Center-based vs. Home-based Autism Treatment

There are many factors you should take into account before choosing a suitable Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy program for your child on the spectrum. One of the most important aspects to take into consideration is location.

Some ABA therapy providers will offer both home-based and center-based treatment, meaning therapists will provide your child’s treatment in your own home or at the provider’s dedicated center. Others are strictly home-based or center-based. The Place for Children with Autism provides center-based ABA therapy.

Though it may seem like a simple choice, the location of your child’s treatment can make a big difference in their outcomes and success.

Learning & Skill Acquisition in Centers

In a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, participants who received center-based treatment demonstrated significantly higher rates of learning than those who received their treatment at home.

This higher rate of learning, and the effectiveness of center-based treatment can be attributed to a couple of common characteristics of ABA therapy centers:

  • Centers offer a highly structured environment: Centers offer a predictable environment that is free of the distractions that may be present at home. This highly structured environment is designed to give children a safe space to learn, be supervised, and accomplish their goals in a quicker, more efficient way.
  • Centers help benefit children’s social learning: Centers offer children on the spectrum more opportunity to engage socially. This provides them a better option for acquiring social skills that can be crucial for success in school and later in life. This social aspect is enhanced by group activities that are absent from home-based treatment.
  • Centers provide an environment that more efficiently supports the therapist- child relationship: Centers like our own pride themselves in their ability to foster a meaningful and beneficial relationship between care providers and the children receiving the care. An environment built to rely on this relationship can strengthen the bond.

Overall, a center dedicated to the treatment of children on the spectrum tends to be more well-equipped with the proper materials, safety precautions, and environmental factors necessary to improvements in behavior and learning outcomes.

Convenience and Familiarity at Home

Many parents who choose home-based treatment cite convenience as the main reason they opt for home-based treatment. This is no surprise, as familiarity with the home environment can help put parent’s minds at ease regarding their child’s safety.

As many children on the spectrum tend to thrive when on a routine in a familiar environment, they may be more likely to react more positively to their treatment, at first. Though, it is important to note that centers can become familiar environments for children receiving treatment relatively quickly.

Ultimately, every child has different needs. For some, remaining in the home is the best option for their specific needs but, in general, centers that commit to their mission and create an environment built with children on the spectrum in mind– will produce significantly better results.

If you are seeking center-based ABA therapy, or are considering your treatment options we’d be happy to talk to you about what will be the best fit for you and your child’s needs.

Head over to our contact page to get the conversation started, and as always, keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more autism and ABA related news and resources.



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