ABA centers VS Daycare Centers

ABA centers VS Daycare Centers

India Carson - Behavior Technician
April 2023

Child Care and ABA Therapist Providers often work with children who have identified special needs both in the daycare setting and center based therapy setting as well.

Working with children who have special needs can be very rewarding, especially if you understand the child and what his/her individual needs are and make appropriate accommodations to support their learning and development. As a child care provider or therapist, it’s important to remember that children with special needs are children first. They have the same needs as all children, a place where they feel physically comfortable, loved and secure; opportunities to play and learn; people who care about them; and activities that allow them to be successful.

Children with special needs often are not so different from their neuro-typical peers. They may need more time to learn and practice certain skills or more praise/encouragement to gain the skills typical for their age group. It’s important to remember that in many, many ways these children have lots in common with other children.

Daycare Centers:

Opportunities for children who are considered neuro-diverse to attend inclusive child care centers, provide exposure to social situations that could prove beneficial for social-emotional development. Inclusive childcare describes the practice of including children with disabilities in a child care setting with typically developing children of similar ages, with specialized instruction and support when needed.

Benefits of inclusive child care for children with diverse needs include: Chances to learn by observing and interacting with other children of similar ages. Time and support to build relationships with other children. Chances to practice social skills in real-world situations. Exposure to a wider variety of challenging activities. Opportunities to learn at their own pace in a supportive environment. Chances to build relationships with caring adults other than parents.

ABA Centers:

Center based ABA programs generally possess the special expertise within the realm of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Generally within these settings, there are  a number of senior clinicians and supervisors who have worked with individuals on the autism spectrum for many years, and who have an in-depth and broad understanding of the many ways in which ASDs may affect learning, behavior, and communication. For parents,the presence of such experts ensures that there is always quick access to specialized knowledge to assist them with a range of questions or concerns if needed.

ABA center based programs offer more intensive educational programming for learners on the autism spectrum. Often, there is a very low student to teacher ratio, and the day is generally organized to maximize individual and small group instructional experiences. Staff members are well- trained in and comfortable with the special elements of instruction that learners on the spectrum benefit from, including data collection, graphing and visual analysis of data, and data-based decision making.

Both daycare centers and center based ABA therapy provide benefits in different areas for children with diverse needs. Parents decide which route to approach based upon what needs they feel are more imperative to address at their child’s specific stage of development or skill area. Both of these styles of education and/or treatment, can enhance skill development in various areas that can be beneficial to the child long term and across environments.


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