+44 (0) 20 3301 3985
Therapy Centre for Children with Autism
and Developmental Delays in London, UK

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to our frequently asked questions page. This is for parents, professionals or anyone with an interest in First Bridge Centre. Please try asking a question and if you do not find the answer you are looking for, please get in touch.

  • About ABA

  • Do Behaviour Analysts take into consideration the reasons why a behaviour might be happening? Have an action button available in this answer to direct to our blog about 4 functions of behaviour.

    Yes. Credentialed ABA providers very deliberately take into account the reasons why recipients of their services perform certain activities. In fact, an entire methodology known as functional behaviour assessment is designed around this basic idea. These reasons are expected to be incorporated into treatment to ensure needs, wants, and preferences are being met.

  • Does ABA promote and support a philosophy that promotes independent living and neurodiversity?

    The focus of ABA therapy is on empowering autistic persons to develop skills they need to be as independent as possible in all areas of their lives. ABA providers teach individuals with autism how to be self-sufficient so they can safely navigate their world and live long and healthy lives. To that end, credentialed ABA providers teach communication skills to people with autism so they are able to express their wants and needs, strengthening their ability to advocate and participate in ongoing treatment decisions.

  • Does ABA acknowledge the differences that make a person with autism unique?

    Yes. ABA providers serving individuals with autism seek to develop or restore abilities that are important to autistic people. For example, a provider might teach a person with autism how to shop for their favourite foods or how to interview for a preferred job. ABA providers celebrate each autistic person’s individual identity and personality and incorporate personal preferences throughout treatment. The Council of Autism Service Providers (2020). Applied behaviour analysis treatment of autism spectrum disorder: Practice guidelines for healthcare funders and managers, 2nd https://casproviders.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ABA- ASD-Practice-Guidelines.pdf

  • Day-to-day Centre

  • What courses and support do you provide?

    To ensure we can support parents, children up to eight years old and their families in a way which suits them we have designed different ways for your to receive support.

    We provide classroom learning as both full-time and part-time.

    Thrive (full time)
    Our full-time programme comprises 30 hours of early intensive intervention across five days (Monday – Friday, 9am – 4pm).

    Nurture (part time)
    Our Nurture programmes comprise 15 hours of early intensive behavioural intervention (EIBI)  delivered in five half-day sessions (Monday – Friday)

    Grow

    Based around a three hourly session each week at our Chelsea clinic. This programme with set modules, materials and content is designed to provide parents with education and support about ABA and, at the same time, teach children life-enhancing, developmental skills. The programme is designed and delivered by our expert Board Certified Behaviour Analysts (BCBA) and provides a combination of theoretical and practical ‘hands on’ training.

    Enrich

    Following an initial assessment we will design a bespoke programme for your child which will be delivered by out expert Board Certified Behavioural Analysts (BCBAs). An important part of these sessions are the coaching to support for parents to learn ABA skills so they can continue supporting their child throughout the week.

     

    You can read more about these services here: New ways we are supporting parents and children develop skills and learning to make a difference every day — First Bridge Centre

  • Will I be refunded if a session is cancelled?

    Our fees cover all your child service requirements over the course of a month. Our BCBA’s will ensure that your child gets the amount of supervision relevant to their current needs and this will change week to week. If a session is cancelled we will ensure that the BCBA hours will be reallocated and so will only refund at the therapist only rate of £40 per hour (£120 for an individual AM/PM session, £240 for a full day) If we provide SLT or OT supervision input, this will be included within the regular supervision allocation and the regular fees will apply. This SLT/OT supervision input will form part of the agreed supervision time.

  • How will I know how my child is doing?

    Your child’s progress is tracked daily during their sessions by the data that the therapists take for each of the teaching plan targets. This data is graphed during the last 15 minutes of each session while your child is completing their independence targets.  These graphs—which depict your child’s progress–are discussed during the fortnightly clinical team meetings. These will be explained to you by the BCBA during direct and/or virtual supervisions and during the monthly team meetings which you attend.

  • When should I arrive at the Centre?

    You should arrive at the centre approximately 10 minutes prior to your scheduled start time for therapy. You will wait in the lobby area until one of your team therapists comes for you to handover your child to the therapy team. You will be able to provide them with any quick/last minute information which may be helpful to the therapy staff during the day (e.g., didn’t sleep last night, didn’t eat breakfast, is feeling better now from a recent illness, etc.).

  • Pandemic Responses

  • What are you doing to protect your children in the Centre from Covid?

    Alongside Government guidelines, we have implemented our own site operating procedures to ensure the safety of the children and our staff. The SOP can be found on our Useful Documents page.

  • Can my child attend service if I test positive for Covid?

