Parents curious about our service often ask, “Is my child’s behavior severe enough to warrant a behavior analyst?”
In our society, we have this unfortunate system of first needing to label a child with a diagnosis in order for them to access services. We are essentially requiring the behavior to get “bad enough” before we are willing to provide services.
This is problematic for many reasons:
1. Most children DO NOT have a developmental disability, sensory processing issues, nor behavioral problems severe enough to warrant a behavior analyst (Thank goodness!). However, if we allow a pattern of unwanted behavior to continue, the unwanted behavior could worsen such that in certain environments, it is disruptive and socially unacceptable.
2. You need a diagnosis in order for insurance to pay for services in our country. Many families cannot afford to pay for behavioral consultation out of pocket.
3. Regardless of one’s skill as a behavior analyst, the time it will take to resolve an unwanted pattern of behavior is relative to the amount of time the child has been “practicing” his/her unwanted behaviors. We are able to serve families with 2 year olds quicker than families with 8 year olds.
4. Time equals money so unfortunately, it will be more expensive to resolve the unwanted behavior problems if the child has been practicing his/her unwanted behaviors for a while.
5. By the time the child is old enough for a behavioral diagnosis, the only solution is often to medicate. Behavioral intervention is often recommended for children, but there aren’t enough behavior analysts to serve the children with a bonafide developmental disability like Autism Spectrum Disorders. So we can recommend behavioral intervention all we want, but if there isn’t a behavior analyst available to serve, the family is left with no other solution but to experiment with the effects of medication to manage behavior.
What if we didn’t need a diagnosis? What if we simply began teaching parents as early as their child’s first birthday, to teach their children social, communication, and behavior regulation skills to compete with unwanted behaviors?
At Behave Your Best, we don’t want you to wait until your child’s behavior has gotten “bad enough”. As behavior analysts, we rely on the observable behavior of our clients to inform our decision-making. So while a label may be helpful to communicate clearly amongst one another, it isn’t necessary to successfully treat a child’s pattern of unwanted behavior, if one is willing/able to pay out of pocket for support.
To make our service cost-effective, we teach parents to teach their children skills that will effectively compete with unwanted behavior. Our service to you isn’t to simply put out the current fires your family is experiencing. The tools we will teach you will be an investment in your ability to support your child in preventing future fires too.
Parenting trendsetters like you get support BEFORE it is “bad enough”! Click here to schedule your introductory, assessment phone consultation today!
Jamie Waldvogel, MS, BCBA
Founder/Owner, Behave Your Best, LLC
The material contained herein is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to create or constitute a behavioral consultation relationship between Behave Your Best, LLC and the reader. The information contained herein is not offered as behavioral consultation and should not be construed as behavioral consultation.