top of page
Autism Frequently Asked Questions
  • Who are we?
    In 2018 Brandis Center Inc. opened its doors in Sturbridge, MA as one of the only ABA providers in the area. ​ At the heart of our organization is a deep commitment to providing exceptional applied behavior analysis (ABA) services tailored to meet the unique needs of each child we serve. As a small, dedicated ABA company, we take immense pride in our ability to offer highly individualized treatment plans, crafted by our knowledgeable and caring staff. Our center focuses on delivering one-on-one ABA therapy, engaging small group activities, and comprehensive parent trainings, all designed to foster an environment of growth, learning, and support. We believe in working closely with families to ensure that every child receives the best care possible, setting the stage for positive outcomes and meaningful progress. Our service area includes: Sturbridge, Southbridge, Charlton, Dudley, The Brookfields, Spencer, Monson, Brimfield, and other neighboring towns.
  • What is ABA therapy?
    Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy uses the scientific principles of learning and motivation in order to effectively teach. ​ It focuses on the idea that the consequences of what we do affect what we learn and what we will do in the future. ​ ABA seeks to improve specific behaviors while demonstrating a reliable relationship between the procedures used and the change in the individual's behavior. ​ ABA uses positive reinforcement to increase more positive behaviors & social interaction and decreases inappropriate behaviors. ​ ABA is implemented to ensure that each individual's programs are tailored to that individual's unique needs.
  • Is ABA similar to daycare or an after-school program?
    Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is distinctly different from daycare or after-school programs. ABA is a scientifically validated approach that involves the application of evidence-based techniques and principles to bring about meaningful and positive changes in behavior. Unlike daycare or after-school programs, which primarily focus on providing care, supervision, and recreational activities outside of school hours, ABA is a therapeutic intervention designed to address specific behavioral, social, and learning objectives. It is delivered by trained professionals, such as Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) and Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), who develop and implement individualized treatment plans based on the unique needs of each person. ABA therapy is structured, goal-oriented, and aimed at improving specific behaviors, such as communication, social skills, and self-care, making it a critical component of support for individuals with autism and other developmental conditions, rather than a form of childcare or casual after-school programming.
  • Does your agency perform evaluations for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) ?
    Our agency does not perform evaluations for ASD or any other disorders. Children must be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prior to beginning ABA therapy. Contact your primary care doctor if you suspect your child has Autism.
  • Is ABA therapy similar to attending a medical appointment?
    While ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy isn't the same as a traditional doctor's visit, it is indeed considered a specialized therapeutic appointment that requires the same level of commitment and seriousness as any medical appointment. ABA therapy is a structured, evidence-based intervention designed to address and improve specific behaviors and skills in individuals, particularly those with autism spectrum disorder and other developmental conditions. The effectiveness of ABA therapy heavily relies on consistency and adherence to the prescribed therapy schedule. Regular attendance and active participation are crucial for achieving the desired outcomes and ensuring that the individual makes steady progress toward their goals. Missing sessions or treating ABA appointments with less importance can significantly hinder the effectiveness of the therapy, impacting the individual's development and the overall success of the treatment plan. Therefore, it is imperative to prioritize these appointments, much like one would prioritize a medical appointment, to support the individual's growth and progress effectively.
  • Does my child need to have a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to start service?
    Yes. You must first be given a diagnosis of ASD in order for your insurance to cover ABA therapy.
  • Do you work with children who have a history of being aggressive towards others?
    Our center is committed to providing support and applied behavior analysis (ABA) therapy to children with a wide range of behavioral needs. It's important to us that every child receives the care and support they need to grow and develop in positive ways. However, we are also dedicated to maintaining a safe environment for all children and staff. In assessing each child's individual needs and behaviors, we consider the safety and well-being of everyone involved. For children with a history of aggression, we will carefully review provided document that notate these behaviors, and/or conduct a thorough assessment to determine the most appropriate level of care. While we strive to accommodate and work with as many children as possible, there are situations where a child may require a higher level of care or a more specialized setting than we can provide. In such cases, we are committed to acting in the best interest of the child and all parties involved, which may include referring the family to a service provider equipped to handle more intensive behavioral needs. Our priority is to ensure that every child receives the right level of support to thrive, while also keeping our center safe and conducive to learning for everyone.
  • How long will my child need ABA therapy?
    There is no specific amount of time that a child will need ABA therapy. However, you should expect your child to be receive ABA therapy for 1-3 years.
  • Where is ABA performed?
    ABA therapy generally takes place in a clinic-based setting or at home. Both environments have their benefits, and your child's treatment plan may incorporate different environments based on their needs. ​ Other environments may include community, camp, or other social programs. Your child's school may also provide ABA therapy.
