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FAQs for ABA Therapy

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions by parents with children who are on the spectrum and hope that they might be of use to you!

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Welcome to Our New Website

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Assessments

Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC provides comprehensive Psychological Evaluations and comprehensive Psychological Evaluations with Neuropsychological Assessments for children and adolescents across a variety of presenting concerns, including: ADHD, Aspergers Disorder, Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Learning Disabilities. Additionally, we routinely conduct FBAs – Functional Behavioral Assessments – to determine the causes of problem behaviors and design interventions to teach alternative positive replacement behaviors.

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ABLLS-R

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ADHD

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Aspergers

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Autism

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FBA

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IEE

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Learning Disabilities

ABLLS-R

ABLLS-R stands for Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills – Revised.

All effective ABA/VBA programs are based on systematic evaluation of the child’s abilities and the development of a structured treatment program. The ABLLS-R is the foundation for developing our ABA/VBA treatment plans at Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC.

The ABLLS-R is a device for assessing skills in children with language and learning deficits and is most commonly used when developing a behavioral program for children in the autism spectrum. The ABLLS-R has many advantages in guiding the development of a program for a child with language deficits because it is an assessment, curriculum guide, and skills tracking system.

The ABLLS-R contains a task analysis of the many skills necessary to communicate successfully and to learn from everyday experiences.

ADHD

The principal characteristics of ADHD are inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity.

 These symptoms appear early in a child’s life. Because many normal children may have these symptoms, but at a lower level, or the symptoms may be caused by another disorder, it is important that the child receive a thorough examination and appropriate diagnosis by a well-qualified professional.

Aspergers

Research to date is clear – the diagnosis of Aspergers is much more complicated than merely looking at whether the child has friends or whether they are odd in their interpersonal style. While it is now common for some to casually label a child as Aspergers based on those limited perspectives – it is not in the child’s best interests. This is why a comprehensive evaluation by someone who knows what Aspergers is essential to developing the best treatment plan for the child.

Autism 

A.S.A.P. (Autism Spectrum Assessment Plan)

Evaluations for possible Autism should not be scheduled months away. When you suspect that your child may have signs of an Autism Spectrum Disorder you want a comprehensive evaluation As Soon As Possible – any parent would. Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC offers A.S.A.P. (Autism Spectrum Assessment Plan) to meet your need for a comprehensive evaluation. Whether you are concerned about possible traditional Autism or you suspect that your child may have Aspergers Syndrome we are here to help you and your child.

FBA: Functional Behavioral Assessments

Functional Behavioral Assessments are a problem-solving process for addressing problem behaviors. The FBA focuses on identifying the purposes of specific behavior and to guide and select interventions to directly address the problem behavior. Functional Behavioral Assessments should be integrated throughout the process of developing, reviewing, and, if necessary, revising a behavior plan, both in school and at home.

IEE

In addition, Dr. Montgomery provides feedback regarding the results, his impressions and the recommendations based on the evaluation. He can also attend multidisciplinary evaluation meetings or other sessions where a psychological evaluation report is discussed or an Individual Education Plan is developed.

IEE: Independent Education Evaluations

When conducting an IEE, Dr. Montgomery’s services include:

  • Direct administration of all assessment of the student, no assistants, fellows, or other staff work with the child. When you come to see Dr. Montgomery that is who your child sees.
  • Management of all preliminary paperwork including parent/guardian permissions, information releases, and school district contracts
  • Personal contact between Dr. Montgomery and the parent(s) and the school district liaison
  • Interviews with people and professionals in the student’s life, including, but not limited to, parents and other family members, teachers, and healthcare professionals
  • Administration and scoring of psychological tests and/or developmental evaluations
  • Development of a comprehensive report that summarizes all of the information gathered including relevant background information, behavioral observations, test results, and recommendations based on the results, and recommendations based on the results. Also, because Dr. Montgomery is both a licensed clinical psychologist and a board certified behavior analyst (BCBA) – if the parents or school district requests it (and both parties agree), Dr. Montgomery can conduct classroom behavior observations.

If you are a parent or school district seeking assistance in Independent Educational Evaluation services, please Contact Dr. Montgomery for an IEE today

Learning Disabilities

Learning Disabilities & Dyslexia

Tests specifically for learning disabilities are referred to as achievement tests because they evaluate and measure areas of strengths and weaknesses in various academic areas. A comprehensive evaluation, however, includes a variety of procedures in addition to the achievement tests, such as assessments of ability, interviews, direct observation, reviews of your child’s educational and medical history, and information from teachers and professionals who work with your child.

F.A.Q.

Why do a psychological evaluation on my child?

We believe that appropriate treatment is based on accurate diagnosis. At Reinforcement Unlimited we focus on conducting a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation in order to help you and your child have the best life possible.

Who will actually work with my child during the evaluation?

Unlike most companies today, Reinforcement Unlimited only has the doctor work directly with the child. That means that not only does the doctor see the scores from the tests but, even better, they saw how your child achieved those answers. That gives our doctors a much more comprehensive understanding of your child, their abilities, where they struggle, and how they solve problems. We think it produces a much more accurate and insightful evaluation report.

