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ABA THERAPY

ABA therapy applies the principles of learning to teach socially significant behaviors in a safe clinic environment. It is proven to be effective in supporting kids with autism.

What is ABA Therapy?

ABA Therapy is an evidence-based therapy service used to address individual needs in the areas of cognitive, behavioral, social, and executive functioning. ABA is recommended as the best practice treatment for individuals with autism by both the US Surgeon General and by the American Psychological Association  ABA Therapy is often provided in a clinic setting where outcomes are shown to be the highest.

Every child with autism presents signs differently. Their behaviors can span the different areas of development and be presented mildly or severely. 

Westside offers an Autism Screening Quiz. Please note that it is only meant as a quick screener and is not a formal assessment or diagnosis. 

After taking the autism screening, if you think you and your child could benefit from a more formal diagnostic evaluation, Westside also offers that. A reliable autism diagnosis can happen by age 2.

At Westside, ABA therapy focuses on the acquisition of skills that enable children and young adults to live more independent and fulfilling lives. The skills that are taught in ABA Therapy are:

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Language and communication

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Social and play skills

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Attention and focus

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Coping and tolerating skills

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Self-care/Daily living skills

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Safety skills

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Learner readiness

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Academic skills

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Self management skills

Our Approach

Westside primarily serves children and adolescents between the ages of 2-18 in its ABA therapy program. All learners receiving ABA therapy have a formal diagnosis of autism or related disorder.

Research shows that Early Intensive Behavioral Intervention (EIBI) is one of the most effective strategies for improving the language, social, and adaptive deficits associated with autism. Whenever possible, it is critical for children to begin autism services by ages 3 or 4. In addition, we can prevent challenging behavior from developing in the future by teaching skills early on.

While many of the learners in the ABA therapy program may have similar goals, each one has their own individualized program specific to their needs. The clinic’s BCBA will create the program for your child from an evaluation that determines strengths and the areas of difficulty. This will also help you learn when to stop ABA therapy as it is not meant to be a lifelong commitment.

ABA therapy can have long hours each week, but the BCBA will determine the plan that is right for your child. We never want to over serve or under serve the amount of hours a child actually needs. Because data is collected regularly, your child’s therapist will be able to adjust the plan accordingly.

Enjoyable clinic settings
At Westside, we have clinics that make therapy fun and inviting. Sometimes a child may not even realize they are doing therapy. That is just one reason why we value the importance of in-clinic therapy. Conducting therapy in-home has its benefits such as: easy access, a familiar setting for the child, and at-home behaviors can be directly worked on. However, conducting therapy in a clinic vs. at home can result in quicker and more long-lasting results. A child in a clinic has access to more materials, therapists and socialization with other children.

Multidisciplinary Approach
Westside clinics also allow for children to receive multiple therapies under the same roof if they need it. If a child needs to combine occupational, physical, speech, feeding or counseling to their program, that is possible. It also allows for collaboration among therapists.

Focus on Skill Acquisition
At Westside, we focus on providing your child with skills to replace the challenging behaviors, rather than just trying to eliminate them. Without skill acquisition, a child may be more likely to return to the behaviors that impeded their development.

Parent Portal
At Westside, you will never feel out of the loop of your child’s therapy sessions. With a parent portal that the BCBA will help set you up, you will be able to:

  • View the data collected on your child’s learning goals
  • Communicate with your therapists and leave comments that can be gone over at your next BCBA-Parent meeting.
  • View scheduled appointments for the week
  • See who your therapists are
photo of a child with an aba therapist during a session of autism therapy, in Westside Children's Therapy Illinois
photo of a toddler during a speech therapy session in Illinois
photo of an aba therapy sensory gym, for the oak lawn illinois Westside location page
lobby shot of the Westside Children's Therapy pediatric center, picture for the Naperville Illinois clinic location page
photo for timeline aba therapy moved across frankfort office westside
screenshot image of aba therapy parent portal for autism patients at Westside Children's Therapy in Illinois

Outcomes

Research shows individuals achieved 200% more learning per hour during clinic-based services relative to home-based services. There are many reasons for accelerated progress in clinic settings:

During sessions, Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) are responsible for implementing the treatment plan and collecting data to track progress. BCBAs analyze the learner’s data, make modifications to programs as necessary, and provide regular feedback and support to RBTs. BCBAs also provide support to caregivers through weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly collaboration meetings.
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Clinic settings allow for higher quality and quantity of supervision by BCBAs. At Westside, there is always a BCBA on site to provide support to RBTs and learners when needed.

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ABA providers have greater access to resources and materials in a clinic setting.

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There are greater opportunities for learners to practice social skills and peer interactions.

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Westside has a team of passionate, tenured therapists dedicated to building long-lasting relationships with your child.  

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Clinic settings allow for greater collaboration and support across all members of a treatment team.

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Clinic-based ABA helps prepare children who will soon be starting school.

Therapeutic Programs

Westside also offers three therapeutic programs to give learners with autism an extra resource to reach their maximum potential. These programs are in addition to each learner’s regularly-scheduled ABA therapy.

IGNITE is a preschool-like program and is for children with autism typically aged 2-6. It is a program to develop fundamental skills to be successful in a school environment.

RISE is a kindergarten-like program for children with autism typically aged 5-8. It is a program to prepare children for the skills required to be successful in emotional, social and educational situations.

FOCUS is for advanced learners typically aged 9+ that attend school during the day but need a little extra support. The program is for learners with autism that are looking to strengthen age-appropriate social skills and develop more community awareness.

Everything you need to know about ABA Therapy

Why is Westside considered the best provider?

There are many reasons from low staff turnover to having over 800+ pediatricians referring to us for services. Above all is our parents’ feedback.

Every parent is sent a survey at the beginning, middle, and end of their therapy services. It asks: “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to refer Westside to your friends and family.” Here is what parents say:

  • Average Beginning Score: 9.71/10
  • Average Middle Score: 9.83/10
  • Average End Score: 9.89/10

This is exactly why Westside is deemed the best.

Do you have a waitlist?

Westside uses proprietary software to measure demand and seasonality to predict hiring needs.

Accordingly, we try to hire before waitlists develop. This reduces how long it takes for new families to start.

That said, it is common that we have to request authorization from your insurance company. That part of the process is out of our control and can add at least several weeks of wait time. 

What does ABA Therapy cost?

While cost varies by insurance plan, number of therapy hours, and other factors, the average cost in Illinois if you are using insurance is $1500 to $3000 per year. Read our ABA Therapy Costs page to get a full breakdown.

Do you do anything to help families with costs?

Yes! This is where Westside is different. We don’t exist to maximize profit like many of the private-equity backed ABA companies (this is a trend in ABA right now). Such investors require a financial return paid for by you. Westside does not play that game.

Instead, we dedicate resources to making care more affordable. For example, every year the Westside Foundation gives away $50,000 in support to families with children with special needs that are struggling economically. You can apply quarterly.

Which insurances do you accept?

We work with a wide variety of insurance companies and HMO networks. We are always expanding our network – click here to view the list of our currently accepted insurances.

How often will my child need ABA Therapy?

The frequency of therapy depends on: (1) Your availability and preferences, (2) Our clinical recommendation, and (3) Approval from your insurance. 

Our rule of thumb is that we need to have enough therapy to make meaningful outcomes AND remember that these kids are kids. We have to balance clinical recommendations with what works for the family and the child. We are not hard-liners about this, and instead, take a more balanced approach that is accommodating of each family’s unique needs. 

We also teach parents to carry over the treatment plans at home. Then, when a child graduates, families can continue providing the support.

ABA Therapy Clinics

We locate our ABA centers near you! We have locations in Willowbrook, Schaumburg, Orland Park, Plainfield – North, Plainfield Downtown, Joliet, Shorewood, Frankfort, Wheaton, Glen Ellyn, Tinley Park, New Lenox and a headquarters office in Mokena.

If you take a look at our ABA Centers, you will see why kids excitedly run through our doors when they arrive for therapy.

Getting Started

If you are interested, submit an inquiry below. Our Patient Coordinator will call to help you determine a plan forward.  If you are still unsure, you can call us anytime at (815) 469-1500 for more information.