Frequently asked questions
What are the core principles behind Blackbird’s work?
As Behaviour Analysts, we are trained in assessment and treatment using the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA). Scientific studies show that early, intensive ABA treatment consistently results in permanent, life-changing improvements for children wtih ASD. The general purpose of ABA treatment is to alter the child’s developmental trajectory — i.e., permanently increase the rate of learning — so that the child can ‘catch up’ with typically developing peers.
Why do people choose Blackbird?
Families that are attracted to our approach are generally keen on maximizing the impact of their child’s treatment; in other words, they are looking to see significant development and change in their child’s skills. In particular, parents tell us that what they like about our services are:
A high level of accountability: Parents always know what their child’s goals are and are able to see the speed of progress.
The treatment is actually fun!: Some people come to us having heard ABA is nothing but ‘table time’ and endless repetition. Not so! We aim to socially engage children so that they love learning and engaging with their interventionists, family members, and peers.
The program is very individualized: Parents say they notice we don’t use a ‘cookie cutter’ approach; their child’s goals and program in general are truly based on their areas of skill and challenge and are clearly designed to create maximum results with a high level of engagement from the child.
How many hours per week of treatment will my child receive?
Good question! Though we can estimate the number of hours that would work for your child after speaking with you in more detail, we would provide a specific recommendation following a comprehensive assessment of your child. The number of hours needed per week varies significantly amongst children with an ASD diagnosis, and the content of those hours varies too — e.g., some children may benefit from more work in small groups, or in parent-implemented contexts vs. with behavioural interventionists.
Do you work just in your centre, or in homes too?
In our aim to individualize programming as much as possible, children typically receive a combination of home- and centre-based treatment, depending on what works best for the child and family. It’s also important to note that for many children with ASD, generalization of skills between environments can be challenging, so working in a few contexts is often an important way to plan for the transfer of their emerging skills. At least some home-based component is typically recommended.
How will I know if my child’s treatment is working well?
Blackbird provides parents with frequent updates on their child’s progress. This includes relative ‘age equivalents’ so you can see how your child is progressing relative to typically-developing peers, an ongoing list of goals met, and anecdotal reports of developmental changes.
I’ve heard that my child will need Behavioural Interventionists (BIs) to implement his/her program. How can I find these people?
We work with a large pool of BIs and can always recommend people we think will be a good fit for your child. If we don’t have anyone to recommend to you, we will help you to find and interview these people — we’re there every step of the way!
In most situations, we don’t employ the BIs directly as this helps to keep the costs of your child’s program down, but we can walk you through the process of working with BIs and provide all of the training and supervision they need to work effectively with your child.
How can I get more information?
Let’s set up a meeting! At an initial consultation (no charge, of course), we can talk to you in more detail about your child’s skills, challenges, and the treatment program we would hope to put together. Please contact us to set up a meeting.