Silove, N., Clark, T., Warren, A. (2011). A randomised controlled trial of two early intervention programs for young children with autism: Centre-based with parent program and home-based. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 5, 1553-1566.