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Learn About the Possible Outcomes of IBHS

by Jaime Friedman

April 06, 2024


What is IBHS?

Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) support children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and/or mental health issues up to the age of twenty-one. IBHS uses Evidence Based Treatment (EBT), meaning that any course of action taken by an IBHS provider has already been researched and reviewed by professionals. Using evidence of successful or failed treatment plans, providers are able to make informed decisions through EBT. IBHS is split into three categories, including:

  1. Individual 
  2. Group 
  3. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

This article will focus on IBHS-ABA services. 

What is IBHS-ABA?

One of the IBHS categories utilize Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a type of behavioral therapy that provides individualized support based on the science of learning and behavior. ABA services take into account an antecedent, a resulting behavior and a consequence. By examining these three variables, behavioral health providers look to address why a behavior is occurring and how different consequences might prevent the behavior from continuing in the future. Ultimately, ABA treatment looks to improve skills (i.e., social skills, communication skills), and to reduce problem behaviors that interfere
with functioning.  Typically, children have a diagnosis of Autism, but children with related developmental disabilities may also qualify to receive IBHS-ABA.

Who Qualifies a Child For IBHS-ABA?

In Pennsylvania, a licensed professional (such as, a physician, psychologist, or another licensed professional qualified in this area) can write a Written Order (WO) for a child under the age of twenty-one, to receive IBHS. A medical diagnosis, such as Autism, is required for a child to be eligible to receive this service. Typically, children have a diagnosis of Autism, but children with related developmental disabilities may also qualify to receive IBHS-ABA.

Who Provides These Services?

If your child receives IBHS-ABA, their team will generally consist of Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBAs) / Licensed Behavior Specialists (LBSs) who will oversee the program, and Behavioral Health Technicians (BHTs) who work directly with the child. A BHT may also hold a certificate as a Registered Behavior Technician (RBT), but it is not required. The BCBA / LBS who supervises the child’s treatment plan and implementation is a highly trained behavioral health professional.

Potential Long-Term Outcomes of IBHS-ABA

The desired outcomes of IBHS-ABA vary from case-to-case, but in general, practitioners are attempting to learn about their clients’ individual needs and offer the best treatment possible, based on research. Children that begin treatment earlier in their lifetime generally see the best outcomes long-term. Assessments by the treatment team are conduced every six months to assess progress and to determine whether IBHS-ABA is still appropriate. Goals can change depending on the child’s needs with the ultimate goal being reduction of problematic behavior and skill building. IBHS-ABA also focuses on parent training and empowering the family to help their child to achieve the best results. 

IBHS-ABA allows behavioral healthcare providers to specialize in the challenges currently facing their clients. They follow procedures based on research, observations and how their clients are presenting. Individualization has become the standard for Intensive Behavioral Health Services. For more information on IBHS in Pennsylvania, there are resources on the Department of Human Services website and on the site for the Autism Services, Education, Resources and Training Collaborative (ASERT).

Aspire Child & Family Services specialize in the treatment of children with Autism and related developmental disabilities by providing high quality IBHS-ABA. Contact our office to learn more: