ABA Services in Massachusetts

My Personal Experience with RCS Learning Center

If you have a child with Autism, things can be extremely tough. However, it is really hard when you don’t have a reliable ABA provider on top of it all. If you are considering RCS Learning Center for ABA Behavioral Services in Natick – otherwise known as Progress for All Children, here is why we realized they were not reliable for our family.

This is my personal experience with this provider. When we started, we received our full 20 hours of recommended services. However, that quickly changed. Our leader ABA staff went on maternity leave early. No anyone’s fault of course, but when 8 weeks later, we still did not have a replacement, It should have been a red flag for how RCS is run, but for two months, we only had 3 hours a week of services. Or, another way to look at it, is that only 15% of required ABA services were being provided to my child.

We finally got a new ABA Therapist assigned for those missing 15 hours per week, but after the first week, she went on vacation. She came back, but then RCS pulled her out for a week of training. Then she came back again, but then we got a call that she needed more training and they were pulling her out again. So, in the eight weeks of summer, we only got a full three weeks of services.

By the end of the summer, we got another phone call. Both of our ABA providers were being reassigned. So we lost two weeks of services all together and two of our providers. At this point, not only were we concerned with the services, but the fact that my child kept starting relationships with these people, only to never see them again a short time later.

However, we did get our original ABA Therapist back at the start of the school year, but we still were short five hours a week, and we ended up losing more most weeks. Our ABA Therapist had a sick baby, she couldn’t get out of her slippery driveway, she had a team meeting, she was sick, and the list goes on and on regarding the additional hours and days we lost. We did finally get an additional therapist assigned for the hours we needed, but a month later, our primary Therapist cut back her hours and then our new afternoon Therapist wanted to change her days around!

Most people would have high tailed it out of there but the last straw is when we received a contract that we were forced to sign saying that we are liable for fees if we cancel an appointment in less than 24 hours – even if our child was sick. And you know how it is – you get that phone call in the middle of the day that your child has pink eye, or they wake up first thing in the morning and have a fever. Well, with RCS, you have to pony up the cash. What made it worse in our opinion, was that we had to follow these rules about cancellations and all I could think of was all the days THEY canceled services on us! And never made them up despite the original contract saying they were supposed to!

But it gets worse. The new contract also said that if we cancelled two times in a three month period (regardless of the length of the session) they could terminate services all together. Good luck keeping your kid sick free, injury free, or making sure nothing happens to any siblings too!

All I could think is that this group did not care about my child; if they have to have such strict policies for families (but not for themselves) what does that say about the quality of the organization? I wish I had known about this before we signed on.

When we had a conversation with them about this policy, they said we didn’t have to have services through them and we were free to leave at anytime. What? What kind of connection is that? It’s not as if my child and his future is like a bad spa service; it takes months to have calls, fill out forms, get evaluated, and get assigned a therapist, and that is just the work you have to do with the ABA Provider. You still have all that to do with your Insurance Company too!

So what happened? They ended up terminating us. We attempted to sign the contract I mentioned above, but the deadline they gave us was on a Wednesday. However, they were closed the day before the deadline and the day of the deadline due to a blizzard. There was no mail service, there were travel bans, so we could not get them the contract by the deadline. Instead of extending it for the fact they were not even open, they terminated our service.

So our experience with RCS was fraught with cancellations, confusions, schedule changes and more. In the end, it was when they wanted to penalize us without addressing their own company lack of resources that I realized this company is not about my child, or more importantly, his future. In the end, they may have kicked us to the curb, but it is something we should have done to them a long time before. Any company that supposed to provide services to the most vulnerable children, but makes them more vulnerable in the process, is one that, in my experience, no parent should consider.

Image Credit: matt_benoit by Getty Images via Canva.com

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