  • What is a Behavior Analyst (BCBA)?
    A Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) is a professional who has received certification from the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). A BCBA holds a graduate-level certification in behavior analysis, which enables them to develop, implement, and evaluate quality behavior analytic interventions. BCBAs possess a deep understanding of the principles of learning and behavior, and they apply this knowledge to help individuals improve social behaviors, learn new skills, and decrease problematic behaviors in a variety of settings, including schools, workplaces, and homes. They work with individuals across the lifespan, from children to adults, and often collaborate with families, educators, and other professionals to achieve meaningful and positive behavior change. To become a BCBA, individuals must complete a rigorous course of study at the master's level or higher, gain supervised practical experience, and pass a comprehensive examination.
  • What is a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT)?
    A Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) is a paraprofessional who practices under the close, ongoing supervision of a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) or a similarly qualified behavioral health professional. The RBT certification is granted by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB). An RBT is trained to provide direct behavior-analytic services, implementing behavior intervention plans designed by a BCBA to individuals across various settings, such as schools, homes, and community settings. Their role includes assisting in the collection of data, carrying out specific behavior interventions, and supporting the individual in learning new skills. To become an RBT, candidates must complete a 40-hour training, pass a background check, successfully complete a competency assessment conducted by a BCBA, and pass the RBT certification examination. This certification ensures that RBTs have the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively implement applied behavior analysis (ABA) interventions.
  • How often should ABA take place and when?
    ABA therapy consists of intensive programming that is tailored to the individual's needs. Depending on an individual's skill level, as well as the range and level of the diagnosis, the frequency of ABA therapy will vary. ​ The amount of therapy and services needed should be determined by a qualified professional (i.e. BCBA), but the expected range of hours is typically 10-20 hours per week. Most patients will receive ABA therapy for 1-3 years before being discharged. ​ The earlier an individual receives ABA therapy the better. No one is too young or old to receive therapy. Ask your healthcare professional about ABA therapy as soon as a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has been given.
  • What are the criteria for transition or discharge from ABA services?
    According to the Applied Behavior Analysis Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Practice Guidelines for Healthcare Funders and Managers (CASP, 2020) and The Ethics Code for Behavior Analysts (BACB, 2020), a discharge plan will be established to gradually reduce support and services for the patient when any of the following conditions are met: Patient demonstrates mastery in all the skills being targeted across various settings and with different individuals. Patient no longer meets the diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Patient shows no progress towards her goals over successive authorization periods. The family requests to discontinue services. There is a disagreement between the family and the service provider on crucial issues related to treatment planning and service delivery. The family is not complying with behavior-change intervention despite appropriate efforts to address barriers. The behavior analyst (BCBA) and/or their supervisees are exposed to potentially harmful conditions that cannot be reasonably resolved. Funding for services is no longer available.
  • Is ABA covered by insurance?
    Most insurance plans cover all or most of ABA therapy. Contact your insurance provider to inquire about coverage, copays, coinsurance, and deductibles.
  • Do caregivers attend center-based ABA therapy?
    In center-based ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) therapy sessions, the general protocol involves children being dropped off at the center for the duration of their therapy session. This allows the child to engage directly with trained therapists, such as Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs), under the supervision of a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA), in a structured environment designed to maximize learning and development. Parents and caregivers typically do not stay with their child during these sessions. However, their involvement is not overlooked; scheduled parent meetings with the BCBA are an essential part of the therapy process. During these meetings, parents and caregivers are informed of their child's progress, introduced to strategies used during therapy, and often given guidance on how to reinforce these strategies at home. This approach ensures that therapy extends beyond the center, fostering consistency and continuity in the child's learning and development.
  • Do you have a wait list?
    Wait time for new clients can vary. The mental health industry has suffered from a lack of staffing over the past few years, with no current end in sight. Reach out to us via phone or email regarding current wait lists.
  • Do you provide transportation for ABA services?
    Our agency is unable to bill your insurance for the cost of transportation. For this reason, we do not provide transportation to and from sessions.
  • How long is the process of starting services?
    Length of time will depend on a number of factors included, but not limited to: insurance, obtaining documentation and referrals, scheduling, and staff availability. However, the entire process generally takes 6-8 weeks.
  • Do you offer daytime services?
    Yes. We offer services to children who may be in preschool or younger during the daytime. We also offer afternoon/evening services to children who currently attend school.
  • Do you offer weekend services?
    Our clinic is closed on the weekend, however home-based services may be considered on Saturdays depending on the individual's specific needs.
bottom of page