Many psychology professionals who work with autistic children use a highly data-intensive program called Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA).
We help them focus critically limited resources on the child, by providing a web-based software platform that makes it easy to enter and analyze this data. This saves time and costs while improving data consistency.
Tell us about yourself?
ABAKiS was founded by two computer systems engineers who each had an autistic child. We saw first-hand the amount of manual effort involved in recording the ABA data necessary to ensure the program could be successful, and the consequences of not doing this.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Just because we’re setup to be 100% virtual, don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is a transactional business.
While we have many automated processes, 90% of our clients we’ve met with either in person or virtually, in many cases on multiple occasions. That’s turned out to be one of our key strengths.
What problem does your business solve?
Psychology professionals who oversee Applied Behavioural Analysis (ABA) programs for autistic children face an overwhelming amount of data to analyze. Traditional paper-based solutions are error-prone and labour-intensive.
Many digital solutions are overly complex, resulting in high training costs and low usage compliance among team members.
The myABAKiS solution provides a platform that makes it easy for team members to enter consistent data, with the charts and analytical tools instantly available to the behaviour analyst (BCBA) who can then make rapid course corrections.
This virtuous cycle provides an acceleration factor which over time leads to improved learning outcomes for the child.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
The founders of ABAKiS experienced first-hand the stark difference in outcomes of ABA programs, when timely, accurate data is provided to the behaviour analyst.
Without that data and the right analytical tools, course corrections are slow or non-existent and the program runs a much higher risk of being completely ineffective.
The difference in outcomes can be dramatic – rates of depression and unemployment among autistic adults is very high, and ABA has over 50 years of solid science behind its efficacy – but those outcomes depend on timely, accurate data.
What is your magic sauce?
Everything we do circles back to our core value, “Keep it Simple” – this was the inspiration behind the name ABAKiS.
The application is easy to learn – this is important because it minimizes the time and cost of onboarding new team members. ABA programs normally involve a team of practitioners working with each child.
It also applies to how we engage our clients. Every one of our clients knows who their primary point of contact is, no matter what their need is – whether a question or a problem, or a suggestion for a new feature, or billing inquiry – they know who to contact and most of the time they’ve had a chance to meet, usually virtually.
That person knows their needs and has a direct line of communication to the right people and teams internally, to ensure those needs are met. It’s a relational, rather than transactional, approach to business.
HOW we achieve this, after constantly being told it was impossible in practice, is the real secret!
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Looking beyond the ongoing work to continually improve the flexibility and utility of our solution, we’ve started looking into some academic research projects to determine how digital record keeping could add value to psychology students studying ABA, and adapting it to connect with other disciplines such as Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs), Occupational Therapy, classroom assistants, etc.
All of this relates back to the core objective of providing the right tools to support the professionals dedicated to the mental health of autistic children (and, more broadly, “neuro-diverse” individuals).
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Early on we assumed parents would be our primary target market, because that’s where we started. That approach proved non-viable from a business perspective but it did help inform our famously user-friendly application design.
The biggest shift however was in our marketing approach. Being a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business we initially assumed we should do what everyone else was doing – focus on digital advertising to spread the word.
This proved to be a highly ineffective approach for us. We only really started getting anywhere by literally picking up the phone and talking to people. Not surprisingly in retrospect, we found that people really prefer that personal interaction.
How do people get involved/buy into your vision?
We love to hear from independent BCBAs or clinical directors overseeing ABA programs who are looking for a simple, consistent and reliable platform for recording and analyzing their ABA data to provide the best possible outcomes for the autistic learners in their care.
From our website, www.myabakis.com, you can watch our “quick intro” video, send us an email or register for a free half-hour demo/discovery session to find out if myABAKiS is the right tool for your practice.