In Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), group sessions typically include two or more learners who receive services in a communal setting. A provider (or providers) is responsible for running the group, taking data on each learner, and managing a multitude of variables. For example, if there are 5 learners in the group, that means there are 5 different sets of behaviors, skill levels, reinforcer sets, and more to oversee.
Goals of ABA Group Sessions
Group sessions are a great opportunity for ABA learners to work on their goals in a group setting. They are commonly used with learners working on skills such as:
- Group skills, turn-taking, waiting, and sharing.
- Conversational skills with peers and adults, perspective taking, and understanding how one’s behavior affects other people.
- Deepening social/emotional understanding.
- Understanding physical proximity.
- School-readiness (e.g., sitting in groups, assigned seating, raising your hand).
...and many more.
Challenges Navigating ABA Group Sessions
Providers face many challenges when using manual or disintegrated systems to take data during group sessions. The constant action (and at times, chaos) of a group setting, combined with inadequate data collection processes, can be a recipe for disaster.
Slip-ups are often made. For example, accidentally taking learner data on the wrong clipboard, spreadsheet, or Word document, inadvertently closing out a document without saving it first, or even unintentionally breaching HIPAA laws.
Other common challenges include:
- The mental and physical stress of collecting data for multiple learners while running a group.
- Losing or misplacing learner data sheets, spreadsheets, and documents.
- Accidentally taking data on the wrong learner’s sheet.
- Scarce, poor, or unreliable data due to the overwhelming nature of a group session.
- Running a group while in “firefighting mode” during times when learner deficits bubble to the top due to the social environment. This often leaves providers unable to take data at all.
- The potential to breach HIPAA laws. Leaving clipboards lying around means other people can easily view your data (e.g., other parents during pickup after a session).
Learn how CR Essentials streamlines and simplifies your ABA data collection during group sessions.
Simplify Group ABA Data Collection
Using an All-in-One Practice and Clinical Management solution streamlines the data collection process for group therapy sessions. Choosing an innovative solution designed with the unique needs of small ABA therapy practices in mind can help clinicians focus more on the group’s needs and stress less about navigating data.
Some of the benefits of an all-in-one software for group session data collection include:
- Record skill acquisition, target behaviors, and other client data for multiple clients at one time.
- Managing data for multiple learners on one device reduces the risk of misplacing data or forgetting about a clipboard or data sheet, increasing HIPAA compliance.
- Easy toggling between learners decreases the chances of errors, such as taking data on the wrong learner.
- Maintain all client information in one secure location. Seamlessly navigate to your client’s profile for a quick refresher on their allergies, reinforcers, demographics, or any other pertinent information.
- During hectic sessions, clinicians can quickly pull up what they need, review it, and continue — no need to shuffle through papers, files, or folders.
Group sessions can be difficult, particularly if providers are struggling with manual data collection. Despite the challenges, group sessions can be essential for skill generalization and long-term success. ABA professionals know the value of group sessions, and that the end result overcoming obstacles.
The award-winning CR Essentials offers all-in-one ABA scheduling, practice management, and clinical data collection software designed for startups and small ABA organizations. CR Essentials allows for seamless integration, allowing you to dedicate more time and resources to client care.
Learn more about the many benefits that CR Essentials could offer your practice.