    No, when there is a positive case of Covid in the household, we ask that children do not attend services to protect other children and staff. A child cannot attend services if there is a positive case of Covid in the household even if the child test is negative. For more information, please see our Covid policy on our Useful Documents page.

  • What happens to my fees if me, or my child, has to isolate due to Covid?

    We ask that any household that has a positive Covid case not to send their child to service. In any household where there is a positive case, a child cannot attend even when their test is negative. In such cases, we will refund 30% of therapy sessions for a maximum of 7 days in a 3 month period. Outside of this, sessions will be fully chargeable. For more information, please see our Covid Policy on our Useful Documents page.

  • Qualifications

  • What qualifications do your therapists have?

    Our ABA therapists/RBTs have varied qualifications, including but not limited to: undergraduate degrees in Psychology, Early Childhood Education, Education, Linguistics, and/or the Sciences or Master’s level degrees in Psychology, Early Childhood Education, Education, and/or Applied Behaviour Analysis. Each therapist also undergoes 75 hours of company training including the 40-hour accredited coursework required for the Registered Behaviour Technician credential. Within the first 90 days of joining the company, our frontline therapists are required to pass their RBT credential. Our BCBAs have varied qualifications, including but not limited to: Master’s level degrees in Education, Psychology, and/or Applied Behaviour Analysis, a specific verified course sequence applicable to the field of applied behaviour analysis, and 1500 – 2000 supervised hours and passing of a comprehensive accredited exam. We also have qualified Early years practitioners as part of the team with a minimum of level three qualifications and many years of experience working with children.

  • Therapy Progress and Development

  • What model of therapy do you use?

    The model of therapy we use is derived from the principles of Applied Behaviour Analysis and the curricula we follow comes from a number of naturalistic-developmental-behavioural programmes (Assessment of Basic Language and Learning Skills-revised – ABLLSr, the Verbal Behaviour Milestones Assessment and Placement Program – VB-MAPP, the Early Start Denver Model – ESDM, Essential for Living – EFL, and the Early Behaviour Intervention Curriculum – EBIC). We focus on changing behaviours through 1:1 discrete trials/table time activities but also in naturalistic activities and using a reinforcement/reward-based approach to encouraging learning and especially focuses on developing play, language, and communication skills.

  • How long will it take before we see a change?

    Every child is unique in the speed their acquire new skills. However, if your child is accessing an intensive behaviour intervention programme (e.g., 21+ hours per week) then you should begin to notice changes within the first three months of service. There are a number of key skills that we look at to predict overall progress and response to an ABA programme such as imitation skills, consistent response to their name, requesting (manding) skills, and listener skills (i.e., receptive language skills).

  • What is a therapy programme?

    A therapy programme is a treatment plan which selects goals/targets which aims to teach skills which are lacking and/or to reduce behaviours which are barriers to the individual achieving their potential. In ABA, the therapy programme is informed by scientific principles from the study of human behaviour in order to change those skills (i.e., measurable behaviours) that are socially significant for that individual or their family.

  • We speak other languages at home, will we have to stop and speak only English since the therapy is delivered in English?

    There is a large body of research that shows that speaking your primary home language(s) is most beneficial for your child – whether or not they have delays in speech, language, or communication. Building the foundation skills for communication occurs in the same way in all languages. That is, building an understanding of the words you hear, developing an expressive vocabulary/word bank, using sounds/single words to communicate, building phrases, etc. all occur in each language. Rather than having a negative effect, hearing and using multiple languages has an additive effect. It is also important that your child be exposed to the specific speech sounds in your home language(s) as there is a critical acquisition period for those sounds and if your child is not exposed to and practice saying some of the sounds that are unique to a specific language then they will lose that ability and will not be able to acquire this skill when they are older.

  • My child is already getting help from other providers such as SLT and OT, can we continue those services?

    The best outcomes result from a collaborative and comprehensive approach (i.e., interdisciplinary or transdisciplinary). That is, an intensive ABA programme which incorporates the recommendations from other disciplines within the daily sessions will be most beneficial. At First Bridge Centre we are happy to collaborate with other colleagues to develop a cohesive treatment plan that is individualised to your child. If providers are working on similar goals but in different ways, there are often impacts on progress and this type of programme could result in delays or barriers to progress.

  • When is the best time for my child to begin therapy?

    Simply stated, the earlier the better! There is plenty of clinical research that demonstrates that children who begin intervention as early as possible (e.g., <2 years of age) show the most significant improvement in their areas of deficit. Many children who receive early intensive behaviour intervention (EIBI) for 2 – 3 years can often transition to least restrictive settings such as nursery or reception.

  • Do you offer assessment for diagnosis?

    No, our assessment is used to create a personalised curriculum for a child coming into services at First Bridge Centre. The assessment does not give a diagnosis, it can only give an indicator if we think there are red flags.