What information do you collect in order to make a diagnosis?

That varies to some degree for the various ages and diagnoses, but generally we conduct direct tests with the child of the range of their abilities (cognitive, language, visual-spatial, memory, ability to sustain focus, etc.), we gather information from key adults in the child’s life (parents, teachers, etc.), we review existing records (school, medical, etc.), and any other information that is relevant to make a diagnosis. We ask parents to bring a lot of information and records with them and we decide which to make copies of for the evaluation records.

What should I tell my child before the initial psychological testing session?

Typically we tell children and adolescents the truth – the testing is meant to help us find out what the adults can do differently to help the child. Since no child is going to “fix themselves” this has the advantage of being true and something most children and adolescents like when they hear it.

Can I be in the room with my child during testing?

For children under 5 having a parent in the room is typical and often essential. For children 5 and older it is unusual and for many tests it violates the norming standards for the test to have a third person present during testing.

How long does testing last?

After the initial intake appointment that is one hour, all direct testing appointments are for 3 hours. We will work in 20-30 minute increments with 5-10 minute breaks between those sessions. During the breaks your child can relax, have a snack, play, tell you all about what they did in testing, etc.

Why can’t we get the testing done in one day?

Unlike in school, in testing the child is being asked to answer questions or solve problems nearly 100% of the time. Testing all day is not useful or productive because most children become overly fatigued by the one-on-one demands after 3 or so hours and their performance declines significantly. That is why testing all day does not give us an accurate picture of what they are truly capable of and can be misleading.

Can I leave while my child is being tested?

Unless your child is able to drive themselves to the appointment independently the answer is no. We don’t know how your child might react to the demands of the testing process. In the rare cases that the child becomes anxious or needs support it is important that you be there for them. Additionally, it is a great time for you to complete the various questionnaires that are a part of the comprehensive evaluation of your child.

Is my child’s privacy protected during the testing process?

Yes. Your child is covered by the privacy protections under HIPAA and other laws. Those laws are even more strict about mental/behavioral health information like a psychological evaluation. Only you can authorize us to discuss anything about your child (or even acknowledge we know them) to anyone else except under very narrowly defined situations under the law. Please understand that if you access insurance for the evaluation we are required to list all diagnoses on all paperwork that goes to the insurance company.

How is a psychological evaluation by your psychologist different from the one that the school did on my child?

School psychologists are part of a team and can make no decisions independently of the IEP team. All too often we see evaluations from school staff that point very firmly to a single conclusion but that is never stated in the report. Our evaluations are conducted by one person, the licensed clinical psychologist, who is both trained to make diagnoses independently and legally able to diagnose the range of behavioral/mental health issues in children and adolescents. Additionally, school psychologists are often guided by bureaucratic rules on what tests must be complete where we are only guided by the needs of your child. Ultimately, nearly no outside agency can use a report from the school psychologist (Social Security and Medicaid regulations state that the evaluator must be licensed to diagnose, most (>90%) school psychologists are not. Finally, there are no competing demands on a private psychological other than what your child needs and everything is confidential meaning that the parent will be the first (and can be the only) person to know the results.

Is a psychological evaluation covered by insurance?

That is a very difficult question to answer simply. If the question is purely educational the answer is – no, insurance will not cover an evaluation for dyslexia, math problems, etc. One main standard for all insurance in determining if something is covered is “Is it medically necessary” and questions about educational issues don’t meet that standard. If the question is about Autism, Georgia Law requires that testing be covered if you have a policy covered by the law. For other questions, most insurance allows for testing but the requirements and restrictions vary. The best way to know is to schedule an initial 1 hour intake for us to find out what questions need to be answered and to look into your specific insurance situation. We are always happy to provide you with a Universal Claim form (CMS1500) for your payments for testing so you can seek reimbursement from your insurance company even if they say you are not covered.

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What Our Families are Saying

"Please accept this note as our sincere appreciation to the both of you for the time you spent with us and our son recently with regard to his diagnostic evaluation. Throughout the process, we were very pleased with your thoroughness, willingness to answer our questions, and ability to direct us to appropriate resources. In addition, you were able to provide a comfortable, non-threatening environment for our son, enabling you to observe him without anxiety on his part - for that we are very thankful!"

Mother of 9 a Year Old, Metro Atlanta

"I can highly recommend Dr. Robert Montgomery who is not only a licensed psychologist but also a BCBA. He and his wife did a thorough evaluation that helped us get great services at school. The eval. was covered by my insurance and medicaid. I paid for him to come to my daughter's eligibility meeting and it was worth every penny and then some. His company is located in Woodstock and is called Reinforcement Unlimited, LLC."

Posted to the Autism Georgia Yahoo Listserv

"I really find that your comments are invaluable in assisting me with learning the appropriate ways to parent and understanding his behaviors. Thank you so much for all you do and the incredible report you provided us with for [our son] - the school psychologist was very impressed with the amount of testing results you provided and made many comments regarding the thoroughness of your evaluation and report."

Posted to the Open Georgia Autism Yahoo Listserv