ABA Frequently Asked Questions

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) Therapy

What is ABA therapy? What can ABA work on?

ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) is a therapy that helps teach appropriate skills and decrease behaviors that impede learning. It is an evidence-based research driven therapy. ABA can help target deficits in various domains such as communication, social, adaptive, and motor skills

How will it help my child?

ABA focuses on the individual; this means while we apply scientific principles to every child’s treatment plan, they will be tailored to meet their individual needs. Each case is started with an initial assessment to determine your child’s strengths and needs. Next, we partner with you to develop a treatment plan to support the areas for growth identified by the assessment. Data is collected every session and we use that data to make decisions on how to best help your child.

How often will my child need ABA?

This will depend on your child’s individual needs. The BCBA will develop a treatment plan in collaboration with you then make a recommendation for the number of hours that will be needed to meet their goals.

What’s the difference between in-home and in-center ABA?

Other than physical location, the main differences is that each setting lends itself to the skills that can be addressed. For example, our Centers are set up to be similar to a pre-school. This gives your child ways to practice school readiness like attending to a teacher and transitioning between activities. We also run multiple social skills groups throughout the session, so there is a lot of social opportunity that the home environment does not have. The home environment is great for working on following directions, adaptive skills (like dressing and hygiene), and addressing behaviors that interfere with a harmonious family life. Both environments have their own challenges, but ABA can be successful in either one!

How can I help my child to be successful with ABA therapy?

We offer parent training weekly.  Your BCBA will let you know how often they think it’s important to meet. At those meetings the BCBA will teach you about what and how we’re teaching your child and how you can support that at home!

How many hours of ABA therapy will my child need?

Our five days per week model at Connections provides 17.5 hours of ABA to your child each week. This can also be supplemented by other needed therapies including school, speech and language therapy, and occupational therapy.

Connections Team

What is a BCBA?

A BCBA is a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst who holds a Master’s degree in Applied Behavior Analysis.  They supervise your child’s direct services and develop treatment plans. They collaborate with family members and other stakeholders to create goals that work on decreasing challenging behaviors and increase desired behaviors. Behaviors targeted for increase can include things like communicating, attending, feeding, dressing, or self-management skills. BCBAs supervise RBTs to ensure the treatment plans are being followed and look at data to determine needed changes to intervention.  BCBAs are sometimes called Behavior Specialists, and Behavior Analysts.

Connections also employs BCaBA’s (bachelor level practitioners) with an identical role except they are under the supervision of a BCBA.

What is an RBT?

An RBT is a Registered Behavior Technician that works 1:1 with each your child. They follow the behavior plans and teach your child’s new appropriate skills as written by their BCBA. RBTs will take data on challenging behavior and program goals that are observed during sessions. RBTs complete a 40-hour training online as well as a 2-week in person training and pass an exam to become certified through the board and the state within 30 days of being hired.

What does your training look like? 

Our training team is made up of skilled RBTs who work one-on-one with your child and your new Behavior Technician (BT), alongside your BCBA and our Training Supervisor. The training model is specific to your child, and that means during training, we remain your child-first. Your new BT will learn the basics of ABA through 40 hours of Relias modules, daily lectures outside of session, and then apply these concepts as they relate to your child’s programming during session. This builds competency and fluency to your BT’s ABA skillset while also ensuring that they are ready to support your child in the best ways possible.

Will my child’s staff change? 

During training, your BCBA (case supervisor) will remain the same. New staff members are trained on your child that they will work with for the foreseeable future. The RBT trainer will work alongside the new staff until they are fluent and have passed all competencies (about 5-7 days), and then your new staff will continue to be supported by your BCBA. We actively promote generalization for your child, which includes responding similarly across multiple “teachers.” This means that every few months, your child’s staff will change. Your team will work together to make decisions that are right for you and your child’s learning.

Center Services

Where are your centers located?

We have three centers located in Kent, Kirkland, and Lynnwood.

What are your center session times?

Each center has an AM session from 8:00-11:30AM and a PM session from 12:30-4:00PM.

Can my child attend your center part time?

All of our children attend full-time to get as close as possible to the recommended dose of ABA for kids their age. This includes either AM or PM sessions 5 days per week.

Can my child attend both sessions for a full day?

In the past, Connections has offered a full day program, but we’ve found the half day program to be more successful. It also allows the child the opportunity to attend school for the other half of the day and/or attend other essential therapies.

What ages do your centers serve?

We accept children between 18 months and 6 years old.

Is there a wait for center services?

Each Center has a set number of spots. There is an opening when a child discharges (reasons for discharge could include: transition into school, moving away, graduating the program, etc.) and that can happen throughout the year. The average wait time is about 1-6 months.

Home Services

What areas do you serve?  

We serve families in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

What are your session times? 

We are available to have sessions from 8:00am-7:00pm Monday-Friday. We have both day-time home (sessions occur between 8:00am-3:00pm) and evening home (sessions occur between 3:00-7:00pm) options for families.

What ages do you service in home? 

We provide services to individuals between the ages of 18 months and 21 years of age.

How many hours per week? 

Our home department provides focus-based treatment in which we address a limited number of areas, such as increasing communication skills, addressing behaviors that interfere with learning, or improving social skills within the family. Hours provided are dependent on a Behavior Analyst’s clinical recommendation as well as staffing and family availability. Hours can range from 4-20 hours a week, with 4 being the minimum hours. 

Is there a wait for home services? 

There is currently a wait for our evening services. Day-time home services are available sooner. If you have questions regarding waitlist times, please reach out to hope.p@connections-behavior.com

What can I do while I’m waiting?

  • Check in with us! You are encouraged to reach out about where you are on the list. 
  • Be on the lookout for emails. Email is our primary method of contact when spots are open.
  • Check out the list of services we offer. Make sure you’re in line for the service that is most appropriate for your family. If you’re not sure, just ask!
  • Ask questions about ABA! Schedule a tour of our Centers and learn as much as you can before getting started. 
  • Follow us on Social Media for updates and an inside look at Connections 

Instagram: @connectionsbehavioraba

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ConnectionsBehavior

Guardian Training

What is guardian training?

Guardian training is conducted as part of our ABA service delivery model while your child is receiving services in our clinic, your home, or when there is not a recommendation for intense ABA services. Guardians meet directly with the BCBA to learn how to implement ABA techniques that support with their child’s acquisition or reduction goals. Guardian training can help a family to make small, sustainable, changes that have a big change.  

How often is guardian training?

Guardian training can range from once per week to once per month. The sessions can range from 30-120 minutes depending on the content of the training. Your BCBA will make a recommendation about the number of hours and how often you’ll meet.

What can it work on?

Behavior reduction – aggression, property destruction, elopement, Self-Injurious Behavior (SIB), inappropriate social interactions, refusal, tantrums

Skill Acquisition – self-management, emotional regulation, potty training, FCT or self-advocacy, compliance training, remote learning, and more!


Why did Connections open?

James and Paul (Co-Founders/Owners) were in the UW ABA program supervising students and observing them in practice. Many of them only saw their company BCBA supervisor once a month and due to this some really motivated students were not reaching their potential. James and Paul knew they could do better than that and made it our goal to create an ABA agency whose staff were highly skilled and knowledgeable.

What accreditation do you have?

We are accredited by the Behavioral Health Center of Excellence (BHCOE). They visit us once every 2 years. They survey parents and staff to get their opinions on how we are doing, review some student records (obviously with parent permission), then observe 3-5 RBTs & BCBA’s working with students questioning them to assess their knowledge and observing their practice. At our last accreditation from BHCOE we were found to be in the top 10% of agencies nationwide.

How long have you been open?

We have been open since February 2012, where James and Paul started providing direct services to staff.  Six more BCBAs joined them in July 2012 and helped build us into one of the biggest local providers in WA State. 

What are your guiding principles? 

First, it’s important to understand why we developed guiding principles.  We understood that for us to continue to provide high quality services by highly skilled staff, we needed a culture where everyone felt happy and engaged in their work.  We (Paul and James) had both done a lot of work in our PhD programs on motivation and engagement theory and understood that for people to be successful certain conditions needed to be in place.  Hence, we developed our company ‘Guiding Principles’ to which we all must hold one another, and ourselves accountable.  These guiding principles were discussed in depth and will be the moral compass that guides us when making any decision.

1. Collaboration over competition – Our first responsibility is to support our colleagues. If you see a colleague needs help, help them. If you need help, speak up! Be compassionate, serve our students, staff, and self. It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself, look for the win-win solution, and our goal is high-quality services for the your child. 

2. Seek first to understand – We strive to be aware of other perspectives. We listen with the intent to understand, not wait to speak, and we treat others how they want to be treated. 

3. Stay scientific, relevant, and innovative – We strive to stay in the forefront of our field in clinical practice. We are solution oriented, we are lifelong learners, and we use ABA effectively. 

4. We grow leaders – We challenge others to find their answer, give students, staff, and one another opportunities to extend their skills and knowledge, and we are NOT building compliance, we are building leaders. 

5. Promote trust through honesty & transparency – We celebrate mistakes and understand that mistakes are an essential part of learning. We are transparent & communicative. We trust that everyone is good and doing their best, and we always assume a positive intent. We are honest with each other, and we are direct and do not gossip. 

What makes Connections different? 

What makes Connections different are the people that work for us. Our motto when we started was “people only care about how much you know once they know how much you care”. This motto and our focus on high quality services are values we believe all of our staff hold. No one at Connections is here just for the money. They want to serve our families and students and authentically celebrate every little success!